Unveils new statue of Sant Ravidas
Inaugurates and lays foundation stones for development works around Sant Ravidas Janam Sthali
Lays the foundation stone for the Sant Ravidas Museum and beautification of the park
“India has a history, whenever the country is in need, some saint, sage or great personality is born in India.”
“Sant Ravidas ji was a great saint of the Bhakti movement, which gave new energy to the weak and divided India”
“Sant Ravidas ji told the society the importance of freedom and also worked to bridge the social divide”
“Ravidas ji belongs to everyone and everyone belongs to Ravidas ji.”
“Government is taking forward the teachings and ideals of Sant Ravidas ji while following the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath SabkaVikas’”
“We have to avoid the negative mentality of casteism and follow the positive teachings of Sant Ravidas ji”

Jai Guru Ravidas!

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath ji, esteemed saints and devotees who have gathered here from all over Bharat, and my brothers and sisters,

I extend a warm welcome to all of you on the auspicious occasion of Guru Ravidas ji's birth anniversary at his birthplace. It's heartening to see so many of you coming from far and wide to be a part of Ravidas ji's Jayanti celebrations. Especially, with so many brothers and sisters coming from Punjab that Varanasi is appearing like 'Mini Punjab.' All this is made possible by the grace of Sant Ravidas ji. I too am repeatedly called by Ravidas ji to his birthplace. It gives me the opportunity to further his ideals and to serve his millions of followers. It's no less than a blessing for me to serve all his followers at the Guru's birthplace.

And my brothers and sisters,

As an MP of this constituency, as a representative of Kashi, it is also my special responsibility. It is my duty to welcome all of you here in Banaras, and also to take special care of your comforts. I am pleased that on this auspicious day, today I have the opportunity to fulfil my responsibilities. Today, the inauguration and foundation laying ceremony of development projects worth hundreds of crores of rupees are taking place for the development of Banaras. This will make the journey of devotees to this place more comfortable and enjoyable. Additionally, many crores of rupees worth of projects have been inaugurated for the development of the birthplace of Sant Ravidas ji as well. Development of temples and temple areas, construction of roads leading to the temples, work on interlocking and drainage, construction of various facilities for the devotees to attend ‘satsangs’ (religious gatherings) and perform ‘sadhana’ (spiritual practices), arrangements for receiving ‘prasad’ (devotional offering), all these will provide convenience to lakhs of devotees. Devotees will not only attain spiritual bliss during the pilgrimage to Maghi Purnima but will also be relieved of many troubles. Today, I also have the privilege of unveiling the new statue of Sant Ravidas ji. The foundation stone of the Sant Ravidas Museum has also been laid today. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you on these development works. I wish all the devotees from all over the country and the world on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas ji and Maghi Purnima.

Friends,

Today is also the birth anniversary of the great saint and social reformer, Gadge Baba. Like Sant Ravidas, Gadge Baba also worked extensively for the uplift of society from stereotypes and for the welfare of the oppressed and marginalized communities. Babasaheb Ambedkar himself was a great admirer of Gadge Baba. Gadge Baba was also greatly influenced by Babasaheb. Today, on this occasion, I respectfully bow down at the feet of Gadge Baba as well.

Friends,

Before coming to the stage, I had also gone to offer flowers and pay respects to the statue of Sant Ravidas ji. At that time, I felt as much reverence as I felt gratitude within. Even years ago, when I was not in politics, nor held any position, I still found guidance in the teachings of Sant Ravidas ji. I always felt the desire in my heart to serve Ravidas ji. And today, resolutions connected with Sant Ravidas ji are being fulfilled not just in Kashi, but in other parts of the country as well. New centres are being established to propagate the teachings of Ravidas ji. Just a few months ago, I also had the privilege of laying the foundation stone of the Sant Ravidas Memorial and Art Gallery in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. The entire Ganga of development is flowing in Kashi.

Friends,

Bharat’s history has seen that whenever the country has been in need, some saint, sage, or great personality has taken birth here. Ravidas ji was such a great saint of the ‘Bhakti’ (devotion) Movement who provided new energy to the weakened and divided Bharat. Ravidas ji also emphasized the importance of freedom to society and worked to bridge social divides. He raised his voice against hierarchy, discrimination, and divisions during that era. Sant Ravidas is a saint who cannot be confined within the boundaries of religion, sect, or ideology. Ravidas ji belongs to everyone, and everyone belongs to Ravidas ji. As a disciple of Jagadguru Ramanand, the Vaishnav community also considers him their guru. Sikh brothers and sisters hold him in high esteem. While living in Kashi, he taught the lesson, ‘मन चंगा तो कठौती में गंगा’ (if your mind is good then you can see Ganga in a bucket as well). Therefore, people who have deep respect for Kashi, who have faith in Maa Ganga, also draw inspiration from Ravidas ji. I am happy that today our government is furthering the ideals of Ravidas ji. The BJP government belongs to everyone. The schemes of the BJP government are for everyone. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’ has become the mantra of connecting with 140 crore citizens today.

