The Biggest Festival of Democracy Concludes: Reflections on the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

The grand celebration of democracy, the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, concludes today in our nation, the Mother of Democracy. As I board the plane for Delhi after a three-day spiritual journey in Kanniyakumari, my mind is filled with a multitude of experiences and emotions from the election period. Today, as Kashi and numerous other constituencies engage in the final phase of voting, I feel an immense flow of energy within myself.

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections are the first in the Amrit Kaal. My campaign journey began months ago in Meerut, the land of the First War of Independence of 1857. Since then, I have traveled across the length and breadth of our great nation. The final rally of these elections took me to Hoshiarpur in Punjab, the land of the great Gurus and Sant Ravidas Ji. After that, I came to Kanniyakumari, at the feet of Maa Bharti.

Throughout the fervor of the elections, the faces from rallies and road shows, the blessings from our Nari Shakti, and the trust and affection of the people have been humbling experiences. These experiences led me into a ‘sadhana’ (meditative state), where the heated political debates and accusations of the election campaign vanished into a void. A sense of detachment grew within me, and my mind became completely detached from the external world.

Meditating in Kanniyakumari, inspired by Swami Vivekananda, was effortless despite the huge responsibilities. Leaving my campaign in the hands of my beloved people of Kashi, I immersed myself in this spiritual retreat. I contemplated Swami Vivekananda’s experiences during his meditation here and found a similar stream of thoughts in my own meditation.

Amidst this detachment and peace, my thoughts focused on the bright future of Bharat. The rising sun at Kanniyakumari elevated my thoughts, the vast ocean expanded my ideas, and the horizon continuously reminded me of the unity embedded in the universe. It felt as if the observations and experiences from the Himalayas decades ago were being revived.

Kanniyakumari has always been close to my heart. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari, built under the leadership of Shri Eknath Ranade ji, holds a special place in my journey. I had the opportunity to travel extensively with Eknath ji and spend time in Kanniyakumari during the construction of this memorial.

From Kashmir to Kanniyakumari, this common identity is deeply ingrained in every citizen’s heart. This ‘Shakti Peeth’ (seat of Shakti), where Maa Shakti incarnated as Kanya Kumari, is a land of confluences. The sacred rivers of our country flow into different seas, and here, those seas converge, symbolizing the ideological confluence of Bharat.

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial, the grand statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar, Gandhi Mandapam, and Kamarajar Mani Mandapam are testaments to this confluence. These streams of thought from these stalwarts inspire nation-building and unity, especially for anyone who doubts Bharat’s nationhood.

The grand statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar, gazing at the expanse of Maa Bharti from the sea, and his work Thirukkural, covering every aspect of life, inspire us to give our best for ourselves and our nation. Paying my respects to such a great figure was a profound experience.

Swami Vivekananda once said, “Every nation has a message to deliver, a mission to fulfill, a destiny to reach.” Bharat, with its sense of meaningful purpose, has been a cradle of ideas for thousands of years. We have always shared our knowledge and resources with the world, embracing the principle of ‘Idam-na-mama’ (this is not mine).

Bharat’s journey benefits the global progress as well. Our independence movement inspired many nations to seek their own freedom. Decades later, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Bharat’s successful efforts provided courage and assistance to many countries.

Today, Bharat’s governance model is an example for the world. Empowering 25 crore people to rise above poverty in just 10 years is unprecedented. Our innovative practices, from Pro-People Good Governance to Digital India, are being discussed globally, showing how we can use technology to empower the poor, bring transparency, and ensure their rights.

Bharat’s progress is a historic opportunity not just for us but for our global partners. The success of the G20 has positioned Bharat as a strong and important voice of the Global South. The inclusion of the African Union in the G20 group at Bharat’s initiative is a crucial turning point for the future of African countries.

Our development trajectory fills us with pride and glory, but it also reminds us of our responsibilities. We must dream new dreams

and work tirelessly to turn them into reality. Bharat’s development must be seen in a global context, understanding and utilizing our internal strengths for the benefit of the world. As a youthful nation, we have an unprecedented opportunity to lead in the 21st century.

The world looks to Bharat with great hopes. To meet these expectations, we must embrace comprehensive reforms beyond the economic sphere, aligning with the aspirations of a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India) by 2047. Our approach to reform, perform, and transform will lead to meaningful change, driven by leadership, executed by our bureaucracy, and supported by the spirit of Jan Bhagidari (public participation).

Excellence must be our guiding principle as we work on Speed, Scale, Scope, and Standards. In manufacturing, quality should be paramount, adhering to the mantra of ‘zero defect-zero effect.’ We should take pride in being born in Bharat and strive to serve our nation with dedication.

Our heritage should be redefined in a modern context, embracing ancient values while shedding outdated beliefs. We must free our society from the constraints of professional pessimists and embrace positivity, the first step towards success.

My faith in Bharat’s infinite and eternal power grows stronger each day. Over the past decade, I have witnessed and experienced Bharat’s increasing capabilities firsthand. Just as we utilized the fourth and fifth decades of the 20th century to drive the freedom movement, we must now lay the foundation for a ‘Viksit Bharat’ in these 25 years of the 21st century.

Swami Vivekananda urged us in 1897 to dedicate the next 50 years to the nation, leading to our independence in 1947. Today, we have a similar golden opportunity. Let us dedicate the next 25 years to our nation, creating a strong foundation for future generations and elevating Bharat to new heights.

The energy and enthusiasm of our country reassure me that our goal is within reach. Let us take swift steps, come together, and build a Viksit Bharat.

(These thoughts were penned by PM Modi on 1st June between 4:15 PM and 7 PM during his return flight from Kanniyakumari to Delhi.)


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