On May 1st, the occasion of Gujarat Foundation day, Shri Modi attended a prayer meeting in Dandi.
During his address, Shri Modi recalled that for political reasons previous governments had not given enough importance to the Gujarat foundation day. He said, “Today is Gujarat’s foundation day, and our government has given it a special place, After the formation of Gujarat, many governments came into being, but they did not keep an open mind about celebrating the day. They did not, remember the martyrs who gave up their lives for Gujarat and they did not remember the contributions of Indu Chacha. Political reasons stopped them from doing so. In the last decade, on the first of May, people remember the Mahagujarat movement, the martyrs and those who led the movement.” Shri Modi also stated that this recollection inspired people to do something for the state. He said, “People feel that I must do something for the state.” He further spoke about the government’s activities in highlighting history, “There was an effort by some to erase this history but we have made efforts to prevent them from doing so.”
Shri Modi also affirmed that this year’s celebrations of Gujarat foundation day would provide a boost to the development works in Navasari District. He said, “This year the celebrations are being done in Navsari. The entire government has come and is sitting at your feet. This occasion has become the mantra of Navsari’s development”
He further highlighted the change in government mindset that had been brought about by the BJP government. He said, “We have linked this occasion with development, cleanliness, efforts to better the administration and our aim is to do something good. In the past, government functions were a waste of public money and only meant ribbon cutting and sermons. But we have developed a new work ethic, a new tradition, in which every occasion is linked with development, with public participation, with smoother functioning of administration, this is the dawn of this new Government work culture.”
Shri Modi mentioned that if the event were to be held in Navasari, it would be but natural for the beginning to be in Dandi. Furthermore, he highlighted how Dandi had been neglected by politicians who only wanted to use Gandhi ji for political reasons.
Shri Modi warned that there was an effort by certain sections to erase and rewrite history. He said. “The entire world is eager to know about Gandhiji and yet, they are trying to forget him. Yet, we are trying to ensure that this doesn’t happen.”
Shri Modi shared the example of Shri Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin and said, “He sacrificed a lot for the nation, and his work brought glory to Dandi, but certain people did not want to remember that.”
Shri Modi also called out the central government, which he said was trying to forget an important promise the Prime Minister had made to the people of Navsari. He said, “I call out the coal tainted Central Government, from Dandi, the place which gave new colour and strength to the freedom movement. In 2005, to gain political capital off the 75th anniversary of the Dandi march, the UPA government organized an event. Congress leaders came to Gujarat for photo opportunities. Keeping aside political differences, our government welcomed all because it was an occasion, which gave inspiration to the nation. On that occasion, the PM declared that the Sabarmati-Dandi route which Gandhiji travelled on would be declared ‘heritage marg.’” But Shri Modi accused the Central government of reneging on its promise. He declared, “The PM had declared Gandhiji’s exact route would be built as heritage marg, but now the Government, asks us to name the existing government road as heritage road.”
Shri Modi questioned whether it was correct to rewrite history. He asked,”Can history be changed? Can we deny that Mahabharat happened in Kurukshetra? Do we have the right to change Gandhi’s path? Should I be a part of this sin?
Shri Modi asked the government to fulfil the promise, which the Prime Minister had made to the nation and declared that the people would not tolerate government efforts to rewrite history. He said, “You had made a promise to the nation....no individual who has read India’s history, no Gujarati will tolerate government’s efforts to change Gandhi ji’s path.” Shri Modi requested the Central government to not view history through the prism of money. He said “I hope that the PM and the Central Government not view this in terms of money for history cannot be viewed in terms of money, it is an inspiration, it is the bridge to the future.”
Shri Modi accused the Congress of not following Gandhiji’s path and trying to change Gandhiji’s path as well. He said, “Congress leaders claim to walk on Gandhiji’s path but that has never happened. Now they they are forcing Gandhi ji to change his path.”
Shri Modi stressed on the importance of the Dandi March in Indian history. He said, “The way salt is important in a person’s life, similarly the role of the Dandi movement is very important in our freedom struggle. Let us not reduce the importance of this event.”
Furthermore, Shri Modi paid tributes to the martyrs of the Mahagujarat movement and urged everyone to remember Gandhiji.
Senior Ministers Smt. Anandiben Patel & Shri Ganpat Bhai Vasava, MPs Smt. Jayashriben Patel, Smt. Darshaben Jardosh and Shri CR Patil, were present at the event.