Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said his monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat' is apolitical and that he has always raised issues of social relevance through it.
"When 'Mann Ki Baat' was started, I had decided that it would not carry anything political, or any praise for the government, or for Modi for that matter.
"Mann Ki Baat is not about the government, it is about the society. It addresses an aspirational India, an ambitious India," the Prime Minister said as he completed its 50th episode.
"Modi may come and go, but this country will never let go of its unity and permanence. Our culture will always be immortal," he added, emphasising though, that remaining apolitical could never be an easy task for any leader who has millions of listeners.
"The fact is, if a leader gets hold of a microphone with assured listeners to the tune of millions, what else does he need?" he said as he cited a "lexical study" done by "some young friends" on the myriad subjects touched upon over the many episodes of ‘Mann Ki Baat', and which concluded that the programme has remained away from politics.
"Politics or political power are not intrinsic to the Indian ethos; on the contrary social values and society are. In fact, politics is one of the numerous other aspects of social life. Making politics an all pervasive, powerful factor is not good for a healthy society," Modi said.
He said his addresses were a "humble and modest effort" towards acknowledging and honouring the common man's talent and deeds.
"Some people may wonder as to what I achieved through Mann Ki Baat. It gives me immense satisfaction when people write back to say that as they sit down together as a family to listen to ‘Mann Ki Baat', they feel as if a family elder is sharing his ideas with us."When I hear such comments, I feel satisfied to know that I am yours, I am one amongst you, I am with you and it is you who have elevated me to this position. Your joys and sorrows are my joys and sorrows, too. Your expectations are my expectations, your ambitions are my ambitions," Modi said.