We all just listened to the vision-filled offering of the iron-man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Before I speak, I would like to raise the slogan Bharat Mata ki jai. This is my request to all, including the jawans in uniforms and my tribal brothers and sisters living on the far away hills, to raise their one hand and raise the slogan Bharat Mata ki jai keeping Sardar Saheb in memories. I will administer this thrice—Bharat Mata ki jai for the heroic sons and daughters in police force, Bharat Mata ki jai for Corona warriors and Bharat Mata ki jai for crores of people who are involved in realizing the pledge of self-reliance. I will say Sardar Patel and you will say Long Live twice. Many many best wishes to all the countrymen for the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Sardar Patel gave India the present shape by unifying hundreds of princely states of the country and turning the diversity of the country as the power of independent India.
In 2014, we all had started to observe his birth anniversary as the country’s Ekta Diwas. In these six years, everybody in the country from villages to cities, from East to West, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari have made efforts to realize the resolve of ‘One India, Best India’. Today, once again, this country is offering floral tributes to the great son of Mother Bharti, the Iron Man. Once again, this country is reiterating the pledge for the progress of the country under the shadow of the skyscraper statue of Sardar Patel. Friends, I reached Kevadia yesterday itself. After reaching Kevadia, many new landmarks, including Jungle Safari Park, Ekta Mall, Children Nutrition Park and Arogya Van, have been inaugurated since yesterday. In a very short time, this magnificent building associated with Sardar Sarovar Dam has become a pilgrimage centre of new India's progress in the spirit of ‘One India, Best India’. In the coming time, this spot on the coast of Mother Narmada is going to mark its place on the tourism map of not only India, but the whole world.
Today, the sea-plane service between Sardar Sarovar and Sabarmati river front is also being inaugurated. This is the first and one of its kind sea-plane service in the country. The countrymen will now have the option of sea-plane service to visit the Statue of Unity of Sardar Saheb. All these steps are going to help in increasing tourism of the region. This is also generating new employment opportunities for local people and my tribal brothers and sisters. I congratulate the Gujarat government, all the people of Gujarat and all the 130 crore countrymen for these achievements.
Friends, I really felt proud when our daughters from nearby villages were guiding me with prompt answers to questions confidently when I was undertaking the visit of the region yesterday. The ability and competence of the tribal girls of my country was very overwhelming. I extend my heartiest congratulations to all my tribal daughters who have attained this excellence in such a short time by merging it with expertise and professionalism.
Friends, this is also a strange coincidence that today is also the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki. Today, the cultural unity that we experience in India was made more vibrant and energetic centuries ago by Adikavi Maharishi Valmiki. A huge credit goes to Maharishi Valmiki ji if we are joined by the ideals of Lord Rama in every nook and corner of India. Maharishi Valmiki’s call for Nation First and his mantra ‘जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी’ (‘Mother and motherland are far superior to even the heaven’) is the strong foundation of the ‘India First’ pledge.
I extend my heartiest congratulations to all the countrymen on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki. Friends, a great poet of Tamil language and freedom fighter Subramania Bharati had written -- मन्नुम इमयमलै एंगल मलैये,मानिल मीधु इधु पोल पिरिधु इल्लैये, इन्नरु नीर गंगै आरेंगल आरे इ॑गिथन मान्बिर एधिरेधु वेरे, पन्नरुम उपनिट नूलेन्गल नूले पार मिसै एधोरु नूल इधु पोले, पोननोलिर भारत नाडेंगल नाडे पोट रुवोम इग्तै एमक्किल्लै ईडे -- the Hindi meaning of this poem of Subramania Bharati, which describes the far flung areas, is also very motivational.
