“Kashi is indestructible. Kashi is ruled by the open who has `damru’ in his hand,” said prime minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating his dream project—Kashi Vishwanath Corridor—in Varanasi today.
In a speech which evoked history, emotion, pride and awe at what’s been achieved—clearing Kashi Vishwanath temple from encroachments and incorporating many small temples of it which had been lost in multi-storeyed buildings built around it—Modi was at his inspirational best (see the video below).
“It is said in Kashi Khand that no one can enter the city without Shiva’s blessing. Whatever is being done is because of the blessings of Baba Vishwanath.”
Modi mentioned that many aggressors had destroyed Kashi Vishwanath Dham in the past.
“Aurangzeb came with the aim to destroy the place. He tried to convert people using the sword. But the soil of this country is different from others. When Aurangzeb comes, Shivaji also takes birth on this land. Look at the history. The history of barbarians is shrinking, and Kashi is moving forward.”
Modi mentioned Goswami Tulsidas, Kabir Das while recounting the glorious history of Kashi which many believe is the oldest city in the world. The city has links to Buddhism and Jainism. Illustrious sons of India like Sant Ravidas, Swami Vivekananda, Madan Mohan Malviya, Shivaji Maharaj, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Chandra Shekhar Azad all have had links with the city.
“The role of Mata Ahilyabai Holkar in the reconstruction of the temple is noteworthy. Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent 23 man (920 KG) of gold to the temple.”
“Vishwanath Dham is not only a building, but it is a symbol of Sanatan Sanskriti, it is a symbol of our ancient soul, it is a symbol of our culture and mobility.”
Modi said Monday is the favourite day of Bhagwan Shiv. “It is our good fortune that we have become witness of such historical day. Today, Vishwanath Dham is filled with divine energy. Its glory has increased by several folds. Its significance has reached the sky.”
PM also mentioned that Kashi is where Maa Ganga changes direction to touch the feet of Bhagwan Shiva. “Shiva is everyone’s. Ganga belongs to everyone. With time, it had become difficult to worship Baba Vishwanath and Maa Ganga. There was a scarcity of roads and space. It was difficult for the elder and divyangs. Now, they will do Darshan with ease.”
He added, “Before the construction of corridor began, the temple premises was around 3000 square feet. Now it spreads over five lakh square feet. Now, the premises can accommodate around 50,000 to 70,000 devotees without any problem at any given time.”
Modi began his address to the nation by bowing down to Baba Vishwanath, Mata Annapurna and Baba Kaal Bhairav—“I went to ask permission from Baba Kaalbhairav as he is Kotwal of the city. Without his permission, no one can enter the city.”
He also asked Indians to take three vows of Swachchta (cleanliness), srijan (innovation) and Atmanirbharta (self-sufficiency).
“They would ask me how it would be possible? How could so much work be done? It would not be possible, they said. Some said many like Modi came and left. I was flabbergasted how anyone could think like this about the people of Kashi.”