(Man Ki Baat dated 25th October 2020)
My dear countrymen, Namaskar.
Today is the festival of Vijaydashami, that is Dussehra. On this auspicious occasion, heartiest greetings to all of you. The festival of Dussehra is one of the triumph of truth over untruth. But, simultaneously, it is also the festival of victory of patience over crises. Today, all of you are carrying on with immense patience, celebrating the festival with restraint….and hence, in our ongoing fight, our victory too is assured. Earlier, people used to throng Durga Pandals for a Darshan of Maa. The atmosphere would be almost that of a carnival…but it was not possible this time. Earlier, grand fairs used to be held on the occasion of Dussehra…but in present times, they took on a different form. The festival of Ramleela too was one of its major attractions….but now, that too has been restricted to some extent. Earlier during Navratra, the notes of Garba of Gujarat would reverberate all over….this time all grand events have been curtailed. Many more festivals are on the way in the days to come. There is Eid, Sharad Poornima, Valmiki Jayanti, followed by Dhanteras, Diwali, Bhai dooj, the Pooja of Chatthi Maiyya and the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji…..during this crisis-laden period of Corona, we have to exercise patience, observe restraint.
Friends, when we talk about festivals and make preparations for them, the first thought that strikes us is when to go to the market, what all has to be purchased. Children especially are enthusiastic about it, wondering what they would receive this time in the festival season. The fervour of festivals and the glitter and sparkle of the marketplace are interconnected. But this time when you go shopping, do remember our resolve of ‘Vocal for Local’. While purchasing items from the market, we have to accord priority to local products.
Friends, amid the gaiety of festivities, we should spare a thought for the lockdown period. During the lockdown, we closely came to know about those members of society, without whom our lives would be miserable. Sanitation workers, brothers and sisters working as domestic helps, local vegetable vendors, milkmen, security guards….we have now felt the significance of their roles in our lives in a better way. During the moment of crisis, they were with you; they stood by all of us. Now, during the festivities, amid the rejoicing, we must take them along. I earnestly urge you to ensure, in whatever way, in making them a part of your celebrations. Treat them as members of your own family…..you will see for yourself how your joy rises by leaps and bounds. Continue reading