Chennai/Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the festival of Pongal reflects the national spirit of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' and the same emotive connect could be witnessed in Kashi-Tamil and Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam.
In his address at the Pongal celebrations held at the residence of Union Minister L Murugan in the national capital, Modi said festive fervour marked every home in Tamil Nadu and wished joy, prosperity and contentment in the lives of all the people.
Drawing similarities to India’s diversity with 'Kolam,' the prime minister said that when every corner of the country connects emotionally with each other, the nation’s strength appears in a new form.
Considered as a welcome symbol and a sign of auspiciousness, Kolam is a popular art form, which involves making drawings on the ground --at the entrance portion to the house-- using a variety of rice flour.
Modi said: "The festival of Pongal reflects the national spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat." The same spirit can be witnessed in the tradition started by Kashi-Tamil Sangamam and Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam which records enthusiastic participation of Tamil people in large numbers.
The prime minister said, "This feeling of unity is the biggest force to build a Viksit Bharat by 2047. The main element of the Panch Pran that I have invoked from the Red Fort is to energize the unity of the country and to strengthen the unity."
Quoting saint poet Thiruvalluvar, the prime minister underscored the role of educated citizens, honest businessmen and good crop in nation-building. During Pongal, fresh crop is offered to God which puts ‘Annadata Kisans’ at the center of this festive tradition.
He underlined the rural, crop and farmer connection of every festival of India.
Recalling one of his speeches that dwelt on the connection between millets and Tamil traditions, he expressed happiness that there is a 'new awareness' about the 'superfood Shri Anna' (millets) and many youth have taken up startup ventures on millets.
He informed that more than three crore farmers doing millet farming are directly getting benefitted from millet promotion.
He concluded with a call for 're-dedicating ourselves' to the resolution of strengthening the unity of the nation on the occasion of Pongal.
'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat', a Central government initiative, stands for unity and aims at enhancing interaction between people living in various states/UTs and promoting mutual understanding. The harvest festival of Pongal will be celebrated on January 15.