The young generation will play a major role in the modernization of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his last Mann ki Baat radio address of the year. The next decade will see ‘active contribution’ from those who were born in the 21st century, Modi said.

Modi’s comments on the young generation come at a time when the ongoing pan-India protests against the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) are being largely led by students and youth.

“Our new generation is an embodiment, a reflection of a new system, a new order, a new age, a new thought. These are the very people who have to elevate the country to greater heights,”Modi said in his radio address on Sunday morning.

“Not just that, they prefer to follow the system. In the event of the system not responding properly, they get restless and even courageously question the system itself…I consider this attribute as a virtue,”Modi said.

Protests have continued over the last two weeks in several parts of the country, particularly in states such as Uttar Pradesh where they have turned violent. At least 19 people have died during the violence that broke out in several parts of the state. Those who resort to violence should introspect over their actions, Modi had said while speaking at an event in Lucknow last week.

“One thing certain about the decade to come is that it will witness the active contribution of those who were born in 21st century in the country’s progress. These are people who are growing up, understanding the significant issues pertaining to this century,” he said during his Mann ki Baat. This generation “thrives on the dream to do something new, something different”, Modi said.

The Prime Minister also spoke on several other matters such as the recent solar eclipse, the “Himayat Mission” in Jammu and Kashmir, the productivity of recent Parliament sessions, and the benefits of citizens using more local products.

Modi urged citizens to promote use of indigenous products for the next three years till the completion of India’s 75th year of independence in 2022.

“My dear countrymen, can we pledge, that by 2022, when we achieve 75 years of independence, we insist and remain steadfast at least, for about two-three years on buying local products?,” he asked. “Products made in India, made by the hands of our citizens, carrying the fragrance of the sweat of our countrymen, can’t we resolve to buy such things? I do not advocate this for a long time, just till 2022, till the completion of 75 years of independence,” Modi said in his address