Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils the 'Statue of Equality, a 216-foot tall statue of 11th-century saint Ramanujacharya, in Hyderabad. (DC)
Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the ‘Statue of Equality’ at Chinna Jeeyar Swamy ashram in Muchintal on the city outskirts to the nation on Saturday.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Modi said his government had been implementing several welfare schemes which were based on the principles of equality propagated by Sri Ramanujacharya and cited NDA government's schemes of Awaas Yojana, Ujwala Yojana, Ayushman Bharat etc which benefitted all the poor and the needy in the country irrespective of their castes, creed or religion.
The 216-foot tall ‘Statue of Equality’ commemorates the 11th century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste and creed. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy were among those present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister greeted everyone on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami and expressed happiness over the dedication of the statue on such a pious occasion. He said, "India is giving concrete shape to human energy and inspirations through this grand statue of Jagadguru Sri Ramanujacharya. This statue is a symbol of his wisdom, detachment and ideals."
The Prime Minister participated in the ‘Purnahuti’ of ‘Vishwaksena Ishti Yagya’ for fulfilment of resolutions and goals. He offered the ‘sankalpa’ of the Yagya for the ‘Amrit’ Sankalp of the country and dedicated the yagya to 130 crore countrymen.
"In today's world, when it comes to social reforms and progressivism, it is believed that reforms will take place away from the roots. But, when we see Ramanujacharya ji, we realise that there is no conflict between progressiveness and antiquity. It is not necessary to go far from your roots for reforms. Rather it is necessary that we connect with our real roots, become aware of our real power," he said.
The Prime Minister elaborated the link between the current measures and the wisdom of our saints. He said, "Today, Sri Ramanujacharya is giving us the message of equality in the form of a grand ‘Statue of Equality’. Going along with this message, today the country is laying the foundation of its new future with the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas'. The Prime Minister also emphasised that "India, today, is working collectively for development of all without discrimination; social justice for all so that those who have been oppressed for centuries become partner with full dignity in the development of the country."
The Prime Minister termed Sri Ramanujacharya a ‘shining inspiration for the unity and integrity of India’. "He was born in the South, but his influence is on the whole of India from South to North and East to West," he said.
Referring to Hyderabad’s connection with Sardar Patel, the Prime Minister said, "If Sardar Sahib's 'Statue of Unity' is repeating the oath of unity in the country, then Ramanujacharya's 'Statue of Equality' is giving the message of equality. This is the specialty of India as a nation."
The Prime Minister elaborated on the richness of Telugu culture and how it enriched India’s diversity. He recalled the long traditions of kings and queens who were torchbearers of this rich tradition. In the context of rejuvenation and recognition of India’s places of faith, the Prime Minister talked about the 13th century Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa temple being declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Pochampalli being recognised as India’s best tourism village by the World Tourism Organisation.
He noted the glorious contribution of the Telugu film industry which is making its presence felt globally and much beyond Telegu speaking areas. "This creativity is reigning on the silver screen and OTT platforms. It is being praised even outside India. This dedication of Telugu speaking people towards their art and culture is an inspiration for all," the Prime Minister added.
Jeeyar Swamy compared Modi's rule with Lord Rama's rule. Swamy said like Lord Rama, Modi was always standing by Dharma. He said under Modi rule, India had achieved global acclaim.
Union minister G. Kishan Reddy said like the Statue of Unity, the Statue of Equality would attract international attention and spread the message of equality across the globe.
The statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc and is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position, in the world. It is mounted on a 54-ft high base building, named ‘Bhadra Vedi’, and has floors devoted for a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, and an educational gallery detailing many works of Sri Ramanujacharya. The statue has been conceptualised by Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.
During the programme, 3D presentation on the life journey and teaching of Sri Ramanujacharya was showcased. Prime Minister visited the identical recreations of 108 Divya Desams (ornately carved temples) that surround the Statue of Equality.