Releases commemorative stamp and coin
“Commitment of the youth towards the values of Bhagwan Mahavir is a sign of the nation moving forward in the right direction”
“We are celebrating the Bhagwan Mahavir’s Nirvan Diwas even after 2500 years and I’m sure that the nation will continue to celebrate the values of Bhagwan Mahavir for thousands of years to come”
“Teaching of our Tirthankaras have gained a new relevance in the time of many wars in the world”
“India is making a place for itself as ‘Vishwa Bandhu’ in a divided world”
“The new generation believes that India’s identity is its pride. India is proof that it becomes impossible to stop a nation when the feeling of self-respect awakens”
“For India, modernity is its body, spirituality is its soul”

Jai Jinendra, Jai Jinendra, Jai Jinendra! Revered Shri Pragyasagarji Muniraj, revered Upadhyay Shri Ravindra Muni ji Maharaj Sahib, revered Sadhvi Shri Sulakshanashriji Maharaj Sahib, revered Sadhvi Shri Animashriji Maharaj Sahib, my colleagues in the government, Arjun Ram Meghwal ji and Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi ji, all the respected saints, brothers and sisters!

This magnificent building of Bharat Mandapam is witnessing the beginning of the 2550th Nirvana Mahotsav of Lord Mahavir today. We have just seen the depiction prepared by student friends on the life of Lord Mahavir! The young companions also presented the 'Vartaman Mein Vardhman' cultural program. This attraction and dedication of the young generation towards our timeless values, towards Lord Mahavir, instils the belief that the country is heading in the right direction. On this historic occasion, I also have the privilege to release special postage stamps and coins. This event has been made possible especially with the guidance and blessings of our Jain saints and sadhvis. And therefore, I bow to all of you. I extend my greetings to all the citizens of the country on this holy occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. You all know participating in such virtuous programs amidst the hustle and bustle of elections greatly soothes the mind. Respected saints, it is natural for me today to remember the great spiritual leader Acharya Shri 108 Vidyasagarji Maharaj on this occasion. Just last year, I had the opportunity to meet him at the Chandragiri Temple in Chhattisgarh. Though his physical body may not be among us, his blessings are certainly with us.

Friends,

This 2550th Nirvana Mahotsav of Lord Mahavir is a rare occasion of thousands of years. Such occasions, naturally, bring together many special coincidences. This is the time when Bharat is in the early phase of the ‘Amrit Kaal’. The country is working towards making the centenary year of independence into a golden centenary. This year, our Constitution is also nearing 75 years. At the same time, a grand democratic festival is underway in the country. The nation believes that from here, the new journey of the future will begin. Amidst all these coincidences, today we are all gathered here together. And you must have understood what it means to be present together? My connection with you all is very old. Everybody has his own world.

Brothers and sisters,

The concept of ‘Amrit Kaal’ for the nation is not just a grand resolution; it is Bharat’s spiritual inspiration that teaches us to live immortality and eternity. Even 2500 years later, we are celebrating the Nirvana Day of Lord Mahavir today. And we know that even thousands of years later, this country will continue to celebrate such festivals connected with Lord Mahavir. The ability to think in centuries and millennia... this visionary and far-reaching thinking... that's why Bharat is not only the world's oldest living civilization, but also a secure haven for humanity. This is Bharat that thinks not just for 'self' but for 'all'. This is Bharat that doesn't feel just 'own' but feels 'universal'. This is Bharat that thinks not of 'ego' but 'we'. This is Bharat that believes not in 'limits' but in 'boundlessness'. This is Bharat that talks of policy, talks of 'neti' (not this) and talks of 'neti' (not that). This is Bharat that talks about the universe in the atom, talks about the Divine in the universe, talks about Shiva in the soul.

Friends,

In every era, new ideas emerge according to the needs. However, when there is stagnation in ideas, thoughts turn into arguments, and arguments turn into disputes. But when nectar emerges from disputes and we walk with the support of nectar, then we move forward towards rejuvenation. However, if poison emerges from disputes, then we sow the seeds of destruction at every moment. For the 75 years since independence, we have debated, argued, and held dialogues, and what has emerged from this churn after 75 years, now it is our responsibility to take that nectar, liberate ourselves from poison, and live this era of ‘Amrit Kaal’. Amidst global conflicts, countries are becoming war-weary. In such times, the teachings of our Tirthankaras have become even more important. They have provided philosophies like Anekantavada and Syadvada to save humanity from arguments and disputes. Anekantavada means understanding multiple aspects of a subject, being open to seeing and accepting others' perspectives. Such a liberating interpretation of faith is the uniqueness of Bharat, and this is the message of humanity from Bharat.

