Extending Diwali greetings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday batted for promoting “festival tourism” in the country, saying we should welcome people from other states and countries while celebrating festivals such as Holi and Pongal.
In his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address, he also referred to the unique “Swachh Siachen” campaign launched by soldiers to clean up the icy battlefield of 130 tonne of trash.
He said the feat is remarkable as nothing decomposes in the icy heights easily.
With the country celebrating the 550th Prakash Utsav or birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November, the prime minister referred to his teachings of peace, harmony and equality.
Paying tributes to then prime minister Indira Gandhi ahead of her death anniversary on October 31, Modi also urged people to participate in large numbers in the “run for unity” on Thursday.
The marathon is organised every year on October 31 since 2014 to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
While referring to tourism, he said the Statue of Unity in Gujarat has drawn 26 lakh tourists in its first year.
It has generated employment opportunities for locals also.
PM Modi said festival tourism has its own exciting attractions.
India, the country of festivals, possesses limitless possibilities in the realm of festival tourism.
“It must be our endeavour to ensure that we should welcome people of other states, other countries when we celebrate Holi, Diwali, Onam, Pongal or Bihu, spreading their true spirit,” he said.
Every state, every region is replete with distinct festivals, generating a lot of interest in people from other countries, he said.
The Indian diaspora has a significant role to play in promoting festival tourism in India, he suggested.
Ahead of the expected Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also recalled how the government, political parties and the civil society prevented attempts to create fissures when the 2010 Allahabad High Court ruling on the disputed land in Ayodhya was to be delivered.
He described it as an example of how a united voice can strengthen the country.
In his monthly “Mann ki Baat” radio address, PM Modi asked people to jog their memory and recall the days ahead of the Allahabad High Court judgment of September 2010.
He referred to the kind of language used to generate tension in the atmosphere.
He said some loudmouths had the sole intention of hogging the limelight at that time.
“And we all know what kind of irresponsible talk was floating around. This continued for five days, or seven days, or ten days, but, the court’s decision generated a pleasant and surprising change of mood in the country,” he said.
On the one hand, the machinations went on to generate tension. When the decision was delivered by the court, the government, political parties, social organizations, civil society, representatives of all sects and saints on the other issued balanced statements. There were attempts to reduce the tension in the sociopolitical environment, he pointed out.
He said the dignity of the judiciary was honoured “and no allowance for any heated discourse or tension was made anywhere.”
“These episodes should always be remembered. It is an example of how the voice of unison can bestow strength upon our country,” he said.
While referring to the Allahabad High Court verdict, the prime minister did not mention the Supreme Court ruling expected in a few days.
A Special Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya will be divided into three parts. A two-thirds portion is to be shared by two Hindu plaintiffs and one-third will be given to the Sunni Muslim Waqf Board.
The apex court is likely to deliver its verdict on the Ayodhya issue sometime in the middle of November.