Long live Mother India.
Long live Mother India.
I have visited Dabhoi many times; sometimes I used to come by bus, sometimes on scooter, sometimes I took meeting of the workers, and sometimes I used to address public gatherings. So a lot of my memories are associated with all of you. But I have never seen such a spectacular sight earlier in Dabhoi. This humongous sea of people is a living symbol of the devotion to mother Narmada.
Today it is Vishwakarma Jayanti. For centuries in India, people who work with their hands, who sweat, who toil, who work in construction sector; Be it a technician, an engineer, a mason, lime and cement workers, who are related to the work of architecture, all of them are seen as Vishwakarma in India; today it is the festival of birth anniversary of such Vishwakarma. And therefore, there can be no greater coincident than this that on Vishwakarma Jayanti, the followers of Vishwakarma, those who have created this Sardar Sarovar Dam; to remember the virtue of their hard work, to remember the virtue of their harsh practice, it is a privilege to gift Mother India this massive Sardar Sarovar Dam in India.
Brothers and sisters, Many people are congratulating me here on my birthday today. The people who have congratulated me, people who have conveyed their best wishes, I express my gratitude to them from the bottom of my heart and on my birthday, the emotions that have been manifested today by the people, I will not fall short on my efforts to refine myself and to live each moment of my life to fulfill their dreams. I’ll live for the sake of your dreams, I’ll sacrifice myself to fulfill your dreams, and to make your dreams come true by mobilizing the power of 1.25 billion Indians we will surely build a new India.
One Gandhi, lean and thin Gandhi, while practicing in Sabarmati's ashram, could unite the countrymen for freedom, then with the blessings of mother Narmada, with the blessings of Sabarmati, with the blessings of sacrifice and penance of the heroes of our country, with the blessings of the great men of this country, 1.25 billion people, on the completion of 75 years of independence, they will leave no stone unturned in the making of a new India, I have full faith in this.
Brothers and sisters, This Sardar Sarovar Dam, today, India’s Ironman Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel's soul, wherever it may be, it will be showering a lot of blessings on us. Who is called a visionary? 71 years ago, before the independence, even before I was born, before many of us were born, Sardar Patel dreamed of Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Our country got independence, today I want to say it with great confidence that if two of our great men had survived for a few more years, then this Sardar Sarovar Dam would have been built in the 60-70s, all the states of west India would have had plenty of water and would have been green. The western states of India would have gotten a chance to provide phenomenal financial capabilities to India. And these two great men were - one, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, who had dreamed how Narmada River and its significance can transform the requirements of Gujarat, the life in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. How he envisioned the outline of this project. And the other great personality was, Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Those who have had the opportunity to study Baba Saheb Ambedkar, they can see that the number of schemes which were presented by revered Baba Saheb Ambedkar for bringing water revolution in India, for building waterways and maritime capabilities of India, during his very short term in the council of ministers, the number of schemes or projects that were imagined by Baba Saheb Ambedkar, hardly any government could even think about it.
If these two great men would have been alive for a few more years and if we had the opportunity to benefit from their services for a few more years, then my dear countrymen, the states which get ruined due to floods today, or where the farmers are dying due to drought, our country would have come out of these problems long ago and it would have scaled new heights of development. But it was our misfortune that we lost these two great personalities long ago. Today this Sardar Sarovar Dam is being dedicated to India, it is being dedicated to 1.25 billion citizens of India, it is being dedicated to the land of Sardar Patel and Gandhi Ji, on the land which brought a new change in the life of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, because of Gaikwads; it is being dedicated from that land. This will be a symbol of a new force of the country, with this belief today, remembering all these great personalities, I dedicate this grand and divine project to the people of the country and to the Mother India.
Brother and sisters,
It is very natural that projects are being planned and completed, but perhaps the hardships that mother Narmada had to face or this project had to endure in India, there was no such force in the world, which did not create obstacles in it’s way. World Bank decided that they will not lend money for Sardar Sarovar Dam. For India, such a huge project of thousands of crores of rupees was not possible without financial help. And the same World Bank also said that the project is against environment as the miscreants of bad publicity had spread so much lies. Brothers, sisters, we had also decided, World Bank or No World Bank, we will definitely complete this Sardar Sarovar Dam from our sweat, and today we have accomplished it.
After the 2001 earthquake in Kutch, it was rebuilt which was both eco-friendly and environment friendly and the World Bank which had refused to help Sardar Sarovar Dam in the name of environment, the same World Bank was forced to give its largest environmental award i.e. Green Award to the same Gujarat for the development work done after the earthquake.