Friends,

Today, amidst conflicts, the world is looking to Bharat for peace. The credit for this new role of the new Bharat is attributed to our growing capabilities and foreign policy. But I want to tell you that our cultural image has a significant contribution to this. Today, Bharat has got this role because we uphold vows like truth and non-violence on global platforms with full confidence. We tell the world that the solution to global crises and conflicts lies in Bharat’s ancient culture and tradition. Therefore, Bharat is carving out its place as a 'Vishwa Bandhu’ (friend of world) for the divided world. For solutions to crises like 'climate change,' today Bharat has laid the foundation for global movements like 'Mission LiFE.' Today, Bharat has presented the vision of One Earth, One Family, One Future to the world. For clean energy and sustainable development, we have provided a roadmap for One-World, One-Sun, One-Grid. Today, we are leading futuristic global initiatives like the International Solar Alliance. Our efforts have not only instilled hope in the world but have also changed the world's perspective on Bharat’s ancient culture.

Friends,

The essence of Jainism is the path of victory, meaning the path of conquering oneself. We have never resorted to aggression to conquer other countries. We have achieved victory by reforming ourselves and overcoming our shortcomings. Therefore, some sage, some wise person has appeared in every era to guide us during difficult times. Great civilizations were destroyed, but Bharat found its way.

Brothers and sisters,

You must remember what kind of atmosphere prevailed in our country just 10 years ago. There was all-round despair and hopelessness! It was believed that nothing could happen to this country! This despair was equally troubling for Indian culture. Therefore, after 2014, along with physical development, we also took a resolution of pride in our heritage. Today, we are celebrating the 2550th Nirvana Mahotsav of Lord Mahavir. In these 10 years, we have celebrated many such significant occasions. Whenever our Jain Acharyas have invited me, I have made an effort to participate in those programs as well. Before entering the new building of Parliament, I remember these values by saying 'Micchami Dukkadam.' Similarly, we have started to preserve our heritage. We have talked about yoga and Ayurveda. Today, the new generation of the country believes that our identity is our pride. When the feeling of pride awakens in the nation, it becomes impossible to stop it. The progress of Bharat is evidence of this.

Friends,

For Bharat, modernity is the body, spirituality is its soul. If spirituality is removed from modernity, then it gives birth to lawlessness. And if there is no sacrifice in behaviour, even the greatest of ideologies become distorted. This is the perspective that Lord Mahavir gave us centuries ago. Reviving these values in society is the demand of the time.

Brothers and sisters,

Our country has also endured the agony of corruption for many decades. We have witnessed the deep suffering of poverty. Today, the nation has reached a point where we have lifted 250 million people out of the quagmire of poverty. You will remember, I said from the Red Fort, and Pujya Maharaj also reiterated - this is the time, the right time. This is the right time for us to strengthen the ideals of ‘Asteya’ and ‘Ahimsa’ in our society. I assure all you saints that the country will continue its efforts in this direction. I also believe that your support in the journey of building the future of Bharat will strengthen the nation's aspirations and make Bharat ‘Viksit’ (prosperous).

The blessings of Lord Mahavir will ensure the welfare of 1.4 billion citizens and the entire human race... And I respectfully bow to all the revered saints. In a way, pearls were appearing in their speeches. Whether it was about women empowerment, the journey of development, or the great traditions, all the revered saints have presented what is happening in current systems, and what should happen, in a very short time and in a very wonderful manner. I express my heartfelt gratitude to them for this, and I consider each of their words as a blessing. They are my invaluable treasure, and each of their words is an inspiration for the country. This is my conviction. If perhaps it weren't an election atmosphere, maybe I would have been in a different mood. But I have made every effort to keep those things aside and come here. I might not have brought them, but you have definitely brought them. But for all of this, no matter how hot it gets, don't wait for the heat to reduce before stepping out of the house. Come out early in the morning, and there is a direct connection with the lotus, with all our saints, mahants, and divine beings. I am very pleased to be among all of you, and with this sentiment, I bow down once again at the feet of Lord Mahavir. I bow down to all you saints. Thank you very much!

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PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!