Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday continued his diatribe on terrorism, saying that terrorists should be rooted out and those helping them should not be spared either. The needle was at Pakistan, whom India has long accused of fomenting terrorism and exporting it across the border.
PM Modi also urged people to be like Jatayu -- the man-bird from Ramayan who died in the process of trying to rescue Seeta from the clutches of Ravan -- and keep terrorism at bay.
The prime minister was speaking at Aishbagh Ram Leela Ground in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. The theme of the event was terrorism. As per traditional observances, the effigies of Raavan, Meghnad (also known as Indrajit) and Kumbhakarna were burnt on the occasion, symbolising the destruction of evil. This year, the three effigies also stood for terrorism.
Speaking at the occasion, PM Modi said: "We burn Ravan every year. What does it teach us? Every time we do that, we should promise to kill the Ravan within ourselves and society. There should be a celebration of Dusshera within us as well, kill the 10 'haras' [evils] within ourselves."
He went on to give examples of terrorism in our epics. "Ramayana is witness that the first fighter against terrorism was Jatayu, who fought for a woman's honour. So, even if all of us can't be Lord Ram, we can all try and be Jatayu and keep terrorism at bay," he said.
PM Modi also took the occasion to point out that no single country was the victim of terrorism, and it would be wrong to think it was not everyone's problem. "In 1992-93, I was talking to someone from the United States Department of State on terrorism. They said it was our law and order problem. That changed after 9/11," he said, referring the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on US soil.
He also said: "If you think we are free of terrorism, you are wrong. It is a virus affecting our society. The whole world is being destroyed by terrorism. Terrorists need to be rooted out, and those who support or help them should also not be spared. So, when we burn Ravan, we should remember that humanity can't be saved unless we fight terrorism together."
Speaking on India's yearning for peace, the prime minister dwelt on how India wants to go from the path of "yudh" or war to Budh -- Gautam Buddha. "Both Krishna and Ram had yudh in their life. But we are those who want to go from the path of yudh to Budh. This is the country of the charkhadhaari Mohan [a reference to Mahatma Gandhi and his yarn-spinning, which sparked a silent revolution] and Budh," PM Modi added.