‘Don’t criticize what you can’t understand’: Full text of PM Modi’s speech at Global Citizen Fest

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai through video conference. The PM started his speech saying, “I know that I stand between you and Coldplay and so will make this brief.”

“Back in 2014, I had enjoyed attending the Global Citizen Festival in the beautiful Central Park of New York. However, this time, my schedule did not permit me to come in person,” Modi said in a video address to thousands of people who had gathered for the event in suburban Bandra Kurla complex.

Here is the full text of PM Narendra Modi (part of which is in Hindi):

I see you are having a good time. I know that I stand between you and Cold Play and so will make this brief. Back in 2014, I had enjoyed attending the Global Citizen Festival in the beautiful Central Park of New York. However, this time around, my schedule did not permit me to come in person. But then, I just could not miss out on the first time this was happening in India. So here I am on V C. Many of you have already connected with me over my Mobile App. I look forward to your feedback and suggestions in the future as well. I always look forward to being among young people. It refreshes and re-energizes me. You bring an Energy and Idealism that is unparalleled. I can feel it now, even when I am hundreds of kilometres away from you. This is a welcome break from my usual routine of old files and cold Delhi. I congratulate Hugh Evans, Shiv Khemka, Gauri Easwaran, Poonam Mahajan and the many others who have worked hard to put this together. To make public policy Cool, is no mean task! Thank you guys for having me over. You have been smart in asking me to only address the gathering, and not sing. Else, I am pretty sure your audience would be asking you for their money back. And that too in 100 rupee notes. गरीबी किसी भी सभ्य समाज के लिए बहुत बड़ा अभिशाप है। कुपोषण हो, बेरोजगारी हो, भ्रष्टाचार हो, अस्वच्छता हो , इसका सबसे ज्यादा असर गरीबों पर ही पड़ता है । इसलिए, सबका साथ, सबका विकास के मंत्र के साथ ये सरकार गरीबों को सशक्त करने का काम कर रही है। पिछले दो साल से देश में स्वच्छता का महाअभियान चल रहा है। लोग अपने आसपास सफाई के प्रति , गंदगी ना करने के प्रति जागरूक हुए हैं। करोड़ों की संख्या में घरों में शौचालयों का निर्माण हो रहा है। शहरों में वेस्ट मैनेजमेंट के लिए इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर तैयार किया जा रहा है। स्वच्छता अभियान को जन-जन के जोश ने जनआंदोलन में बदल दिया है, और आज ये जन-जन के आनंद में भी बदल रहा है । इस मुहिम में आप नौजवानों ने मिलकर देश को राह दिखाई है। अगर कोई बड़ा गंदगी कर रहा है, तो आपने उसे टोका है, उसे स्वच्छता का महत्व समझाया है। आपने खुद झाड़ू उठाकर अपने आसपास की सफाई की है। आपकी प्राथमिकता इसी बात से झलकती है कि आज “वर्ल्ड टॉयलेट डे” पर इस कार्यक्रम का आयोजन हो रहा है । देश के गली-मोहल्लों, गांवों और शहरों में सफाई के साथ ही स्वच्छता अभियान का दायरा भी बढ़ गया है। आजकल बॉर्डर के पार की सफाई हो या कालेधन से भरी तिजोरियों के भीतर तक की सफाई, सब कुछ जोर-शोर से चल रहा है। सफाई आंदोलन के इस दूसरे चरण में भी मुझे आपका अमूल्य साथ मिल रहा है। My dear young friends, on the whole, I am convinced that we can, and we will build a Swachh Bharat, free of all forms of filth within one generation. I also know that we will surely do so, the moment You decide to do so. Hence, I am deeply grateful for your walking shoulder to shoulder with me in this Cleanliness drive, and look forward to your continuing to do the same.

As I leave you to enjoy Cold Play, let me end on a musical note. Artists have often inspired a generation. I have had my own set of idols. But, you will perhaps be more familiar with Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Chris Martin and
A.R. Rahman.

So to quote from one of Dylan’s transformative anthems which holds as much meaning today as it did when it was first sung in the 1960s.

Come mothers and fathers
Through-out the land.

And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand.

Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command.

Your old road is rapidly aging

Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changing.

Elders must learn from these words of wisdom. We better get out of the way, as indeed, the times they are a changing. व्यक्तिगत तौर पर, मुझे हमेशा ही युवा शक्ति ने प्रेरित किया है। India is a Young Nation. Because, as Chris has said in his songs. You can see the change you want to Be what you want to be Everything you want is a dream away Under this pressure under this weight We are diamonds taking shape We are diamonds taking shape. And our Future is built on the Choices YOU Make, and the Actions YOU Take. Hence, I hope YOU too will seize the moment and be the winds of change that are transforming our nation.

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