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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the launch of ‘Statue of Equality’

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New Delhi, Feb 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the 'Statue of Equality' in Hyderabad today. The 216-feet tall Statue of Equality commemorates the 11th century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste and creed. Governor Telangana Tamilisai Soundararajan, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy were among those present on the occasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modis speech at the launch of ‘Statue of Equality’

Speaking on the event, the Prime Minister greeted everyone on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami and expressed happiness on dedication of the statue on such a pious occasion. He said "India is giving concrete shape to India's human energy and inspirations through this grand statue of Jagadguru Sri Ramanujacharya. This statue of Sri Ramanujacharya is a symbol of his wisdom, detachment and ideals."

The Prime Minister participated in the 'Purnahuti' of 'Vishwaksena Ishti Yagya'. The Yagya is for fulfilment of resolutions and goals. The Prime Minister offered the 'sankalpa' of the Yagya for the 'Amrit' Sankalp of the country and dedicated the yagya to 130 crore countrymen, press release from Prime Minister Office said.

The Prime Minister recalled the Indian tradition of its scholars that views knowledge above rebuttal and acceptance-rejection. "If we have 'advait' then we have 'dvait' too and we also have Sri Ramanujacharya's 'Vishishtadvaita' that encompasses both 'davit-advait'", said the Prime Minister. He noted that along with the pinnacle of gyan in Sri Ramanujacharya, he is the founder of Bhakti Marg too. One the one hand he is a saint of rich 'Sanyaas' tradition, he presents the importance of action in Gita Bhashya, on the other. The Prime Minister continued "In today's world, when it comes to social reforms, progressivism, it is believed that reforms will take place away from the roots. But, when we see Ramanujacharya ji, we realize that there is no conflict between progressiveness and antiquity. It is not necessary to go far from your roots for reforms. Rather it is necessary that we connect with our real roots, become aware of our real power."

The Prime Minister elaborated on the link between the current measures and the wisdom of our saints. Sri Ramanujacharya made the country familiar with the real concept of social reforms and worked for Dalits and backwards. He said, today Sri Ramanujacharya is giving us the message of equality in the form of a grand Statue of Equality. Going along with this message, today the country is laying the foundation of its new future with the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas'. The Prime Minister emphasized that India, today, is working collectively for development of all without discrimination; social justice for all so that those who have been oppressed for centuries become partner with full dignity in the development of the country. Schemes like Pucca houses, Ujjwala connections, free medical treatment upto 5 lakh or the free electricity connections, Jan Dhan accounts, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan have strengthened Dalits, backwards and deprived, the statement from the PMO added.

The Prime Minister called Sri Ramanujacharya a 'shining inspiration for the unity and integrity of India'. "He was born in the South, but his influence is on the whole of India from South to North and East to West", he said.

The Prime Minister stressed that India's freedom struggle was not just a fight for its power and its rights. In this fight there was a 'colonial mindset' on one side, and the idea of 'live and let live' on the other. On the one hand, it was a hysteria of racial superiority and materialism, on the other hand it was a belief in humanity and spirituality. And in this battle India and its tradition were victorious, he said. "Indian Freedom struggle was blessed with the energy of equality, humanity and spiritualism that it received from the saints", he added.

Referring to Hyderabad connection of Sardar Patel, the Prime Minister said "if Sardar Sahib's 'Statue of Unity' is repeating the oath of unity in the country, then Ramanujacharya's 'Statue of Equality' is giving the message of equality. This is the speciality of India as a nation."

The Prime Minister elaborated on the richness of the Telugu culture and how it has enriched India's diversity. He recalled the long traditions of kings and queen who were torchbearers of this rich tradition. In the context of rejuvenation and recognition of India's places of faith, the Prime Minister talked about 13th century Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa temple being declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Pochampalli being recognized as India's best tourism village by the World Tourism Organization

The Prime Minister noted the glorious contribution of the Telugu film industry which is making its presence felt globally and much beyond Telugu speaking areas. "This creativity is reigning on silver screen and OTT platforms. It is being praised even outside India. This dedication of Telugu speaking people towards their art and culture is an inspiration for all", the Prime Minister added.

During the programme, 3D Presentation Mapping on the life journey and teaching of Sri Ramanujacharya was showcased. Prime Minister visited the identical recreations of 108 Divya Desams (ornately carved temples) that surround the Statue of Equality.

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