May 15, 2017

Speaking at Youth Convention at Swaminarayan Temple, Neasden, London

All my young friends, devotees of the Swaminarayan movement and my brothers and sisters, truly, I am taken back into history, I had the privilege of coming here 22 years ago when this temple was formally dedicated and the Pranprateshtha took place along with Shri LK Advaniji. I was much younger at that point of time, I don’t have very very big memories about exactly the day’s function but I do recall, very clearly, that it seemed as if all of London was over here that day. And it was truly a historic day for the Hindu Dharma. It was a historic day for all the people of London, particularly, for the devotees of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the Swaminarayan movement.

And, for me personally, it was a very enlightening day, because all the messages that came out from the temple that day were messages of brotherhood, were messages of devotion, were messages where I could see that despite living so far away from our motherland, each one of you has been blessed with very deep-rooted family values, a devotion to the Lord, which keeps us all grounded, and a commitment to be good citizens of this world. And, therefore, I think this temple has played a very important role for the lives of each one of us, including me, in shaping our destinies.

In a material world today, it’s very easy to get very busy making money. And, it’s also very easy to go down a path which may not necessarily be very noble. But my own experience over the last many many years has been that devotees of the Swaminarayan sect have turned out to be very fine citizens, very good human beings. And in that sense, I think all of us – my young sisters there and all of you, young brothers and I – are truly blessed to have the opportunity for getting the continuous blessings of our saints, to keep learning from their messages, from their writings, from their teachings, and to keep reminding ourselves how each one of us has a role to play to make the world a better place to live in.

I also had the privilege of taking the darshan of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Mumbai during the Amrut Mahotsav, which was held very close to my home in Mumbai. Another massive programme, the likes of which I have not seen again, went on for many days and world leaders came there to seek his blessings. And over the years, whenever I have come to London if it was a Tuesday or a Saturday, I have tried to make an effort to try and come to the temple. Unfortunately, for the last 3 years I could not do that, so I am actually feeling very very blessed and very fortunate that to meet all of you today, and to get the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and our saints. I have got this opportunity again after 3 years.

All of you are, I would suspect, students or just starting off in life in different ways. Some of you may have business, some of you may be doing a job. But, each one of you has a huge role when it will come to shaping the future of this planet. Sometimes, we get the feeling how does it matter what I do, how does it matter what one individual does? And it’s quite logical, we can say, there are 6 billion people on earth. In India, there are 1.2 billion people. What can I do? How do I matter?

I think the message that we have learnt from our history or from our religion actually shows the importance of each human being, and shows how each one of us can play an important role in shaping the destiny of mankind. We could be doing something as simple as keeping the precincts of this beautiful temple clean. It may seem like a small job. But you never know that small job may mean that you have actually, probably, there was some piece of glass somewhere which you have cleaned out, which otherwise could have hurt somebody else, maybe even cause somebody deep body harm. Look at the volunteers who actually built this beautiful complex, each one of them played a role in making this entire lovely temple come up. Now, imagine if any one of them had made a mistake and the foundation or one of the beams or one of the superstructures had a little chink in the arm or some problem left behind.

Can you imagine on a day when there are 3000-5000-8000 devotes here, and I have personally witnessed such large numbers of devotees at a point of time in the temple. Just imagine what a colossal damage that could cause. Or one humble policeman at the airport – after all, when we are taking an aircraft, finally frisked by one individual, that one policeman, who is frisking you or checking your baggage on the x-ray machine. It’s one human being, one individual. Can you imagine if he was lax in his job? He didn’t do his job well, or he compromised his integrity. What a huge, colossal damage that could cause.

And I just want each one of you to believe in yourself in whatever work you do, whatever vocation, profession, job. Believe in what you are doing as being an important part, which is going to shake the destiny of mankind. Today, I was launching a company, an Indian government company setting up office in London. It’s a company which does energy efficiency. They are going to sell LED bulbs in London, just as they have sold 230 million LED bulbs in the last 2 years in India.

Now, one can say it’s one LED bulb, costing less than a pound or 2 pounds, how does it matter? But can you imagine, collectively, when all of India converts itself to LED bulb lighting, you know what an impact it is going to have on earth, on mankind? We will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 79 million tonnes every year. We will reduce energy consumption by 112 billion units every year, 112 billion kilowatt hours. And consumers in India, and we all know largely India comprises of poor people, middle class people, people who do have difficulty in paying high electricity bills. It will save them 6.5 billion US dollars or maybe 5 billion pounds, every year in their electricity bills.

