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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

INDIA bloc members exploiting people in the name of casteism: PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi

Attacking the Opposition parties, the prime minister also said, 'They care for the well-being of their families, cannot think about the welfare of Dalits and tribals'

PTI Varanasi Published 23.02.24, 02:22 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a prize distribution ceremony at the Banaras Hindu University, in Varanasi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a prize distribution ceremony at the Banaras Hindu University, in Varanasi. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched a scathing attack on INDIA bloc, saying members of the opposition alliance believe in instigating people in the name of caste and making them fight.

He also said the opposition leaders cannot "tolerate" Dalits and tribal people occupying high posts. He cited the presidential election which was contested by Droupadi Murmu.

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Varanasi is Modi's parliamentary constituency. The prime minister also remarked that Ravidas ji has been calling him repeatedly to his birthplace of the ancient temple town.

Speaking at a function here to commemorate the 647th birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas, Modi said, "In every era, the sermons of the saints show us the path and also alert us. In our country, whenever anybody indulges in discrimination in the name of caste, it damages humanity.

"If someone instigates (others) in the name of caste, it also damages humanity. Hence, brothers and sisters, today every Dalit and backward of the country has to keep in mind that 'INDI gathbandhan', which believes in instigating and making people fight in the name of caste, opposes the schemes meant for the welfare of the Dalits and 'vanchit' (deprived)," he said.

The prime minister further said the truth is that these people indulge in politics of vested interest of the family in the name of welfare of castes.

"You must be remembering that when construction of toilets was started, they ridiculed it. They also mocked the Jan Dhan accounts and also opposed Digital India.

"Not only this, these 'parivar vaadi' (dynastic) parties have another identity - they do not want any Dalit or tribal person outside their families to move ahead. They cannot tolerate Dalits and tribal persons occupying high posts," Modi said.

"You must be knowing that when Droupadi Murmu, the first woman tribal president, was contesting elections, then who all opposed her and which parties came together to defeat her.

"It was all the 'parivar vaadi' parties, who see the Dalits, tribal people and backwards as their vote bank during the elections. We have to remain alert from these people and from such a mindset. We have to follow the positive education of Ravidas ji, while avoiding the negative mentality of casteism," he said.

Showering praises on Sant Ravidas, Modi said, "Ravidas ji belongs to all and everybody belongs to Ravidas ji. He cannot be confined within the boundaries of caste, religion, sect and ideology.

"Ravidas ji has been calling me repeatedly to his birthplace. I got an opportunity to take forward his pledge. I get an opportunity to serve his lakhs of followers. Serving the followers at the birthplace of the Guru is nothing less than a privilege for me," he said.

Born in Varanasi, Ravidas was a mystic poet-saint of the Bhakti movement in the 15th and 16th centuries. Venerated as a spiritual teacher in several regions of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, he was a poet, social reformer and spiritual figure.

Modi also said India is moving rapidly on the path of development by adopting the messages of Sant Ravidas.

"On the pious occasion of the birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas, I welcome you all to his birthplace. You have come from far-off places on this occasion, especially my brothers and sisters from Punjab... Varanasi seems to have become a mini-Punjab," he said.

At the Sant Guru Ravidas Janmasthan temple at Seer Goverdhanpur near BHU, the prime minister inaugurated the newly installed statue of Sant Ravidas in adjoining Ravidas Park. He also inaugurated various development works around Sant Ravidas Janam Sthali worth about Rs 32 crore and laid the foundation stone for the Sant Ravidas Museum and beautification of the park worth about Rs 62 crore.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Chairman of Sant Guru Ravidass Janam Sthan Temple Trust Sant Niranjan Dass among others were present on the occasion.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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