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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
14-September-2018 18:37 IST
English rendering of PM’s Speech at Ashara Mubaraka – commemoration of martyrdom of Imam Husain (SA) at Indore

His Holiness, Dr. SyednaMufaddalSaifuddin, the popular Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan ji, and my family of Dawoodi Bohra society who are present here today.

It is an inspirational occasion for me to be present amidst you all and it is a new experience for me.

I am extremely grateful to you for giving me this opportunity to attend this holy occasion of Ashara Mubaraka.

I was told that with the help of technology, people of our society from different countries and centers are connected to us. I bow down to those who are connected with us from far-off places through technology.

Friends,

You have followed the holy message of Imam Hussain in your lives and have delivered his message to the country and the world for centuries. Imam Hussain had sacrificed his life for peace and justice. He had raised his voice against injustice and arrogance. His teachings are more important today than it was before. There is a crying need to spread these traditions with a lot of assertion. And I am glad that Syedna Saheb and every person of the Bohra community is associated with this mission.

Friends,

We believe in "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam"; we consider the entire world as one family. We are those who walk hand-in-hand with everyone else. This very strength of our society and heritage creates a separate identity for us compared to the other countries.

I am glad that the Bohra community is acquainting the world with this strength of India. Whenever I visit any part of the world, they ask me how I am.

We are proud of our past, have faith in our present and have a resolution for a bright future. Wherever I go, I always tell the people there about our society's contribution towards peace and development.

The role of Bohra community towards peace, harmony, Satyagraha and patriotism has always been significant. Syedna Saheb himself has been teaching love and dedication towards our country and motherland through his discourse. While he was speaking now, he taught us how one should live for the country, the society, the rules and the laws.

Earlier too, the respected Syedna Tahir Saifuddin saheb along with Mahatma Gandhi had played a crucial role in establishing these values.

I had read somewhere that the two great personalities had met on a train journey. Thereafter, both of them were in constant touch and they used to consult each other or debate with each other on every important event or movement.

We are all aware that the Dandi March was a golden chapter in the history of our freedom movement. During the Dandi March, respected Bapu, Mahatma Gandhi, had stayed in Saifi Villa, i.e. Syedna Saheb's residence. Honoring his friendship with Mahatma Gandhi and his values, Syedna Tahir Saifuddin saheb had donated his Saifi Villa to the nation after independence. The same Saifi Villa is now inspiring the country's younger generation.

Friends,

My relationship with Bohra community is very old and after the description given by Syedna Saheb, I feel that I have indeed, in a way, become a member of the family. I always feel oneness with and closely tied to you all. Even today, my doors are always open for you. I am fortunate to have your affection and your entire family's affection towards me.

There is still time for my birthday, but you have blessed me on this sacred platform to give me strength for the welfare of the nation. This really is a big deal. Therefore, I am extremely grateful to you all.

Probably there is hardly any village that doesn't have a representative from the Bohra business community. While I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Bohra community had supported me at every step. These close ties have drawn me today to you all.

I clearly remember, once Syedna Saheb was returning from Patan; he was supposed to go to Surat. He didn't have time so I rushed to the airport to meet him because I couldn't let him go without meeting. If you couldn't come, I would. So, we were sitting inside the airport, and he showered love on me just like one does to a small child. While chatting, I had discussed about the water scarcity problem of Gujarat and building check dams. He was about 97-98 at that time, i.e. 95+. Even today I can satisfactorily say that at that age, just on the basis of that casual conversation, he started the work on Mission Mode and with his efforts, he erected check dams in several villages of Gujarat to collect and store water. This campaign was successfully run and the villages started receiving water.

 

Moreover, a few years back, I did seek the help of the Bohra community for one of the programs to fight against malnutrition. I had requested them carry out a public awareness campaign. The Bohra community immediately took to their heels and helped Gujarat to tackle this serious issue.

Just observe the connection; while the Dawoodi Bohra community is engaged with the holy occasion of Ashara Mubaraka, the country is celebrating Nutrition month under Nutrition Mission. This campaign is being implemented across the country to ensure safety of every child and mother.

Every initiative taken by you towards education, health and nutrition of children have helped in empowering the society. I was informed that you are providing nutritious meal to children in different parts of the country including Maharashtra under Project Rise. This initiative of yours will definitely help to empower the nation's future.

You all are aware of the fact that for the first time the government has prioritized and put so much emphasis on healthcare. Affordable healthcare and preventive healthcare are being promoted. A network of good quality hospitals and health and wellness centers is being laid. Medicines at affordable rates are being offered at Jan Aushadhi stores. Free dialysis facilities are being provided and the prices of the equipment required for heart and knee surgeries have been drastically reduced. The Ayushman Bharat has become a savior for almost 50 crore poor brothers and sisters of the country.

This is not a small program. This program of Ayushman Bharat will cater to a population of India larger than the combined population of America, Canada and Mexico. This Program will cater to a population of India equivalent to the population of the entire Europe. You can imagine that this is a massive program for the welfare of such a large population.

Every year, free treatment up to Rs.5 lakh will be provided to every family. It is not a small decision. Every family of those 50 crore people will receive Rs.5 lakh every year. Trials of Ayushman Bharat that will take care of treatment are already running. It will be implemented across the country on 25 September on the birth anniversary of Pt. DeenDayalUpadhyayji.