Item is small, a 1 pound LED bulb. But it saves the environment. It saves waste. It introduces the concept of being conscious about how we are spending our money, what we are doing with our resources. And, I share this with all of you because it’s the combined effort of all of us put together, which can really transform. Today, you are working in the United Kingdom; you have to work for your nation. You have work to transform the United Kingdom, without of course, ever forgetting that you have a motherland, you have family back home about whom you also have to continue to always remain conscious, concerned, caring. And, therefore, when each one of you takes it upon yourself that I am going to make a difference, I am going to contribute to a better future for all the people, people back home, people in London, wherever. Then just imagine what a game changing role each one of us can perform in our lives. Back home in India, we are making an effort. We are making an effort to really reform the way things are done in India, to transform the economy, to improve the lives of the people of India, to meet the aspirations of the youth of India, to encourage good governance. But that is not possible unless people, everybody starts joining that movement.

Look at Swachha Bharat, it’s a small movement, trying to clean up the country. Wouldn’t you love to see India cleaner?  Wouldn’t you love you see when you go back home a clean city, clean airports, clean streets, a cleaner environment? Wouldn’t you love to go back to your village and see that everybody has a toilet in their home, everybody is blessed with round the clock 24 hours electricity?

These are all the efforts that we are trying to do in India. With the blessings of almighty, we have had a fair deal of success, but not enough. We still have to conquer lot of difficulties, conquer a lot of action which is still required to be done. But I do hope each one of you as good citizens, as people with good family values, as people concerned for your motherland will continue to care about what’s happening back home, would continue to go back home, give some part of your life to make things better.

You might have seen that movie Swades. Some of you may remember that Shah Rukh Khan movie Swades, how he goes back to his village and actually realizes they don’t get water and creates a small hydro process system by which he can pump water to people and meet their drinking water needs. It was a small gesture but he could actually transform his own village and the way the village was getting water.

All of you are blessed with good education. All of you are blessed with reasonably good families to live in. And I do hope, you will continue to be concerned both for you Karma Bhoomi, which is the United Kingdom, and for your motherland, which is India, play the bridge between both these nations, the bridge of bringing goodness to both nations, to the people of both nations, continue to be blessed by the Lord, continue to be rooted in good religious philosophy, continue to be rooted in our Hindu traditions, in the traditions that all of us have imbibed in us. And I have no doubt in my mind that going forward, this assembly of youngsters that I see before me, each one of you is going to become an ambassador of goodwill between the United Kingdom and India, and each one of you is going to do good for the people of India, for the people less privileged than us in the years to come.

And I do hope to hear from some of you with your ideas, with what can be done better, what we can do in India better, how we can shape the destiny of India better. Please write into us with ideas, with thoughts, suggestions, even complaints. If you see something going wrong in India, something not being done well in India, please write to us. Very easy to contact me either through the Twitter or through my website, sending in a mail to me, it’s PiyushgoyalBJP@gmail.com as simple as that, if it’s difficult I will leave it with Swamiji also over here. But write to us, tell us what we can do better, give us your ideas. Because it’s only from the ideas that you all give us that we will be able to do our job better.

And I promise you, each one of us back home is trying to do something for the nation, do something better for the people less privileged than us, get the poor, get the marginalized sections of society out of poverty, give them a better quality of life. And I would urge you to be a part of this effort in your own way, in whatever way you feel you would like to contribute, would like to work. I am not looking at contribution as in money. We need your time. We need your goodwill. We need your ideas. We need your imagination. And I do hope that going forward, the UK-India relationship does not remain a relationship between governments or leaders alone, but becomes a relationship where the people of both the countries led by our people of Indian origin from India who are living in the United Kingdom, become that great force to strengthen the ties, further relations, and take back to India all that you have learnt over here, all that you have enjoyed over here to your villages, to your families back home.

I can only tell you, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is leaving no stone unturned to serve his motherland. I know that he is very popular amongst all of you. You showered all your love and affection on him when he came here, when he addressed all of you in Wembley. I am sure some of you may have also been there. Many of you were in the organizing committee actively, half the organizing committee is right here. And I really feel privileged to be able to meet all of you, and I am sure going forward, we will continue to have this relationship, this bonding. And I am sure, I will see some of you back home in India helping to serve your motherland, helping to serve your brothers and sisters there.

My best wishes to all of you, to your families. I wish you well. I wish you all success in your work, in your studies, in your business, in your professions. And I do pray for well-being for all the Indian people, all the community living in London, living in the United Kingdom. May God bless all of you.

Thank you very much.

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