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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
12 JAN 2022 2:47PM by PIB Delhi
English rendering of PM’s address at inauguration of 25th National Youth Festival in Puducherry

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai ji, Chief Minister N Rangasamy ji, my Cabinet colleagues Shri Narayan Rane ji, Shri Anurag Thakur ji, Shri Nisith Pramanik ji, Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma ji, Senior Ministers of Puducherry Government, Members of Parliament, MLAs, Ministers from other states of the country, and my young friends! Greetings! Wishing you all a very Happy National Youth Day!

I bow down and salute Swami Vivekananda, the great son of Mother India, on his birth anniversary. On Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, his birth anniversary has become even more inspiring. This year has become all the more special for two reasons. We are celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo this year, and this year also marks the 100th death anniversary of the great poet Subramania Bharati. Both these sages have a special relationship with Puducherry. Both have been partners in each other's literary and spiritual journey. So, the National Youth Festival being held in Puducherry is dedicated to these great sons of Mother India. Friends, Today in Puducherry, MSME Technology Centre is inaugurated. The role of MSME sector is very very important in creating Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is imperative that our MSMEs make use of the technology which is changing the world today. That is why today a huge campaign of Technology Centre Systems Programme is being run in the country. The MSME Technology Centre in Puducherry is a vital step in that direction.

Friends,

Today the youth of Puducherry are getting another gift - Manimandapam, a kind of auditorium, for multipurpose use, in the name of Kamaraj. This auditorium will not only remind us of the contribution of Kamaraj ji, but will also provide a platform to our youngsters to showcase their talent.

Friends,

Today the world looks up to India with hope and trust because both India's people and the thought-process are young. India is younger in terms of its capabilities as well its dreams. India is younger in terms of its thoughts as well as consciousness. India is young because India's vision has always accepted modernity; India's philosophy has embraced change. India is that nation which holds modernity even in its ancient nature. Our thousands of years old Vedas have said-

"अपि यथा, युवानो मत्सथा, नो विश्वं जगत्, अभिपित्वे मनीषा,

That is, it is the youth who communicate both peace as well as security to the world. It is the youth that will certainly pave the way for peace, joy and security for our India, for our nation. That is why, in India, whether it is the journey of Yoga from individual level to the world, whether it is revolution or evolution, whether it is the path of service or dedication, whether it is a matter of transformation or valour, whether it is the path of cooperation or reforms, whether it is about connecting to the roots or expanding around the world, there is not a single path that remains untraversed by the youth of our country. There is not a single area where the youth has not actively participated. When India's consciousness was divided, a youngster like Shankar, emerging as Adi Shankaracharya, had strung together the country with the thread of unity. Whenever India needs to fight injustice and tyranny, the sacrifices of Guru Gobind Singh Ji's sons still show the way. When India needed a revolution for obtaining freedom, countless youths like Sardar Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and Netaji Subhas had given everything up for the country. When India needs the power of spirituality and creativity, one thinks of great personalities like Sri Aurobindo and Subramania Bharati. And, when India desperately wanted to regain its lost self-respect, to re-establish its glory in the world, a young man like Swami Vivekananda had awakened the world through the knowledge gained in India and through his eternal call.

Friends,

The world has recognized that today India has two infinite powers - one is Demography and the other is Democracy. The more young population a country has, the greater its potential; its possibilities are considered to be wider. But the youth of India also has democratic values ​​besides the 'demographic dividend'. Their 'democratic dividend' is simply unparalleled. India considers its youth as a 'demographic dividend' as well as a 'development driver'. Today the youth of India is leading our development as well as our democratic values. You see, the youth of India has both the charm of technology as well as the awareness of democracy. Today, the youth of India have both the ability to put in labour as well as a clear vision of the future. That is why, what India says today, the world considers it to be a call of tomorrow. India's dreams and resolutions also reflect the future of the world besides that of India. This responsibility and opportunity of building the future of the world and India has been entrusted to the country's crores of youngsters like you. The year 2022 is very important for you, for the young generation of India. Today we are celebrating the 25th National Youth Festival. This year also marks Netaji Subhas Babu's 125th birth anniversary. And after 25 years the country will also celebrate 100 years of independence. That is, this coincidence of 25 is definitely going to paint a grand, divine picture of India. The young generation that was there at the time of independence had sacrificed everything for the country without a second thought. But today's youth has to live for the country, and fulfil the dreams of our freedom fighters. Maharishi Sri Aurobindo had said : “A brave, frank, clean-hearted, courageous and aspiring youth is the only foundation on which the future nation can be built”. His words are like a life’s mantra for the youth of 21st century India. Today, we as a nation, as the country with the largest young population in the world, are at a crossroad. This is the threshold of new dreams and new resolutions for India. In such a situation, the strength of the youth of India will take India to new heights.

