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Mann Ki Baat: An Analysis

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressed the nation through his monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat. This 68th edition of the radio programme reinforced to make India, a self-reliant nation.

PM Narendra Modi addressing Mann Ki Baat (Source: The Telegraph, India)

The key points that Mr. Modi mentioned and spoke about were primarily pertaining to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. The Prime Minister hailed the role of dogs in leading security operations in the country be it at an accident site or in assisting the bomb squad. Modi also asked the people to bring home dogs of Indian breeds whenever they next think of adopting a pet. He called India the land of innovators and mentioned the toys industry in the country and urged startups to team up and make toys for the entire world indigenously as “India has the talent and the ability to become a toy hub.” He also said that the new National Education Policy too focuses on toys for children to nurture their creativity and innovation quotient. Lastly, he spoke about that India is marking Nutrition Month in September that will benefit young children. Moreover, the importance of a nutritious diet for pregnant women was touched upon.

After looking over the key points, did Mann Ki Baat actually speak about groundbreaking issues surfacing the country at the moment? The New York Times on 29th August, 2020 reported that India’s Covid Outbreak is now the world’s fastest growing. India is recording 78,000+ cases each day in the past week. With the cases on an ever-growing rise, the country has moved into the fourth phase of unlocking which permits metros opening up from the 7th of September. 877 newborns, 61 pregnant women died in Meghalaya on 4 months as hospitals fight the Covid crisis. A casual attitude towards the virus has been adopted with no precautionary measures being taken by the public. The use of masks and practice of social distancing has reduced. The World Health Organisation has time and again warned us about the simple precautious individuals at the household level can take to contain the virus.

The Government issued orders for the JEE and NEET examinations to be conducted this month through an offline process. The students would be required to appear for their examinations in a physical setting amidst a pandemic. There has been massive outrage pertaining this issue over the last week. The JEE examination was conducted on the 1st of September, 2020. State governments and opposition at the centre wrote to the Supreme Court for its postponement however, the issue was tossed. Though the lives of students were put at risk, no such issue has come up after the JEE examination yet. The NEET examination will take place on the 13th of September. #SpeakUpForSSCRailwaysStudents figured as the top trend on Tuesday as lakhs of students tweeted on the micro-blogging platform. A majority of aspirants claimed that the recruitment process would take more than 3-4 years to complete, hampering the careers of many. "850 days have passed since the notification, 247 days have passed since Tier 3. Even after result declaration, Tier 4 would be conducted and then again aspirants will have to wait for their joining," a candidate said. Students have urged the central government to release the results of SSC recruitment exams held in 2018 which are yet to be declared even after two years.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the data for the first quarter (April, May, June) of the current financial year on Monday, the broad consensus was that the decline would not exceed 20%. The GDP contracted by 24% per cent in Q1. In other words, the total value of goods and services produced in India in April, May and June this year is 24% less than the total value of goods and services produced in India in the same three months last year. By historical standards, the quarterly drop of 23.9% is the largest since we began releasing quarterly GDP data in 1996. However, barely any statements have been made in the media or by the government. 27 million youth between 20-30 years have lost jobs in April 2020. Journalist Rahul Shivshankar blasted at a panellist during a debate and said, ‘don’t waste nations’s time.’ When the panellist starting talking about thr faling GDP.

Amidst, these prime issues barely any redressal has been issued by any governmental authorities. The uncertainty about the future is daunting. Besides all this is the Indo-China on going issue about which no clarity has been given. The youtube video of Sunday's Mann Ki Baat received over five lakh dislikes and the comments were turned off. The media is busy pushing their biased agendas and the Mann Ki Baat did not really have any lasting impact.

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