PM Modi says drum of development resonating in Kashi for last 10 years - Hindustan Times
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PM Modi says drum of development resonating in Kashi for last 10 years

By, Varanasi
Feb 24, 2024 08:56 AM IST

New Kashi has emerged as an inspiration for new India, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi

Observing that new Kashi has emerged as an inspiration for the new India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lauded the progress of the city, which is his parliamentary constituency, in the last 10 years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a programme at Banaras Hindu University, in Varanasi on Friday. (ANI PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a programme at Banaras Hindu University, in Varanasi on Friday. (ANI PHOTO)

“With the blessings of Mahadev, vikas ka damroo (the drum of development) has been resonating in Kashi for the last 10 years,” he said. He was addressing a gathering at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) where he participated in the prize distribution ceremony of Sansad Sanskrit Pratiyogita at Swatantra Sabhagar on the second day of his two-day visit to Varanasi.

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“Kashi is the capital of all knowledge, today that power and form of Kashi are emerging again. This is a matter of pride for the whole of India. We all are just instruments, the one who does it in Kashi is Mahadev. Wherever there are blessings of Mahadev, that earth becomes prosperous,” he said.

“Today, Kashi is being seen as a model of heritage and development. Today the world is seeing how modernity expands around traditions and spirituality,” PM said.

Mentioning multi-crore projects, he said that before Shivratri and Rangbhari Ekadashi, Kashi is celebrating the festival of development today.

Everyone has seen the transformation through “Vikas ki Ganga”, he said.

In the next five years, he emphasised that the country will give a new pace to development and create new patterns of success.

“This is Modi’s guarantee, and Modi’s guarantee means guarantee of fulfillment of the guarantee,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said, “Kashi is not just a centre of faith, but it is a vibrant centre of India’s eternal consciousness.”

India’s ancient prestige in the world was not based on economic prowess only but its cultural, spiritual and social richness was behind that, he added.

“Teerths (pilgrimage centres) like Kashi and Vishwanath Dham were the ‘yagyashala’ of the nation’s development,” he said, highlighting the connections of India’s knowledge tradition with the places of culture and spirituality.

He said that along with being the land of Shiva, Kashi is also a place of the teachings of Buddha, birthplace of Jain Tirthankaras as well as a place of enlightenment for Adi Shankaracharya.

He highlighted the cosmopolitan allure of Kashi as people from all over the country and other parts of the world come to the city. “New ideals are born in a place of such diversity,” he added.

Recalling his address during the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham in December 2021 and reaffirming the belief, he also said, “Vishwanath Dham will give a decisive direction and take India to a bright future.”

“Vishwanath Dham has also become a part of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ campaigns like Kashi Tamil Sangamam and Ganga Pushkarulu Mahotsav”, Modi said, noting that this centre of faith is strengthening the resolve for social inclusion through tribal cultural events.

“Kashi can hear the classical tones as well as scriptural dialogues,” the Prime Minister said, underlining that it will encourage the exchange of ideas, preserve ancient knowledge and create new ideologies.

He also said India is an idea and Sanskrit is its chief expression. “India is a journey, Sanskrit is the main chapter of its history. India is a land of unity in diversity, Sanskrit is its origin,” the PM said.

He unveiled a booklet on Kashi Sansad Pratiyogita and a coffee table book. He awarded the winners of Kashi Sansad Gyan Pratiyogita, Kashi Sansad Photography Pratiyogita and Kashi Sansad Sanskrit Pratiyogita and distributed books, uniform sets, music instruments and merit scholarships to Sanskrit students of Varanasi. He visited Kashi Sansad Photography Pratiyogita gallery and interacted with participants with their photograph entries on the theme of “Sanwarti Kashi”.

The Prime Minister expressed delight in being present among the young scholars and said the feeling is similar to taking a dip in the Ganga of knowledge.

He lauded the efforts of the young generations who are strengthening the identity of the ancient city. He said that it is a matter of pride and contentment that the youth of India will take the country to new heights in the Amrit Kaal.

He congratulated the winners of Kashi Sansad Gyan Pratiyogita, Kashi Sansad Photography Pratiyogita and Kashi Sansad Sanskrit Pratiyogita. He also encouraged those who could not make it to the winners’ list.

“No participant has been defeated, everyone has learned from this experience,” Modi said. He thanked Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Nyas, Kashi Vidvat Parishad and scholars for taking his vision as the MP of Kashi (Varanasi) forward. He also noted that the coffee table books released today carry the story of the rejuvenation of Kashi in the last 10 years.

He said Kashi Sansad Sanskrit Pratiyogita and Kashi Sansad Gyan Pratiyogita are a part of such efforts where books, clothes and other necessary resources, along with scholarship, are being provided to thousands of youth who want to study Sanskrit.

He said new research is also being done by the scholars of Kashi and by the Vidwat Parishad on ancient knowledge from the point of view of modern science.

He said, “Among the languages that have made the biggest contribution to the development of our knowledge, science and spirituality, Sanskrit is the most prominent.” He recalled a time when Sanskrit was the main language of research in astronomy, mathematics, medicine, literature, music and arts. India got its identity through these disciplines, he said.

He highlighted how Ayodhya is flourishing in the same way as Kashi after the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla in the newly built temple. He mentioned the international airport in Kushinagar and highlighted the government’s efforts to develop modern infrastructure and facilities at places associated with Lord Buddha in the country.

He asked that the best photographs of the exhibition, selected through voting, should be used as picture postcards for the tourists. He also suggested a sketching competition and the best sketches to be made into picture postcards. He reiterated his suggestion for a guide competition for creating ambassadors and interpreters of Kashi.

He reiterated his resolve to help each and every Kashi resident.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath was present on the occasion along with Uttar Pradesh ministers.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Sudhir Kumar is Varanasi based senior staff correspondent.He covers all developments, politics, education--primary, secondary and higher -- crime, offbeat, tribes and human angle stories

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