Historic turnout at the polls! Congratulations to the people of Gujarat

Published By : Admin | December 20, 2012 | 07:05 IST

Dear friends,

The second and final round of voting in the 2012 Gujarat Assembly Elections has come to an end. Your unwavering belief in our democracy and the value you attach to your vote has ensured this historic turnout. I congratulate you for giving the rest of India an invaluable inspiration to exercise our most sacred right in a democracy. You have displayed your profound faith in India’s democracy. Such faith on your part is truly wonderful.

As we await the will of our 6 crore Gujarati brothers and sisters, I thank each and every BJP Karyakarta
and our well-wishers for their untiring support for us in these elections
. From hectic days to sleepless nights, each of you has made a monumental contribution to make the Lotus bloom like never before in Gujarat.

Friends, seats, vote shares, margins and other such facts and figures are critical in understanding the uniqueness of any election. But beyond this realm of numbers and data, the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha Elections 2012 elections have offered us valuable glimpses into the sheer beauty of the Indian will and usher in a paradigm shift in how elections will be viewed in India.

It was believed that elections could be easily won by votebank politics- divide communities, firm up caste equations and victory is assured. Gujarat has changed that. It has not only shown the world that elections can be won on the issue of development but also has created a scenario where no election can move away from the development agenda. The development in Gujarat is only but a manifestation of good governance. Development and elections are inseparable and Gujarat has a major contribution in making this into a reality.

I never saw such fervor during elections as I saw in these Gujarat elections. From the elderly to the youth, the elections generated immense enthusiasm among the people. Be it the 117 year old Shri Kathuria Dada from Dediapada who has voted in every single election in independent India, Smt Maniben Jadhav from Junagadh, Shri Gopalnand Maharaj, Smt Ramben Ramani from Kalsari or Smt Ujiben Kakadia – these centenarians and others have not let anything come in their way of exercising a right obtained as a result of the blood, sweat and sacrifice of our freedom fighters.

You must have seen how, at the time of various festivals, little children in your neighborhood come rushing at your door to greet you. However stressed you are, however much the burden of responsibilities bogs you down, when these children wish you with their innocent smiles, you cannot help but get drawn into the festive mood.

That is what some of our school-going children did when they urged Gujaratis to step out of their house and exercise their right to vote. Even though they cannot vote yet, their spirit and exuberance for this greatest festival of our democracy gives me the confidence that Gujarat’s future is bright. Though several generations apart from each other, these children and centenarians are ambassadors and role models of Indian democracy and elections.

Through the Sadbhavana Mission and Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra, I had the opportunity to reach out to large number of people across the length and breadth of Gujarat. It has been a constant endeavor throughout my term to reach out to more and more people of Gujarat. I have also extensively campaigned across Gujarat. I have shared with you about what we have done for Gujarat’s growth and development and what we determine to do over the next five years. I am also very proud of the fact that Gujarat is the 1st state in the entire world to use 3D projection technology extensively to reach out to the people. What you witnessed during the various 3D interactions is something historic and I am glad it has taken place on the soil of Gujarat.

The election campaign was largely peaceful and conducted smoothly except for the unfortunate demise of 11 police personnel in Dahod. I would like to express my deepest condolences on this very sad event.

Before concluding, I would congratulate the Central and State Election Commission and all other officials for conducting the elections in such an efficient and peaceful manner. Their commendable efforts in ensuring the maximum turnout need to be lauded.

Friends, whoever you have chosen with your vote, as a Gujarati, I feel elated and proud with the history you have created.  

Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat

 

Yours,

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.