Who will benefit from the Kartarpur corridor

My dear compatriots, Namaskar! I want to share some good news with all of you today at the beginning of Mann ki Baat. Every Indian will be proud that a very ancient idol of Devi Annapurna is returning to India from Canada. This idol was stolen from a temple in Varanasi and smuggled out of the country about 100 years ago, around 1913. I express my gratitude to the Government of Canada and to all those who made this favorable return possible for this great cordiality. Mata Annapoorna has a very special relationship with Kashi. Now the return of her idol is gratifying for all of us. Just like the idol of Mata Annapurna, much of our priceless heritage has suffered in the hands of international gangs. These gangs sell them at a very high price in the international market. Not only are they now severely restricted, but India has stepped up efforts to get them back. Thanks to these efforts, India has managed to bring back many such idols and artifacts in recent years. There is a coincidence connected with the return of the idol of Mata Annapurna ... World Heritage Week was celebrated just a few days ago. World Heritage Week offers culture lovers a wonderful opportunity to review the past and learn about the history of these important milestones. During the Corona period, too, we saw how people celebrate this World Heritage Week in an innovative way. Culture helps a lot in times of crisis and plays an important role in managing this crisis. Even with the help of technology, culture functions like an emotional charge. Today, many museums and libraries in the country are working to make their collections completely digital. Our National Museum in Delhi has made some commendable efforts in this regard. The National Museum is working on introducing around ten virtual galleries - isn't that interesting! Now, sitting at home, you can tour the galleries of the National Museum in Delhi. On the one hand, it is important to make the cultural heritage accessible to as large a number of people as possible through the medium of technology; the use of technology is also important for the preservation of this heritage. I recently read about an interesting project. There is an island called Svalbard in northern Norway. A project, the Arctic World Archive, was set up on this island. In this archive, invaluable data about human heritage has been stored in such a way that it cannot be affected by any natural or man-made disaster. Only recently we received the information that the legacy of the Ajanta Caves will also be digitized and preserved in this project. A complete overview of the Ajanta Caves should be seen in it. In addition to the digitized and restored paintings, important documents and quotations on this topic will also be on view. Friends, the pandemic has on the one hand changed the way we work, on the other hand it has given us the opportunity to experience nature in a new way. Our perspective on observing nature has also changed. We are now entering the winter season. We will see innumerable shades of nature. For the past few days, the internet has been full of viral images of cherry blossoms. You may think that when I talk about cherry blossoms I am talking about the special identity of Japan, but it is not. These are not pictures of Japan. These are pictures of Shillong, of our Meghalaya. These cherry blossoms added to the beauty of Meghalaya.

 

Friends, on this November 12th the celebrations for the 125th birthday of Dr. Salim Ali ji. Dr. Salim has done illustrious work in the field of bird watching. This has also drawn bird watchers to India from all over the world. I've always been an ardent admirer of people who are passionate about bird watching. With the greatest of patience, you can watch birds together for hours, from morning to evening, while enjoying the natural beauty of the landscape; in addition, they repeatedly pass on the knowledge they have acquired to us. Many bird watching societies are also active in India. You should also deal with this topic. Amid the hectic routine of my life, I recently had the memorable opportunity to spend time with birds in Kevadia. The time spent among birds will bind you closer to nature, it will also inspire you with a view to the environment.

My dear compatriots, the culture of India and its Shaastras / knowledge has always been a magnet for the whole world. Many people came to India to discover & study & stay forever while some of them returned to their respective countries as bearers of this culture. I had the opportunity to learn about the work of Jonas Masetti, also known as Vishwanath. Jonas teaches Vedanta & Geeta to people in Brazil. He runs a facility called Vishwavidya, located in the hills of Petropolis, an hour from Rio de Janeiro. After studying mechanical engineering, Jonas worked in his stock exchange company. He later became attracted to Indian culture, particularly Vedanta. It really has been a long road for him from the stock market to spirituality. Jonas studied Vedanta philosophy in India and spent four years with Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Coimbatore. Jonas has another specialty - he uses technology to get his message across. He runs online programs on a regular basis. He also does a daily podcast. Over the past seven years, Jonas has taught more than 150,000 students in his free open Vedanta courses. Not only does Jonas do a great job - he does it through a language that is understood by a large number of people. People are very interested to know how this could help them in times of corona and quarantine. With the help of husband Ki Baat, I congratulate Jonas on his efforts and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Friends, similarly, another message might have caught your attention. The newly elected New Zealand MP, Dr. Gaurav Sharma took the oath of office in one of the world's ancient languages ​​- Sanskrit. We are proud to have spread Indian culture through an Indian. Through the medium of the man Ki Baat, I convey best wishes to Gaurav Sharma ji. We all wish him new accomplishments in the service of the New Zealand people.

