Historic turnout at the polls! Congratulations to the people of Gujarat

Published By : Admin | December 20, 2012 | 07:05 IST

Dear friends,

The second and final round of voting in the 2012 Gujarat Assembly Elections has come to an end. Your unwavering belief in our democracy and the value you attach to your vote has ensured this historic turnout. I congratulate you for giving the rest of India an invaluable inspiration to exercise our most sacred right in a democracy. You have displayed your profound faith in India’s democracy. Such faith on your part is truly wonderful.

As we await the will of our 6 crore Gujarati brothers and sisters, I thank each and every BJP Karyakarta
and our well-wishers for their untiring support for us in these elections
. From hectic days to sleepless nights, each of you has made a monumental contribution to make the Lotus bloom like never before in Gujarat.

Friends, seats, vote shares, margins and other such facts and figures are critical in understanding the uniqueness of any election. But beyond this realm of numbers and data, the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha Elections 2012 elections have offered us valuable glimpses into the sheer beauty of the Indian will and usher in a paradigm shift in how elections will be viewed in India.

It was believed that elections could be easily won by votebank politics- divide communities, firm up caste equations and victory is assured. Gujarat has changed that. It has not only shown the world that elections can be won on the issue of development but also has created a scenario where no election can move away from the development agenda. The development in Gujarat is only but a manifestation of good governance. Development and elections are inseparable and Gujarat has a major contribution in making this into a reality.

I never saw such fervor during elections as I saw in these Gujarat elections. From the elderly to the youth, the elections generated immense enthusiasm among the people. Be it the 117 year old Shri Kathuria Dada from Dediapada who has voted in every single election in independent India, Smt Maniben Jadhav from Junagadh, Shri Gopalnand Maharaj, Smt Ramben Ramani from Kalsari or Smt Ujiben Kakadia – these centenarians and others have not let anything come in their way of exercising a right obtained as a result of the blood, sweat and sacrifice of our freedom fighters.

You must have seen how, at the time of various festivals, little children in your neighborhood come rushing at your door to greet you. However stressed you are, however much the burden of responsibilities bogs you down, when these children wish you with their innocent smiles, you cannot help but get drawn into the festive mood.

That is what some of our school-going children did when they urged Gujaratis to step out of their house and exercise their right to vote. Even though they cannot vote yet, their spirit and exuberance for this greatest festival of our democracy gives me the confidence that Gujarat’s future is bright. Though several generations apart from each other, these children and centenarians are ambassadors and role models of Indian democracy and elections.

Through the Sadbhavana Mission and Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra, I had the opportunity to reach out to large number of people across the length and breadth of Gujarat. It has been a constant endeavor throughout my term to reach out to more and more people of Gujarat. I have also extensively campaigned across Gujarat. I have shared with you about what we have done for Gujarat’s growth and development and what we determine to do over the next five years. I am also very proud of the fact that Gujarat is the 1st state in the entire world to use 3D projection technology extensively to reach out to the people. What you witnessed during the various 3D interactions is something historic and I am glad it has taken place on the soil of Gujarat.

The election campaign was largely peaceful and conducted smoothly except for the unfortunate demise of 11 police personnel in Dahod. I would like to express my deepest condolences on this very sad event.

Before concluding, I would congratulate the Central and State Election Commission and all other officials for conducting the elections in such an efficient and peaceful manner. Their commendable efforts in ensuring the maximum turnout need to be lauded.

Friends, whoever you have chosen with your vote, as a Gujarati, I feel elated and proud with the history you have created.  

Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat

 

Yours,

Narendra Modi

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Tribute to Srimat Swami Smaranananda Ji Maharaj
March 29, 2024

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the grand festival of Lok Sabha elections, the news of the demise of Srimat Swami Smaranananda Ji Maharaj brought my mind to a standstill for a few moments. Srimat Swami Smaranananda Ji Maharaj was a pioneer of India's spiritual consciousness and his demise is like a personal loss. A few years ago, the demise of Swami Atmasthananda Ji and now the departure of Swami Smaranananda Ji on his eternal journey has left many people bereaved. My heart, like that of crores of devotees, saints and followers of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, is deeply saddened.

During my visit to Kolkata earlier this month, I had gone to the hospital to enquire about Swami Smaranananda Ji’s health. Just like Swami Atmasthananda Ji, Swami Smaranananda Ji too dedicated his entire life for spreading the ideas of Acharya Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mata Sharada Devi and Swami Vivekananda across the world. While writing this article, the memories of meetings and conversations with him are getting refreshed in my mind.

In January 2020, during my stay at Belur Math, I meditated in the room of Swami Vivekananda. During that visit, I had a long conversation about Swami Atmasthananda Ji with Swami Smaranananda Ji.

It is widely known that I had a close relationship with Ramakrishna Mission and Belur Math. As a seeker of spirituality, I have met different saints and mahatmas and been to many places over the period of more than five decades. Even in Ramakrishna Math, I got to know about the saints who dedicated their lives to spirituality, among whom personalities like Swami Atmasthananda Ji and Swami Smaranananda Ji were prominent. Their sacred thoughts and knowledge provided contentment to my mind. In the most important period of my life, such saints taught me the true principle of Jan Seva hi Prabhu Seva.

The lives of Swami Atmasthananda Ji and Swami Smaranananda Ji are an indelible example of the motto of Ramakrishna Mission ‘Atmano Mokshaartham Jagaddhitaaya Cha’.

We all are inspired by the work being done by Ramakrishna Mission for the promotion of education and rural development. Ramakrishna Mission is working on India's spiritual enlightenment, educational empowerment and humanitarian service. In 1978, when the disastrous flood struck Bengal, Ramakrishna Mission won the hearts of everyone with its selfless service. I remember, when an earthquake ravaged Kutch in 2001, Swami Atmasthananda Ji was among the first people to call me and offer all possible assistance for disaster management on behalf of the Ramakrishna Mission. Under his direction, Ramakrishna Mission helped many people who were affected by the earthquake.

Over the past years, while holding various positions, Swami Atmasthananda Ji and Swami Smaranananda Ji laid great emphasis on social empowerment. Those who know the lives of these great personalities will definitely remember how serious these saints were towards modern education, skilling and women empowerment.

Among his many inspiring traits, one thing that impressed me the most was Swami Atmasthananda Ji’s love and respect for every culture and every tradition. The reason for this was that he used to travel continuously and had spent a long time in different parts of India. He learned to speak Gujarati while living in Gujarat. He used to even speak with me in the language and I loved listening to his Gujarati!

At different points in India's development journey, our motherland has been blessed by many saints and seers like Swami Atmasthananda Ji, Swami Smaranananda Ji who have ignited the spark of societal change. They have motivated us to work with a collective spirit and address all the challenges our society faces. These principles are eternal and will act as our source of strength as we embark on developing a Viksit Bharat during the Amrit Kaal.
Once again, on behalf of the entire nation, I pay homage to such saintly souls. I am confident that all the people associated with the Ramakrishna Mission will further move ahead on the path shown by them.
Om Shanti.