Born in the soil of Paraunkh village, Hon’ble President Ramnath Kovind ji, Hon’ble Smt. Savita Kovind ji, Uttar Pradesh Governor Smt. Anandiben Patel, the popular Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath ji, my colleagues in the Council of Ministers sitting on the stage, ministers of Uttar Pradesh, MPs, MLAs and my dear brothers and sisters who have come in such a large number!
Since the President told me to come here, I was eager to come here and meet you. It was really nice to come here today and I felt very relaxed. This village has seen the childhood of the President and also being the pride of every Indian as well.
Before coming here, the President shared many memories of this village with me. I came to know that when he was admitted to a school in a village 5-6 miles away after fifth grade, he used to run barefoot to school and this run was not meant for health, but to avoid blisters on feet on the scorching pathway.
Imagine a child studying in class V running barefoot to his school on scorching afternoons. Such struggles in life and penance help a person a lot to become a good human being. Today, this experience of visiting the village of the President is a memorable event for me.
Brothers and sisters,
When I was visiting different places with the President, I felt many ideal images of an Indian village in Paraunkh. I got the opportunity to seek the blessings of Pathri Mata. Along with the spiritual aura of this village and the region, this temple is also a symbol of ‘Ek Bharat- Shreshtha Bharat’. I can say that it is such a temple where there is devotion as well as patriotism. Patriotism, because I bow to the thinking and imagination of the President’s father! He used to leave his home for pilgrimages and visit different places to take the blessings of God. He went to different places, including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura.
His financial condition at that time was not such that he could bring ‘prasad’ (God’s offering) for the entire village. But his imagination was very rich as he used to bring a few stones from the premises of the temples he visited and put them under a tree. The villagers would develop a religious feeling and start worshipping that place as a temple because that stone belonged to a particular place, temple, or a river. Therefore, I say that there is devotion as well as patriotism in this temple.
The President’s father used to worship in this temple. While visiting this holy temple, it is natural that different thoughts were swirling in my mind. I am blessed that I got the opportunity to visit this temple.
Today the world is witness to the values that the President has received from the soil of Paraunkh. Despite being a Constitutional head, the President lived up to the values and surprised me by breaking the protocol to receive me at the helipad. I felt very sorry as we are working under his guidance and his position has dignity and primacy.
I told the President that he had done injustice to me today. But he said spontaneously that he upholds the dignity of the Constitution, but sometimes values are equally important. ‘Today you have come to my village. I have come here to welcome the guest and not as the President. I am welcoming you today as a citizen of the village from where I started my life as a child.’ Today the President has presented an excellent example of how the values of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (guests are equivalent to God) have become the character of India. I bow respectfully to the President.
The President gave his ancestral residence to be developed as a ‘Milan Kendra’ (meeting center). Today it is giving new strength to women empowerment in the form of consultations and training center. With his efforts, a center of inspiration for the ideals of Baba Saheb has also been built here in the form of Ambedkar Bhawan. I am sure that Paraunkh will move forward on the path of development even faster, and will present a model of rural development in front of the country with your collective efforts.
No matter where we reach or we settle in big cities or any corner of the world, if we have breathed our village, our village never leaves us. It lives in our veins and is always in our thoughts. That's why we say that the soul of India resides in the village, because the village resides in our souls.
At a time when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of its independence, our dreams for rural India, for our villages, become even more important. During our freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi saw the villages as a link to the independence of India. An Indian village where there is spirituality, ideals, traditions as well as progress. An Indian village where there is culture, co-operation, equality and love too!
Today it is our duty to reorganize and resurrect such villages during the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. With this resolve, the country is working in different dimensions for villages, poor, agriculture, farmers and the democracy at Panchayat level. Today the roads are being built, optical fiber is being laid, houses are being built and LED street lights are being installed in villages rapidly. The thinking and the resolution of New India is that our villages should also walk step by step along with the cities on every path of development.
Did anyone imagine that drones will carry out the most difficult tasks related to agriculture? But today the country is moving in this direction. I have been told that more than 300 people have been given ‘Gharauni’ (property documents) in this village also. We are moving in the direction to ensure how to increase both the convenience and income of the farmers through technology.
