PM Modi’s Jal Mandir: Restoring and Resurrecting India's Water Bodies

Published By : Admin | September 20, 2023 | 11:54 IST

PM Modi has always emphasized the importance of water and environment conservation. Initiatives like the Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, Jal Shakti Abhiyan and Mission LiFE are testimony to the same.

H S Singh, Retired Forest Officer, Government of Gujarat narrated an incident when CM Modi devised the concept of ‘Jal Mandir’ for restoring and resurrecting water bodies in the state of Gujarat. As Gujarat has more than 18,000 villages with one to five water ponds in every village, CM Modi recommended that the areas surrounding the ponds must be beautified enabling a systematic plantation of trees. As the water bodies hold a deep cultural significance for the villages, CM Modi envisioned the ‘Jal Mandir’ as an effective mechanism to maintain and revive water bodies in the state. This in turn, would enable cultural restoration, support for bird and environment conservation, recreational tourism as well enabling water conservation at the grassroots level.

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୭୭ତମ ସ୍ବାଧୀନତା ଦିବସ ଅବସରରେ ଲାଲକିଲ୍ଲା ପ୍ରାଚୀରରୁ ପ୍ରଧାନମନ୍ତ୍ରୀ ନରେନ୍ଦ୍ର ମୋଦୀଙ୍କ ଅଭିଭାଷଣର ମୂଳ ପାଠ

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୭୭ତମ ସ୍ବାଧୀନତା ଦିବସ ଅବସରରେ ଲାଲକିଲ୍ଲା ପ୍ରାଚୀରରୁ ପ୍ରଧାନମନ୍ତ୍ରୀ ନରେନ୍ଦ୍ର ମୋଦୀଙ୍କ ଅଭିଭାଷଣର ମୂଳ ପାଠ
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Around 8 million jobs created under the PMEGP, says MSME ministry
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Narendra Modi: The Underground Warrior Against the Emergency
June 25, 2024

During the infamous Emergency period in India (1975-1977), when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a dictatorial regime, Shri Narendra Modi emerged as a critical figure in the resistance movement. Shri Modi's activism during this period, marked by his innovative and fearless approach, significantly contributed to the underground communications network and sustained the fight against the oppressive regime.

The Beginnings of Resistance

Shri Narendra Modi's journey into the heart of the resistance began before the official declaration of the Emergency on June 25, 1975. The student-led agitations against the corruption of the Congress Party were already sweeping the nation, and Gujarat was a significant epicentre of this movement. During the Navnirman Andolan in 1974, Shri Modi, then a Yuva Pracharak of the RSS, was deeply influenced by the power of student voices in driving change. He actively participated in these agitations, leveraging his Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad role to deliver fiery speeches that galvanized the youth.

Role in the Underground Movement

Once the Emergency was imposed, censorship and repression became the norm. Shri Modi and other volunteers organized secret meetings and took on the dangerous task of disseminating underground literature. Collaborating closely with senior RSS leaders like Nath Zagda and Vasant Gajendragadkar, he developed ingenious methods to bypass tight security measures.
One of Shri Modi's remarkable strategies involved using the railway network to spread information. He would load materials related to the Constitution, laws, and the Congress government's excesses onto trains departing from Gujarat, ensuring the messages reached remote areas with minimal risk of detection. This innovative approach was pivotal in maintaining the flow of information across the country.

Leadership and International Outreach

With the RSS forced to go underground, the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti was established, and Shri Modi, at the young age of 25, quickly rose to the position of General Secretary. His leadership was instrumental in sustaining the revolt against the Congress government, especially during the challenging periods when key movement leaders were imprisoned under the MISA Act.

Shri Narendra Modi also extended his efforts internationally, reaching out to individuals abroad and urging them to publish underground publications to amplify global resistance. He coordinated the collection of articles from the Gujarat Newsletter and Sadhana Patrika, which were then disseminated through platforms like the BBC. Shri Modi ensured that international publications critical of the Emergency, such as 'Satyavani,' were circulated back to India, including inside jails.

Covert Operations and Disguises

Shri Modi frequently adopted various disguises to evade detection. His ability to blend in was so effective that even his acquaintances often failed to recognize him. He dressed as a Swamiji in saffron attire and even as a Sikh with a turban. On one occasion, he successfully deceived jail authorities to deliver an important document, highlighting his resourcefulness and bravery.

Post-Emergency Recognition

After the Emergency was lifted in 1977, Shri Modi's activism and leadership during this tumultuous period began to gain recognition. He was invited to Mumbai to discuss the youth's resistance efforts, and his contributions were acknowledged with a modest monetary reward. His relentless efforts during the Emergency led to his appointment as the 'Sambhag Pracharak' of South and Central Gujarat, and he was tasked with preparing official RSS articles documenting the period.

Authoring 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat'

In 1978, Shri Modi authored his first book, 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat,' a memoir of his experiences during the Emergency. Remarkably, he completed the book in just 23 days, subsisting solely on lemon water and no solid food. The book, launched by then Chief Minister of Gujarat Babubhai Jasbhai Patel, received widespread acclaim for its objective coverage of the Emergency and was reviewed on national public radio and in prominent newspapers.

The memoir not only chronicled the events of the Emergency but also served as a testament to the collective resistance. It was praised for its wealth of information and objective approach, earning personal accolades from numerous leaders.

Legacy, Continued Vigilance and Solemn Vow

Fifty years later, as Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi continues to remind the nation of the dark days of the Emergency. He emphasizes the importance of preserving democracy and vows never to let the recurrence of such authoritarianism again. His legacy as a fearless warrior against the dictatorial regime of Indira Gandhi during the Emergency remains a significant chapter in India's history, inspiring current and future generations to uphold the values of democracy and freedom.