Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that India’s diversity was its pride and that the country’s development was based on peace, harmony and unity. Speaking during Mann Ki Baat, his monthly address on All India Radio, the Prime Minister said: “India is full of diversities. Many sects, many communities, many languages, many castes…our India is full of so many diversities. And it is this diversity that is our pride.”
He added: “Had this diversity not been there, we would not have been able to feel so proud about it. That’s why diversity is the mantra for unity. Shanti, sadbhavna, ekta…yahi toh vikas ki jadi-booti hai (Peace, harmony and unity…this is the prescription for development).”
With the killing of a Muslim man in Dadri over rumours of cow slaughter and the attack on a Dalit family in Sunpedh dominating news headlines, this is the second time in Mann Ki Baat that the PM has chosen to link unity and progress.
On August 30, referring to the “dance of violence” in Gujarat over the Patel-OBC agitation, the PM had said: “Peace, unity and brotherhood — this is the right path and we have to walk together on the road to progress.” On Sunday, the Prime Minister also invoked Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ahead of his birth anniversary on October 31 and said that “the mantra of unity should always be the medium of our thinking, our behaviour and expression”.
#India is a country of diversities. So many religions, communities, languages, castes, and lifestyles; And, this diversity is our glory: PM
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) October 25, 2015
Recounting Patel’s contribution to India’s unity, Modi said: “Let us pay tribute to Sardar Saheb. Let’s take the unity mantra forward.” Modi also spoke about his upcoming visit to the UK where he plans to visit the “Ambedkar House” — the place where Dr B R Ambedkar lived and which has recently been acquired by India from the Britain government.
“In London, I will formally inaugurate the house where Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar lived, which recently became Indian government’s property and a place of inspiration for 125 crore Indians,” the PM said, noting that the issue related to acquisition of this complex had been entangled for several years.
“When Ambedkar’s name is associated, you can imagine how much happiness people like me have,” the PM said.
He added that Ambedkar was an inspiration for Dalits, the oppressed, the deprived, the backwards and all other Indians who “live a difficult life”, who taught them that if there is will power, one can make progress in life and get educated.
The PM also spoke about the forthcoming India-Africa Forum Summit in the capital and said it was for the first time that an event of such magnitude was being held in India.
Referring to the historic linkages between the two sides, Modi said: “It is said that lakhs of years back, this (India and Africa) was a single land mass. Later, due to the Indian Ocean, it split into two.”
Highlighting “there are a lot of similarities between us”, Modi pointed out that “around 27 lakh Indians have been living in Africa for a long time”.