Celebrating Navratri - May Maa Jagadamba Give Shakti To All!

Published By : Admin | October 16, 2012 | 06:42 IST
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Dear Friends,

My warmest greetings to everyone as the auspicious Navratri begin.  For the next 9 days, people across India, especially Gujarat, shall immerse themselves in celebrations that mark one of our most important festivals and also the beginning the festive season.

Navratri is central to the cultural identity of Gujaratis. Garba and Raas form a centuries old tradition going back to the time of Lord Krishna -- it is the cultural heritage of every Gujarati. In the coming days if you go to any part of Gujarat you will see people, be it young or old, dancing to the tunes of wonderful Gujarati folk music as part of the Navratri celebrations.

During Navratri we bow our heads and seek the blessings of Jagat Janani Maa. While civilisations around the world have conceptualised the Almighty in the male form, ours is the only civilisation that celebrates and venerates Shakti in the female form -- be it Jagat Janani Maa Jagadamba, Maa Lakshmi, Maa Saraswati among the many other Goddesses.

After I assumed office 11 years ago, I have often wondered why this unique festival is restricted to Gujarat. Why not enable its vibrancy to go beyond Gujarat and draw the entire world to come to this State? With these thoughts in mind, we envisioned the annual Vibrant Gujarat Navratri Festival. It is heartening to see so many tourists, both from India and abroad, visiting Gujarat during these nine days. In fact, the popularity of our Garbas has transcended Gujarat’s shores -- there are at least 500 cities around the world where this festival is celebrated with great pomp and show!

Festivals like Navratri are now giving a strong impetus to tourism and particularly in giving the poorest of the poor additional sources of livelihood. With more tourists coming to Gujarat being drawn to our cultural heritage, our handicraft artisans are receiving a strong boost. Those who are involved with the hospitality sector, including transport operators, have begun earning a higher income and this has lit the lamp of prosperity in their homes.

Many of you will be fasting through these 9 days. I recall that during Teacher’s Day celebrations two years ago, a little girl had asked me about my fasting during Navratri. Yes, I have been fasting during Navratri for over 35 years now. This fast is never to seek anything but an act of self-purification. Fasts such as this have been a source of strength, power and inspiration for me over the last many years.

I am attaching a small Garba that I penned and a poem in which I offer my tribute to Maa Jagadamba. I hope you will enjoy them.

Once again, my greetings on Navratri.

 

Narendra Modi

 

 

( Send Navratri Greetings to your near and dear ones )

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India’s G-20 Presidency
December 01, 2022
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Today, India commences its G20 Presidency.

The previous 17 Presidencies of the G20 delivered significant results - for ensuring macro-economic stability, rationalising international taxation, relieving debt-burden on countries, among many other outcomes. We will benefit from these achievements, and build further upon them.


However, as India assumes this important mantle, I ask myself - can the G20 go further still? Can we catalyse a fundamental mindset shift, to benefit humanity as a whole?

I believe we can.

Our mindsets are shaped by our circumstances. Through all of history, humanity lived in scarcity. We fought for limited resources, because our survival depended on denying them to others. Confrontation and competition - between ideas, ideologies and identities - became the norm.

Unfortunately, we remain trapped in the same zero-sum mindset even today. We see it when countries fight over territory or resources. We see it when supplies of essential goods are weaponised. We see it when vaccines are hoarded by a few, even as billions remain vulnerable.

Some may argue that confrontation and greed are just human nature. I disagree. If humans were inherently selfish, what would explain the lasting appeal of so many spiritual traditions that advocate the fundamental one-ness of us all?

One such tradition, popular in India, sees all living beings, and even inanimate things, as composed of the same five basic elements – the panch tatva of earth, water, fire, air and space. Harmony among these elements - within us and between us - is essential for our physical, social and environmental well-being.


India's G20 Presidency will work to promote this universal sense of one-ness. Hence our theme - 'One Earth, One Family, One Future'.


This is not just a slogan. It takes into account recent changes in human circumstances, which we have collectively failed to appreciate.


Today, we have the means to produce enough to meet the basic needs of all people in the world.


Today, we do not need to fight for our survival - our era need not be one of war. Indeed, it must not be one!

 


Today, the greatest challenges we face - climate change, terrorism, and pandemics - can be solved not by fighting each other, but only by acting together.

Fortunately, today's technology also gives us the means to address problems on a humanity-wide scale. The massive virtual worlds that we inhabit today demonstrate the scalability of digital technologies.


Housing one-sixth of humanity, and with its immense diversity of languages, religions, customs and beliefs, India is a microcosm of the world.


With the oldest-known traditions of collective decision-making, India contributes to the foundational DNA of democracy. As the mother of democracy, India's national consensus is forged not by diktat, but by blending millions of free voices into one harmonious melody.

Today, India is the fastest growing large economy. Our citizen-centric governance model takes care of even our most marginalised citizens, while nurturing the creative genius of our talented youth.


We have tried to make national development not an exercise in top-down governance, but rather a citizen-led 'people's movement'.


We have leveraged technology to create digital public goods that are open, inclusive and inter-operable. These have delivered revolutionary progress in fields as varied as social protection, financial inclusion, and electronic payments.

For all these reasons, India's experiences can provide insights for possible global solutions.

During our G20 Presidency, we shall present India's experiences, learnings and models as possible templates for others, particularly the developing world.

Our G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow-travellers in the global South, whose voice often goes unheard.


Our priorities will focus on healing our 'One Earth', creating harmony within our 'One Family' and giving hope for our 'One Future'.

For healing our planet, we will encourage sustainable and environment-friendly lifestyles, based on India's tradition of trusteeship towards nature.

For promoting harmony within the human family, we will seek to depoliticise the global supply of food, fertilizers and medical products, so that geo-political tensions do not lead to humanitarian crises. As in our own families, those whose needs are the greatest must always be our first concern.

For imbuing hope in our future generations, we will encourage an honest conversation among the most powerful countries - on mitigating risks posed by weapons of mass destruction and enhancing global security.

 


India’s G20 agenda will be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive.

 


Let us join together to make India's G20 Presidency a Presidency of healing, harmony and hope.

Let us work together to shape a new paradigm - of human-centric globalisation.