PM Modi Addresses Closing Ceremony of Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the closing ceremony of Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam via video conferencing today.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister drew attention to the fact that hosting a guest is a special experience but the experience and happiness of homecoming after decades is unmatchable. He highlighted that the people of Saurashtra have laid down the red carpet for friends from Tamil Nadu who are visiting the state with the same enthusiasm.

The Prime Minister remembered that as Chief Minister he organized a similar Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam in Madurai in 2010 with more than 50,000 participants from Saurashtra.  The Prime Minister noted the same affection and fervor in the guests from Tamil Nadu who have come to Saurashtra. Noting that the guests have indulged in tourism and already visited the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, the Prime Minister said that one can witness the precious memories of the past, affinity and experiences for the present, and resolutions and inspirations for the future in the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam. He congratulated everyone from Saurashtra and Tamil Nadu for today’s occasion.

The Prime Minister said that in the Amrit Kaal of India’s Independence, we are bearing witness to important cultural events like Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam which is not a sangam of just Tamil Nadu and Saurashtra but also a festival of worship of Shakti in the form of Devi Meenakshi and Devi Parvati. Also, this is a festival of the Spirit of Shiva in the form of Bhagan Somnath and Bhagwan Ramnath. Similarly, it is a sangam of the land of Sundershwara and Nageshwara, this is the sangam of Shri Krishna and Shri Ranganatha, Narmada and Vagai, Dandiya and Kolatham and a sangam of the sacred tradition of Puris like Dwarka and Puri, he said. “Tamil Saurashtra Sangamam is a sangam of patriotic resolution of Sardar Patel and Subramania Bharati. We have to move forward with this heritage on the path of nation-building”, the Prime Minister added.

“India is a country that sees its diversity as a speciality”, the Prime Minister said referring to the different languages and dialects, art forms and genres that are celebrated all over the country. The Prime Minister emphasized that India finds diversity in its belief and spirituality and gave the example of worshipping Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma and bowing our heads to the holy rivers of the land in our own diverse ways. This diversity, the Prime Minister continued, does not divide us but strengthens our bonds and relationships. He underlined that a confluence is created when different streams come together and said that India has been nurturing the notion of the confluence of rivers to the confluence of ideas in events like Kumbh for centuries. “This is the power of Sangam that the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam is taking forward in a new form today”, the Prime Minister remarked. He elaborated that the unity of the country is taking shape in the form of such great festivals with the blessings of Sardar Patel Saheb. The Prime Minister emphasized that it is also the fulfillment of the dreams of lakhs of freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives and dreamed of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.

The Prime Minister recalled the ‘Panch Pran’ of pride in heritage and said “Pride in our heritage will increase when we get to know it, try to get to know ourselves by getting free from the mentality of slavery.” Events like Kashi Tamil Sangamam and Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam are becoming an effective movement in this direction, he said. He commented upon the neglect of the deep connection between Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The Prime Minister noted “There has been a deep connection between these two states since mythological times. This cultural fusion of Saurashtra and Tamil Nadu, of the West and the South is a flow that has been in motion for thousands of years.”

Mentioning the goal of 2047, the challenges of slavery and 7 decades, the Prime Minister cautioned against diversionary and destructive powers. “India has the power to innovate even in the toughest of circumstances, the shared history of Saurashtra and Tamil Nadu assures us of this”, he said. The Prime Minister remembered the attack on Somnath and the resultant exodus to Tamil Nadu and recalled that those moving from one part of the country to another never worried about the new language, people and environment. He reiterated that a large number of people migrated from Saurashtra to Tamil Nadu to protect their faith and identity and the people of Tamil Nadu welcomed them with open arms, and extended all facilities to them for a new life. “What can be a bigger and loftier example of  ‘Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat’?”, the Prime Minister exclaimed.

Quoting the great saint Thiruvallavar the Prime Minister said that happiness, prosperity and fortune come to those who happily welcome others into their homes and emphasized the need for harmony and shunning cultural clashes. “We don’t have to take forward the struggles, we have to take forward the Sangams and Samagams. We don’t want to find differences, we want to make emotional connections”, the Prime Minister said referring to the people of Tamil Nadu who welcomed the people of Saurashtra origin to settle in Tamil Nadu. He said that the immortal tradition of India which takes everyone along with inclusiveness and moves forward has been showcased by those who adopted the Tamil culture but at the same time remembered the language, food and customs of Saurashtra. The Prime Minister expressed delight that the contributions of our forefathers are being taken forward with a sense of duty. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister urged everyone to invite people from different parts of the country in the same way as the local level and give them an opportunity to live and breathe India. He expressed confidence that the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam will prove to be a historic initiative in this direction.

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