India Runs for Statue of Unity
Over 40 lakh people across over 1,100 locations all over India joined the Run on December 15. The Run was held with a determination to unite the people, unite the villages and unite the nation.
On the morning of December 15, the punyatithi of Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the ‘Run for Unity’ at Vadodara. Over 40 lakh people across over 1,100 locations all over India joined the Run. The Run was held with a determination to unite the people, unite the villages and unite the nation. Shri Modi described it as a matter of Rashtrabhakti and an effort to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of the people of India.
Paying tribute to Sardar Patel Modi said, “Sardar Patel devoted his life to unify the nation. He integrated the common people in the freedom struggle and made efforts to rid the nation of the colonial mindset. He undid the mindset of divisiveness and united the nation. When we remember Gandhiji we remember truth, non-violence, sacrifice, simplicity, satyagraha; when we remember Sardar Patel we remember Ekta, Surajya and Kisan (unity, good governance and the farmer).”
Gujarat Government, he said, with a view to spread the message of ‘unity’ would conduct an essay competition in the schools across the country and various awards worth Rs. 2.5 crore would be given away to the winners of at least 5,500 schools. We have contacted around 2 lakh schools in this regard. Gujarat has decided to construct world’s tallest statue of unity and with the strength of our unity, India would emerge as giant as this statue on the global horizon, he said.
Significantly, as soon as he flagged off ‘Run for Unity’ at sharp 8 am from Vadodara, more than 40 lakh people from 1,100 different places across India took a start simultaneously. In Vadodara, from where he kicked-off the run, around three lakh citizens participated and set a new record of its kind. Earlier, Shri Modi flagged off the 21 km and 15 km run. He also flagged off the 5 km run. Former Deputy PM of India Shri LK Advani and senior BJP leader flagged off the ‘Run for Unity’ in Ahmedabad.
T Satisan reports from Kerala that the Run for Unity shook the very organisational apparatus of Kerala’s ruling front, thanks to the boldness expressed by government’s chief whip and Kerala Congress (M) leader PC George to inaugurate the Run in Kottayam district. Even though lot of well known sports and film personalities, environmentalists and prominent citizens cutting across religious and professional lines inaugurated the Run For Unity in Kerala, PC George’s presence in Run For Unity function stirred a hornets’ nest of UDF. George not only inaugurated the Run, but also flaunted a T-Shirt with Narendra Modi’s pictures printed on both sides! Immediately Congress leaders came out with harsh statements against George and demanded his removal from the position he enjoys with Cabinet rank. But, he maintained a defiant posture. He said, he had not attended any BJP progamme, but a programme to respect Sardar Patel, the man who unified India. His attitude, even after 3 days was “Come what may”. CPM PB member and deputy leader of the Opposition in State Assembly alleged this act of George as a beginning of Congress-BJP nexus.
Justice KT Thomas, the chairman of the State level reception committee for the Run said, PC George’s action was not at all wrong. In the meanwhile, visuals of meeting of CM Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radha-krishnan, Gujarat Agriculture Minister, senior IAS-IPS officers from Gujarat and Kerala BJP chief V Muraleedharan were telecasted by channels. They were in a luncheon meeting. It is also reported that the Gujarat team gifted the memento of a miniature Patel statue to Kerala government leaders. Naturally, people of Kerala saw the insincere, spineless arguments and rhetoric of the UDF leaders.
The entire Parade Ground was packed to the capacity, still the overflowing crowd of people had been milling around on roads encircling the ground. Elaborate security arrangements had been made for Narendra Modi’s rally at Parade Grounds of Dehradun on December 15. BJP National President Rajnath Singh and many other senior party leaders were also present. The rally venue had been barricaded, with cops posted at all entry and exit points, and the CCTV cameras have been installed at all strategic points to detect any suspicious movement. Taking lesson from the blasts that occurred in Modi’s rally in Patna, senior police officials from Ahmedabad were also in touch with their counterparts in Dehradun. This was Shri Modi’s first ever rally in the hill state after he was nominated as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.
Modi expressed his anguish over the inept manner of the Congress Government in the Centre and the State handling the natural crisis that occurred at Kedarnath in June. The local people affected by Kedarnath flash-flood are still suffering; they have got no relief from the Congress Government.
Modi said in emotion-filled tone, “I’m still pained by the Congress Government’s refusal to allow me to land in the flood-affected areas in Uttarakhand in June. I’m pained to see how heartless the politics can be, when one is not allowed to share even grief with the loved ones, one is not allowed even to wipe their tears.”
“Brothers, sisters and dear friends, in that time of grief and pain, I came running to the people of Uttarakhand, and the victims from rest of the country, but political heartlessness forced me to go away. Brothers and sisters, that pain is still hurting my heart and soul,” Shri Modi said amid thunderous clapping.