“There was a time when even discussing Ram, our culture and civilization was avoided. In this country, questions were raised about even the existence of Ram. What was the consequence of that? Our religious and cultural places as well as (ancient) cities kept being left behind (in development),” the prime minister said, addressing the people on the eve of Diwali.
Modi said whenever he would visit Ayodhya years back, he would be saddened to see the sorry state of affairs there. Same was the case with Varanasi, where filth and narrow lanes would upset him, Modi said.
“When the sites that are considered symbols of our civilizational identity and existence remained in a bad shape, it broke the morale of the country… in the last eight years, the country has broken the shackles of the colonial mindset,” he said.
Modi maintained that his government has carried out a holistic plan of developing India’s pilgrimage sites.
The prime minister said there is a lot to learn from Lord Ram, his idealism and principles. He urged upon the people to follow the path of Ram and do their duty towards the nation.
Modi said the people of Ayodhya and those living in such religious centres have a duty to keep the cities clean and well maintained as thousands of pilgrims are going to visit them once they are restored to their old glory.
The prime minister underlined that even the Constitution pays respect to Lord Ram in the pages where it deals with duty. He said along with our rights as citizens come our duties.
The PM was in Ayodhya for the first time since August 2020, when he had laid the foundation stone of the Ram temple after the 2019 Supreme Court verdict on the Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
He was there to participate in the annual Deepotsav festival organised every year by the state government on the occasion of Diwali. The PM also inspected the construction site of the Ram temple and interacted with the team of professionals involved in the project.