My dear compatriots, tomorrow, November 30th, we will celebrate the 551st Prakash Parv, the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev ji. All over the world the influence of Guru Nanak Dev ji is clearly visible.

 

From Vancouver to Wellington, from Singapore to South Africa, his messages can be heard everywhere. As mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib - “sevak ko seva bun aayee” - it is the work of a sevak to serve a servant. In the past few years we have had the opportunity to serve as sevak at many important points. Guru Sahib gave us the opportunity to serve. The 550th Prakash Parva / birthday of Guru Nanak Dev ji, the 350th Prakash Parv of Shri Guru Govind Singh ji and next year we will also celebrate the 400th Prakash Parv of Shri Guru Teg Bahadur ji. I feel particularly blessed by Guru Sahib that he has connected me very closely to his work.

Friends, do you know that there is a Gurudwara, Lakhpat Gurudwara Sahib, in Kutch? Shri Guru Nanak ji stayed in the Lakhpat Gurudwara Sahib during his Udaasi, his spiritual journeys. This Gurudwara was also damaged during the 2001 earthquake. It was Guru Sahib's blessing that I could see to his restoration. Not only has it been renovated, but its luster and grandeur have been restored. Guru Sahib has abundantly blessed us all. The restoration efforts of Lakhpat Gurudwara were honored with the 2004 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award with the “Award of Distinction”. The jury that awarded the prize noted that special attention was paid to the fine details of the art and architecture during the restoration. The jury also noted that the Sikh community not only actively participated in the restoration of the Gurudwara, but that it was carried out under their leadership. I was fortunate enough to visit Lakhpat Gurudwara when I was not even the chief minister. I felt extremely motivated there. Everyone feels blessed when visiting this Gurudwara. I am very grateful that Guru Sahib gave me the opportunity to serve regularly. The opening of the Kartarpur-Sahib Corridor in November last year was historic. I will keep him in my heart for a lifetime. We are all fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve Shri Darbaar Sahib again. It has now become easier for our Sikh brothers and sisters abroad to send contributions in the service of Darbaar Sahib. With this step the Sangat, the followers all over the world have moved closer to Darbaar Sahib.

Friends, it was Guru Nanak Dev ji who started the Langar tradition and we saw how the Sikh community around the world continued the tradition of feeding people during the Corona period, serving humanity - this tradition inspires us again and again. I wish all of us that we will continue to work as Sewak. May Guru Sahib continue to seek services from me and my compatriots in the same way. Once again, many good wishes to Guru Nanak Jayanti.

My dear compatriots, in the past few days I have had the opportunity to get in touch with students from various universities across the country and to take part in important events on their educational path. Through the technology, I was able to get in touch with students from IIT - Guwahati, IIT-Delhi, Deendayal Petroleum University of Gandhinagar, JNU of Delhi, Mysore University and Lucknow University. Spending time with the country's youth is extremely refreshing and stimulating. University campuses are, in a way, like a little India. On these campuses we see the diversity of India on the one hand, and on the other hand we also find a great passion for change for a new India. Before Corona, when I went to a personal event at each facility, I urged that poor students from nearby schools would be invited to these events. These children attended the events as my special guests. When a small child watches the big event how a young person becomes a doctor, engineer or scientist, sees someone receive a medal, then new dreams awaken in the child - “I can do it too” - then this self-confidence arises. There is an inspiration to determination.