Brothers and sisters,
If the people of India resolve then this country has the power to challenge every challenge of the world, and the result of this Sardar Sarovar Dam Project. Sometimes, in our country a lot of discussion takes place on the power of states, their competitiveness, comparative studies are being conducted on this subject and if we look at western states and their history after independence, if anything has been an obstacle in their development, it has been water. Paucity of water, be it animals or humans, made them leave their homes, their fields and go up to 200 to 400 kms. in search for water. For few months they would stay wherever they could find water and when it rained they would come back. Has anyone ever imagined this painful life? How is the life without water?
When I was working as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, visiting border was in my nature. Be it the soldiers of army or BSF; I used to celebrate Diwali among them. Once when I went to the border of Gujarat and sat with the soldiers of BSF, these soldiers used to bring drinking water on hundreds of camels, only then these soldiers who protect our country in the desert will get drinking water. I felt that pain very well. And when Sardar Sarovar Dam's work started, a desire came to my mind that I would take water of Narmada River to my soldiers of BSF who are standing at the border of India and Pakistan without water, I’ll take the water of Narmada River to them. Pipeline was installed 700 kilometers away. For many decades, when camels carried water to the border then only the protector of my country used to get water. The day I reached border with the water, water from Narmada River, I had seen such happiness on the faces of the BSF soldiers, it was an engineering miracle that we took water from Narmada 700 km away and for that sometimes we even had to take it to a height of 60-storeyand then bring down to bring the water at the border.
Brothers and sisters, this whole Sardar Sarovar Dam is a miracle of engineering, canal network is a miracle of engineering. And I will urge all the architects, engineers, students of structural design, civil engineers, electrical engineers, to take it as a project in their studies. They will get the opportunity to learn how construction work gets a new direction in the future.
Brothers, sisters, it is a project that will change the fortune of millions of farmers of not only of Gujarat but also of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. And Gujarat took the lead, brother and sisters we tried, we were criticized all over the world, false accusations were made against us, many conspiracies were hatched to stall this project on mother Narmada, but we always maintained that we will not let it become a matter of political disputes. It is going to decide the fate of the future generations of 21st century, so we will not let it to be defined by the language of politics.
Brothers and sisters,
I have been following that principle even today. We encountered numerous troubles, who caused those troubles, I have complete list of that, but I won’t do that politics, I won’t go down on that path.
I have seen the saints and sages of Gujarat, whose only motto was to spread the message of spirituality, but when the issue of Sardar Sarovar Narmada project came, I have seen that the saints of Gujarat led from the front, they went on hunger strikes. Not only this, when the World Bank refused to provide financial support, temples of Gujarat provided money for the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam then only this dam could be completed. And that's why we never believed that it is a work of any one party, any one government. This is a work of crores and crores of people, this is a work of the determination of people who are seeking water, and this water belongs to the dry land of Gujarat, dry land of the country.
Brothers and sisters,
There are moments in life that fill a person with great passion. Doing something for Mother Narmada in my life holds an emotional value for me. Because when I see that my motherland, this dry and parched motherland, when my motherland is yearning for the drops of water, and when her son gives her the water of Narmada, what could be a bigger emotional moment for that son? In my state, millions and millions of mothers and their daughters had to go with their mothers for up to 3 kms to get drinking water. Leaving their studies, girls of 6 years, 8 years, 10 years would help their mother in fetching water. Today for a son, when this water from the Narmada River sets them free from their troubles, then when a son like me gets the blessings of these millions and millions of mothers, what could be a bigger emotional moment inmy life?
Those innocent animals who could not speak, who serve the mankind with their bodies, those obscure animals had to wander up to 200 km in search of drinking water, food and fodder. Today, when the water of Narmada will reach there, they’ll get green fodder to eat, those innocent animals will get water for drinking. When millions and millions of these mute animals give their blessings, then as a son of mother India it is very natural for me to have one of the most emotional moment of my life.
Brothers and sisters,
I am not one of those who celebrate their own birthdays. But if it’s Vishwakarma Jayanti on the birthday, and the fortune of a generation for the whole century is being created, then such a moment has never come in my life for so many years, which Gujarat has given me now.
Brothers and sisters,
This is a very big example of development. Learned people will study how much concrete was used? It is said that if an eight meter wide cement road is constructed from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kandla to Kohima, i.e. from the Himalayas to the sea and from the Kandla to Kohima, if an eight meter wide concrete road is constructed then the amount of concrete that will be required in its construction, my dear friends that much concrete is used in this project. What is it that we have not don for this!
