In a scathing attack on the opposition INDIA alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that it wants to finish Sanatana Dharma and push the country back into slavery for 1,000 years.
The statement, which was made by the Prime Minister at an event in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, is his first public reaction to the controversy over DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks on Sanatana Dharma.
“They held a meeting in Mumbai recently, and I think they decided the policy and strategy of how to run the ‘ghamandiya’ alliance there. They have also decided on a hidden agenda. The strategy is to attack the culture of India. They have decided to attack the faith of Indians and finish the thoughts, values and traditions that have united the country for thousands of years,” the PM said in Hindi.
Drawing a link between India’s heroes and the Sanatana culture, he said, “The ‘ghamandiya’ alliance has resolved to finish the Sanatana culture and traditions that inspired Devi Ahilyabai Holkar. It was the strength of Sanatana that the Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmibai, could challenge the British and say that she would not give up her Jhansi.”
PM Modi said Mahatma Gandhi considered Sanatana Dharma to be essential to his life. “He was inspired by Lord Ram all his life. His last words were ‘hey Ram’,” he added.
The Prime Minister asserted that Swami Vivekanand and Lokmanya Tilak were also inspired by Sanatana and it was this culture that moved freedom fighters who were hanged by the British to say that they wanted to be born “in the lap of Bharat Ma” again.
“In the days to come, they will step up their attacks on us. Every Sanatani, every person who loves this country, those who love the people of this country; all of us have to stay vigilant. They want to finish Sanatana and push the country back into 1,000 years of slavery. But we have to stop such forces together. Through the strength of our organisation, we have to ensure that their strategy does not succeed,” he said.
The PM’s remarks came days after Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is a Tamil Nadu minister and a leader of INDIA bloc member DMK, spoke about “eradicating” Sanatana Dharma. While talking about caste differences, he had equated Sanatana Dharma with diseases like dengue and malaria.
The BJP has used the remarks to attack both the Opposition alliance and the individual parties that are a part of it. While Udhayanidhi Stalin has stood by his statement and has found support from his father and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, allies like the Congress, AAP and Trinamool Congress have distanced themselves from it.
PM Modi laid the foundation stone for projects worth more than Rs 50,000 crore in Madhya Pradesh, including a petrochemical complex at the Bina Refinery of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited. The PM also visited poll-bound Chhattisgarh today.