India wants to become a powerful nation for the "welfare of the whole world" and not to intimidate people living in other countries, Union minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
Waving a saffron flag, the home minister kicked off the rath yatra from the India Gate lawns that would collect soil and water for a week-long Vedic yagya in March here.
Describing it as an "extraordinary rath yatra", Singh, also said this event was not to gain any power, but for "nation-building" and a fully-secured and prosperous India.
The Rashtriya Raksha Mahayagya is slated to be held from March 18-25 on the lawns outside the Red Fort, involving over 1,100 priests.
He said that the government's aim was not to make India prosperous, solely to become a rich or a strong and powerful country, adding, "we want to do it for global welfare".
"If we want to become strong, it is not so to strike terror in the hearts of people living in other countries. We want to make such a prosperous India, a country whose cultural heritage is intact. An India which takes the place of Vishwa Guru (world leader)," Singh said.
"We want to keep the country's integrity intact not just for the welfare of the people of India, but for the welfare of the entire world," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also envisaged a 'New India' by 2022 that seeks to end poverty, unemployment, raise awareness towards sanitation, end discrimination on the basis of caste, religion and other factors, he said.
The purpose of the event is to see the nation become "strong, proud, self-reliant and prosperous" and its cultural heritage remain intact.
The minister asserted that the message of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' ('world is one family') has emerged from the land of India and even foreign scholars have praised the Indian culture.
"And, this cultural heritage will remain intact if the nation remains one and unified," he said.
For the 'yagya' in March, soil and water brought from Doklam, where troops of India and China were locked in a standoff, and Poonch, located near the Line of Control (LoC), and the Wagah border, and the 'Char Dhams' (four pilgrimage sites), will be used in raising the structures.
"The biggest characteristic of this yatra is that people will go to the borders of our country and the 'Char Dhams', and bring water and soil for the yagya to be held in March," Singh said.
BJP MP Maheish Girri said, once again this event will ensure that the "voice of the Vedas and the nation will resonate in the same breath".
Singh said, "There is always some cosmic ruler, governing the world. This is for that cosmic ruler. And, people must come forward and extend support for this event."