Therefore, brothers and sisters, the water of Narmada is not just water, it is a philosopher’s stone and when a philosopher’s stone touches any iron then that iron turns into gold. Similarly, the water of this Narmada River reaches whichever corner of the land, that land becomes golden and hence brothers and sisters I can see that this task of making India’s future golden will be accomplished by the water of the Narmada River, I am seeing that.
Brothers and sisters, i
It will be beneficial for farmers, drinking water will be available, Gujarat will have an economic revolution. But you see, in our country - West India craves for water and Eastern India needs electricity and gas for development. And you have seen that since we formed the government in Delhi, you people have given us a chance to serve at the Center that there should be a balanced development of India, West should get water, East should get electricity and gas, so that my both sides East and West become stronger so that both arms of my mother India become capable, we are working with that plan.
Brothers and sisters,
This Sardar Sarovar Dam does not belong to any one state. I very well remember that when water was given to Rajasthan from Sarovar Dam, Vasundhara ji was the chief minister at that time, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Jaswant Singh Ji - Bhairon Singh Ji was the Vice-President of India; they came to meet me and told me, Bhairon Singh Ji and Jaswant Singh Ji had said: Modi Ji you know, what does it mean to give water to Rajasthan? He was very emotional and he said, Modi Ji look at the whole history. Centuries ago daggers would be drawn between states for a little water, there were wars, the kingdoms of many states were defeated, the history of victories was written; and you, without any struggle, tension, quarrel or movement, you straight away gave water of Narmada from Sardar Sarovar to Rajasthan’s dry land! You provided water to Barmer, near Pakistan border?
Brothers and sisters, I have seen those emotions in the eyes of those two leaders. And I am glad that whenever such people got a chance to rule the country for whom the country is bigger than the party, then during that time Narmada project progressed and for whom party is bigger than nation, during those times there were obstacle in the Narmada project.
Today, the work of dam has been completed, I respectfully want to thank the people of Madhya Pradesh and Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Today, this project has been completed, for this, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis and the people of Maharashtra. Today, this project has been completed and I want to bow before my tribal brothers and sisters, who came forward to relinquish things if they had to, for the greater good of all and I am sure that the future governments will also look at them with great respect. It is my belief that even the future governments will be concerned about their well-being. I bow to my tribal brothers and sisters whose sacrifice made it possible that my thirsty mother land is going to be flourished by the water of Narmada River, and what else could be a greater privilege than this in life?
Brothers and sisters,
It was Sardar Saheb who did the work of uniting our country India into one. If Sardar Saheb had not been there, how scattered the country would have been, we can understand that very well. Other than Kashmir Sardar Saheb was responsible for uniting the entire India, and he accomplished that. And today we are moving ahead with a dream of better India. But after independence the way our country should have acknowledged this great personality, the way our younger generations should have been inspired by him, for some reason that never happened.
I consider it to be my sacred duty that for the future generations of India, name of Sardar Saheb should remain immortal, his work and inspiration should remain immortal and sometimes symbolic things also become a source of inspiration and to fulfill those dreams in this world, now you know me very well that menial tasks do not suit me. Neither do I think small nor do I work small, when a country of 1.25 billion people is banking on for realisation of its dreams then I do not have any right to dream small. And so, when it was decided to make a statue of Sardar Saheb, then I just made up my mind that it would be the highest statue in the world, the highest in the world. In all the structure would be about 190 meters and the statue will be of 182 meters. From the Statue of Liberty which is in America, this Statue of Unity, statue of our Sardar Saheb will be two times higher than the Statue of Liberty of America, it will be twice the size of that my brother.
You can imagine, people from all over the world visit statue of liberty. If you go to the South Gujarat, then there is Saputara, if you go to Saurashtra then there are lions of Gir, if you go to Kutch then there is a magnificent desert, if you go to the north, there is Goddess Ambe, and if you go a little ahead, then there is Abu. But this is one of our areas where there are possibilities of tourism and so brothers and sisters this statue of Sardar Patel, you will see, and mark my words, millions of people will come here every day, lakhs and lakhs of people will come, and it will become a center of tourism and that will become the reason for the livelihood of thousands of villages here; I have seen this dream.
