On 28 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation during the 23rd edition of 'Mann Ki Baat'.
He began his address by lauding the performances of PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, and Dipa Karmakar at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and said that these phenomenal young women from all corners of India had made the nation proud. He also said that the trio has proven that women are at par with men and can achieve great heights in all fields.
"On the Narendra Modi App, I was requested to speak on the achievements of our sportspersons at the Rio Olympics. Our daughters - PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar once again proved that they are inferior to nobody," PM Modi said.
He also praised the performances of Lalita Babar, who became the first Indian woman to make the women's 3000-metre steeplechase final after PT Usha, and also the Indian women's hockey team, which made it to the Olympics after 32 years and managed to beat Argentina, the eventual gold medal winners.
Speaking about P V Sindhu's coach Pullela Gopichand, he saluted his efforts in moulding Sindhu, and his contributions towards her success in the Olympics.
"We have to go a long way when it comes to focusing on sports. Parents still want their children to concentrate on academics. Sports needs motivation and public is the best entity to do it," he added.
Referring to Teachers' Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, and said that the day should be celebrated as a 'day of learning.' "Teachers are as important as mothers in our lives. They spend their lives caring for their students," he said.
He then went on to speak about Ganesh Chaturthi, and urged people across the nation to go back to the tradition of using clay idols, instead the of Plaster of Paris alternatives to avoid environmental hazards.
"Students of 1,700 schools in Chhattisgarh wrote to their parents urging them to construct toilets in their homes. Some even asked for a toilet as their birthday gift. A 16-year-old girl launched a Satyagraha, gave up food, demanding a toilet in her home in Karnataka," Modi said on the issue of ensuring sanitation for everyone.
The PM appealed to people to make a short documentary on 'Clean India', and also said that the best entry is going to be awarded awarded on 2 October, Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary.
He then went on to discuss the situation in Kashmir, and said that "Ekta" (unity) and "Mamata" (love) are the basic mantras for addressing the Kashmir problem.
He, however, slammed those pushing children to create unrest, saying they will have to give answers to those "innocent" kids some day. He emphasised that if any life is lost in Kashmir, whether of any youth or any security personnel, "that loss is ours, of our own country".
He said all the political parties had spoken in one voice on Kashmir, sending out a "message to the world as well as separatist forces" besides conveying "our sentiments to the people of Kashmir". He equated it to the passage of landmark GST Bill by Parliament for which all the parties came together.
"It is the view of all of us, the view of 125 crore people from a pradhan of a village to the Prime Minister, that if any life is lost in Kashmir, whether of any youth or any securityman, that loss is ours, our own country," Modi said.
The Prime Minister's remarks came a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met him and presented a "three-pronged action plan" that includes dialogue with all stakeholders.
--with PTI inputs