Lucknow : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday offered floral tributes at the ‘samadhi’ and ‘mazaar’ of the 15th-century saint Kabir Das at Maghar in Sant Kabir Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh.
Modi became the first Prime Minister to visit Maghar, where the mystic poet and saint breathed his last in 1518.
Dressed in white kurta and choodidaar payjama, the Prime Minister was flanked by the saffron-robed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditytanath and priests at the shrine as he took a round of the place. He was gifted a ‘angawastra’ and some literature on the saint.
Later, addressing a public gathering which drew thousands of locals and followers of the saint, Modi pointed out how Kabir became great not by his birth but by his ‘karma’s (deeds).
He began his address in Bhojpuri dialect, pleasing the gathering which cheered him. He said he had long wished to be at the shrine but could not and now that he was here, he was elated and was overwhelmed.
Mr. Modi said that Sant Kabir Academy, to be built at a cost of about Rs. 24 crore, would create an institution to preserve the legacy of Sant Kabir, as well as regional dialects and folk arts of Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister size that Sant Kabir represents the essence of India’s soul. He broke the barriers of caste, and spoke the language of the ordinary, rural Indian, Shri Narendra Modi added.
Making a strong statement against political opportunism, the Prime Minister recalled Sant Kabir’s teaching that the ideal ruler is one who understands the feelings and suffering of the people. He said Sant Kabir had criticised all social structures which discriminated among people. In this context, the Prime Minister mentioned the various schemes of the Union Government which seek to empower the poor and underprivileged sections of society, such as Jan Dhan Yojana, UjjwalaYojana, insurance schemes, toilet construction, and direct benefits transfer. He also mentioned the increase in pace in various infrastructure sectors such as roads, railways, optical fibre network etc. He said the Union Government is working to ensure that all parts of India receive the fruits of development.
“I have also seen the caves where Sant Kabir, Guru Nanak and Guru Gorakhnath held spiritual parleys,” he said.
His own government was driven by the basic tenets of equality and uplifting the poor, all of which were dear to Kabir.
Earlier, due to the flooding of the Gorakhpur airport runway, the Prime Minister’s aircraft landed in Lucknow where he was welcomed by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Adityanath and others.