And in this place only, people who died for the independence of our country, some people think that only a handful of people liberated the country? Only a handful of people sacrificed, and the songs were also sung only for few people. The history of the country's freedom has been forgotten. Some people have been shying away from the remembrance of the people who died for the country. From 1857 to 1947 my tribals have fought with every ruler and made sacrifices. The British used to hang up to one hundreds of tribals together as they were not ready to bend. During the battle of independence, in every state of India, wherever there are tribals, they have never been behind in making sacrifices in the battle of freedom. They have played an important role in starting the freedom struggle. Future generations of my country should know that my tribal brothers lived in the jungles, stayed in the mountains, they had no clothes to wear, but they were never behind in making sacrifices for the freedom of mother India. They should be respected, they should be honored, and coming generations should get inspiration from them. And so in India in whichever state these tribals have made sacrifices during the war of independence from 1857-1947, our government wants to make a museum in those states for them.
Future generations of India should be proud of our tribals. They should have a feeling of reverence for the ancestors of our tribal people who died for mother India and therefore all the states of India wherever there are stories of the valor of tribal people, we will make a virtual museum of modern digital technology there. Today I got the opportunity to start this by laying the foundation stone in the state of Gujarat. Slowly it will spread to other states of India. I consider this as a blessing of my life and I respectfully salute my brave tribals, from Birsa Munda to the Nayka society of Jambhughoda, that I got the opportunity to lay its foundation stone and in the near future this will also be beneficial.
This whole Sardar Sarovar Dam project is going to become a big tourism center for water sports, adventure water sports and recreation sports. Till yesterday this place which was a jungle, it is going to become the area of most of the economic activities in Gujarat. People were required to go to cities in search of livelihood now that livelihood will come to their doorsteps, this is what is going to happen. Building roads, building railways, building rapid transport vehicles from Baroda, from Bharuch so that tourist can visit the place and it can become an important tourist center of India. The Taj Mahal of Agra was built centuries ago, even today, we keep on showcasing that Taj Mahal to the world. Brothers, every corner of India has a lot to offer, a lot to show to the whole world. This Sardar Sarovar Dam, this statue of Sardar Patel, a museum singing the legends of tribal Indians, it is going to be a big center of attraction for national and international tourists.
Such an important program is being launched today, dam is being inaugurated. Today, I did a detailed examination of the work being done on the statue of Sardar Saheb. The speed at which the work is going on, and the kind of technology that is being used, it is worthwhile to learn and understand that.
Today I feel truly proud and satisfied to give these priceless gifts to my countrymen. I want to congratulate the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for one more thing. Since everybody knows that Narmada River does not flow from mountains, it comes from the forests and therefore, in the recent past the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh started a campaign to keep the forests of Narmada River green. There was a walkabout for around 8-9 months, crores of trees were planted through a campaign and with these crores of trees, they have taken the lead so that the level of water in Narmada River does not go down in the coming century. My heartiest congratulations to the people of Madhya Pradesh, to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, for doing this sacred task. The task of saving a river might not have happened earlier in this country. Today I have seen, many saints of our country, many organizations of our country are campaigning to save rivers, and they are doing it with sacrifice and penance. The efforts that are taking place in the country to protect the environment also deserve heartiest congratulations, and therefore I congratulate everyone for this very important work.
Brothers and sisters, last night when I started from Delhi I got a sad news. A brave soldier, a brave commander of our military and whenever I met the marshal of our country Shri Arjun Singh Ji, he was such a heroic warrior, war of 1965 was associated with him, he was 98 years old. Only few days back we met in a program and he always used to come in full uniform. He had to come on wheel chair but whenever he would see me he would stand up and salute. I used to request him that marshal you should not stand up but he was that kind of soldier, discipline always ran in his veins and he would always stand up.
Yesterday he had a heart attack, I came to know so I went to the hospital to meet him. His feelings were same, spirit was same. His body was not supporting him but one could see the discipline to get up which was there in his veins. We have lost such a brave and heroic soldier. I respectfully bow down to him and I pay my tributes to the departed soul. This country will always remember his valor, his discipline, his sacrifice and penance, his devotion to mother India. Taking inspiration from him, the future generations of India will resolve to do something for mother India and they will be successful to make a new India in 2022.
With this same spirit, I once again thank the Government of Gujarat, and the people of Gujarat. I also congratulate these four governments, who have contributed to this project. Mother Narmada is also being useful in providing electricity to homes. She will nourish and flourish the land and she will also lighten up our homes too. While saluting mother Narmada, I urge you all to close your both fists, I will say - Narmade, you join me by saying: ‘Sarvade’. Today, if Mother Narmada is there everything is there.
Please join me in saying with your entire strength.
Narmade – Sarvade
Narmade – Sarvade
Narmade – Sarvade
Many many thanks.