“Political untouchability is increasing in society though this great evil had been eradicated in social life to a great extent by works of spiritual leaders and reformers,” Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said inaugurating the golden jubilee of Sree Narayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad at Sivagiri Mutt at Varkala, 30 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening visited Sree Narayana Mutt at Sivagiri in Kerala for an event. Modi’s five-hour visit to the State came in the backdrop of the Left attacking the authorities of the Mutt, which is dedicated to the ideals of 20th century saint-reformer Sree Naryana Guru who preached the message of unity of humanity, for inviting him to an important function.
The BJP leader was invited for the inauguration of the golden jubilee of the Sree Narayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad. Ignoring the multi-layer security at the airport earlier, Modi walked to BJP workers who had converged in large numbers and greeted them.
Modi devoted most of his speech to the role played by spiritual leaders like Sree Narayana Guru in preparing the ground for the national movement and freedom struggle, saying if their ideals had been fully carried out, many problems faced by the country now could have been resolved.
Stating that India today is a “youthful” country where 65 per cent of the population is aged under 35, he said this factor is the nation’s biggest asset for it to forge ahead.
However, uplift of women, depressed and suppressed classes and skill development are some vital areas that needed greater attention to achieve the goals before the nation.
He described Sree Narayana Guru as one who had been a far-sighted spiritual leader, saying his message of “one caste, one religion and one God for men” would provide a solution to problems faced by the present day world, including the scourge of terrorism and global warming.
7:28 pm: Modi ends his address with an expression of gratitude in Malayalam.
7:26 pm: Modi thanks all present for inviting him to Kerala's sacred soil and hopes he can continue to work towards the betterment of all who are oppressed and unfortunate.
7:24 pm: There is no District, Taluka, or Block in Kerala whose residents do not live in Gujarat. The much-talked-about Gujarat success story has Keralites sweat mixed in it. Modi thanks his Kerala brothers.
7:22 pm: Modi says it is his great fortune that he has gotten a chance to associate himself with such a grand tradition. He expresses his gratitude to all saints present. Modi says he is proud to be praised for what is happening in Gujarat.
7:19 pm: Women were given a special status by Sri Narayanguru. He not only advocated equal treatment for them, he also made the case for their role in business.
7:15 pm: The path that Sri Narayanguru Swami had shown, if we had all walked on it, there would be no terrorists among us. In an age when people used to compete to build great temples, Narayanguru started the trend of smaller temples and in a way, helped the environment.
7:12 pm: Today, the world is fighting global warming and terrorism. But our saints had shown us the way out of both these problems ages ago. Unity in living, nationhood, and approach towards god are what can still save us from the problems that face us today.
7:09 pm: Gujarat is the first State in the country that has created a separate skill university. 100 years ago, Narayan Guru had not only talked of, but had actually tried to implement skill development in Kerala.
7:07 pm: It is said that the 21st century is India's own century. We are a young nation (most people are below 35 years of age). But all nations that are looking to make progress are talking of only one thing. Barack Obama, upon becoming President of USA again, emphasised the need for skill development. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April 21, honoured Gujarat Government for doing important work on skill-development.
7:04 pm: Modi recalls the time of the independence struggle when Sri Narayan Guru advocated learning of English so Indians could answer them back in their own language.
7:02 pm: We have had saints who said god can wait. First serve the poor and the helpless. It is by serving the poor that one can attain oneness with god.
6:59 pm: The oppressed members of society have always been paid attention to by social movements that rose from within Indian society. But when politics starts to raise its head in the midst of such social movements things go awry. Social change should happen, but not at the cost of integrity of our society. Sri Narayanguru brought together social change and peace.
6:56 pm: Countries considered progressive have withheld the right to vote from women. But even back then, India produced spiritual leaders who lived and died for women's rights.
6:55 pm: Our leaders have paid the highest importance to education. Kerala has made a name for itself in this field. The reason behind this is the educational foundations that were set up by social reformers like Sri Narayanaguru.
6:53 pm: Why has Indian society not been wiped out despite ages of atrocities and social upheavals. Modi says we have survived because in spite of such upheavals, Hindu society has always thrown up reformers, leaders and agents of social change who have led people through testing times.
6:50 pm: Be it Swami Ramdas, Vivekananda, or Dayananda Saraswati or many other great leaders who have shone upon our social horizon, it was their collective efforts that helped Indian society stay whole through the ages.
6:48 pm: Modi says the nation has always had great spiritual leaders who have contributed to social reform as well as the freedom struggle.
6:44 pm: Modi says Sri Narayanguru Swami, in order to empower society, had paid a lot of attention to the fundamentals. Even today, says Modi, untouchability exists among us. Society may have left it behind, but untouchability has not disappeared from political life.
6:41 pm: Modi says he has been fortunate to be associated with the RSS from his childhood and play a role in its workings. There, he used to remember Sri Narayanguru Swami every day early in the morning.
6:40 pm: Modi tells his audience that with the help of Sri Murlidhar he will be able to share his thoughts with them. Modi says that the Shamiyana holding them may be small, but they should rest assured that there is space for them all in his heart.
6:39 pm: Narendra Modi begins his address by thanking all present in Malayalam and adds that there is perhaps no need to translate this into Hindi.
6:36 pm: Narendra Modi takes to the stage as audience members shout support. The announcer welcomes 'the lion from the land of lions' to the dais.
6:19 pm: Meeting begins with a prayer. All assembled rise in respect.
6:12 pm: Narendra Modi has arrived at the venue.
6:04 pm: Chants of 'Sree Narayana Guru Deva, Shiva Narayana Guru Deva, Jaya Narayana Guru Deva' sound at the venue. Narendra Modi's address to the gathering to commence soon.
5:09 pm: A cultural programme is scheduled to happen later in the evening following Narendra Modi's speech at the mutt.