Our villages have tremendous potential, labor force and dedication. Therefore, the empowerment of the villages of India is one of the top priorities of our government. Crores of villagers have benefited, be it through the Jan Dhan Yojana, Awas Yojana, gas connection under Ujjwala scheme, Har Ghar Jal campaign, or the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. The speed with which the country has worked for the welfare of the poor is unprecedented.
The goal of the country is to ensure 100 percent of the benefits of every scheme to the beneficiaries, i.e. cent percent empowerment. No discrimination, no difference! That is social justice. This was the dream of harmony and equality of Baba Saheb, on whose basis he gave us our constitution. That dream of Baba Saheb is being fulfilled today. The country is moving in that direction.
Today's occasion is very historic for one more thing. Everybody should take note of it because it demonstrates the strength of the country's democracy and villages. Hon’ble President, UP Governor Anandiben Patel ji and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ji are present on the dais. You have also entrusted me with such a huge responsibility for the service of the country. All four of us belong to some small village or town and have reached this position.
I too was born in a small town in Gujarat. The culture, values of our village, and our struggles have shaped so many people like us and strengthened our values. This is the strength of our democracy. Even the poorest person born in the village of India can reach the post of President, Prime Minister, Governor, or Chief Minister.
But brothers and sisters,
Today when we are discussing the power of democracy, then we also need to be careful about the challenges like nepotism. It is nepotism which throttles talents not only in politics but in every field and prevents them from moving forward.
When I talk against nepotism, some people think that this is a political statement and they run the propaganda that I am talking against a political party. I see that those who fit my definition of nepotism are furious with me, they are very angry. Such families are uniting against me across the length and breadth of the country. They are also angry about why the youth of the country are taking Modi's words against nepotism so seriously.
I want to tell these people not to misinterpret my words. I have no personal resentment towards any political party or any person. I want that there should be a strong opposition in the country and there should be political parties dedicated to democracy. I want the parties trapped in the clutches of nepotism to free themselves from this disease and cure themselves. Only then the democracy of India will flourish and the youth of the country will get maximum opportunity to join politics.
Well, I am expecting too much from the dynastic parties. Therefore, I urge you that it is our responsibility not to allow evils like nepotism to flourish in the country. It is very important to stop the dynastic parties so that the poor sons and the daughters of the villages can also become President and Prime Minister.
I want to ask for a gift from the village of the President. You will feel what kind of Prime Minister is this, who came to our village, brought nothing and is rather asking something from us. Will you give it to me? Will those who have come from different villages also give it to me? See, you have developed your village so much.
Now that the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of its independence, you need to increase your efforts. During ‘Amrit Kaal’, the country has taken a pledge to build 75 Amrit Sarovars (ponds) in every district of the country. And Yogi ji was also telling us that two Amrit Sarovars are being built in Paraunkh too. You have to help in the construction of the Amrit Sarovar, perform ‘kar seva’ (voluntary contribution of physical labour) and also maintain its grandeur.
I also demand one more thing from you and I am sure that you will fulfill this demand and that is natural farming. If more and more farmers adopt natural farming in Paraunkh village, then it will become a great example for the country.
There is only one way to India's success – ‘Sabka Prayas’ (everyone's efforts). The dream of self-reliant India will also be fulfilled with everyone's efforts. Self-reliant India means self-reliant villages, self-reliant youth. If our villages pick up pace, the country will gain momentum. If our villages develop, the country will also develop.
Paraunkh, which gave the President to the country in the form of respected Kovind ji, has proved how much power is there in the soil of the villages. We have to make good use of this potential and talent. We should all work together and fulfill the dreams of the country.
With this resolve, I once again express my heartfelt gratitude to the Hon’ble President for giving me the opportunity to come here with him. I also compliment all of you from my heart for greeting me with enthusiasm, showering flowers and love wherever I went in the village. I am overwhelmed with this love and will never forget this love. I will never forget your hospitality. My childhood was revived during the time I spent in the village. I end my speech by heartily congratulating all of you.
Thanks a lot!