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Cardinal George Alencherry Archbishop Andrews Thazhath Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara Archbishop Anil Couto Shri Arun Jaitley, Dr. Najma Heptulla, Shri P.J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha Monseigneur Sebastian Vadakumpadan

PM Modi at National Celebration of Elevation to Sainthood of Elias Chavara n Mother Euphrasia (1)

I am delighted to participate in this function to celebrate the elevation to sainthood of two great saints of Kerala - Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Saint Euphresia. The whole country is proud of their recognition. Their elevation was preceded by that of Saint Alphonsa, who also hailed from Kerala.

The life and deeds of Saint Chavara and Saint Euphresia are an inspiration not only to the Christian community, but to humanity as a whole. They are shining examples of dedication to God through selfless service for the betterment of mankind.

Saint Chavara was a man of prayer and also a social reformer. In an era when access to education was limited, he stressed that every church should have a school. He thus opened the doors of education to people from all sections of society.

Few outside Kerala know that he started a Sanskrit school, and also a printing press. His contribution towards women’s empowerment was also noteworthy.

Saint Euphrasia was a mystic who dedicated her life to prayer and devotion to God.

Both these saints dedicated their life to God through service of fellow beings. The ancient Indian saying: “आत्मानो मोक्षार्थम् जगत हितायाचा” – welfare of the world is the way to moksha (salvation) – explains their life.

Friends,

Spiritualism is rooted in India`s heritage. Indian saints and Greek sages had intellectual and spiritual exchanges thousands of years back. India’s openness to new ideas is manifest in the Rig Veda: आनो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides. This philosophy has guided our intellectual discourse since time immemorial. Mother India gave birth to many religious and spiritual streams. Some of them have even travelled beyond Indian borders.

The tradition of welcoming, respecting and honouring all faiths is as old as India itself. As Swami Vivekananda said: We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.

What Swami Vivekananda had said a century ago holds good and will, for ever, not only for this nation but also for this government or for that matter any government in India, run by any political party. This principle of equal respect and treatment for all faiths has been a part of India`s ethos for thousands of years. And that is how it became integral to the Constitution of India. Our Constitution did not evolve in a vacuum. It has roots in the ancient cultural traditions of India.

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had inspired us to dream of a land where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. It is that heaven of freedom we are duty bound to create and preserve. We believe that there is truth in every religion. एकम सत विप्र बहुधा वदन्ति

Friends,

Let me now come to the issue which is central and critical for peace and harmony in the contemporary world. The world is increasingly witnessing division and hostility on religious lines. This has become a matter of global concern. In this context the ancient Indian plea of mutual respect for all faiths is now beginning to manifest in global discourse.

This long felt need and urge for mutually respectful relations led to the interfaith conference on `Faith in Human Rights` at the Hague on tenth December, 2008. This was coincidentally also the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

Religious leaders representing every major world religion - Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Baha`i Faith, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism and indigenous religions met, discussed and pledged to uphold the Universal Declaration and of freedom of religion or belief.

In their historic declaration, this is how they defined what constitutes freedom of faith and how it is to be safeguarded.

We consider the freedom to have, to retain, and to adopt, a religion or belief, is a personal choice of a citizen.

The world is at cross roads which, if not crossed properly, can throw us back to the dark days of bigotry, fanaticism and bloodshed. This harmonious convergence among religions could not be achieved even when the world entered the third millennium. And now it has been. This shows that the rest of the world too is evolving along the lines of ancient India.

Speaking for India, and for my government, I declare that my government stands by every word of the above declaration. My government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith and that everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence. My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions.

India is the land of Buddha and Gandhi. Equal respect for all religions must be in the DNA of every Indian. We cannot accept violence against any religion on any pretext and I strongly condemn such violence. My government will act strongly in this regard.

With this commitment, I appeal to all religious groups to act with restraint, mutual respect, and tolerance in the true spirit of this ancient nation which is manifest in our Constitution and is in line with the Hague Declaration.