Friends, I am also always interested in finding out who the institution's alumni are, what arrangements the institution makes for regular engagement with its alumni, and how lively its alumni network is.

My young friends, you are only a student of an institution for as long as you study there, but you will remain an alumni of that institution for life.

After you leave school or college, two things never end - first, the influence of your education, and second, your attachment to your school or college. Whenever alumni interact with one another, their memories of school or college are devoted to memories of time on campus and moments with friends, and less to books and studies, and those memories become one Born to do something for the institution.

What can bring you more happiness than helping to develop the place where your personality was shaped? I have read some such endeavors in which the ex-students have given their old institutions back in large measure. Nowadays the alumni are very active in this. The students of the IITs have made many facilities such as conference centers, management centers, and incubation centers available to their institutions that have come about through their efforts. All of these efforts improve the learning experience of current students. IIT Delhi has launched an endowment fund, which is a brilliant idea. There is a culture of such foundations at prestigious universities around the world to help the students. I think that Indian universities are also able to institutionalize this culture.

When it comes to giving back, nothing can be considered big or small. Even the smallest help counts. Every effort is important. Often times, alumni play a very important role in the technological modernization of their institutions, in the construction of buildings, in initiating prizes and scholarships, and in starting skills development programs. The old student associations of certain schools have set up mentoring programs. In these programs they guide the students of different years and also discuss the educational perspectives. Alumni associations have a strong presence in many schools, especially boarding schools, where they organize activities such as sports tournaments and community service.

I would like to urge the former students to further strengthen their ties to the institution where they studied! Be it at the school, college or university level. I also urge the institutions to work on new and innovative ways of alumni engagement and to develop creative platforms so that alumni can be actively involved. A strong, lively and active alumni network is required not only in large colleges and universities, but also in the schools in our villages.

My dear compatriots, December 5th is the anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's death. The more we read Sri Aurobindo, the greater the insight we will get. The more my young friends learn about Sri Aurobindo, the more they will learn about themselves and enrich themselves. The state of inner consciousness in which you find yourself trying to reach the many solutions, in the midst of all of this you will always find a new inspiration in Sri Aurobindo; You will find that he shows you a new way! Just like now, as we advance with the ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign, Sri Aurobindo's Swadeshi philosophy shows us the way.

There is a very profound poem in Bangla.

‘Sui ChhutoPoy-Monto Ashe Tunga hote’.

Diya-ShalaiKathi, Tau aasepote ||

Pro-deeptiJaliteKhete, Shutee, Jethe.

KichhuteLokNoyaShadhiaan ||

That means, even the sewing needle and the matchstick come on a strange ship! People are not even free to eat, drink, sleep!

He also used to say that Swadeshi means that we give priority to the things that are made by our Indian workers and artisans. It is not that Sri Aurobindo was ever against learning from abroad. Wherever there is something new, we should learn from there and then support and promote what can be good for our country - and that is the spirit of the Vocal for Local mantra in the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. Especially what Shri Aurobindo said about the adoption of Swadeshi should be read by every citizen today.

Friends, including Sri Aurobindo's views on education, were very clear. For him, education was not limited to book knowledge, studies and work. Sri Aurobindo used to say that our national education should focus on training the hearts and minds of our younger generation, that is, the scientific development of the mind and the Indian ethos should also be present in the heart, only then can a young person become one become a better citizen of the country. Whatever Sri Aurobindo said and expected about national education, it is now reaching the country through the new national education policy.

