On Wednesday 10th July 2013 Shri Narendra Modi joined Ashadhi Bij celebrations at Parab Dham in Junagadh. He wished the Kutchi community all over the world on the start of their New Year. In his speech, Shri Narendra Modi lauded the contribution of Saints and Seers towards social work and in preserving our glorious culture and heritage for years. He pointed, “An image has been created among the people, especially when we were colonized…and it did not get repaired after Independence too…an image that our Saints do not do anything good for society. Even today this lies is active among certain sections of society. But, I tell everyone to visit Parab Dham to see what Saints are doing!”
Shri Modi spoke at length about how Saints and Seers have made an invaluable contribution to society. He talked about how Saints and Seers worked among leprosy patients when it was feared that the disease is contagious. He recalled that Mahatma Gandhi spent a day in the week to work among leprosy patients. Remembering an anecdote on Mahatma Gandhi, Shri Modi said, “Once some people came to Mahatma Gandhi and asked him to inaugurate a hospital for leprosy patients. Mahatma Gandhi said he cannot come for the inauguration but he told them to come to him when these hospitals have to be locked. What Mahatma Gandhi said was totally correct.” He added that Mahatma Gandhi did not have the honour of attending a ceremony to lock these hospitals but due to the work of Saints and Seers influenced by him, leprosy has dropped drastically in Gujarat.
The Chief Minister spoke about the excellent work of Saints and Seers in running schools, hospitals and working among the tribal communities from Umargam to Ambaji. He added that Saints have performed immense service in the field of women empowerment. Shri Modi shared that in Saurashtra especially where every 25-30 km one would fine an Ashram or a Seer serving people, there is no chance of anyone going hungry.
Talking about Gujarat, Shri Modi affirmed that whenever there have been natural disasters, the Saints have rushed there to serve the people. He said that he observed the same in Uttarakhand recently. Shri Modi gave an example of a social organisation in Tamil Nadu that did a display on the work done by the Saints, which brought out their noble acts of service for society.
He congratulated the Saints at Parab Dham for the cleanliness and affirmed that this is something that everyone can learn from Parab Dham. He declared that in a time when our colonizers tried to ensure that we get away from our culture and heritage, it was our Saints who kept this glory alive among the people.
Most revered Karsandas Bapu of Parab Dham described Shri Modi as the ‘Ratna of Gujarat’ and expressed a desire that next year Shri Modi comes to Parab Dham, he does not come as the Chief Minister of Gujarat but as a national leader serving the of India. Present on the occasion were Minister of State Shri Govind Patel, former Ministers Shri Kanubhai and Smt. Jasuben Korat, MLAs Shri Mahendra Mashru, Shri Jayesh Radadiya, Shri Nalin Kotadiya, Shri JD Solanki among other dignitaries.