My dear Sisters and Brothers of Gujarat,

The people have spoken yet again and they have spoken loud and clear! The results of the 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections have yet again established the victory of development politics and good governance over everything else! I thank the people for their affection, support and unwavering faith in our Party as well as Government. The people have given us a resounding mandate and I assure that we will leave no stone unturned to upholding the faith placed in us by the people.

Most importantly I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Almighty, who showered us with blessings at every moment and gave us immense strength to serve the people of Gujarat for the last 11 years.  Today, we are happy to have again got the opportunity to be blessed by the Almighty through serving the people for the years to come. 

These elections are a victory of the people of Gujarat! It is a victory of Gujarat’s Nari Shakti that has made its voice heard. It is a victory of our youth, who have taken this election on their shoulders right from the beginning, it is a victory of our farmers, the underprivileged, our senior citizens who have stood by us. These elections are a victory of Gujarat’s model of Sarvasparshi (all pervasive), Sarvasamaveshak (inclusive) and Sarvangi (holistic) model of development and good governance.

I consider it the strength of India’s democracy that a man like me, who was born in the most ordinary of ordinary households, has got an extraordinary opportunity to serve society for so many years. I grew up among the people and it is their love and affection that has got me this far and given me the sacred opportunity to serve them day and night.

For those youngsters who aspire to serve society and work towards nation building, there is a lot to learn from the Gujarat Elections. Very often youngsters are disappointed on whether doors will open for them in a system where pedigree seems to matter more than hardwork. Gujarat has shattered this cliché and demonstrated to the world that if you have the urge to serve our Motherland and the ability to overcome any obstruction come what may, then you will be given that opportunity to work irrespective of what dynasty or community you belong to!

A profound thanks to the BJP Karyakartas, who fought as one team and tirelessly worked towards making the Lotus bloom more than ever before in Gujarat. This victory is the story of the sacrifices and determination of lakhs of our Karyakartas.

I have always stated that the Gujarat elections will be remembered as an election that will bring a paradigm shift in electioneering across India. By placing the development agenda above everything and by comprehensively rejecting the partisan agenda of casteism, votebank politics as well as divide and rule, the people of Gujarat have created a historic example in the eyes of the entire nation. Today Gujarat stands Ekmat with the message that it is politics of development and good governance that triumphs!

Friends, the need of the hour is to stand united as 6 crore Gujaratis. We are not a Government only for those who voted for us, we are a Government deeply concerned about each and every individual of this state. As Gujarat marches ahead on the path to glory and pride, the growth and success of every Gujarati belonging to every caste, creed and class is vital.

Poverty, destitution or stagnation do not enter society seeing what caste, class or community a person belongs to and nor are votebank and caste politics the solution to these problems. If we are to make a qualitative difference in the lives of the people, it is by making the fruits of development and good governance reach the last person in the queue. That has been our vision and we will continue to work on it for the years to come.

In every instance of Gujarat’s development there is the mammoth contribution, hardwork and sweat of the people of Gujarat. We have only supported your hardwork by creating a people-centric environment where you can grow and prosper faster. Gujarat has revolutionized agriculture and is ushering in India’s second green revolution, Gujarat made it attractive for industries to put their money in the state so employment can be created and economic activity can be generated. Gujarat focused on basic infrastructure –
bijli, paani and
sadak -so that your work does not get hampered due to lack of basic amenities. We have eliminated the influence of middlemen and agents corroding the delivery of benefits under our poverty alleviation schemes.

To give you an example, over the last decade Gujarat has witnessed the rise of a neo middle class. The improvement in their lives is a result of their hardwork. This is the real Gujarati spirit- one which has stood the test of time. Our government’s economic policies have enabled them to taste the fruits of development and scale new heights of prosperity. It becomes our duty to continue to take care for the well being of this new segment in Gujarat’s society.

A very common question I have been asked is- Modi ji what is going to be your agenda in the coming years vis-à-vis Gujarat’s development. In the coming years we will continue serving our people, create opportunities for each and every one of you to prosper. We will build a Gujarat where not only you are happy but also where your future generations lead a life of happiness. The journey towards a Bhavya and Divya Gujarat has just begun!

 

Friends, the best is yet to come!

 

Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat.

