Decrying that India lacks the ability to market itself, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said the country should use the language, logic and arguments the world understands rather than harping on the old ways that others find difficult to comprehend.
“People call us unorganised. Lakhs of people attend religious gatherings like Kumbh without any invitation but we don’t know how to market ourselves. Those who are supposed to do it, and those whose profession it is, they focus only on Naga sadhus…” he said, urging leading world universities to make a case study of large gatherings such as these.
He also cited the elections in the country as a case in point.
Modi was speaking at the valedictory function of a three-day ideological mahakumbh, organised during the ongoing Simhastha Kumbha. On the occasion, he released a 51-point ‘Simhastha Declaration’ that seeks to raise concerns about global problems and contains guiding principles towards a better human life.
Earlier, he said that climate change and terrorism are the biggest challenges before the world today and blamed the “holier than thou attitude” for the problems. “Imperialism is taking the world towards conflict,’’ Modi said while pointing out that India has inherent conflict management skills.
Ujjain: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the valedictory funtion of three-day International Vichar Maha Kumbh during Simhastha Maha Kumbh Mela, in Ujjain on Saturday. Also seen is President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena. PTI Photo
The PM, who did not take a dip in the Kshipra unlike all politicians who have so far visited the temple town during the ongoing Simhastha, said the country should embrace and welcome change. Earlier, even crossing the seas was considered unholy but that has changed, he said. “India has a global duty to unite because it (the country) is good at that,” he said, adding that the country should present its traditional knowledge and values before the world in a scientific way.
He appealed to all 13 akharas (religious bodies), whose heads were in the audience, to spare one week every year to focus on issues such as environment and empowerment of the girl child. “Talk of moksha,” he told the sadhus, “but also talk about these issues by calling experts — and even atheists and irreligious people.’’
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the 51-point declaration will be sent to all state governments, the central government and the United Nations. Stating that Madhya Pradesh will be the first state to act on the declarations, Chouhan said he would undertake a padyatra (march) from Amarkantak, the origin of the Narmada river, to spread awareness about planting trees and saving the river.