Adopt Swadeshi, self-reliance to keep culture, art alive: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday stressed the importance of self-reliance for prosperity and promotion of indigenous products and said that by adopting them, India’s traditional art, culture, and civilization could be kept alive.

Addressing a gathering through video conferencing on the 150th birth anniversary of Jain saint Vijay Vallabh Surishwar, Modi said that the message of Swadeshi and self-reliance is highly relevant in the present times. “This is the mantra of progress for a self-reliant India,” he said.

“The world is facing a crisis of terror and violence and is looking for inspiration to break out of this vicious cycle,” Modi said. In such a situation, India’s ancient traditions and philosophy are giving hope to the world today with their power.

“The path shown by him (Acharya Surishwar) and the teachings of Jain gurus is the solution to these global crises,” he said.

Noting that religious tradition and indigenous products can be promoted simultaneously, the Prime Minister quoted Surishwar and said: “The prosperity of a country depends on its economic prosperity, and by adopting indigenous products one can achieve India’s success can keep art, culture and civilization alive.”

The Union Ministry of Culture organized the event to mark the conclusion of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the Jain Guru. A commemorative postage stamp and coin dedicated to Acharya Surishwar were also released.

Recalling the beginning of the ceremony two years ago, Modi recalled the “privilege” of unveiling the statue of Acharya Surishwar. He said, “Today, I am amongst you saints with the help of technology.

In November 2020, the Prime Minister unveiled the ‘Statue of Peace’ in Pali, Rajasthan, to mark the birth anniversary celebrations of the Jain monk. The 151-inch tall idol is made from Ashtadhatu (eight metals), of which copper is the major component.

Modi said the ‘Statue of Peace’ is one of the giant statues of saints, while the ‘Statue of Unity dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat’s Narmada district is the tallest in the world. Recalling his contribution, he said that Patel had united the country and divided it into several princely states. At the same time, Acharya Vijay Vallabh travelled to different parts of the country and strengthened its unity and culture.

“These are not only tall statues, but they are also the biggest symbols of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’,” he said.

Modi said Acharya Surishwar’s emphasis on peace and harmony was visible even during the horrors of Partition. He said Mahatma Gandhi had adopted the path of “aparigraha”, or renunciation, prescribed by the Jain gurus during the freedom movement. Modi said, “aparigraha is not only renunciation but also controls all forms of attachment.”

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