Unveils new statue of Sant Ravidas
Inaugurates and lays foundation stones for development works around Sant Ravidas Janam Sthali
Lays the foundation stone for the Sant Ravidas Museum and beautification of the park
“India has a history, whenever the country is in need, some saint, sage or great personality is born in India.”
“Sant Ravidas ji was a great saint of the Bhakti movement, which gave new energy to the weak and divided India”
“Sant Ravidas ji told the society the importance of freedom and also worked to bridge the social divide”
“Ravidas ji belongs to everyone and everyone belongs to Ravidas ji.”
“Government is taking forward the teachings and ideals of Sant Ravidas ji while following the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath SabkaVikas’”
“We have to avoid the negative mentality of casteism and follow the positive teachings of Sant Ravidas ji”

Jai Guru Ravidas!

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath ji, esteemed saints and devotees who have gathered here from all over Bharat, and my brothers and sisters,

I extend a warm welcome to all of you on the auspicious occasion of Guru Ravidas ji's birth anniversary at his birthplace. It's heartening to see so many of you coming from far and wide to be a part of Ravidas ji's Jayanti celebrations. Especially, with so many brothers and sisters coming from Punjab that Varanasi is appearing like 'Mini Punjab.' All this is made possible by the grace of Sant Ravidas ji. I too am repeatedly called by Ravidas ji to his birthplace. It gives me the opportunity to further his ideals and to serve his millions of followers. It's no less than a blessing for me to serve all his followers at the Guru's birthplace.

And my brothers and sisters,

As an MP of this constituency, as a representative of Kashi, it is also my special responsibility. It is my duty to welcome all of you here in Banaras, and also to take special care of your comforts. I am pleased that on this auspicious day, today I have the opportunity to fulfil my responsibilities. Today, the inauguration and foundation laying ceremony of development projects worth hundreds of crores of rupees are taking place for the development of Banaras. This will make the journey of devotees to this place more comfortable and enjoyable. Additionally, many crores of rupees worth of projects have been inaugurated for the development of the birthplace of Sant Ravidas ji as well. Development of temples and temple areas, construction of roads leading to the temples, work on interlocking and drainage, construction of various facilities for the devotees to attend ‘satsangs’ (religious gatherings) and perform ‘sadhana’ (spiritual practices), arrangements for receiving ‘prasad’ (devotional offering), all these will provide convenience to lakhs of devotees. Devotees will not only attain spiritual bliss during the pilgrimage to Maghi Purnima but will also be relieved of many troubles. Today, I also have the privilege of unveiling the new statue of Sant Ravidas ji. The foundation stone of the Sant Ravidas Museum has also been laid today. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you on these development works. I wish all the devotees from all over the country and the world on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas ji and Maghi Purnima.

Friends,

Today is also the birth anniversary of the great saint and social reformer, Gadge Baba. Like Sant Ravidas, Gadge Baba also worked extensively for the uplift of society from stereotypes and for the welfare of the oppressed and marginalized communities. Babasaheb Ambedkar himself was a great admirer of Gadge Baba. Gadge Baba was also greatly influenced by Babasaheb. Today, on this occasion, I respectfully bow down at the feet of Gadge Baba as well.

Friends,

Before coming to the stage, I had also gone to offer flowers and pay respects to the statue of Sant Ravidas ji. At that time, I felt as much reverence as I felt gratitude within. Even years ago, when I was not in politics, nor held any position, I still found guidance in the teachings of Sant Ravidas ji. I always felt the desire in my heart to serve Ravidas ji. And today, resolutions connected with Sant Ravidas ji are being fulfilled not just in Kashi, but in other parts of the country as well. New centres are being established to propagate the teachings of Ravidas ji. Just a few months ago, I also had the privilege of laying the foundation stone of the Sant Ravidas Memorial and Art Gallery in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. The entire Ganga of development is flowing in Kashi.

Friends,

Bharat’s history has seen that whenever the country has been in need, some saint, sage, or great personality has taken birth here. Ravidas ji was such a great saint of the ‘Bhakti’ (devotion) Movement who provided new energy to the weakened and divided Bharat. Ravidas ji also emphasized the importance of freedom to society and worked to bridge social divides. He raised his voice against hierarchy, discrimination, and divisions during that era. Sant Ravidas is a saint who cannot be confined within the boundaries of religion, sect, or ideology. Ravidas ji belongs to everyone, and everyone belongs to Ravidas ji. As a disciple of Jagadguru Ramanand, the Vaishnav community also considers him their guru. Sikh brothers and sisters hold him in high esteem. While living in Kashi, he taught the lesson, ‘मन चंगा तो कठौती में गंगा’ (if your mind is good then you can see Ganga in a bucket as well). Therefore, people who have deep respect for Kashi, who have faith in Maa Ganga, also draw inspiration from Ravidas ji. I am happy that today our government is furthering the ideals of Ravidas ji. The BJP government belongs to everyone. The schemes of the BJP government are for everyone. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’ has become the mantra of connecting with 140 crore citizens today.