My dear compatriots, agriculture and related activities in India are adding new dimensions. The agricultural reforms of the last few days have now opened up new opportunities for our farmers. The demands that have been made by the peasants for years, which every political party has promised to fulfill at one point or another, have been fulfilled. After much deliberation, the Indian parliament gave the agricultural reforms a legal form. These reforms have not only served to free our farmers from their shackles, but have also given them new rights and opportunities. In just a short time, these new rights have begun to alleviate the suffering of our farmers. You too should know how Jitendra Bhoi ji, a farmer from Dhule District in Maharashtra, used the recently promulgated farm laws. Jitendra Bhoi ji had sown corn and decided to sell his products to traders at a reasonable price. The total cost of the products has been set at around 332,000 rupees. Jitendra Bhoi even received an advance of 25,000 rupees.It had been decided that the outstanding amount should be paid within fifteen days. However, circumstances later developed such that he did not receive the balance of his payment. "Buy the harvest from the farmer, withstand the payment for months"; probably this was the longstanding tradition that corn buyers followed. This continued for four months during which Jitendra ji was not paid his dues. In this situation, the new agricultural laws passed in September came to his aid. According to this law, it was decided that all liabilities to the farmers should be paid within three days of the purchase, otherwise the farmer can file a complaint. Another notable aspect of this law is that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) for the area has one month to redress complaints from the farmer. Now that our farmer brother was empowered by this law, his complaint had to be dealt with; consequently, he filed a lawsuit and within a few days his outstanding payments were settled. This correct and complete knowledge of the law became the strength of Jitendra ji. In whatever area, correct knowledge, free from misunderstandings and rumors, can act as a force multiplier for each individual. Mohammad Aslam ji from Baran District in Rajasthan is working in a similar way to raise awareness among farmers. He is the managing director of a producer organization for farmers. Yes, you heard right! - the CEO of a producer organization for farmers. I hope this is heartwarming news for the CEOs of large corporations - that farmers from far away areas of the country are now becoming CEOs of farmer organizations! Friends, Mohammad Aslam Ji has formed a WhatsApp group that includes several farmers from his area. In this group he exchanges with the farmers every day about the prevailing prices on the neighboring mandis / markets in the area. His own producer organization for farmers also buys products from farmers, so his efforts help farmers make a decision too.

Friends, awareness creates aliveness. Shri Virendra Yadav ji is one such rural entrepreneur who has influenced the lives of thousands of people through his consciousness. Some time ago Virendra Yadav ji was still living in Australia. He came to India two years ago and now lives in Kaithal, Haryana. As for others, the stubble fields were a major concern for him. There is a lot of work going on to solve this problem, but today, in Mann Ki Baat, I especially mention Virendra ji because his efforts are different and point a new way forward. In order to find a solution for the stubble field, Virendra ji bought a straw baler for the production of straw bundles. For this he also received financial support from the Agriculture Department. With this machine he started making stubble bundles. After making the bundles, he sold the stubble to agricultural power plants and paper mills. You will be amazed to learn that Virendra ji has traded stubble worth more than 25 million rupees and made a profit of about 5 million rupees in just two years. The farmers of the fields from which Virendra ji gets its stubble also benefit from this. We have heard of “garbage in riches” many times, but this initiative is a unique example of making money and righteous goodwill while finding a solution to the stubble problem. To the youth, especially the 100,000 students studying agriculture, I ask you to visit the villages in your area and speak to the farmers and let them know about innovations in agriculture and the latest agricultural reforms. In this way, you will become a party to the major reforms that are underway in the country.

My dear compatriots, in Mann Ki Baat we refer to a wide range of questions and topics. However, it was a year of such an incident that we would never fondly remember. It has been about a year since the world found out about the first Corona case. Since then, the whole world has seen several ups and downs. After the lockdown, the discussion about a vaccine has begun, but any kind of carelessness regarding corona can still be fatal even now. We must resolutely continue the fight against Corona.

Friends, the anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar's death / Punya Tithi will be in a few days, on December 6th. This day is not only a tribute to Baba Saheb, but also an opportunity to reaffirm our determination to the land and compliance with the duties assigned to us as individuals by the constitution. Much of the country is also witnessing the onset of winter. There is snowfall in many areas. In this weather, we must take care of the children and the elderly in the family, especially the sick, and make arrangements ourselves. I enjoy seeing people who stand by those in need around them and help them with warm clothing. Winter brings many problems even for destitute animals, and many people come to their aid. Our young generation is actively involved in such initiatives. Friends, the next time we meet in Mann Ki Baat, 2020 will come to an end. With new hopes and new faith we will move forward. Whatever suggestions or ideas you may have now, keep sharing them with me. My best wishes to all of you. May you all stay healthy and active for the country.

Many many thanks.