Friends,

Ravidas ji also imparted lessons of equality and harmony, and always showed special concern for Dalits and the marginalized. Equality comes only when priority is given to the marginalized sections of society. That is why work has been done in the past ten years by keeping those at the centre who were furthest from the mainstream of development. Those who were considered the poorest and the smallest earlier are now the ones for whom the biggest schemes have been launched. These schemes are now considered the biggest government schemes in the world. Look, such a massive crisis of corona came. We implemented a scheme to provide free rations to 80 crore poor people. Even after corona, we did not stop giving free rations. Because we want the poor, who have stood on their own feet, to decide their own long journey. No extra burden should be imposed on them. Such a scheme on such a large scale is not there in any other country in the world. We ran the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Free toilets were built for every family in every village of the country. Its benefit was felt most by Dalit and backward families, especially our SC, ST, OBC mothers and sisters. They had to go out in the open and face difficulties.

Today, the Jal Jeevan Mission is underway to provide clean water to every village in the country. In less than five years, piped water has been provided to more than 11 crore homes. Crores of poor people have received Ayushman cards for free treatment. They have got confidence for the first time that life will not end due to lack of treatment in the event of any illness. Similarly, the poor have got the right to go to the bank through the Jan Dhan accounts. Direct money is sent by the government to these accounts. It is from these accounts that farmers receive the Kisan Samman Nidhi, of which nearly 1.5 crore of them are our Dalit farmers. A large number of Dalit and backward farmers benefit from the Fasal Bima Yojana. For the youth as well, today we are giving double the scholarship to Dalit youth compared to what they were getting before 2014. Similarly, under the PM Awas Yojana, thousands of crores of rupees were sent to the accounts of Dalit families in 2022-23 so that they too could have their own pucca house.

And brothers and sisters,

Bharat is able to accomplish such monumental tasks because today the government's intention is clear for Dalits, marginalized, backward, and poor sections of society. Bharat is able to achieve these tasks because your ‘Saath’ (support) and your ‘Vishwas’ (trust) are with us. The words of saints guide us in every age, and they also caution us.

Ravidas ji would say:

जात पात के फेर महि, उरझि रहई सब लोग।

मानुष्ता कुं खात हई, रैदास जात कर रोग॥

In other words, most people remain entangled in the divisions of caste and creed, causing harm. This disease of casteism causes damage to humanity. That is, when someone discriminates against another based on caste or creed, they harm humanity. If someone incites others in the name of casteism, they also harm humanity.

Therefore, brothers and sisters,

Today, every Dalit and every marginalized person in the country needs to remember one thing. The people of the INDI coalition, who rely on stirring up caste-based divisions and fighting, oppose schemes for the welfare of Dalits and marginalized people. And the truth is that these people play politics of self-interest in the name of caste's welfare. You may remember, these people made fun of it when the initiative to build toilets for the poor began. They ridiculed the Jan Dhan Yojana. They opposed Digital India. Not only that, another characteristic of family-oriented parties is that they don't want any Dalit or tribal person to move forward apart from their families. They cannot tolerate Dalits and tribal people sitting in high positions. You may recall, when the country was witnessing the first tribal woman, Her Excellency Droupadi Murmu, contesting the presidential elections, who opposed her? Which parties came together to defeat her? They were all these family-oriented parties, who see Dalits, backward classes, and tribal communities as a vote bank during elections. We need to be cautious of these people and their mindset. We need to follow the positive teachings of Ravidas ji and steer clear of the negative mentality of casteism.

Friends,

Ravidas ji would say:

सौ बरस लौं जगत मंहि जीवत रहि करू काम।

रैदास करम ही धरम है करम करहु निहकाम॥

In other words, even if one lives for a hundred years, one should continue to work throughout life because action is indeed the essence of righteousness. We should perform our duties with a selfless attitude. This teaching of Sant Ravidas ji is relevant for the entire nation today. The country has entered the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. And in recent years, a strong foundation has been laid for the development of a ‘Viksit Bharat’ during this ‘Amrit Kaal’. Now, in the next five years, we need to further elevate the structure of development on this foundation. The campaigns for the service of the poor and marginalized that have been running for the past 10 years need to be expanded even more in the next 5 years. All this will be possible only with the participation of the 140 crore citizens of the country. Therefore, it is essential that every citizen of the country fulfils their duties. We need to think about the country. We need to strengthen the unity of the country by staying away from divisive thoughts. I have firm belief that the dreams of the people of the country will surely come true with the grace of Sant Ravidas ji. Once again, I extend my heartfelt greetings to everyone on the occasion of Sant Ravidas Jayanti.

Thanks a lot!

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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!