The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday issued instructions to all states to stop using bouquets during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tours within India. “No bouquet may be presented to the PM during his tours within India,” ANI reported MHA sources as saying. Instead of bouquets, states can offer PM Modi a flower along with a Khadi handkerchief or a book to welcome him. “All states/UTs are requested to suitably sensitise all concerned to ensure strict compliance of the above instructions,” the MHA said.
Instructions in this regard were issued to all states and union territories on July 12.
On June 17, PM Modi had said people should give a book instead of a bouquet as a greeting. “I appeal to people to give a book instead of a bouquet as a greeting. Such a move can make a big difference,” news agency ANI had quoted the PM as saying. Addressing the launch of PN Panicker National Reading Day celebrations in Kerala, the Prime Minister also said that Kerala had been an inspiration to the whole country in terms of literacy. “There can be no joy greater than reading & no strength greater than knowledge,” he added.
On June 17, PM Modi also tweeted appealing people to stop giving bouquets. PM’s appeal had caught the attention of Congress PM Shashi Tharoor, who tweeted, “Some minds think alike! I’ve been saying this for years in Thiruvananthapuram!”
I support @narendramodi on this: let’s not massacre flowers for transient gratification,but give gifts that endure https://t.co/X218uYl3FB
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 17, 2017
In his last Mann Ki Baat radio address on June 25, PM Modi again urged people to stop exchanging bouquets and start gifting Khadi products. He shared how he liked the practice of gifting books by PN Panicker Foundation instead of bouquets in Kerala. “I had the opportunity to go for the inaugural function, where I was told that instead of bouquets, they gift books. I liked it.”
Listen PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat on June 25, 2017
PM Modi also said that he had set the tradition of gifting Khadi handkerchiefs or books when he was in Gujarat.
“When I was in Gujarat, I had set this tradition of welcoming, by not giving bouquets, but books or handkerchiefs instead. And that too, a ‘Khadi’ handkerchief, so that it promotes ‘Khadi’. Till the time I was in Gujarat, this habit had been ingrained in us, but after coming here, I had lost that habit. When I went to Kerala, it was rekindled,” he said.
On bouquets, the PM said, “And the life span of a bouquet is very short. You receive it in your hand for a moment and then abandon it. But when you present a book, it becomes a part of the household, a part of the family. One can also use a ‘Khadi’ handkerchief to welcome people, and be a support to the innumerable underprivileged. The expenses are reduced as well, and the gift is well utilised too.”