Dear Friends,

Today we pay our tributes to two very distinguished sons of Bharat Mata. On this day, back in 1869 Mahatma Gandhi was born in Porbandar. With the sheer power of his thoughts and his ideals of Satya (truth) and Ahimsa (non-violence), Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi challenged the entire might of the British Empire and prevailed. It is a matter of great pride Gujarat is both a Janmabhoomi and Karmabhoomi for Mahatma Gandhi! And, it makes me even more proud that in the last decade, Gujarat has shown the world how it is possible to scale newer heights of progress in the 21st century following the path and ideals laid by Bapu.

We pay our deepest tributes to Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was born on this day. Shastri ji followed Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and became an inspiration of morals and values in public life. His clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ still reverberates in the hearts and minds of every proud Indian.

Friends, I have always believed that the best way to understand Gandhi is not by merely reading heaps of books on this Great Soul but to live him and follow his beliefs. That is why on this day I always motivate people to embrace Khadi as a part of their lives.

Khadi is not merely a piece of cloth but an entire stream of thought.  The Khadi along with the Charkha are the very symbols that unified the entire freedom struggle! It was this Khadi that gave a fitting answer to the foreign Sultanate that ruled the roost in our country before 1947, becoming the symbol of our fight against the might of foreign imperialism. It became a wonderful tool in the awakening Jan Shakti.

I am sure that Khadi fashion can be a great influence as well a rage around the world. ‘Khadi for Nation, Khadi for Fashion’ can be a great way forward. Further, the Gujarat Government has come up with its New Textile Policy that will bring in renewed joy and prosperity in the lives of our weavers. It is, thus an appropriate medium to bring an ocean of change in the life of the Daridra Narayan.

Friends, we attained Swaraj in 1947 but Gandhi ji’s dream of Surajya is yet to be achieved. It is onto us to fulfill these dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and strive towards attaining Surajya and a society that works in the service of the Daridra Narayan. This is what Gandhi ji taught us and this is how we can pay a perfect tribute to him.

I will conclude by sharing some powerful words spoken by noted scientist Albert Einstein on Mahatma Gandhi, "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood!”

Once again my greetings on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti! On this day, let us affirm to make Khadi an integral part of our lives. We may not be able to fill our entire wardrobe with Khadi but do go and buy atleast something that is Khadi made. That way you are not only living the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi but also lighting the proverbial lamp of joy and prosperity in the lives of Daridra Nayaran, who always had a special place in Gandhi ji’s heart.



Narendra Modi


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