Day after the pet scheme inauguration of J Jayalalithaa, the subsidised scooter scheme for working women, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry and paid homage to its founder Sri Aurobindo.
After arriving in Puducherry from Chennai, PM Modi reached the ashram where he was received by the officials.
On the occasion of Auroville's 50th anniversary celebrations, Modi paid floral tributes at the memorial of the spiritual leader, and meditated for a few minutes. Later, he interacted with the children of the International School of Education run by the ashram.
He then left for Auroville (City of Dawn) International Township situated in neighbouring Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu where he will participate in its golden jubilee celebrations.
The international or universal project envisioned by the mother of Aurobindo Ashram, Mirra Alfassa, is dedicated to the ideal of human unity.
Earlier on his arrival at the airport, PM Modi was received by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy among others.
It was PM Modi's first visit to Puducherry after becoming the prime minister.
Later in the day PM Modi released the commemorative postage stamp on the occasion of Auroville's golden jubilee.
Post that the Prime Minister addressed a public meeting in Puducherry and said, "It is important today to remember the vast extent of action and thought of Shri Aurobindo. A man of action, a philosopher, a poet, there were so many facets to his character. And each of them was dedicated to the good of the nation and humanity. Auroville has brought together men and women, young and old, cutting across boundaries and identities. I understand that Auroville's Charter was hand-written in French by the Divine Mother herself. According to the Charter, the Mother set five high principles for Auroville."
"Maharishi Aurobindo's philosophy of Consciousness integrates not just humans, but the entire universe. This has been translated by Mahatma Gandhi to mean "everything down to the tiniest atom is divine," PM said.
"As the world progresses materially through science and technology, it will increasingly long for and need spiritual orientation for social order and stability. At Auroville, the material and the spiritual, co-exist in harmony," Modi added.
"The fact that Auroville has brought together such huge diversity of people and ideas makes dialogue and debate natural. Indian society is fundamentally diverse. It has fostered dialogue & a philosophic tradition. Auroville show-cases this ancient Indian tradition to the world," Modi stated later.
"India has always allowed mutual respect & co-existence of different religions and cultures. India is home to the age old tradition of Gurukul, where learning is not confined to classrooms. Auroville too has developed as a place of un-ending and life-long education."
Moreover, expressing his grief over Puducherry's poor infrastructure and transport system he slams his rival party Congress and said the Union territory is the victim of Congress culture.
Lashing out at the Congress Modi said that one family had ruled the country for over four decades and asked the people to compare the dynasty-led governments with the "development-oriented" NDA.
"One family either directly or indirectly ruled the country for 48 years," he told a public meeting organised by the BJP here, referring to the governments of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
On the other hand, he said, there was the NDA government which will complete 48 months this May. Intellectuals can debate the difference between what was achieved during the Congress regimes and the BJP-led NDA, he said.
Targeting the Congress government in Puducherry, he said the union territory had poor infrastructure and was a victim of "Congress culture".
Modi asserted that the BJP would win the coming Assembly elections in Karnataka and other states, and said the Congress would be left with only the V Narayanasamy government in Puducherry.
It's unfortunate that PM, holding the highest position, said this. Congress will win Mizoram, Meghalaya, Karnataka. We are in a winning position in Haryana & Maharashtra. Situation is changing today, people want Congress' govt: V Narayanasamy , #Puducherry CM on PM Modi's speech pic.twitter.com/6yqKW5xFTs— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2018
He did not refer to the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab.
"I want to congratulate the Chief Minister of Puducherry because the Congress is going to exhibit him as a specimen after June," he said predicting the defeat of the Congress in the other states.
He claimed Puducherry had poor infrastructure and sectors such as transport and cooperation were in a shambles.
"The Congress has failed on all fronts in Puducherry," he said.
However, concluding his speech an excited Modi said that he felt "lucky to be in Puducherry."
(With inputs from agencies)