sulabh swatchh bharat

Tuesday, 17-October-2017

“Gift a Book not Bouquets”

In a welcome step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun to implement the changing work culture himself 

The leader is the one who sways the people, rather entire country with his words and acts. But, what are the qualities that a leader needs to possess? How a person gets elevated to a leader rather national leader? These questions might than a seem irrelevant when one looks at the personality of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Because, the search for a great leader ends at Modi’s doorstep. He possesses all the qualities of an epochal national leader – fearless, courageous, confident, inspirational, one who encourages creativity, positive and ever-optimist. Besides this, Modi, the charismatic leader that he is, in his usual stride keeps doing things which are worth emulating.  

His initiative to ‘Gift a Book instead of Bouquets’ is one such thought which is inspiring millions. He doesn’t believe in just preaching. He has in fact, already started implementing what he preaches. He has already started gifting books to people. After declaration of Ram Nath Kovind’s election as next President of India, Modi presented him with a solitary rosebud. BJP president Amit Shah too complied with PM’s sentiments and presented Kovind with a solitary flower only. Respecting Prime Minister’s sentiments, Union Home Ministry has written to all state government to emulate the Prime Minister. In a letter written to chief secretaries of all state governments and administrators of union territories on July 12, Home Ministry has appealed them to honour PM’s wish and ensure its full compliance.

In its letter Home Ministry has said representatives of state governments during Prime Minister’s visit to their state, should not present him with a bouquet. If they really want to welcome him with flowers, they may gift him just one flower. At best, along with the flower they may present him a khadi handkerchief or a book. The Prime Minister had issued this appeal on June 19 and Home Ministry was forced to write this letter because state governments had still not stopped using bouquets as the sole mode of welcoming the dignitaries. The appeal was issued by the PM while apeaking at ‘PM Panikkar National reading Day’ function in Kochi, Kerala. He had urged people to present a book instead of expensive bouquets which are rendered useless after couple of days while books are ever lasting friend of a human being. 

In a month-long festival, which is an annual event, the Prime Minister said that there is no greater pleasure than reading books and no greater power than knowledge ferreted out from books. That is why PM Modi has himself started implementing the idea. He has decided that whichever state he visits now, he will not accept bouquets but only a flower along with a book or Khadi handkerchief.  According to PM’s vision, flowers are ephemeral while books are permanent. Anybody who prefers permanent happiness and positivity in life would select books as his companion, not flowers. PM Modi is endowed with a personality which not only comes up with such innovative ideas but also inspires others to go for them. Modi had started this tradition when he was Gujarat chief minister. He considers flowers and bouquets as wastage of public funds. That is why PM’s initiative is being seen as a path breaking idea.  

Modi is hell-bent on improving governance and ending social ills ever since he took charge as the Prime Minister. He is not only making policies for the people, he is also acting as nation’s conscience keeper. Every moment he keeps on thinking about something or the other and comes up some innovative idea. His chivalry was on display on the day of polling for Presidential election. He reached the polling centre slightly before the scheduled start of polling. All officers were taken aback by seeing the PM reaching to cast his vote before time. Modi himself tried to lighten the mood by saying, ‘ don’t worry. It’s a habit. I used to reach school before time.’ He waited patiently for the preparations to be over and voting to begin and was still the first person to cast his vote. It may seem like a small incident but conveys a message loudly. 

Who can forget October 2, 2014? Because, this was the day when the world saw a Prime Minister coming out on streets with a broom and kicking off a cleanliness drive. It was PM’s way of disseminating the message of ‘Swachh Bharat’. When people will see their Prime Minister cleaning streets, they will not remain idle. They too will take up brooms and clean their respective areas. We have seen well known sports persons, film stars and other celebrities propagating PM’s message of cleanliness. The movement has picked up since and has been reaping dividends. The cleanliness index has from 42 to 64 per cent during the past three years. 

Another incident illustrated has PM’s inclination towards cleanliness. This happened on April 11, 2017 when Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s book ‘Matoshree’ was to be released. Prime Minister Modi was the chief guest. After releasing the book in the Balayogi auditorium in the Parliament Library building, PM held the wrapping paper in his hands for few moments before folding it and keeping in the pocket of his jacket. This brought entire audience on their feet and they clapped loudly in appreciation of PM’s gesture. Although PM did this out of habit, but for people it was a trendsetting moment. 

It also reminds us of the way Modi during his visit to the Parliament House, bowed at the stairs of the building which he described as “temple of democracy”. His message to fellow MPs was that Parliament is like a mother. He later on said that he bowed at the footsteps of Parliament because it has created the system which allowed a person with an economically backward background to reach the top post of the country.