September 19, 2018

Speaking at Priyadarshni Academy 34th Anniv. Global Awards Function, in Mumbai

Shri Nitin Gadkariji, probably one of the finest Ministers in the government of India, who has revolutionized all the works that he has taken up. And I think we in Mumbai are the most privileged to have had him bring all those flyovers, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, he’s the person who has made life easy for all the Mumbaikars.

All our dear friends on the dais, off the dais, distinguished Minister from Finland Ms. Elizabeth Rehn, her Excellency, the Ambassador of Finland. I am back in my home city, so I know most of the people sitting here, and I am being as much a part of Priyadarshni as anybody else. So I really feel like it’s a homecoming for me. I enjoy coming to any Priyadarshni Award function. And I congratulate Nanik bhai for empowering this institution for 34 years, keeping the spirit of Priyadarshni alive. Thank you very much Nanik bhai for all the good work you have done.

I think every award function is a great opportunity to recognize talent, to recognize people who give back to society. When we are awarding them, while we are encouraging them to do more, we suddenly are also giving a message to all of us in this room, to all the people who will hear about the awardees that we also have an opportunity to be right here, to be one of the awardees. And it inspires everybody to add to our work, to contribute even more, to be a part, to be a change agent in society, so that we also can make a difference to the lives of the people of India or to people of the world, as this global award actually recognizes.

And clearly, the world has big challenges. The world has challenges on income inequality. We in India have to face a serious challenge of climate change. We are grappling with problems which we are trying to tackle in different forms of corruption, problems of bureaucracy, problems of inefficiency. We are tackling problems of allocation of scarce resources. And in this situation, efforts of people like Dr Mashelkar, efforts of people like Neemalji who have given back to society, efforts of people like Niranjan who are creating the ecosystem to make the real estate sector clean, efforts of people like Mr Bajaj who are helping us to provide good business and honest business in this country.

Work of Ronnie Screwvala who is bringing in entertainment with a message, entertainment which is meaningful. He is shortly going to be coming out with a new film on the surgical strike. Now, it’s something which we are all proud of, something which gave all of us in India confidence that we are safe in this country, the country is in good hands, the country is in the hands of a leader who will protect the unity and integrity and the security of every citizen of this country.

In fact, on the 29th of this month, we complete the first anniversary of the surgical strike. And really a day to celebrate when India evolved and India showed the world that we mean business. Don’t look at us with an evil eye; we can give it right back to you. And I am glad that Ronnie is bringing that out in the form of a film, which I am sure will encourage all the youngsters, all the people of India to be ready to face any challenges that the country faces.

And in that sense, I think an award function, which recognizes good work, encourages them to do even better and also inspires all of us, the rest of us to do our two-bit in society. It’s truly a very-very happy occasion for all of us. I wish Priyadarshni well. I congratulate all the award winners. I wish all of you well in your chosen fields and I pray and wish each one of us in this room will work towards becoming an awardee in the Priyadarshni awards in the future and each one of us will go back inspired to give back to society.

Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen.

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