New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the people of the country through the programme "Mann Ki Baat" for the 49th time on Sunday. He first remembered Sardar Patel and said that on his birth anniversary on October 31, The Statue of Unity will be a true tribute to the Iron Man of the country. 

PM Modi paid tribute to the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, whose death anniversary is also on October 31. 

The prime minister also urged the people to participate in the 'Run for Unity' — a tribute to Sardar Patel held every year on the occasion of his birth anniversary.

 Modi said that about six-and-a-half months before independence, on January 27, 1947, the world famous Time magazine published an edition with Sardar Patel’s image on the cover. 

The magazine printed a map, as part of the cover story, which was completely different from the one we see today. This map was divided into many parts. At that time there were more than 550 princely states. The British had lost interest in India, but they wanted to divide the country into many parts before leaving. 

The magazine wrote that they were problems like partition, violence, hunger inflation and power politics looming large on the country. It said that if there was anyone who could unite the country and add balm to its wounds it was Sardar Patel. 

Modi said, ''Sardar Patel's Jayanti this year will be even more special as on this day, we'll pay him true homage by dedicating 'Statue of Unity' to the nation. The statue is twice that of America's renowned 'Statue of Liberty'.”

Modi said that October 27 is celebrated as Infantry Day and paid tribute to the Indian soldiers and their families. The prime minister explained that this was the same day when on the suggestion of the then Union home minister Sardar Patel, the Indian soldiers landed in Kashmir and saved it from the infiltrators from across the border. 

In the 49th edition of Mann Ki Baat, Modi also talked about different sports and hailed the athletes who participated in Asian Para Games held in Jakarta. 

“I was privileged to meet the talented para-athletes who participated in Asian Para Games held in Jakarta. Their spirit to overcome all adversaries is exemplary and inspiring. India created a new record in these games by winning 72 medals
“India is setting new records not just in the field of sports but also in hitherto uncharted areas. To give you an example, I would like to mention about Para Athlete Narayan Thakur,” he said.

During the programme, he outlined a recent portal named 'Self4Society' launched by him a few days back.

"The new generation is coming forward with renewed vigour and fresh ideas to serve others. I recently attended an event where I launched a portal named 'Self4Society'. The portal has been launched to motivate young IT and Electronics professionals towards social activities and to provide them opportunities and suitable platform for the same. The enthusiasm and dedication displayed by those youth for this work would make all Indians proud," he said.

He also hailed the tribal and indigenous people of our country in his address to the nation. 

“The Adivasi community believes in peaceful co-existence but when they find the natural resources under threat, they are not scared to fight for their rights. It is not surprising that our very first freedom fighters were from the tribal communities,” he said.