‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a communication platform created by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. It is unique in approach and the first of its kind, initiated by a political leader anywhere in the world, as a medium for direct communication with citizens. Prime Minister Modi announced the initiative in October 2014, soon after he inspired the entire nation with the eternal saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
The format of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is simple. The Prime Minister speaks on a range of topics to the citizens of the country through radio and television. One can access the broadcast on Doordarshan, All India Radio, and also various regional channels run under the national network. A free call-back service is available in case of citizens to miss the live podcast. A call has to be placed on the toll-free no. 1922 and citizens get a call-back to listen to the 30-minute show in the language of their choice for free. This is very handy for the Indian masses who have access to mobile but maybe not the internet. The show is also available online for those who have desktops and access to computers.
Sometimes, guest speakers are invited. They get to share their experiences on various topics and are able to ask the Prime Minister direct questions. The Prime Minister also invites suggestions from citizens for the topics to be covered and any questions that people may wish him to address. People from all walks of life, including students, homemakers, working women, farmers, people from the regular service class, business people, shop owners, and traders, get an opportunity to engage with ‘Mann Ki Baat.’ This direct connection of taking suggestions and questions and then addressing the nation on various issues is a unique approach developed by Prime Mister Modi, probably the first-ever time that a head of state has taken such an initiative to address the nation on such a scale. This initiative has led people all around the country to get a sense of involvement in the country’s development, as the honorable PM touches upon various aspects of life in his radio show aired every month.
The last episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ featured on 24th November and was a truly inspirational one, and one that sums up the real essence of India. The Prime Minister started by congratulating the National Cadet Corps (NCC) on the occasion of NCC Day. He then invited four young citizens to share their NCC experiences. The first one spoke about NCC’s participation in the ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ program. This program focuses on national integration, and the young citizen who spoke about NCC’s participation explained how some of them, based in Delhi, hosted cadets from northeast India at a camp. During the camp, they got to learn about each other’s culture, language, and food. They even showed the visitors around Delhi.
An early lesson in life like this promotes a deep sense of oneness amongst citizens of a country. Another young citizen from the northeast spoke about how her life had changed after joining the NCC. The cadets even asked the Prime Minister a direct question each. Providing a platform like this to young students, where they get to share their experiences with the entire country, speak to the Prime Minister and ask him questions, instills in them confidence, independence and a belief in themselves. This will help them and inspire other young minds to be innovative and enterprising. Hopefully, an entire generation will be motivated to take up entrepreneurship and create jobs and economic value for the country.
During the first fifteen addresses of the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast, more than 61,000 ideas were received on the website, along with 1.43 lakh audio recordings by listeners. Each month, some selected calls become a part of the broadcast, which is then addressed or responded to by the PM personally. And, through this platform, the honorable PM has been able to encourage the masses to participate in all the welfare-oriented drives he has formulated and eventually implemented, for instance, the ‘Clean India Drive’ (Swachh Bharat), ‘Yoga Day’, propagation of the usage of ‘Khadi,’ ‘Digitization of India’ and the most essential and talked about agenda of ‘Demonetisation.’ The year 2014 was witness to a significant change in the primary health and sanitation facilities of the common people, especially those residing in the rural part of India. The Modi Government, courtesy of ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ was able to reach out effectively to the remotest corners of our country.
The late Shri Arun Jaitley, former Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs has released a book entitled ‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’. This is documented evidence of the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ sessions Modiji has conducted from 2014 onwards.
Through ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ the Prime Minister has won the confidence of the people and instilled a feeling of pride for the nation amongst citizens. His constant support and words of encouragement during various episodes of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ have motivated people to see the brighter side of things.
I hope that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ sessions will continue for the times to come and keep inspiring the citizens of India.
By: Mr. Sameer Aggarwal
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Revfin is India’s leading digital lending startup.