Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed his desire to build a huge Buddhha memorial at Dev ni Mori, a village near Hindu pilgrimage site Shamlaji in Aravalli district, where relics of Gautam Buddhha were discovered.
Addressing a tribal gathering in Aravalli district, Modi said ever since he became the chief minister of Gujarat, he had dreamt of building a grand Buddha memorial at Dev ni Mori. “His followers from across the world can visit the place. I am confident the dream will be fulfilled,” Modi said.
He was dedicating to public a bunch of drinking water supply schemes worth Rs 552 crores in Aravalli, which would cater to over 600 villages and three towns in the region. He also laid the foundation stones of a number of other projects like Modasa Bus Port.
Modi said Buddha had his influence on western India as well, which very few people had studied.
“People believe that the influence of Lord Buddhha prevails only in eastern India…But when an excavation was done at Dev ni Mori near Shamlaji and relics (avsesh)of Lord Buddha were discovered, (people) got surprised that he had his influence in western India as well,” said Modi, also referring to his native Vadnagar in Mehsana district where a Buddhhist monastery was discovered.
“(Chinese traveller) Hiuen Tsang has written that there was a Buddhist hostel (monastery) in Vadnagar, where I was born. In India, Hiuen Tsang had stayed longest at Vadnagar. When I went to China, the president had taken me to his native place…and showed me the writings of Hiuen Tsang, which had details of places in Gujarat where Buddhha had stayed,” he added.
In his 45-minute long speech, Modi also highlighted the efforts made by the BJP governments in providing drinking water to every nook and corner of Gujarat. He advised Education Minister Bhupendra-sinh Chudasama, who was sitting on the dais, to include the Gujarat government’s efforts in providing drinking water across the state in the syllabus of engineering students.
Referring to huge pipeline networks of Gujarat, Modi said that the BJP governments brought Narmada water through Sujalam Suflam scheme to districts like Aravalli, which were not part of the Narmada project. To explain the magnitude of the effort, he equated it with pumping water to the top floor of a 55-storey building.
“In entire Gujarat, pipelines were laid in every nook and corner. It is not a small feat…We have saved farmers’ land while also giving them water…(All this) Should be in the syllabus of engineering student of the state. How water is being lifted to such a height…,” Modi said.