I recently saw the short film, ‘Chalo Jeete Hain’, inspired by events from the childhood of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
The protagonist of the story is a young boy, Naru, who is inspired in life by the powerful words of Swami Vivekananda: “They alone live who live for others.” These magical words transform Naru’s life and inspire him to do the same for millions of people.
I am sure watching this short film will be an enriching experience for our young people.
At a personal level, Naru begins his philosophical quest by asking a fundamental question, “Who do you live for?”, and in his endearing innocence, he begins to ask this question to everyone around him. Soon he attempts to find out who he should live for. Interestingly, he finds the answer not from someone else, but from deep within.
By helping a schoolmate who belongs to a poor family, Naru discovers the meaning of living for others and ends up sowing the seeds of compassion. While there are many ways to divide society in the name of caste or creed, Naru finds a way to unite society.
The man who inspired the film, Prime Minister Modi, has done the same by emphasising the imperative of serving the poor and underprivileged, and working for the development of 125 crore Indians.
One of the core values of India is empathy. This has permeated into our subconscious . Compassion, be it in our work, beliefs or even our foreign policy — India is the largest contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping forces — is the cornerstone of our lives.
It is at the root of the historic initiatives to enable women to live a life of dignity by building toilets through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan; to help women live smoke-free lives through free gas connections; or to help poor students study for exams with electricity rather than lamps. It is what drives government officers to open 31 crore bank accounts for the poor in record time, and provide collateral-free bank loans to small entrepreneurs to help them not just start a business, but build their lives. Whether it be doubling farmers’ incomes, ensuring One Rank One Pension for soldiers, or working for our divyang brothers and sisters, all these are driven by a government that cares and believes in creating a better society.
Four years ago, it was difficult to imagine that the political leadership would take the risk of asking fellow citizens to selflessly contribute to the nation, particularly when it meant sacrificing one’s own benefits. Today, the nation is seeing how selfless gestures of ordinary Indians can lead to extraordinary outcomes. This Janbhagidari is what is transforming India.
Four years ago, who would have imagined that over a crore Indians would give up their own LPG subsidy so that poor women in rural areas get cooking gas connections! Who imagined that almost 40 lakh senior citizens would give up their own railway concessions in just ten months. Who thought Swachhata would become a mass movement across the length and breadth of the country! Who knew that several doctors would come forward and provide treatment to pregnant women free of cost once a month. There is an immense trust in our society along with a sense of motivation to give up something for bringing a smile in the lives of others. This is yielding transformative outcomes.
Our lives are also a journey in our quest for happiness. I am increasingly seeing the young take paths less trodden and doing things for self actualisation, be it opening startups or going on road trips. Our ancient sages said that to serve society gives the greatest happiness. Perhaps this is the lesson that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar wanted us to imbibe when he said that life should be great rather than long.
The story of Naru and his quest to make a better society for everyone is a must-watch. Young children can especially relate to Naru’s innocence and his deep concern for those around him. It is also a story which is of immense interest to understand the India of today and tomorrow. Who knows? Just like Swami Vivekananda inspired Naru, maybe Naru will inspire crores of Indians to make the lives of those around them better.
Piyush Goyal is minister of railways and coal