Extolling Indian culture and traditions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the values of sacrifice, integration and good-for-all run deep in Indian culture.
“We belong to a tradition where even a bhikshuk (beggar) says, ‘may good happen to the person who gives me and also to the person who does not’, Modi said in his address at the International Convention on Universal Message of Simhasthon on the sidelines of Simhasth Kumbh in Ujjain.
“We are not stubborn and rigid, we are philosophical. We see divinity in trees and life in water,” he added.
Flanked by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Modi said that a “holier than thou” attitude is taking people towards conflicts. “Let’s look within and see how we can grow ourselves.”
Referring to the Simhastha Kumbh mela, a huge spiritual gathering on the banks of the Shipra river in Madhya Pradesh, Modi said, “What is happening here is the birth of a new effort, a modern edition of what would happen in the yesteryears.”
He said that the “51 elixir points” of Simhasth declaration will start a new discourse not only in India but around the world.
Emphasizing that Indians were always ready to sacrifice for others’ sake, Modi cited the example of LPG subsidy.
“I just once asked my people, to those who are well off, to give up their LPG subsidy. And more than one crore people have already given it up, so that thousands of poor families can get LPG connection,” Modi said.
He said that enabling rural and poor households to switch to LPG would benefit the environment as well as result in better health outcomes for women who previously cooked on wood or dung cakes fire.
Speaking of the arrangements, including connectivity, for hundreds of thousands of devotees, Modi said that Kumbh management is a great case study for the world institutions.
President Sirisena, who spoke earlier, referred to the long standing ties between India and Sri Lanka.
Sirisena said that his first overseas visit after being elected president last year was to India, and that Modi returned the bilateral visit later.
Sirisena is here on a two-day visit. He held bilateral talks with Modi in New Delhi on Friday evening.
The Ujjain conference spread over several sessions is part of the ongoing Simhasta Kumbh mela on the banks of Shipra river.