‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’
In our country, with the passage of time, according to the situation and circumstances, many traditions develop. These traditions increase the strength of our culture and also give it new vitality daily. A few months ago, one such tradition started in Kashi. During the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam, the centuries-old historical and cultural ties between Kashi and the Tamil region were celebrated. The spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’ gives strength to our country. When we know and learn about each other, this feeling of oneness strengthens. With this spirit of unity, ‘Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam’ will be held in different parts of Gujarat next month
The 2021 UK census data showed that people of Indian ethnicity are the most likely to own a home in England and Wales, reported the Times of India.
The ‘Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam’ will run from April 17 to 30. Some must be wondering, what the relation of Saurashtra in Gujarat with Tamil Nadu is? Let me tell you, centuries ago many people from Saurashtra had settled in different parts of Tamil Nadu. These people are still known as ‘Saurashtri Tamil’. Even today, some glimpses of Saurashtra can be found in their food habits, lifestyle and social rituals. Many people from Tamil Nadu have written appreciative letters to me regarding this event. Jayachandran ji, who lives in Madurai, has written something very poignant. He said that – “After a thousand years, for the first time someone has thought about the Saurashtra-Tamil relations, and brought to the fore the people who settled in Tamil Nadu from Saurashtra.” Jayachandran’s words are the expression of thousands of Tamil brothers and sisters.
I would (also) like to inform about a piece of news related to Assam. This too strengthens the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’. You all know that we are celebrating the 400th birth anniversary of Veer Lachit Borphukan ji. The brave Lachit Borphukan had liberated Guwahati from the clutches of the tyrannical Mughal Sultanate. Today, the country is getting acquainted with the indomitable courage of this great warrior. A few days ago, a campaign for essay writing based on the life of Lachit Borphukan was launched. You will be surprised to know that about 45 lakh people sent essays for this. You will also be happy to know that now it has become a Guinness Record.
And the biggest thing and a matter of great happiness is that these essays that have been written and sent by the people on Veer Lachit Borphukan have been written in about 23 different languages. Among them, apart from the Assamese language, people have sent essays in languages like Hindi, English, Bangla, Bodo, Nepali, Sanskrit, and Santhali. I express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has been a part of this effort.
My dear countrymen, when it comes to Kashmir or Srinagar, the first picture that comes to our mind is of her valleys and Dal Lake. All of us would like to enjoy the views of Dal Lake…However, there is one more thing special about Dal Lake. Dal Lake is also known for its delicious Lotus Stems, also known as ‘Kamal Kakdi’. Lotus stems are known by different names in different places across the country. In Kashmir, they are called Nadru. The demand for Nadru of Kashmir is continuously increasing. In light of this demand, farmers cultivating Nadru in Dal Lake have formed an FPO. About 250 farmers have joined this FPO.
Today these farmers have started exporting their Nadru to foreign countries. Just some time back, these farmers sent two consignments to the UAE. This success is not only bringing a name to Kashmir but also it has increased the income of hundreds of farmers.
Friends, another such effort of the people of Kashmir related to agriculture is diffusing the fragrance of its success these days. You must be wondering why I am talking about the fragrance of success – Well…it is a matter of fragrance and it is a matter of aroma! There is a town ‘Bhadarwah’ in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. Here, the farmers had been engaged in traditional maize cultivation for decades, but some farmers thought of doing something different. They turned to floriculture, that is, the cultivation of flowers. Today, around two and a half thousand farmers are cultivating lavender here. They have also been handheld through the Aroma Mission of the Central Government. This new cultivation has greatly increased the income of the farmers, and today, along with the lavender, the fragrance of their success is spreading far and wide.
Friends, when there is talk of Kashmir, talk of lotus, talk of flowers, talk of fragrance, then it is very natural to remember Maa Sharda who is seated on the lotus flower. A few days ago, the Grand Temple of Maa Sharda was inaugurated in Kupwara. This temple is built on the same route one would use to go to visit Sharda Peeth. The local people have helped a lot in the construction of this Temple. I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for this auspicious work.
(Excerpts of Prime Minister’s address in the 99th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on 26.03.2023)