Bengaluru: In his monthly radio show, Mann ki Baat, PM Modi chose to speak about the importance of stories and folklore in the Indian culture. He stressed on the "thriving tradition of storytelling" in the country and hailed the initiatives that popularise stories from rural India.

He said, "History of stories is as old as human civilization. Where there is a soul there is a story. Stories bring to the fore creative and sensitive aspect of one’s personality, stories are interactive. On one side is storyteller, on the other, listeners or the readers."

"Stories compel you to think. Stories for the children hone their creativity and define their identity and personality. There has been a thriving tradition of storytelling in India," PM Narendra Modi said.

"We are proud that we are citizens of the country where there has been a tradition of 'hitopdesh' and 'Panchatantra'. Where, in the stories, an imaginary world of animals and birds was created so that words of wisdom and intellect be made easily understood," he said.

Speaking about the stories from rural India, PM Narendra Modi mentioned Vaishali Vyavhare Deshpande and Yogita Bansal Ahujao who have been working to popularise stories in Marathi and Gujarati.

"There are many initiatives popularising stories from rural India. There are people like Vaishali Vyavhare Deshpande, who are popularising it in Marathi also. In Gujarat, Yogita Bansal Ahujao is doing commendable work in the field of stories," PM Modi said.

PM Narendra Modi also urged all the storytellers to include inspirational stories from the British rule period.

"I urge all storytellers to include all inspirational stories from the period of foreign rule as we are going to celebrate 75 years of independence. Especially between 1857 and 1947. We can introduce our new generation to them in form of stories," PM Narendra Modi said.

Two days after several farmer bodies took to the streets on Friday as part of the Bharat Bandh to protest against the farm bills that have been passed in Parliament, PM Narendra Modi mentioned them in his Mann ki Baat address, saying they have played a major role in building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

"Farmers are playing a major role in the efforts to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat," PM Narendra Modi said, adding, "Our agriculture sector has shown its prowess during the coronavirus pandemic. The agricultural sector, our farmers, our villages are the basis of a self-reliant India. The foundation of self-reliant India will be strengthened if it becomes strong."

He said, "Agriculture sector will benefit immensely with greater use of technology in farming."