India can’t afford to remain stagnant at this juncture, says Modi; asks people to buy locally-made goods

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Ahmedabad: India cannot afford to remain stagnant at this juncture and it has to become self-reliant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday while urging people to buy locally-made products only.

He said if people use local goods for the next 25 years, then the country will not have to face the issue of unemployment.

Modi was speaking after unveiling a 108-feet tall statue of Lord Hanuman in Gujarat’s Morbi via video link on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti.

“India cannot afford to remain stagnant today. Whether we are awake or asleep, we cannot continue to remain where we are. The global situation is such that the entire world is thinking on how to become ‘aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliant),” Modi said.

“I would request the saints of the country to teach people to buy local products only. ‘Vocal for local’ is the in thing. At our homes, we should only use things made by our people. Imagine the high number of people who will get employment due to this,” he said.

“We may like foreign-made goods, but these things do not have the feel of the hard work of our people, the scent of our Mother Earth,” Modi said, adding, “In the next 25 years, if we just use local products, there won’t be unemployment for our people.”

The prime minister inaugurated the statue of Lord Hanuman at the Ashram of ‘Param Pujya Keshvanand ji’ at Morbi in Saurashtra region. This is the second of the four statues being set up in the four directions across the country, as part of Hanumanji Char Dham project.

The first statue in the series was set up in the north in Shimla in 2010, and work on the statue in the south at Rameswaram has also started.

Calling Lord Hanuman an inspiration for all and the one who who ensured the right to respect of all the forest-dwelling species and tribals, Modi said it is an important thread of ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’.

He said the spirit of Ram Katha – the story of Lord Ram, of which Lord Hanuman is an integral part, unites everyone through devotion to God. “This is the strength of Indian faith, our spirituality, our culture, our tradition,” he said.

Modi said the same spirit connected people from different sections in pre-Independent era India and helped the country take resolve for achieving independence.

India’s faith and culture emerges from harmony, equanimity and inclusivity, he said, adding that Lord Ram set an example of ‘Sabka saath, sabka vishwas’ (together, with everyone’s trust) by taking all together to accomplish a job, despite himself being competent to do everything on his own.

Modi also recalled his past connection to Khokhra Hanuman Dham, where the statue has come up, and said it was a source of inspiration for him.

Recalling the Machhu Dam disaster of 1979 in the region, he said that lessons learnt from that calamity helped him tackle the 2001 Bhuj earthquake.

Morbi has also benefited from the development of tourism in Kutch, he said, while mentioning other tourist attractions, like ropeway at Girnar, which he said has helped people reach the temple located atop a hill.

“India’s innate strength is such that tourism can be developed without doing much,” he said, while emphasising on the need to keep pilgrimage sites clean so as to inspire people to do the same.

Country’s spiritual leaders provided new strength to India’s independence by creating spiritual awakening among people before 1857, when India’s struggle for independence started, Modi said.

“The sense of selfless service and devotion that Hanumanji taught will make India strong,” he added.

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