Modi invokes Ram, compares Pak to demon king

Reynold D'saUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:07 PM IST
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Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during Dussehra celebrations at Aishbagh Ram Leela in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Nand Kumar(PTI10_11_2016_000353B) |

Says his govt will decimate terror and those who patronise it

Lucknow : In an obvious reference to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the time had come to uproot terror and those who patronise terrorists.

Addressing a massive Dussehra gathering at the Aishbagh Ram Leela ground here, Modi said terrorism in all forms was anti-humanity and Hindu Lord Rama represented all that was human.

It was the Prime Minister’s first public speech after the September 29 surgical strikes by the Indian Army at terror launch pads in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

He made no direct reference to the surgical strikes or to Pakistan that killed an unspecified number of terrorists but made it more than clear which country he had in mind.  “Those who spread terrorism need to be annihilated and those who aid terrorism will not be spared either,” Modi said in a speech laced with references to Hindu religion.

Modi said India was a country that respected both Lord Krishna who led the Pandavas in the war of Mahabharata and Mahatma Gandhi who propagated non-violence. “We are the people who go from yuddha (war) to Buddha (peace). Sometimes war is necessary, but our path is not that of war, but that of Buddha.  “We create balance… I hope the path shown by Buddha will be our final path,” he said.

In the context of the theme of victory of good over evil, he also invoked the legend of Ram and Sita to highlight the government”s pledge to end gender bias in the country.

“We burn effigies of Ravana since ages to condemn the assault on Sita”s honour. But we distinguish between boys and girls,” Modi said as he referred to filth, poverty, illiteracy and casteism as other forms of evil.

He did not directly refer to the military action, but stated, “We are at a point now where those who support terror or allow it cannot go unpunished. Terrorism is the biggest enemy of humanity … it knows no boundaries, it is bent only on destruction.” He added:  “When we burn Ravana, we should remember that humanity can”t be saved lest we fight terrorism together.”

Also Read: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat praises Modi govt, Surgical Strike

Quoting from the Ramayana, he said that the first fight against terrorism was waged by Jatayu to defend the honour of a woman. Many of us are unable to become Ram. But we can become Jatayu. If all of us keep our eyes open and pay attention to the activities of terrorists, they cannot succeed,”he added.

He said decades ago when India discussed terrorism, nobody paid heed.

Modi earlier arrived to a grand welcome at the sprawling ground in the heart of Lucknow, the capital of election-bound Uttar Pradesh.  Accompanied by union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and other state BJP leaders, Modi performed ‘aarti’ of the characters playing Lord Ram and Sita and was later felicitated by the city Mayor Dinesh Sharma, the convenor of the 70-year-old Ram Leela. The Prime Minister was gifted a silver mace, an arrow and a bow. A turban was tied on his head.   Modi said effigies of Ravana had been burnt for centuries on this day but “we should rededicate ourselves today to demolish the evils within us as well”.

Dussehra, Modi said, also meant to do away with 10 evils within humans and kill the Ravana within that raises its head in the forms of dishonesty, greed, filth, blind faith and ego.  He urged people to fight against female foeticide. “If for bringing dishonour to one Sita, Ravana can be burnt for ages, why not fight against killing girls in wombs.”

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