Friends,

I have a vision of a Modern India. I have embarked on a huge mission to convert that vision into reality. My mantra is Development - सबका साथ, सबका विकास.

In simple terms it means food on every table, every child in school, a job for everybody and a house with toilet and electricity for every family. This will make India proud. We can achieve this through unity. Unity strengthens us. Division weakens us. I sincerely request all Indians, and all of you present here to support me in this huge task.

Let the elevation to sainthood of Saint Chavara and Saint Euphrasia, and their noble deeds inspire us:

-to maximize our inner strength -to use that strength for transforming society through selfless service -to fulfil our collective vision of a developed and modern India.

THANK YOU.

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PM Modi’s address to nation following SC verdict on Ayodhya
November 09, 2019
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My fellow citizens,

I was in Punjab through the day. Upon landing back in Delhi, I thought I should directly communicate with all of you.

Today, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has given its verdict on a very important issue, which has a history of several years.

The entire country desired that this matter be heard in the court daily. That is exactly what happened and the outcome of which is today’s verdict. The judicial process that has spanned decades has concluded today.

Friends,

It is globally known that India is the world’s largest democracy. Today, the world has also known how vibrant and strong our democracy is.

After today’s verdict the manner in which every section of society, every community, every religion, the entire nation embraced the verdict with open arms. This is a manifestation of India’s age old ethos, culture, traditions as well as our inherent spirit of brotherhood.

Brothers and sisters,

The virtues for which India is known- Unity in Diversity; this spirit is clearly visible today. Even after thousands of years, if somebody wishes to understand India’s ethos of unity in diversity, today would be referred as a classic example.

Friends,

Today is a golden day even in the history of this India’s judiciary.

During the course of the hearings (on Ayodhya), the Honorable Supreme Court heard everyone with much patience and it is after that that the Court gave a unanimous verdict.

This is not a very simple thing.

Today is a historic day. It is the beginning of a golden era for the Judiciary of the country. The judgement was unanimous and was courageous. Supreme Court has shown grit and determination in this verdict. Our Judiciary needs a special appreciation.

Friends,

Today is the 9th of November.

It was on this date that the Berlin Wall collapsed.

Two different streams of thought came together and took a new pledge.

Today, on 9th November, the Kartarpur corridor has begun. India and Pakistan made a coordinated effort for this corridor.

Today the 9th November the judgment of the SC is giving us a message of staying united and getting together and living together. There should not be any ill feeling in anybody.

If there is even a trace of bitterness in anyone’s mind, it is time to bid farewell to such a spirit.

In New India, there is no place for fear, bitterness and negativity.

Friends,

With today’s verdict, the Honourable Supreme Court has given a message that even the toughest issues can be resolved within the framework of the Constitution and in spirit of the laws.

We should learn from this verdict that even if there is some delay, we should remain patient. This is in everyone’s interest.

In every situation, our faith in India’s constitution, India’s judicial system must remain unwavering. This is very important.

Friends,

The verdict of the Honourable Supreme Court marks the start of a new dawn.

The Ayodhya dispute has impacted many generations. But, after today’s verdict we must pledge that the coming generations will devote itself to the building of a New India with a fresh spirit.

Come, let us make a new beginning.

Come, let us build a New India.

We have to be strong, and our development should be based on the premise that nobody should be left behind.

We have to take everybody together, work for everyone’s development, win everyone’s trust and move ahead.

Friends, Supreme Court has given its decision on the construction of Ram Mandir.

This decision has made it incumbent upon all us citizens to take our responsibility of nation building even more seriously.

Also, as a citizen, it is incumbent upon us all to follow the law of the land and its rules and regulations.

As a society, each and every Indian, must work by prioritizing our duties and responsibilities.

The harmony, brotherhood, friendship, unity and peace amongst us all, is very important for the nation’s development.

Only if we Indians, work together and walk onwards together, will we be able to achieve our goals and objectives.

 

Jai Hind