Narendra Modi

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A tribute to Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji
February 21, 2024

Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji attained Samadhi and left us all saddened. His life is a spiritually rich epoch graced with profound wisdom, boundless compassion and an unwavering commitment to uplift humanity. I have had the honour of receiving his blessings on numerous occasions. Thus, I feel a deep sense of loss, akin to losing a guiding light that has illuminated the path for countless souls, including myself. His warmth, affection and blessings were not just gestures of goodwill but profound transmissions of spiritual energy, empowering and inspiring all those fortunate enough to have come in contact with him.

Pujya Acharya Ji will always be remembered as a Triveni of wisdom, compassion and service. He was a true Tapasvi, whose life epitomised the ideals of Bhagwan Mahavir. His life exemplified the core principles of Jainism, embodying its ideals through his own actions and teachings. His care towards all living beings mirrored Jainism's profound respect for life. He lived a life of truthfulness, reflecting Jainism's emphasis on honesty in thought, word, and deed. He also led a very simple lifestyle. It is due to stalwarts like him that the world continues to be inspired by Jainism and the life of Bhagwan Mahavir. He stood tall among the Jain community but his impact and influence were not limited to only one community. People across faiths, regions and cultures came to him and he worked tirelessly towards spiritual awakening, particularly among the youth.

Education was an area very close to his heart. His journey from Vidhyadhar (his childhood name) to Vidhyasagar was one of deep commitment to acquiring and imparting knowledge. It was his firm belief that education is the cornerstone of a just and enlightened society. He championed the cause of knowledge as a means to empower individuals, enabling them to lead lives of purpose and contribution. His teachings emphasised the importance of self-study and self-awareness as the pathways to true wisdom, urging his followers to engage in lifelong learning and spiritual growth.

At the same time, Sant Shiromani Acharya Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji wanted our youngsters to get an education that is also rooted in our cultural ethos. He often said that it was because we drifted away from the learnings of the past that we were not able to find solutions to key challenges like water scarcity. He also believed that a holistic education is one that focusses on skilling and innovating. He took immense pride in India’s linguistic diversity and encouraged youngsters to learn Indian languages.

Pujya Acharya Ji himself wrote extensively in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi. The heights he reached as a saint, and how grounded he was on the earth, is seen clearly in his iconic work Mookmati. Through his works, he gave a voice to the downtrodden.

In the domain of healthcare too, Pujya Acharya Ji’s contributions were transformative. He was associated with several efforts, especially in underserved areas. His approach to healthcare was holistic, integrating physical well-being with spiritual wellness, thereby addressing the needs of the person as a whole.

I would especially urge the coming generations to study extensively about Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji’s commitment to nation building. He would always urge people to rise above any partisan considerations and instead focus on national interest. He was one of the strongest votaries of voting because he saw it as an expression of participation in democratic processes. He advocated healthy as well as clean politics, even saying that policy making has to be about people’s welfare, not self interest (Lokneeti is about Loksangrah not Lobhsangrah).

He believed that a strong nation is built on the foundation of its citizens' commitment to their duties—towards themselves, their families, society, and the country. He encouraged individuals to cultivate virtues such as honesty, integrity and self-reliance, which he saw as essential for the creation of a just, compassionate, and thriving society. This emphasis on duties is of great importance as we work towards building a Viksit Bharat.

In an era where environmental degradation is rampant world over, Pujya Acharya Ji called for a way of life which would minimise the harm being inflicted on nature. Likewise, he saw a paramount role for agriculture in our economy, also stressing on making agriculture modern as well as sustainable. His work towards reforming jail inmates was also noteworthy.

The beauty of our land is that for thousands of years, our soil has produced greats who have shown light to others and made our society better. Pujya Acharya Ji stands as a towering figure in this illustrious lineage of saints and social reformers. Whatever he did, he did not just for the present but also the future. In November last year, I had the opportunity to visit the Chandragiri Jain Mandir in Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh. Little did I know that this visit would be my last meeting with Pujya Acharya Ji. Those moments were very special. He spoke to me for a long time, blessing me for my efforts in serving the nation. He expressed joy on the direction our nation is taking and the respect India is getting on the world stage. He was filled with enthusiasm while talking about the work he was doing. Then and always, his gentle gaze and serene smile were enough to instill a sense of peace and purpose. His blessings felt like a soothing balm on the soul, a reminder of the divine presence within and around us.

Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji’s void is deeply felt by all who knew him and were touched by his teachings and his life. However, he lives on in the hearts and minds of those he inspired. In honouring his memory, we commit to embodying the values he espoused. In this way, we not only pay tribute to a great soul but also take forward his mission for our country and people.