Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on Wednesday the importance of promoting indigenous products and self-reliance for prosperity and said adopting them would keep India’s traditional art, culture and civilization alive.
At a gathering on the occasion of the 150th birthday of Jain saint Vijay Vallabh Surishwar via video conference, Modi said the message of Swadeshi and self-reliance is extremely relevant in the present times. “This is the mantra of progress for self-reliant India,” he said.
“The world is going through a crisis of terror and violence and is looking for inspiration to break out of this vicious circle,” Modi said. “In such a situation, India’s ancient traditions and philosophy, coupled with its power, give hope to today’s world.”
He added: “The path shown by him (Acharya Surishwar) and the teachings of Jain gurus is the solution to these global crises.”
The Prime Minister noted that religious tradition and indigenous products can be promoted at the same time, quoted Surishwar as saying, “The prosperity of a country depends on its economic prosperity, and by using indigenous products, one can enhance the art, culture and civilization of India. preserved alive.”
The event was organized by the Union Ministry of Culture to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Jain guru. A commemorative stamp and coin dedicated to Acharya Surishwar was also released as part of the occasion.
Recalling the beginning of the celebrations two years ago, Modi recalled the “privilege” he had had to unveil the statue of Acharya Surishwar. “Today I am once again among you saints using technology,” he added.
In November 2020, the Prime Minister had unveiled the ‘Statue of Peace’ in the Pali of Rajasthan to celebrate the birthday of the Jain monk. The 151-inch tall statue is made of ashtadhatu (eight metals), with copper being the main component.
Modi said the ‘Statue of Peace’ is one of the largest statues of saints, while the ‘Statue of Unity’, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the Narmada district of Gujarat, is the tallest in the world. Recalling their contributions, he said that Patel had united the country, which was then divided into many princely states, while Acharya Vijay Vallabh traveled to different parts of the country and strengthened the unity and culture.
“These are not only high statues, but they are also the greatest symbol of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat,'” he said.
Modi said Acharya Surishwar’s insistence on peace and harmony was evident even during the horrors of Partition. He noted that during the freedom movement, Mahatma Gandhi had adopted the path of “aparigraha” or renunciation as recorded by the Jain gurus. “Aparigraha is not only renunciation, but also the mastery of all kinds of attachments,” Modi noted.