Friends,

Sri Aurobindo used to say – It is the young, who must be the builders of the new world. His philosophy was - Revolution and Evolution is the real identity of the youth as well. These two qualities are also the greatest strengths of a vibrant nation. The youth has that ability that allows him to not carry the burden of old legacy. He knows how to shake them off. This youth has the ability to evolve itself and the society according to the new challenges and new demands, and can create new things. And today we are seeing this happening in the country. Now the youth of India is focusing the most on evolution. There is also a disruption today, but this disruption is for development. Today the youth of India is innovating and uniting to solve problems. Friends, Today's youth has a "Can Do" spirit which is a source of inspiration for every generation. It is due to the strength of the Indian youth that today India has reached such great heights in the world in terms of digital payments. Today the youth of India is writing the code of Global Prosperity. The Indian youth is a force to be reckoned with in the unicorn ecosystem all over the world. India today has a strong ecosystem of more than 50 thousand startups. Out of this, more than 10 thousand start-ups have been formed in the last 6-7 months amid the challenges of Corona. This is the strength of the Indian youth, on the basis of which our country is entering the Golden Age of Start-Ups.

Friends,

This is the mantra of New India - 'Compete and Conquer'. That is, participate and win. Get involved and win the battle. This is the first time that India has won such a huge number of medals in Paralympics, creating history. We did well in the Olympics as well, because the conviction for victory was instilled in our youth. The role of youth in the success of our Covid Vaccination Programme has been witnessed on a totally different level. We can see how youngsters between the ages of 15 and 18 are increasingly getting themselves vaccinated. In such a short span of time, more than 2 crore teenagers have been vaccinated. When I see the devotion towards duty in today's teenagers, my conviction in the bright future of the country gets even stronger. This is the sense of responsibility that our teenagers between 15 and 18 years have; and it has been witnessed in the youth of India throughout the Corona period.

Friends,

The government is trying to ensure that for this strength of the youth, they should get the required space, and there should be minimum interference from the government. The government is trying to give them the right environment and right resources to increase their skills. Simplifying government processes through Digital India and freeing them from the burden of thousands of compliances, reinforces this sentiment. The youth are getting a lot of help from campaigns like Mudra, Start up India, Stand up India. Skill India, Atal Innovation Mission and the new National Education Policy are some other efforts to enhance the potential of the youth.

Friends,

We understand that sons and daughters are equal. With this mindset, the government has decided to raise the age of marriage for girls to 21 years for the welfare of daughters. This is a very significant step to ensure that daughters too get enough time to build their careers.

Friends,

During this period of ' Azaadi ka Amrit Kaal', the accomplishment of our national resolutions will be decided by our actions today. These actions are very important at every level, for every sector. Can we work with a mission to promote Vocal for Local? While shopping, don't forget that your choice should exude the aroma of Indian labour and Indian soil. Try to make your choice of purchase by always weighing things on the same scale. See, whether it exudes the aroma of the sweat of my country's labourer; whether it exudes the aroma of the soil of that country which is considered as 'Mother' by great personalities like Shri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda. The solution to many of our problems lies in self-reliance, in buying things made in our country - Vocal for Local. Employment is also going to be generated from the same. The economy is also going to grow at a faster rate. As a result, the poorest of the poor of the country will also get their rightful respect. Therefore, the youth of our country should make 'Vocal for Local' as their life's mantra. So you can imagine how grand, divine the 100 years of independence will be! It will be filled with skills and capabilities. There will be moments of accomplishment of resolutions.

Friends,

I always talk about one topic every time. I would like to touch upon it once again. I love sharing it with you because you have undertaken the leadership in this area, and that is cleanliness & sanitation. The contribution of all the youngsters like you is crucial in making cleanliness a part of lifestyle. We have had many such fighters in the freedom struggle, whose contribution did not get the recognition that they had deserved. They had sacrificed, did tough penance, but still did not get their recognition. The more our youngsters write about such persons, the more they research, and find such people out from those pages of history, the better the awareness will be in the coming generations of the country. The history of our freedom struggle will be stronger, more powerful and more inspiring.

Friends,

Puducherry is a beautiful example of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat'. Different streams coming from different regions give a unified identity to this place. The dialogue that will take place here will further strengthen the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. Some new inferences that will emerge from your deliberations and the new things that you learn, will become an inspiration for the service to the nation for years to come. I have complete faith in the National Youth Festival and this will pave the way towards achieving our aspirations.

Friends,

This is also the time of festivals. Countless festivals are taking place in every corner of India. Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Pongal, Uttarayan, and Bihu are being celebrated in different states. Best wishes to all of you in advance for these festivals. We have to celebrate the festival with complete caution and vigilance due to Corona. Stay happy, stay healthy. Heartiest congratulations! Thank you !

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.

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