Mann Ki Baat – unique example of how a modest medium of communication has been made a potent tool to inspire and transform our nation

New Delhi: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi communicates with the nation through “Mann Ki Baat”, its magical impact can be seen on the ground, among the masses

BY | Sunday, 30 April, 2023

Today is the landmark day for our country as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Mann Ki Baat”, which has struck a chord with the nation, completes its 100th episode. This highly inspirational radio programme, aired at 11 am on the last Sunday of every month since October 3, 2014, has now become the talk show of the nation. The Prime Minister’s thoughts, his views and words of wisdom signify people’s aspirations and hopes.

I have been a witness to the immense popularity of the programme where people from all walks of life gather in their homes, mohallas and nukkad shops glued to their radio sets listening to interesting facts and stories about India. They get inspired by real-life stories, the stories of unsung heroes; and then rededicate themselves towards serving the nation and our society.

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For the past over 9 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought before the nation the immense contributions of common citizens in our nation-building — be it related to conserving environment; preserving our rich art, culture and heritage; shaping of social movements and helping needy and destitute; promotion of sports, game, scientific temper, literature and education; revival of our dying cottage industries and unique art forms; and efforts towards promoting social harmony and national integration.

“Mann Ki Baat” is the unique example of how a modest medium of communication, which has been losing its relevance in the era of digital revolution, has been made a potent tool to inspire and transform our nation. It has also become a remarkable platform of government-public partnership, without getting involved in any kind of political messaging. It is an apolitical platform which focuses on realising the inner strengths of our nation and the extraordinary capabilities of our citizens. “Mann Ki Baat” has shown to the world how by using a communication tool a nation can be brought together and motivated to work for nation-building.

Over my long political career, I have been inspired by reading and listening to our great leaders and social reformers including Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Mahatma Gandhi, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Jyotiba Phule, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar and Jai Prakash Narayan. We have all seen and experienced how the words of these luminaries triggered social transformation in our country; how they lend their voice to the marginalised sections of our society; and how they fought for the empowerment and upliftment of oppressed and weaker communities.

I used to wonder, will modern India ever get a chance to see a person who will inspire citizens, unite them and show them the way to transform our nation. I have had a long association with Narendra Modi ji, I have worked very closely with him. I see him as a multi-dimensional personality — who is a social reformer, a guardian, a teacher, a strict administrator, a person with strong willpower, an inspirational world leader, a motivational speaker, a compassionate statesman, a torch-bearer of our socio-cultural awakening, and a ‘Pradhan Sewak’ who is steering India on the path of speedy growth and development to re-establish India as “Vishwa Guru”.

That is precisely the reason that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi communicates with the nation through “Mann Ki Baat”, its magical impact can be seen on the ground, among the masses. We have seen how Modi ji has used “Mann Ki Baat” to accomplish toughest of our missions like the management of Corona pandemic and success of the Covid vaccination drive; water conservation and preservation of our environment; promotion of Yoga for good health; revival of India’s indigenous toy industry and our ancient art of story-telling; cleanliness and sanitation.

What is unique about “Mann Ki Baat” is the kind of topics Prime Minister Narendra Modi chooses to have a free-wheeling and spirited conversation with the citizens. Natural farming, Sri Anna (millets), Fit India Movement, Khelo India, Beti Bachao-Beti Padao, Har Ghar Tiranga, innovations by young Indians, Start-up movement, growth of self-help groups and cooperative movement, India’s rapid strides in the field of health and defence – these are some of the key topics on which Prime Minister has delved deep in his “Mann Ki Baat” programme. It is also not a one-way communication; it is in fact a dialogue between the Prime Minister and the masses as the stories being told and ideas being shared during “Mann Ki Baat” also come from people themselves who share several hidden stories, narrate their experiences and give their feedback. It is the views of citizens that strengthens our democracy and helps in the growth of our nation.

Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister who has introduced to every Indian its rich cultural diversity and age-old traditions and cultures – from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and from Kutch to the North-East. He has also talked about different festivals that are celebrated in various parts of our country. Similarly, the inspiring stories of Indians as well as that of expats who have left an indelible mark on our society besides giving us recognition globally has made “Mann Ki Baat” a highly popular programme not only in India but also abroad. Today “Mann Ki Baat” is broadcast in 11 foreign languages and is loved worldwide.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s respect and popularity has grown tremendously not only in the country but also globally which has left the Opposition parties highly perturbed. “Mann Ki Baat” has only added to the Prime Minister’s connection with the masses. Despite the fact that it is an apolitical programme that touches upon India’s strengths and unite citizens to bring about positive changes in our society, the Opposition has always tried to belittle this unique initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is the proof of shallow politics that our Opposition parties, particularly the Congress party, indulges in.

The immense popularity that “Mann Ki Baat” enjoys among the masses has already been revealed by a survey done by the Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak, which says that so far over 100 crore people have joined “Mann Ki Baat”, and out of these 60% listeners have committed themselves to work towards nation-building. How eagerly people wait for the airing of “Mann Ki Baat” can also be gauged from the fact that an average of 23 crore listeners join this programme per episode.

The greatest contribution of “Mann Ki Baat” is that it has brought positivity in our society. When you listen to this highly popular programme, you feel like a guardian, an elder of your family is guiding you, showing you the way to a brighter and better future. I am confident that this medium of communication will further evolve and become an important tool in the transformation of our nation. Let us all come together to celebrate the 100th episode of “Mann Ki Baat” and cherish this important moment in our lives. It is also time to unitedly take a pledge and rededicate ourselves in the service of our nation by following the path shown by our Prime Minister.

By Jagat Prakash Nadda

National President, Bharatiya Janata Party

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