सुब्रह्मणियम भारती जी ने जिस भाव को प्रकट किया है, दुनिया की सबसे पुरातन भाषा तमिल भाषा में किया है। और क्या अद्भूत मां भारती का वर्णन किया है। सुब्रह्मणियम भारती जी के उस कविता के भाव हैं, चमक रहा उत्तुंग हिमालय, यह नगराज हमारा ही है। जोड़ नहीं धरती पर जिसका, वह नगराज हमारा ही है। नदी हमारी ही है गंगा, प्लावित करती मधुरस धारा, बहती है क्या कहीं और भी, ऐसी पावन कल-कल धारा? सम्मानित जो सफल विश्व में, महिमा जिनकी बहुत रही है अमर ग्रन्थ वे सभी हमारे, उपनिषदों का देश यही है। गाएँगे यश हम सब इसका, यह है स्वर्णिम देश हमारा, आगे कौन जगत में हमसे, गुलामी के कालखंड में भी, सुब्रह्मणियम भारती जी का विश्वास देखिए, वो भाव प्रकट करते हैं, आगे कौन जगत में हमसे, यह है भारत देश हमारा”।
The spirit with which Subramania Bharati has expressed the description of Mother Bharati in the world’s oldest Tamil language is very spectacular. This is the expression of that poem of Subramania Bharati:
The eternal Himalaya is our very own asset.
There's nothing else to equal it as yet!
The sweetly nourishing Ganges flows here dancing.
Is there a river on earth so entrancing?
The expository Upanishads are our prized treasure
The entire world doesn't have any work of that measure.
Oh, the Golden Bharat is verily our own land
Hail our land, we are of a matchless brand!!
We can feel this spectacular expression for India very closely on the banks of the Mother Narmada and under the shadow of the splendid statue of Sardar Saheb. This strength of India teaches us to fight and conquer every adversity, every problem. You see, when we had participated in the Ekta Run on this day last year, nobody had imagined that the entire humankind of the world will have to face this pandemic. This disaster came all of a sudden. It has affected the human life all over the world and our progress. But the way the 130 crore countrymen have proved their collective strength and the will in the face of this epidemic is unprecedented. There is no precedent of this in history.
The message of unity, which the 130 crore countrymen have shown from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Leh to Lakshadweep, from Atak to Cuttack, from Kutch to Kohima, from Tripura to Somnath has given us the strength to fight this pandemic for eight months and move forward on the path of victory. The country lit the lamps and expressed its gratitude for their honour. Many Corona warriors, including several of our promising colleagues in police sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others. Sacrificing life for human service has been the hallmark of the police force of this country after Independence. About 35,000 jawans of my police force have sacrificed their lives since Independence. But many jawans in the police force sacrificed their life for the service of others during this Corona period. History will never be able to forget this golden period and will motivate not only the police personnel but the 130 crore countrymen to bow in respect to this self-less service of police personnel.
Friends, It was the strength of the unity of the country that India has firmly fought the pandemic that has handicapped the big countries of the world. Today, the country is not only emerging from the Corona but is moving ahead together. This is the same unity which was imagined by Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This unity of ours during this period of Corona is a true tribute to Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Friends, even in the midst of adversities and challenges, the country has accomplished many tasks which were considered to be impossible. Kashmir completed one year of inclusion after the withdrawal of Article 370 during this difficult period. It was a year ago on 31st of October that it was made operational. Had Sardar Saheb been given this responsibility along with unifying other princely states when he was alive, I would not have to do this after so many years of independence. But Sardar Saheb’s this work has remained incomplete, but the 130 crore countrymen have been fortunate in accomplishing this task with his inspiration. Kashmir has now moved on a new path of development, leaving behind the obstacles that were coming in its development. The country is establishing new dimensions of unity by establishing peace in the Northeast and the initiatives taken for its development. The country has also seen the spread of the yagya that was started by Sardar Patel to restore India’s cultural glory through the reconstruction of Somnath in Ayodhya. Today, the country has become witness to the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Temple and is witnessing the construction of the majestic Ram Temple as well.
Friends, today, 130 crore countrymen together are building a nation that is both strong and capable, in which there should be equality and opportunities as well. Sardar Saheb also used to say and these are the words of Sardar Saheb that “farmers and workers are the foundation of the world. I think how I can not let the farmers remain poor and weakened; how I can make them empowered so that they can walk with their heads high”.
Friends, farmers, workers and the poor will become empowered when they become self-reliant. This was the dream of Sardar Saheb and he used to say that farmers, workers and the poor will become empowered when they will become self-reliant. And when the farmers and workers become self-reliant, only then the country will become self-reliant. Friends, only a self-sufficient country can be confident of its progress as well as its security. And, therefore, the country is moving towards becoming self-sufficient in the field of defense as well. Not only this, India’s perspective and attitudes towards borders have also changed. Today our brave soldiers have the guts to give a befitting reply to those eyeing the land of India. Today’s India is constructing hundreds of kilometer of long roads, dozens of bridges and many tunnels along the borders. Today's India is fully prepared and committed to protect its sovereignty and dignity.
