Modi urges Indians to realise their inner strengths on maiden address on AIR

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his ''Swachh Bharat'' campaign on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary, on 2 October, he exhorted his countrymen to recognise their inner strengths and reignite a move towards a new ''swedeshi'' movement by achieving self-dependence.

Modi urged the people to realise their inner strengths, shed despondency and use skills for betterment and prosperity of the country. ''You know, our scientists have undertaken the Mars mission successfully at minimum expense. There is nothing lacking in our capabilities. We only have forgotten our strengths. We have forgotten ourselves as if we have become despondents. My brothers and sisters, this cannot be,'' he said in his address to the nation broadcast by the All India Radio.

''We need to recognise our internal strengths,'' the prime minister said while narrating a short story about Swami Vivekananda and how a lion brought up by sheep rediscovered his prowess after coming in touch with another lion, while adding that if citizens move ahead with self-respect and identity, they would emerge victorious.

The prime minister urged people of the country to buy at least one 'khadi' cloth in a symbolic gesture of self-dependence in their day-to-day life. This could well be the beginning of reenergising 'swadeshi' movement in the country at a time when Modi is welcoming foreign business to come and make in India.

''If you buy khadi, you light the lamp of prosperity in the house of a poor person,'' he said in his maiden radio address to the nation, 'Man ki Baat' on Friday.

Khadi offers most products that one may require in day-to-day life, be it clothes, footware, food products, including spices, cosmetics, herbal medicines and many more.

Modi impressed upon the people to use at least one khadi product, be it a handkerchief or a bed sheet.

Modi wanted people to utilize the discounts that khadi products offer on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, every year through 7,000 odd outlets across the country.

During 2013-14, Khadi and Village Industries produced goods worth over Rs26,000 crore and provided employment to over 14 million people, he pointed out.

The prime minister said his emphasis on the country's demographic dividend is because of his faith in the potential of the country's 1.25 billion citizens.

Once the people show the right mindset, he said, his government would do everything to help them. ''We have seen where we stand. If we have to move ahead, 1.25 billion Indians will have to act,'' he said.

Modi then narrated another story regarding a person who sat on the wayside and kept asking several people the way to his destination, but was told the correct path only when he got up to walk. ''Till we decide to get up and walk, we won't find guides to show us the way,'' he added.

While emphasising on greater participation of common people, the prime minister said the country belongs to its 1.25 billion people, not the government.

The prime minister promised to be on radio twice a month, or at least once a month, at 11 am on Sundays, adding that broadcast through this simple medium would help him reach far and wide and the homes of the poor.

''The strength of the country is in the huts of the poor, the strength of my country lies in villages, the strength of my country in mothers, sisters, youth and farmers. The country will progress on the basis of your strength, I believe in this. I have faith in your strength, so I believe in the future of India,'' he said.