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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

Jai Shri Modi: Amit Shah deifies Prime Minister, 17th Lok Sabha closes on shrill BJP poll pitch

Modi was not present in the House when discussions on the 'historic construction of the Ram temple and consecration of Ram Lalla' took place. Both Houses adopted a resolution hailing the temple construction. The Prime Minister arrived at the end to deliver his farewell address to the 17th Lok Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi Published 11.02.24, 06:38 AM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah and other membersafter the Lok Sabha was adjourned sine dieon Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah and other membersafter the Lok Sabha was adjourned sine dieon Saturday. PTI picture

BJP members led by home minister Amit Shah on Saturday sought to deify Prime Minister Narendra Modi, almost comparing him to Lord Ram, as Parliament discussed the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Shah said that in the country’s cultural and spiritual history, Modi provided the only example of a ruler kindling a “bhakti chetna” (devotional awakening) in the country with his devotion and dedication.

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Pran Pratistha se samagra Bharat ki hazaron sal lambe sanskritik aur adhyatmik itihas me ek sashak ne, ek janta ke vyakti ne, janta ke pratinidhi ne, apne yam, niyam, tap aur upasna se bhakti chetna ki jagriti ki, to iska ek matra ghatna Narendra Modi hai,” he said.

(In India’s cultural and spiritual history through thousands of years, if there is one example of a ruler, a people’s representative, who through his dedication and devotion kindled a devotional awakening, it is Narendra Modi.)

Shah highlighted how Modi had slept on the floor and survived only on coconut water for 11 days ahead of the temple consecration.

He said there were many examples of saints leading “Bhakti movements” to preserve “Sanatan Dharma” but almost no example of a ruler doing it. “I saw people with tears in their eyes as Modiji performed Pran Pratistha of Ram Lalla,” Shah said.

He said Modi had led the country from the Ayodhya agitation’s “yudh udghosh (war cry) of Jai Shri Ram” to the “devotional Jai Siya Ram”, now that the temple had been built. Through this transformation, the Prime Minister had led the country on a
forward journey, Shah asserted.

“There is possibly no other example in the world of a man who is not a saint, doesn’t belong to any religious sect, and is the Prime Minister kindling a devotional awakening,” Shah stressed, amid thumping of desks by BJP members and chants of “Modi, Modi” and “Jai Shri Ram”.

Ram parallels

Shah went on to describe Modi as a “sarvagun sampanna neta (a leader of many virtues)” for whom the country had been waiting for nearly 70 years. He then appeared to draw parallels between Modi and Ram.

He described how Ram had united all sections of society in his fight for truth and then spoke about Modi’s efforts to accord dignity to all deprived people like “Shabari”, “tribals” and “women”.

Shabari is a character from the Ramayan, where she is depicted as a poor, elderly tribal woman who earned Ram’s blessings through her unflagging devotion.

China claim

Seeking to obliquely draw a parallel between Ram taking on Ravana and Modi countering threats from countries such as Pakistan and China, Shah repeated the Prime Minister’s four-year-old, repeatedly contested, claim that China had not occupied any Indian territory on his watch.

Shah referred to the 2016 “surgical strikes” and 2019 Balakot airstrikes against Pakistan and claimed that when China tried to capture Indian territory, Modi did not allow even an inch to be encroached on.

“China tried to do what it did in 1962 but Modiji displayed resolve and not an inch of India’s land was lost,” he said.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP president J.P. Nadda resorted to similar deification.

“Despite being a family man, he (Modi) followed all the rules and lived like a saint for the occasion. He slept on the ground and drank coconut water for 11 days,” he said.

Speaker after speaker from the BJP said that had Modi not been the Prime Minister, the Ram temple would not have been built. They credited him with ushering in “Ram rajya” as their peers burst into chants of “Jai Shri Ram”.

Modi was not present in the House when the discussion on the “historic construction of the Ram temple and consecration of Ram Lalla” took place. Both Houses adopted a resolution hailing the temple construction.

The Prime Minister arrived at the end to deliver his farewell address to the 17th Lok Sabha at its last sitting.

TMC, DMK stay away

The Trinamul Congress and the DMK did not participate in the Lok Sabha discussion, apparently reluctant to either support the construction of the temple at the site where the Babri Masjid was demolished or to oppose it and get branded as anti-Hindu before the polls.

While the DMK walked out of the Lok Sabha just as the discussion began, accusing the Centre of ignoring the miseries of Tamil fishermen, Trinamul members were not seen in the House at all.

Very few members of the Congress or other Opposition parties were present. Sonia Gandhi sat through the discussion silently.

Congress member Gaurav Gogoi expressed devotion to Ram but slammed the BJP saying the “Jai Shri Ram” chants by its members reflected anger and hatred.

He urged BJP members to shun the tradition of worshipping Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse. Gogoi held up a copy of the Constitution and ended his speech with “Jai Samvidhan and Jai Hind”.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi asked whether the central government belonged to a “particular religion”, and said “the light of Indian democracy today is at its dimmest”.

“Through Jan. 22 (consecration of the Ram temple), does this government want to send a message that one religion triumphed over the other? Does the Constitution allow this?… What message do you give to the 17 crore Muslims in the country?” Owaisi said.

“I respect Lord Ram but I hate Nathuram Godse because he killed the person whose last words were, ‘Hey Ram’.”

In the Rajya Sabha, Congress member Pramod Tewari said: “I am a believer in Lord Ram, not a vyapari (broker) of Ram.”

He added: “The true believer of Ram was Gandhi. We all know who follows Gandhi, and we all know who supports the assassin of Gandhi.”

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