But friends, amidst these efforts of progress, there are many challenges which India and the whole world are facing today. The situation that has been created in many countries of the world for some time … the way some people have come out openly in support of terrorism is a matter of global concern for humanity, for the world and for peace lovers. In this prevailing atmosphere, there is an urgent need for all the countries of the world, all governments, all religions, to unite against terrorism. A sense of peace, brotherhood and mutual respect is the true identity of humanity. Peace, unity and harmony are its way. Nobody can benefit from terrorism and violence. India has been a victim of terrorism for the last several decades. India has lost thousands of its brave soldiers, thousands of its innocent citizens, many mothers have lost their sons and many sisters have lost their brothers. India fully understands the pain of terrorism. India has always responded to terrorism with unity and strong will. Today, the entire world has to defeat each of those powers which are with terrorism and which encourage terrorism collectively.
Friends, India has always given prominence to the ideas of unity. We are the people who have drawn inspiration from ‘‘सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः’’ (“May all be prosperous and happy”). We are the people who have absorbed ‘‘वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम’’ (“World is a family”). These are our principles of life. From Lord Buddha to Mahatma Gandhi, India has given the message of peace and unity to the entire world. Friends, national poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar ji has written: "India is an idea, bringing heaven to earth. India is an expression which awakens people.” The existence of our country is through our thoughts, our feelings, our consciousnesses and our efforts. The diversity of India is its biggest strength. It is very difficult to find so many dialects, languages, different kinds of apparel, eating habits, customs, beliefs, in any other country. It is also written in our Vedas -- जनं बिभ्रति बहुधा विवाचसं नानाधर्माणं पृथ्वीवी यथौकसम्। सहस्त्रं धारा द्रविणस्य में दुहां ध्रुवेव धेनुरन-पस्फुरन्ति। That is, our motherland holds people with different languages, different ethics, thoughts, behaviours, like a family. Therefore, our diversity is our identity. This is our duty towards our nation to keep alive this unity despite the diversity. We have to remember that we are invincible if we are united. We are extraordinary if we are united. We are unique if we are united. But friends, we have to remember that our unity and strength does not go down well with others. They want to make this diversity our weakness. They want to create division between each other on the basis of this diversity. It is very necessary to recognize these forces and every Indian has to remain alert of such forces.
Friends, I had another picture in my mind while I was watching the parade of paramilitary forces today, looking at your amazing skills. This was the picture of the Pulwama attack. Our brave soldiers who were martyred in that attack belonged to the paramilitary forces. The nation cannot forget that when the entire country was saddened by the loss of its brave sons, then some people were not affected by that misery. They were looking for their political gains in the Pulwama attack. The country can never forget the irresponsible statements. The country cannot forget the extreme of the ugly politics of selfishness and arrogance when the country was badly wounded. And at that time, looking at those heroes, I kept on listening to those allegations by keeping myself away from those controversies. My heart was badly wounded due to the martyred soldiers. But the statements that have come from our neighbouring country recently, the fact that was admitted in their parliament, have unmasked the real faces of these people. The politics done after the Pulwama attack is a very big example how low these people can stoop to further their political interests. I will make a special request to these people and political parties in front of this giant statue of this great man that please don’t do such politics, desist from it in the interest of the country’s security and the morale of our security forces. You will not be able to do any good to the country or to your party by playing into the hands of anti-national forces for your selfishness knowingly or unknowingly.
Friends, we have to always keep this in our mind that the country’s interest should be the highest interest for all of us. When we will think of everyone's interests, only then will we progress. Brothers and sisters, today is the occasion to reiterate the same pledge which was envisioned by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. An India that will be empowered, prosperous and self-reliant. Let us reiterate our dedication to the nation on this auspicious occasion. Let us take the pledge to enhance the pride and glory of the country and take the country to new heights by bowing before Sardar Patel.
With this pledge, I extend my best wishes to all the countrymen on the occasion of Ekta Diwas. I conclude by offering my respectful tributes to Sardar Saheb and greeting the countrymen on Valmiki Jayanti and the birth anniversary of Sardar Saheb.
Many many thanks!