In his first public comments on the Sanatan Dharma controversy on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people to be alert to the “designs” of the INDIA bloc of parties to “destroy” Sanatan Dharma, and push the country into another “thousand years of slavery.”
The PM said Sanatan Dharma kept “Bharat” united for several millennia, asserting that Sanatan culture gave priority not to birth, but to a person’s karma.
Addressing public meetings in poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the PM spoke of the pride that every Indian felt at the country successfully hosting the G20 Summit, but focussed his attack on the “INDI Alliance” and “Ghamandiya”, or “arrogant” alliance over the Sanatan Dharma issue.
Commenting on Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks earlier this month, where the Tamil Nadu minister said Sanatan Dharma should be eradicated since it was against social justice, comparing it with dengue and malaria, Modi stressed upon Sanatan Dharma’s tenets that embraced people of all castes.
The PM said the age-old Sanatan culture is based on a person’s karma (action) and not birth, and guided Valmiki and Sant Ravidas. He said Sanatan Dharma’s philosophy and strength inspired Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi to fight the British and Mahatma Gandhi’s anti-untouchability campaign.
The PM was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a Rs 49,000 crore petrochemicals complex at Bina Refinery in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh along with 10 other industrial projects.
Reacting to the speech, Congress’ Jairam Ramesh criticised the PM for using the “occasion of a government function to abuse the Opposition.” “Stooping to his level, one could easily say he heads the GA-NDA coalition — Gautam Adani’s NDA,” Ramesh posted on X.
During his speech in Bina, Modi said not just Gandhi, whose last words were “Hey Ram”, but Sanatan Dharma inspired Ahilyabai Holkar’s fight for women’s empowerment, Swami Vivekananda’s reforms movement and Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.
He linked it with the freedom struggle and also thousands of freedom fighters. Modi urged patriots to unitedly stop the designs of the “INDI alliance.”
At his MP rally, the PM also spoke of how the BJP government has turned around the state, which was a laggard 18 years back, and his “guarantees” for the poor and farmers. He said the 500th birth anniversary of Rani Durgavati, a tribal ruler who attained martyrdom while fighting the Mughals, will be celebrated in a grand manner on October 5.
This was the PM’s eighth visit to the state since September 17 last year, his birthday, when he released cheetahs from Namibia in the Kuno National Park.
Later in the day, the PM addressed a rally at Kondatarai village in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district. Modi said the Opposition’s greed for power was driving its attack on Sanatan Dharma. “Sanatan culture is the one in which Lord Ram calls Shabari as his mother and enjoys eating her half eaten ber (juthe ber),” said Modi.
“Sanatan culture is the one wherein Ram considers forest dwellers and Nishad Raj greater than his brother. Sanatan culture is the one where Ram embraces the boatman rowing the boat. Sanatan culture is one which gives priority not to birth, but to a person’s karma (action),” he said.
The PM said the country was witnessing a festive atmosphere, referring to the successful Chandrayaan-3 mission and conclusion of the G20 summit in New Delhi under India’s presidency.
“The spirit with which Atal ji (former PM AB Vajpayee) had created Chhattisgarh (in 2000), you have to give Modi an opportunity to make Chhattisgarh a developed state with the same spirit,” he said.
He accused the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in the state of corruption.