Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the latest edition of his "Mann ki baat" radio address on Sunday, heaped praise on a variety of people â€” ranging from athletes who won medals in the Rio Olympics to world-renowned Indians like Dhyan Chand, Mother Teresa and former president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and even cleanliness crusaders â€” while slamming those who are believed to be behind the "manufactured" protests in Kashmir.
Speaking on the Kashmir issue towards the end of his address, he said: "People who are pushing these children [reference to stone-pelters] forward in protests will one day have to answer to them." This seemed to be in direct correlation to claims by a top-ranking Army official that militants had fired at soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir from behind stone-pelters. He said every life lost in Kashmir â€” be it from the security forces or the civilian populace â€” was a loss to the entire nation.
He also lauded all political parties in the country for speaking in one voice over the issue, encapsulating their response in two words: "Ekta," meaning unity, and "mamta," meaning endearment or love. He also praised the parties for coming together to pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.
As with his Independence Day speech, Modi had asked for suggestions to this radio address as well, and said on Sunday he was asked by most people to speak on the Rio Olympics. He lauded all the Indian athletes who had performed well at the Olympics, including medal-winners Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu. He also praised the near-misses and achievements of Deepa Karmakar, Lalita Babar, Abhinav Bindra, Saina Nehwal, Rohan Bopanna and the men's and women's hockey teams.
He also spoke of the task force he had constituted for better perfomances of India in future Olympics. He started this part of his address with a reference to gold-winning Olympian Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard of India whose birthday on Aug. 29 is celebrated as Khel Diwas in India.
He also lauded P Gopichand for his efforts as a teacher, as a result of which Sindhu won a medal in the Olympics. Modi also urged people to use eco-friendly idols for Ganeshotsav and Durga Puja, another suggestion he said he had received.