All my colleagues in the Union Cabinet, Governors of different states, chief ministers, admirers of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia from across the country and the world, family members and my dear brothers and sisters.
Before coming to this event today, I was going through the biography of Vijaya Raje ji. I looked at some pages. There is a chapter on Ekta Yatra where she has introduced me as Gujarat’s young leader Narendra Modi.
After so many years, same Narendra is in front of you with so many of her memories as the Pradhan Sevak of the country. You must be aware that when Kanyakumari to Kashmir Yatra was undertaken under the leadership of Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi ji, I was looking after the arrangements.
Rajmata ji had come to Kanyakumari for that event. And when we were leaving for Srinagar, she came to Jammu to see us off. And she constantly encouraged us. Our dream then was to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk; our motive was to get rid of Article 370. Rajmata ji had seen off that yatra. The dream has been realized. While I was going through the book, she has written somewhere that – “This body will remain here one day; the soul will go from where it has come … from a vacuum to another vacuum. Memories will remain. I will leave these memories for those whom I have been associated with.”
Today wherever Rajmata ji is, she is watching us and blessing us. All of us who have been involved with her and those she was involved with, some of them have arrived for this special programme and are present here, and this occasion is being celebrated virtually across different parts of the country.
Many of us have had the privilege of associating very closely with her and experience her benevolence and affection. Today, her family and relatives are present in this function, but all of us, every national was her family. Rajmata ji would say this also: “I am not only mother of a son, but I am mother of thousands of sons, and I am steeped in their love.” We all are her sons and daughters, her family.
Therefore, it is my great privilege to have the opportunity to release a special commemorative coin of Rs. 100 in memory of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia ji. Today, I am feeling myself very restrained because had corona pandemic not been there, this would have been a grand event. But I do believe that as much as I have been in touch with Rajmata ji, the event may not be grand, but it certainly is divine. There is divinity in it.
Friends, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia was also among the few personalities who gave direction to India in the last century. Rajmataji was not only affectionate; she was a decisive leader and also a skilled administrator. She was witness to every important phase of Indian politics from the freedom movement to so many decades after independence. There has been a wide evolution of Rajmata's experiences from the burning of foreign garments before the Independence to the Emergency and the Ram Temple movement.
All of us who have been closely associated with her know her very well and know everything associated with her. But it is also very important that the present generation of the country also knows, takes inspiration and learns from the journey and message of Rajmata’s life. Therefore, it is necessary to repeatedly mention about her and her experiences. A few days ago, I had discussed her affection in great detail in the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme.
Before marriage, Rajmata ji was not from any royal family, she came from a common family. But after marriage, she made everyone her own and also taught the lesson that it is not necessary to be born in a particular family for public service and state responsibilities.
Any ordinary person, who has merit, talent, a sense of service, can also make power a medium of service in this democracy. Imagine, she had power, wealth; but above all Rajmata had the legacy of culture, service and affection.
We can see her thoughts and ideals at every step of her life. As the head of such a large royal family, she had thousands of employees, grand palaces and all the facilities, but she spent her life among the common and poor people of villages and devoted her life for them.
Rajmata proved that public service is the most important for a public representative, and not the state power. She was the queen and belonged to a royal heritage, but she struggled for the protection of democracy. She spent the important part of her life in jail.
Many of us have been witness to the hardships that she endured during the Emergency. She had written letters to her daughters from Tihar Jail. Perhaps, Usha Raje ji, Vasundhara Raje or Yashodhara Raje ji are aware of the contents of those letters.
There was a great lesson in what Rajmata wrote. She had written -- "In order to inspire our future generations to live with defiance, we must face today's adversity with patience."
Rajmata had dedicated her present for the future of the nation. She had sacrificed all her happiness for the future generations of the country. Rajmata neither lived for the position and prestige, nor did she choose the path of politics.
There were many occasions when the positions came to her on their own, but she turned them down with humility. Once Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji and Lal Krishna Advani ji urged her to become the president of the Jana Sangh but she accepted to serve the Jana Sangh as an activist rather.
It was not difficult for Rajmata ji to reach any position of authority, if she wished. But she chose to serve the poor of the villages by living among them.
Friends, we can learn so many things from every aspect of Rajmata’s life. The people who have been associated with her tell so many stories about her and incidents in her life.