Friends,

Your efforts towards providing houses to the needy along with nutrition and health services are commendable. I was told that about 11000 people have received houses due to your efforts. The government too had set the target of providing houses to the poor and homeless brothers and sisters by 2022.

You will be overjoyed to know that keys of the houses have been handed over to more than 1 crore brothers and sisters. This is not an announcement. They have actually received their house keys. Work is underway for the completion of other houses at a rapid pace. Besides, your efforts in the field of education and skill development are strengthening the efforts of the government and the results will multiply. It not only doubles but the result is several times better. We are constantly striving and moving ahead to make the lives of the common man easier and to uplift their standard of living.

Friends,

The government has emphasized upon another aspect related to the poor and the middle class. The issue is related to cleanliness. The government might have started the mission, but today it is being carried forward by the 125 crore Indians. A unique interest has developed in every village and street towards cleanliness.

Till 4 years ago, before I became the Prime Minister, only 40% of the houses in India had toilets. In such a short span of time, this figure has shot up to 90%. And I believe that very soon the country will successfully move towards declaring itself as Open Defecation Free.

This Indore city is leading and has constantly been on top in the country in terms of cleanliness. Therefore, I would like to heartily congratulate the people of Indore, the elected representatives, members of the corporation, the state government, the Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his entire team.

Not only Indore but Bhopal too has done a wonderful job! In a way, all my young friends and every individual of Madhya Pradesh is giving an impetus to this movement. We are well aware of your community's contribution to ensure cleanliness and purity of the environment. Syedna Saheb was himself a crusader of cleanliness and environmental protection. I remember that I was invited to the program marking the birth centenary of Bade Syedna Saheb.

I don't know how others celebrate birth centenaries, but you might remember how that day a movement had started to protect sparrows. Everyone was given a box in which the sparrows could make their nests. What else is environmental protection, if not this? These are our values and they have linked the purity of our minds to cleanliness of the environment.

I was told that just now Syedna Saheb has said that cleanliness should also be of heart and mind. I was told that keeping the prestige of Indore in mind, Ashara Mubaraka was organized by associating it with the message of environment and cleanliness.

Here, Plastic bags have been completely banned. It was made a zero-waste or waste-free event. Daily almost 10 tons of waste is recycled and converted to fertilizer here and then delivered to the farmers for free.

In the process, you are not only doing a service to the environment but also emphasizing upon government's vision of 'waste to energy'. This step will also be beneficial for farmer brothers and sisters. I appeal to the Swachhagrahis across the country to take lessons from such arrangements and associate with cleanliness. In our upcoming programs, emphasize will be laid on 'waste to energy'. Swachhta Hi Seva movement will begin tomorrow i.e. 15 September onwards and continue till 2nd October which is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi ji.

Tomorrow at 9.30 A.M., I will interact over video conference with Swachhagrahis, the religious gurus who create awareness regarding cleanliness, the artists, players, industrialists and all the eminent personalities of the society. Thereafter, a world record will be created. Crores of people will be engaged in the work of cleanliness tomorrow at the same time.

Moreover, from 2nd October, programs related to 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will begin. Syedna Saheb has given us a message regarding 150th birth anniversary of the respected Bapu. During the next two years while the programs will go on, he will encourage the country and the world to walk on the path shown by Bapu along with the message of cleanliness.

Today here in Indore, I have come to invite the Dawoodi Bohra community and my brothers and sisters of Madhya Pradesh to join this campaign of cleanliness.

Friends,

On this occasion, I would like to praise you all for another thing. Most of you are associated with trade and business. You have set an example for how work is done systematically and under rules. And how business can be expanded under discipline. Syedna Saheb has taught us the same thing time and again. It is not a small thing. The Dawoodi Bohra community has created its separate identity and respect with these values, wherever they are settled around the world.

You have re-established the example of how business can be carried out with honesty and integrity through your behavior. A businessman of the country is the backbone of its economy. He is extremely important in creating employment opportunities in the country. We are trying to encourage him as much as possible. This is our priority.

However, this too is true that all the fingers of a hand are not equal in size. There are people among us who believe that deceiving is business. In the last four years, the government has successfully sent out the message that everyone must be under law. Honest businessmen are encouraged through several laws like GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. And my Bohra community is deriving the maximum advantage out of it.

This is one of the major reasons that within the last four years, the confidence of the investors within the country and across the world has increased. As per the current situation, under Make in India, we are having record production of mobile phones, cars and other things. Investments are at record level. As a result, we had more than 8% growth rate in the last quarter. This could be achieved due to your efforts and the hard work of 125 Crore Indians. Ours is the fastest growing economy in the world.

Now the country is looking forward to double-digit growth rate. The rate at which we are progressing, I believe that despite myriad challenges, the country can reach the target due to its strength.

Friends,

All of you are playing a crucial role in creating a benign image of India before the world. Just as the ancient India had a shimmering place in the world, we have got the opportunity to bestow the same honor to our 'New India'.

We will relentlessly move forward to rebuild our country. With this belief, I end my speech. I once again thank you all. I offer my heartfelt gratitude to Syedna Saheb and his family. You have always showered your love, affection and blessings on me. Your blessings are my asset and strength. This strength is not for me but for 125 crore Indians. I dedicate these blessings, strength and abundance to my countrymen and once again congratulate you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you!

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AKT/SH/RSB/IG/AK