PM Narendra Modi to US magazine: 'Ram Temple culmination of centuries of sacrifice' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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PM Narendra Modi to US magazine: 'Ram Temple culmination of centuries of sacrifice'

Apr 11, 2024 09:47 AM IST

Narendra Modi interview with Newsweek: He said that peaceful relations between India and China are important for the entire world.

The name of Lord Shri Ram is imprinted on India's national consciousness, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an American magazine in an interview. He said Lord Ram's life has set the contours of thoughts and values in the country's "civilization".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the gathering in Nagpur on Wednesday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the gathering in Nagpur on Wednesday. (ANI)

In the conversation with New York-based magazine Newsweek, PM Modi touched upon several vexed topics, including ties with China and Pakistan and the Quad grouping.

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PM Modi also talked about the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

"His (Lord Ram) life has set the contours of thoughts and values in our civilization. His name echoes across the length and breadth of our sacred land. Therefore, during the 11-day special ritual I observed, I made a pilgrimage to the places that carry the footprints of Shri Ram. My journey that took me to various corners of the country showed the revered place Shri Ram holds within each of us," he said.

Also read: PM Narendra Modi calls out West's 'dubious claims' on media freedom. 5 key takeaways from Newsweek interview

The Ram Temple was inaugurated by PM Modi in January this year. Thousands of dignitaries from all walks of life attended the grand ceremony. However, the Opposition skipped the ceremony despite being invited, claiming the BJP had been trying to reap political dividends using the temple event.

Also read: Modi rejects charges of discrimination against minorities in Newsweek interview: ‘Usual tropes by those who…’

PM Modi told the magazine that the Ram Temple was a culmination of centuries of perseverance and sacrifice.

"The return of Shri Ram to his birthplace marked a historic moment of unity for the nation. It was a culmination of centuries of perseverance and sacrifice. When I was asked to be part of the ceremony, I knew I would be representing the 1.4 billion people of the country, who have waited patiently for centuries to witness Ram Lalla's return," he said.

In 2019, the Supreme Court ended the decades-long dispute between Hindus and Muslims, ruling that the Ram Temple should be built on the disputed piece of land. It directed the authorities to provide a separate plot of land for the construction of a mosque in Ayodhya.

"During the 11 days leading up to this auspicious event, I carried with me the aspirations of countless devotees, eagerly anticipating this day. The ceremony itself brought the nation together into a celebration, akin to a second Diwali. Every home was illuminated by the light of Ram Jyoti. I see it as a divine blessing that I could experience the consecration ceremony as a representative of 1.4 billion Indians," PM Modi added.

PM Modi on China

PM Modi said that peaceful relations between India and China are important for the entire world. He also said that the border situation should be resolved to put behind the abnormality in "our bilateral interactions".

"It is my belief that we need to urgently address the prolonged situation on our borders so that the abnormality in our bilateral interactions can be put behind us. Stable and peaceful relations between India and China are important for not just our two countries but the entire region and world," he said.

Also read: In Newsweek interview, PM Modi speaks on India-China border dispute: ‘We need to urgently address…’

"I hope and believe that through positive and constructive bilateral engagement at the diplomatic and military levels, we will be able to restore and sustain peace and tranquility in our borders," he added.

PM Modi on Pakistan

On Pakistan, PM Modi said he had congratulated the prime minister of Pakistan on taking over office. He said that India has always advocated for advancing peace, security and prosperity in the region in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.

He, however, refrained from commenting on the arrest of former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. He said he wouldn't comment on matters internal to Pakistan.

PM Narendra Modi on Quad

Talking about the Quad grouping comprising US, Australia, Japan, India, PM Narendra Modi said the grouping is not aimed against any country.

"We are present in different combinations in different groups. Quad is not aimed against any country. Like many other international groupings, like SCO, BRICS and others, Quad is also a group of like-minded countries working on a shared positive agenda," he said.

PM Narendra Modi on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir

On criticism of abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "I would encourage you to visit Jammu and Kashmir to witness firsthand the sweeping positive changes happening on (the) ground. Do not go by what I or others tell you. I went to Jammu and Kashmir just last month. For the first time, people have a new hope in their lives."

"The process of development, good governance and empowerment of the people is to be seen to be believed," he said.

“People are reaping the peace dividend: Over 21 million tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir in 2023. There has been a significant decline in terror incidents. Organized bandh/hartals (protests), stone pelting, which once disrupted normal life, are now a thing of the past,” he said.

With inputs from PTI, ANI

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