Without mentioning India’s surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said “it is time to uproot terrorists” and also “not spare those who shelter, help terrorists”.
Citing examples from the Ramayan to speak at length on the need to fight terror, the Prime Minister, addressing a Ramlila gathering in Lucknow, said “terrorism has no boundaries” and “if 125 crore countrymen unite to remain vigilant against every activity of terrorists, it will be very difficult for terrorists to succeed”.
He said the global community has to unite to put an end to terror, the “enemy of humanity” which is “destroying the world”.
“Those who think terror has not touched them should not live in that mistaken belief. Terrorism has no boundaries (aatankwad ki koi seema nahin hai, aatankwad ki koi maryada nahin hai). It is bent on finding its way in to destroy all that represents humanity. It is imperative that forces which symbolise humanity unite against terror… It will not be possible to save humanity without eradicating terrorism,” he said.
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Modi said that 30-40 years ago, whenever India raised the issue of terrorism and the problems it was facing because of the menace, the world would not believe it. He recalled that in 1992-93, when he discussed terror with a US State Department official, the latter told him it was a law and order problem. ”But after 26/11 (the Mumbai terror attack in 2008), the entire world realised how dreadful terrorism is.”
Mentioning the war in Syria, he said a little girl is being shown on television for the last two days. “It brings tears to the eyes, the way innocents are being killed. And that’s why today, when Ravan is being set on fire, the whole world, not just India, must unite in the fight against terror.”
Much of his Vijayadashami speech was devoted to the need to eradicate terror — the theme at the Ramlila gathering this year was “Aatankwad ka samool naash ho”. The Prime Minister said Lord Ram represents humanity and its rich values and traditions.
He said the first person to fight terror was Jatayu who fought against Ravan to “protect a woman’s honour” and remains a symbol of fearlessness.
He said India is a country which follows the principles of peace as taught by Lord Buddha. “We balance between the Mohan of the Sudarshan Chakra, and the Mohan of the Charkha (Mahatma Gandhi)… we are the people who have seen yudh (war) and Buddha. We can go from yudh to Buddha. Buddha’s path (of peace) should be our final path,” he said.
Modi began and concluded his speech with chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who also represents Lucknow in Lok Sabha, thanked the Prime Minister for being “successful in fighting corruption” and for “enhancing” the country’s image across the world.