DURGOUTSOV strengthens India’s pluralistic society, says PM Modi

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PRIME Minister Narendra Modi, a known devotee of Swami Vivekanand and Ramakrishna Paramhans, said Durga Puja is the epitome of pluralism and reflected the collective strength of India. Declaring ten Durgotsav virtually open across west Bengal on the Shashti on October 22,  he invoked Goddess Durga and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to women’s empowerment. Noting that Goddess Durga was worshipped as a symbol of ‘Shakti’ (strength), Modi said his government was consistently working for the empowerment of women. “From opening Jan Dhan accounts for 22 crore women, giving soft loans to them under the Mudra Yojana, to launching Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao initiative, granting permanent commission to women in the armed forces and extending maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks, we have taken a number of steps for their empowerment,” he told a gathering at Durga Puja celebration organised by the BJP. Anti-rape laws were made more stringent to include the death penalty. ’We are alert towards the security of women,” he said. The prime minister’s remark came in the backdrop of incidents of rape and murders of some women that shocked the nation and triggered outrage against the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. The prime minister recalled the contributions of reformers Raja Ram Mohun Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, spiritual leaders Ramakrishna Paramhans and Swami Vivekananda, cultural giant Rabindranath Tagore, and revolutionaries like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Khudiram Bose in shaping India’s national identity. The BJP had made elaborate arrangements for live viewing of the prime minister’s virtual address from the national capital. The event was televised live at over 78,000 polling booths across the state’s 294 assembly constituencies.

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