True grit

Published By : Admin | September 16, 2016 | 23:46 IST

27th October 2013 would have passed off as yet another Sunday had it not been for the gruesome and unfortunate bomb blasts that ripped through Patna’s iconic Gandhi Maidan just as the BJP’s then Prime Ministerial candidate Shri Narendra Modi was to address a rally there.

As the enthusiastic crowd thronged the venue, one by one bombs ripped through the ground.

When Shri Narendra Modi reached Patna he had two choices- either to return to Gujarat and not address the rally (and add to the fear at the large venue) or to come and speak at the rally.

Not only did Shri Modi address the rally but also made a very passionate plea for Hindus and Muslims to come together and fight poverty instead of fighting each other. He also repeatedly told the record audience to disperse peacefully and in an orderly manner without causing inconvenience to anyone.

Later, it transpired that there was a bomb beneath the stage where Shri Modi was speaking.

Weeks after the rally, Shri Modi remarked, “My organizational experience has taught me that even a rumor that an animal is on the loose at the rally venue can cause so much chaos so imagine what would have happened had someone announced there are bombs or if I would not have addressed the rally. I was clear that there was no question of not going on stage.”

A week later, Shri Modi was again in Patna to meet the families who lost their near and dear ones due to the bomb blasts.

Patna’s Hunkar Rally is remembered as a turning point. It illustrated wonderfully what true leadership is particularly in the most adverse circumstances. The message of fighting poverty and not each other also resonated in the hearts and minds of a billion Indians.



It is part of an endeavour to collect stories which narrate or recount people’s anecdotes/opinion/analysis on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi & his impact on lives of people.

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Remembering the Ekta Yatra: A Message of Unity That Echoes Across India
December 11, 2023

December 11, 2023, marks a significant day in India’s history. On this day 32 years ago, the Ekta Yatra was led by Shri Murli Manohar Joshi and organised by a young Narendra Modi, embarking on a journey from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. This wasn't just a physical journey; it was a powerful symbol of unity and defiance in a period marked by terrorism in Kashmir.
As Jagdish Dwivedi, a BJP leader from Gujarat, recalls, “This was a time when terrorism was at its peak in the state of Kashmir, and it was Shri Modi who had conceptualised and organised the Yatra.”
Dipak Shah, a member of the Yatra, remembers the grave security threat faced by people during the Yatra. “On the one hand, there were terrorists in Kashmir attacking the Yatra and threatening it from advancing. On the other hand, terrorists in Punjab attacked the Yatra to foil it. Yet, Narendra Modi led from the front and ensured that the ‘Raths’ reached Lal Chowk in Kashmir to hoist the tricolour,” he mentions.

The Ekta Yatra, meaning "unity march," sent a clear message to the nation and the world that, India would stand firm and united against the forces of division and terror. The journey, spanning 14 states and culminating in the hoisting of the Tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 26, 1992, resonated deeply with the Indian people. It served as a reminder of the country's shared history and values and its unwavering commitment to national unity.
Hasmukh Parmar recalls Shri Modi planning every minute detail and conveying his vision for the Yatra to cover every part of the country along its route. Parmar had been instructed by Shri Modi to create ‘raths’ with fixed teams of drivers, conductors and mechanics to ensure that the Yatra was a success.

Years later, PM Modi, a key architect of the Ekta Yatra, took a decisive step towards fulfilling the promise of that journey. The abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was a bold move to bring the state closer to the rest of India and ensure its full integration.
As the Supreme Court upholds the Parliament's decision to abrogate Article 370, the spirit of the Ekta Yatra resonates once again. It serves as a reminder of the unwavering commitment of the Indian people to unity and integrity. The Ekta Yatra may have begun 32 years ago, but its message of unity continues to guide the nation even today. It is a message that resonates not only in the halls of power but also in the hearts and minds of every Indian citizen.
Ghanshyam Tiwari, MP Rajya Sabha, shares that the Yatra often concluded late at night and started early in the morning. Shri Modi ensured that this mammoth operation ran smoothly, day after day. From organising bathing essentials and accommodation for Yatris at night to providing them breakfast packets in the morning, refuelling diesel in each vehicle, and ensuring each driver was on duty, Shri Modi was in command of everything.

In his tweet after the Supreme Court’s verdict, Prime Minister Modi reiterates this commitment, assuring the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh that their dreams remain at the forefront of his government's agenda. He further emphasises the government's determination to ensure equitable development and progress, ensuring the benefits reach even the most marginalised communities.
As we mark this historic day, let us remember the Ekta Yatra and the values it represents. Let us also reaffirm our commitment to building a stronger, more united India where all citizens can live together in peace and harmony.