Friends,

Ravidas ji also imparted lessons of equality and harmony, and always showed special concern for Dalits and the marginalized. Equality comes only when priority is given to the marginalized sections of society. That is why work has been done in the past ten years by keeping those at the centre who were furthest from the mainstream of development. Those who were considered the poorest and the smallest earlier are now the ones for whom the biggest schemes have been launched. These schemes are now considered the biggest government schemes in the world. Look, such a massive crisis of corona came. We implemented a scheme to provide free rations to 80 crore poor people. Even after corona, we did not stop giving free rations. Because we want the poor, who have stood on their own feet, to decide their own long journey. No extra burden should be imposed on them. Such a scheme on such a large scale is not there in any other country in the world. We ran the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Free toilets were built for every family in every village of the country. Its benefit was felt most by Dalit and backward families, especially our SC, ST, OBC mothers and sisters. They had to go out in the open and face difficulties.

Today, the Jal Jeevan Mission is underway to provide clean water to every village in the country. In less than five years, piped water has been provided to more than 11 crore homes. Crores of poor people have received Ayushman cards for free treatment. They have got confidence for the first time that life will not end due to lack of treatment in the event of any illness. Similarly, the poor have got the right to go to the bank through the Jan Dhan accounts. Direct money is sent by the government to these accounts. It is from these accounts that farmers receive the Kisan Samman Nidhi, of which nearly 1.5 crore of them are our Dalit farmers. A large number of Dalit and backward farmers benefit from the Fasal Bima Yojana. For the youth as well, today we are giving double the scholarship to Dalit youth compared to what they were getting before 2014. Similarly, under the PM Awas Yojana, thousands of crores of rupees were sent to the accounts of Dalit families in 2022-23 so that they too could have their own pucca house.

And brothers and sisters,

Bharat is able to accomplish such monumental tasks because today the government's intention is clear for Dalits, marginalized, backward, and poor sections of society. Bharat is able to achieve these tasks because your ‘Saath’ (support) and your ‘Vishwas’ (trust) are with us. The words of saints guide us in every age, and they also caution us.

Ravidas ji would say:

जात पात के फेर महि, उरझि रहई सब लोग।

मानुष्ता कुं खात हई, रैदास जात कर रोग॥

In other words, most people remain entangled in the divisions of caste and creed, causing harm. This disease of casteism causes damage to humanity. That is, when someone discriminates against another based on caste or creed, they harm humanity. If someone incites others in the name of casteism, they also harm humanity.

Therefore, brothers and sisters,

Today, every Dalit and every marginalized person in the country needs to remember one thing. The people of the INDI coalition, who rely on stirring up caste-based divisions and fighting, oppose schemes for the welfare of Dalits and marginalized people. And the truth is that these people play politics of self-interest in the name of caste's welfare. You may remember, these people made fun of it when the initiative to build toilets for the poor began. They ridiculed the Jan Dhan Yojana. They opposed Digital India. Not only that, another characteristic of family-oriented parties is that they don't want any Dalit or tribal person to move forward apart from their families. They cannot tolerate Dalits and tribal people sitting in high positions. You may recall, when the country was witnessing the first tribal woman, Her Excellency Droupadi Murmu, contesting the presidential elections, who opposed her? Which parties came together to defeat her? They were all these family-oriented parties, who see Dalits, backward classes, and tribal communities as a vote bank during elections. We need to be cautious of these people and their mindset. We need to follow the positive teachings of Ravidas ji and steer clear of the negative mentality of casteism.

Friends,

Ravidas ji would say:

सौ बरस लौं जगत मंहि जीवत रहि करू काम।

रैदास करम ही धरम है करम करहु निहकाम॥

In other words, even if one lives for a hundred years, one should continue to work throughout life because action is indeed the essence of righteousness. We should perform our duties with a selfless attitude. This teaching of Sant Ravidas ji is relevant for the entire nation today. The country has entered the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. And in recent years, a strong foundation has been laid for the development of a ‘Viksit Bharat’ during this ‘Amrit Kaal’. Now, in the next five years, we need to further elevate the structure of development on this foundation. The campaigns for the service of the poor and marginalized that have been running for the past 10 years need to be expanded even more in the next 5 years. All this will be possible only with the participation of the 140 crore citizens of the country. Therefore, it is essential that every citizen of the country fulfils their duties. We need to think about the country. We need to strengthen the unity of the country by staying away from divisive thoughts. I have firm belief that the dreams of the people of the country will surely come true with the grace of Sant Ravidas ji. Once again, I extend my heartfelt greetings to everyone on the occasion of Sant Ravidas Jayanti.

Thanks a lot!

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