“I have seen the devastation an earthquake can cause when Bhuj in Gujarat was ravaged by one on 26th January 2001. The destruction and damage is really terrible – my heart goes out to especially Nepal after what has happened there yesterday” said P.M. Modi in his much publicized ‘Man ki Baat’ that was broadcast on radio today at 11 a.m.
He went on to promise that Indians would go all out to help her neighbor in this hour of calamity. He praised the Indian Army for having earned a big name for itself in fighting for any cause in the world, whether it is the UN’s peace keeping force or evacuating refugees from Yemen.
He recounted how 75,000 Indian soldiers had lost their lives in the second world war and many Indians who fought very valiantly were bestowed with gallantry awards and a memorial for them has been built in France which Modi visited recently.
In view of his comments on ‘martyrs’ it was a little surprising that farmers committing suicide – or dying of broken hopes – found no mention in his long speech which had something for everyone. Soldiers, players, Indian girls ( Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal) students who have finished their 10th and 12th Board exams, they all figured in his talk but not the weary and worn out Indian farmer.
Specially as the situation is now. As devastating as the earth quake in Nepal is, the damages done to crops by unseasonal rains in Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, UP and Maharashtra is no less traumatic. Over 600 farmers have committed suicide in Maharashtra alone. Their families needed some words of succor and sympathy, but the Indian PM obvious did not think so. There was no mention at all of the agrarian crisis that is looming over the nation.
Modi, made special mention of Dr. Ambedkar in today’s speech. He said 2015 being Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary, his government has taken two significant decisions. Babasaheb’s memorial in Mumbai where he lived, has not been built yet because of dispute over the house. This issue was hanging in the air for 20 years but has now been resolved and soon work on the memorial will commence.
Similarly an Institute will be built in New Delhi in his honour.
“We have already done the ‘sheelanyas’ and construction on this project too will begin shortly” said PM Modi.
He also voiced regret and dismay over the fact that there are some dalit families in India who still have to carry human waste on their heads.
“This happening in independent India in this century is really shameful. We shall see that this practice, and the need for doing this, is stopped ASAP” Narendra Modi promised.
Lastly he mentioned school kids who have just finished with their exams.
“Enjoy your holidays to the fullest” said the Prime Minister.