Modi invokes Sant Ravidas to caution against casteism

Modi invokes Sant Ravidas to caution against casteism

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in which the BJP faces a stiff challenge from caste leaders in the Hindi belt, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday cautioned against the evils of casteism by referring to the teachings of Sant Ravidas.

Reciting a famous couplet by Ravidas during his 52nd 'Mann ki Baat' monthly radio talk, he said caste peels off society layer by layer and ultimately nothing is left of it.

The prime minister also devoted a major portion of his speech lauding the contributions of iconic freedom fighter Subash Chandra Bose whose name resonates in every household in West Bengal.

He also talked about Bengali polymath and freedom fighter Rabindranath Tagore, suggesting people to visit Kranti Mandir, a visual arts museum at Red Fort, to see Tagore's paintings along with exquisite works of other great artists such as Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Sailoz Mukherjee.

The BJP pins high hope on Bengal where there are 42 Lok Sabha seats.

“Sant Ravidas used to convey a profound message through the few lines of his couplet. He said, 'jaati-jaati mein jaati hai, jo ketan ke paat, raedaas manush na jud sake, jab tak jaati na jaat.' Which would translate something like this that if you were to peel the stem of the banana tree, there appear leaves underneath which form the psuedostem, one can go peeling the leaves forming the stem till there isn’t any tree left at all!” Modi said.

Sant Ravidas proposed that if god was present in every human being, it was not fair to categorise him on the basis of caste, creed and other sociological demarcations, he said. “Man has been divided into castes and the human in him has disappeared,” he added.

The prime minister hailed the Election Commission for its "meticulous organising abilities" in holding polls and exhorted the youth, who are eligible to caste their votes for the first time, to enroll with the Election Commission and exercise their franchise in the upcoming elections.

He also highlighted the achievements of his government.

“The time has come for a confluence of individual dreams and the nation’s dream. I urge the young generation to register themselves as voters, if they are eligible. For any reason, if one is not able to vote, it should pain one. One should be saddened to witness any wrong taking place in the country. We have to realise the importance of this responsibility of ours,” he said.