There is another story of Ekta Yatra. There were two new activists who were also with her when she was in Jammu. Sometimes, Rajmata would forget the name of the other activist. She would quite often ask the first activist whether his name was Golu and what was the name of his other colleague? She loved to recognize her smallest of the colleagues by their name. Many people would tell her why she was so much concerned about their names. She should just call anybody. But Rajmata would tell them that it would not be good on her part not to recognize her companions who were helping her.
I think that if you are in public life, no matter which political party you belong to, all of us should have this feeling towards the ordinary workers. She has shown us the basic mantra of politics that there should be respect and not pride by practicing it.
Friends, Rajmata was a spiritual personality. She was drawn to spiritualism. Spiritual practice, worship, devotion were seeped in her inner mind. But when she would worship God, there used to be a portrait of Bharat Mata in her temple of worship. The worship of Bharat Mata was a matter of similar faith for her.
Once, my friends told me about an incident associated with her. And when I recall that I think that I should also tell you about that. Once she had gone to Mathura for a party function. Naturally, Rajmata also paid her respects to Bankebihari ji. It is very important to understand the crux of what she wished of Bankebihari ji at the temple.
It is going to be very useful for us to understand the life of Rajmata what she said while praying to Lord Krishna. She is standing in front of Lord Krishna in great devotion. Her spiritual consciousness has been awakened and what does she pray before Lord Krishna? She says, "O’ Krishna, play a flute so that all the men and women of India become awaken again".
You think, she did not ask anything for herself. Whatever she wished for was for the country, for the common man and that too she asked for awakening the consciousness. Whatever she did, she did it for the country. She knew and understood what an awakened nation and its nationals could do.
Now that today we are celebrating the birth centenary of Rajmata ji, we are satisfied that her wish for the awakening of the citizens of India, her prayer to Bankebihari, is being realized.
The many changes that have taken place in the country over the years, many campaigns and schemes that have become successful are due to the public awareness and mass movements. The country is moving ahead on the path of development with the blessings of Rajmata. Villages, poor, exploited, deprived and women are the first priority of the country today.
She would specially say this regarding the woman power -- ‘’the hand that can rock the cradle can also rule the world.” Today the woman power of India is leading in every field and taking the country forward. Today the daughters of India are flying fighter jets and are offering their combat services in the Navy. The country has further enhanced the approach of Rajmata and her efforts to empower women by enacting a law against the triple talaq.
We can see the outcome of her struggle for the unity and sovereignty of the country. The country has fulfilled her big dream by revoking Article 370. And it is also a strange coincidence that her dream of Ramjanmabhoomi temple, for which she fought, has been fulfilled in the year of her birth centenary.
And now that there is mention of Ramjanmabhoomi, I must say that all of us wanted that Rajmata becomes part of the event when Advaniji began his march from Somnath to Ayodhya. Rajmata ji also wanted that she should also be there at such an important event. But the problem was that the festival of Navratri was on and Rajmata used to perform rituals during Navratri. And she would not leave the place till all the rituals were completed.
So, when I was talking to Rajmata Sahab, she told me that she would not be able to come but she has to come for sure. I told her to find a way out. She said that she would prefer to leave Gwalior and spend the Navratri period in Somnath. “There I will do the Navratri and when this Rath (chariot) Yatra is being launched during that period, I will attend the event there.”
The fasting by Rajmata ji used to be very arduous. I had just joined the politics then. I used to oversee the arrangements as an activist. I took care of the arrangements of Rajmata Sahab during her Somnath stay. That was the moment when I got the opportunity to come closer to Rajmata Sahab. Then I saw that her worship, the entire rituals of Navratri were devoted to the Ayodhya Rath Yatra and the Ram Temple. I have seen all these things from my eyes.
Friends, we have to move with the same pace to realize the dreams of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia ji. A strong, secure and prosperous India was her dream. We will realize her dreams by making Atmanirbhar Bharat a success. The inspiration and blessings of Rajmata are with us.
With these wishes, I thank you all. The way Rajmata Sahab has lived her life… Imagine, today when somebody becomes the head of a tehsil, look at his temperament. Rajmata, who was part of such a great lineage, had power and property, but still was so humble; her discretion and upbringing were very inspiring.
Let’s discuss these issues with our new generation. This is not the issue of any political party, but of our future generations. It is the privilege of the Indian government that we are presenting before the country this coin in the honour of Rajmata ji.
I once again salute Rajmata ji with utmost respect and conclude.
Many many thanks.