In the latest address of Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised on the importance of storytelling.
Prime Minister noted that the history of stories is as ancient as the human civilization itself and said ‘where there is a soul, there is a story’. He talked about the significance of the convention of storytelling by elder members of the family. He discussed that through his interaction with children in the course of his travels, he realized that jokes had pervaded their lives in a major way, and they had no clue of stories.
Discussing the rich tradition of storytelling or Qissagoi in the country, Prime Minister said that India has nurtured the tradition of Hitopadesh and Panchatantra, which impart wisdom through an imaginary world of animals, birds and fairies. He mentioned ‘Katha’, an ancient form of religious storytelling, cited example of ‘Villu paat’ in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, which is a confluence of story and music, and also talked about the vibrant tradition of Kathputli. He noted the growing popularity of storytelling based on science and science- fiction.
Prime Minister praised several initiatives in promoting the art form of Qissagoi including ‘Gathastory.in’ run by IIM alumnus Amar Vyas, initiative by Vaishali Vyawahare Deshpande in Marathi, initiative by Srividya Veer Raghavan from Chennai who is engaged in popularizing and disseminating stories related to our culture, ‘kathalaya.org’ initiative by Geeta Ramanujan, Indian Storytelling Network, and work being done by Vikram Sridhar in Bengaluru, who is very enthusiastic about stories related to Mahatma Gandhi. Prime Minister also interacted with Aparna Athreya and other members of the Bengaluru Storytelling Society. The group also narrated a story on King Krishna Deva Rai and his minister Tenali Rama during the interaction.
Prime Minister urged storytellers to find ways to connect the new generation of the country with lives of great men and women through stories. He said that the art of storytelling must be popularized in every home and telling good stories to children should be a part of public life. He ideated that every week, family members should choose a theme like compassion, sensitivity, valour, sacrifice, bravery etc. and each member should tell a story on that subject. He said that the country is soon going to celebrate 75 years of independence, and urged storytellers to propagate inspiring events from the freedom struggle through their stories. He asked them to introduce every major and minor incident from 1857 to 1947 to the new generation through these stories.