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Valmiki symbolises social harmony, uplift of Dalits: Shah

BJP president Amit Shah marked the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti (the birth anniversary of Sage Valmiki who wrote one of the most popular versions of the Ramayana) at the BJP’s headquarters on Saturday, invoking both the placement of the Ramayana at the centre of India’s cultural life and sage Valmiki’s humble origins as a Dalit.

A celebration replete with symbolism for the BJP that has been pushing the Ram Temple issue as well as trying to connect with Dalit voters in Uttar Pradesh, in the run-up to the polls there.

Addressing party workers here, Mr. Shah said “the epic of Ramayana is not a eulogy to Lord Rama, rather it is the first message of greatness of India to the entire world.” Through the epic of Ramayana, he said, the greatest message that sage Valmiki gave to the world was that truth finally wins no matter how might, powerful and clever falsehood is.

“The example of Maharishi Valmiki, and the way he worked for social harmony and the uplift of the Dalit community is an inspiration to all,” he added.

Mr. Shah said “when saints and seers recite the Ramayana, they do not think of which caste he belongs to.” He added that it was demonstration of the fact that “social harmony and equality were at the heart of Indian ethos.”

He pointed out that the Constitution of India, drafted by Dr B.R. Ambedkar too kept social equality at the heart of the document. He said that Narendra Modi government, in its programmes and policies had also emphasised the same. “When Prime Minister Modi in his independence day speech form the Red Fort appeals to banks to seek out Dalit youths to help make them self sufficient, it is a clear sign of change in the governance of India,” he said. He asked those present to log on to the web sites of any government department at the Centre, where “the first four or five schemes will have been addressed to the poorest and most backward sections of society,” he said.

Valmiki Jayanti has been made a cause celebre this time round by the BJP, and similar felicitation programmes were, party office bearers said, held in almost every district office of the party in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 1:03:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Valmiki-symbolises-social-harmony-uplift-of-Dalits-Shah/article16072244.ece

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