NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi focussed on the promotion of traditional sports of India and lauded the awareness that Indians are showing towards fitness in the 44th edition of Mann ki Baat on Sunday.
The PM also paid tributes to India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary and invoked freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. "It was the month of May 1857 when Indians had shown their strength to the British. In many parts of the country, our Jawans and farmers showed their bravery and stood up against the injustice. Unfortunately, we termed the events of 1857 only as a rebellion or a revolt for a very long time. It was Veer Savarkar, who wrote boldly that whatever happened in 1857 was not a revolt but the first fight for independence. Veer Savarkar worshiped both Shastra and Shaastra: He is known for his bravery and his struggle against the British Raj, but besides all these he was also an imposing poet and social reformer, who always emphasized goodwill and unity."
Here are the key issues he spoke about:
Fitness awareness: Amid the series of challenges that people are giving each other, PM Modi lauded the awareness that people are showing towards fitness. "When I say Fit India, I believe that the country will play as much as we play. People are sharing videos of fitness challenge on social media, tagging and challenging each other. People from all walks of life, be it film actors, sportspersons, our soldiers, teachers, or even the people, everyone is of the same opinion that 'Hum Fit To India Fit," he said.
He added that he is happy that he too was nominated for the challenge by Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli. "For me, it’s heartwarming that captain of Indian Cricket team Virat Kohli has included me in his challenge and I too have accepted his challenge," he said.
Promotion of traditional games: Speaking about the traditional games which were once part of the culture but now seem to be fading away, he said that there is a need to bring the focus back on the games. "It is true that the games which were once a part of the street and every child's life are becoming less frequent. These games were specially a special part of the summer holidays. Sometimes in the midday, or at night after without worrying, the children used to play for hours. Pitthu or Kanche, or Gilli-Danda, do not know ... countless games from Kanyakumari to Kamrup, were a part of our childhood.
"Devote this summer to playing traditional games of India. We must not forget our heritage. Through crowd sourcing, let us make archives of our traditional sports. The youngster generation will gain through this," he said.
Clean India, green India: The Prime Minister also highlighted the need to pay attention to the environment and said that India is delighted to host this year's World Environment Day programme. "Being sensitive towards nature and protecting it should be our motive. In the past few weeks, parts of the country witnessed dust storm, strong winds and unseasonal heavy rains which led to loss of lives as well as damaged goods. These sudden changes in weather pattern are a result of change in our lifestyle. We have to live with harmony with nature. Mahatma Gandhi advocated this matter every step of his life," he said.
"The theme of World Environment Day this time is 'Beat Plastic Pollution'. I appeal to everyone to understand the importance of this theme. Let us make sure that we do not use polythene, lower grade plastic as plastic pollution adversely impacts nature, wild life and even our health. India will do everything possible for a cleaner and greener tomorrow. This time, let us focus on tree planting," he said.