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Diversity not a cause of conflict, it’s strength: PM Modi

Coimbatore: Diversity is not a cause of conflict but a speciality of Indian culture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday.

“Diversity is not a cause of conflict for us. We accept it and embrace it wholeheartedly; it is a speciality of our culture,” he said addressing a gathering after unveiling a mammoth 112 feet bust of ‘Adiyogi’ Lord Shiva at Isha Yoga Foundation here.

Describing Lord Shiva as symbol of inclusiveness, the Prime Minister said that Shiva along with Goddess Parvathi denote oneness.

“Look at how this message of oneness manifests itself around the neck of Shiva,” he said alluding to snakes and the Ganesha’s mount mouse living together in the Shiva family.

Reflecting the same unity, the PM said the Karthikeya’s vehicle (‘vahan’) peacock and snakes live together despite the enmity between them.

The Prime Minister emphasised upon the “vibrant spirit of harmony and unity”, despite the diversity in Lord Shiva’s family.

On the occasion of Mahashivratri, Modi said it symbolised a union of divinity with a purpose of overcoming darkness and injustice.

“India is a land of unparalleled diversity. Its diversity can be seen, heard, felt, touched and tested. The diversity had been India’s greatest strength,” he said.

Talking about Yoga, he said it was the “catalytic agent ushering the transformation from Jeeva to Shiva. (Yatra Jeeva, Tatra Shiva).” By practicing yoga, a spirit of oneness was created, he pointed out.

Referring to an ancient verse “Ekatm Satya,” (truth is one though it is called by different names) Modi said living with virtues like compassion, kindness, brotherhood and harmony are nationally, “a part of us.” “These are values our ancestors lived and die for.”

“These are virtues that have kept the Indian civilisation alive for centuries. Our mind should be always open to new thoughts and ideas form all sides,” he said.

On women’s development, Modi said the issue was no longer women development, but women-led development.

“The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women. I am proud of the fact that in our culture, the role of women is central. Our culture has so many goddess who are worshipped and India is home to many women saints led-movements and social reforms across country. They broke barriers and became trend setters,” he said.

Referring to the high pedestal on which the culture places women, he said, “we say Nari Tu Narayanai,” which means that women is a “manifestation of the divine.”

However, for a man he could attain divinity only if he does good deeds. “You see difference in divine status… Women’s divine status is unconditional for man it is conditional,” the PM added.