Mann ki Baat on radio teaches Modi the power and reach of democracy
GN Bureau | September 21, 2015
Prime minister Narendra Modi has acknowledged that 55,000 people had made phone calls to give suggestions on better governance. These 55,000 calls came from all parts of India, from Siachen in the north to Kutch in the west, from Kamrup in the east to Kanyakumari in the south.
Modi announced this in his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address on Sunday. He had learnt the power and reach of democracy through his monthly address, the prime minister said.
"Mann ki Baat has taught me a lot, about the strength that lies in the hands of the common people to bring changes in society."
He said his simple suggestions made on the radio had fetched "response in lakhs".
Modi said his appeal to people to suggest how to improve governance had fetched massive response, with people writing to All India Radio or to his web site.
Giving more examples of "people power", Modi said his mention of "selfie with daughter" had fetched a huge response. "The daughter got so much pride. This was like a silent revolution."
Similarly, his appeal to send photos of interesting spots from across India had proved a hit.
Also, his suggestion that people give up the subsidy on cooking gas had prompted 30 lakh families to respond positively.
He said many of them were from lower middle class. "Is this not a silent revolution?"
Modi said the sale of khadi had doubled since he urged people to buy khadi in his first radio address a year ago. On Sunday, he urged people to purchase khadi products in the upcoming festival season.
"I urge you all to give space to khadi in your homes this Diwali."
Modi also praised the Election Commission, saying from a regulator it had become a facilitator and voter friendly. His comments come as the poll panel overruled Congress objections to the Mann ki Baat ahead of the Bihar assembly polls and allowed its broadcast.
Modi said he will meet 50 members of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose's extended family in October. Modi's announcement comes at a time when the West Bengal government has declassified 64 files related to Bose and his disappearance in August 1945 in an alleged air crash in Taihoku, Taiwan.
The BJP-led government has been reticent on the subject of de-classifying around 130 files related to Bose.
Fifty members of the Bose family from different parts of the world had accepted the invite. "I am happy I will have the privilege of welcoming 50 members of the Bose family at the prime minister's house. I don't think the Bose family has ever had the occasion to have visited the PM's house together," he said. In his radio speech, Modi mentioned how Bose had made radio a powerful tool to reach out to people by launching the Azad Hind Radio.
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