English translation of Prime Minister’s address at the inauguration of the International Cooperation and Convention Centre – Rudraksh in Varanasi (July 15, 2021)

July 16, 2021

(Har Har Mahadev! Har Har Mahadev!)
Present with me in the program, Shrimati Anandiben Patel ji, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shriman Yogi Adityanath ji, the Energetic and Popular Chief Minister, Mr. Suzuki Satoshi ji, Ambassador of Japan to India, My Colleague in Parliament Radha Mohan Singh ji, all the enlightened people of Kashi, and respected colleagues!

Just in my last programme, I had told the people of Kashi that this time I had the privilege of visiting you after a long time. But the mood of Banaras is such that the gap may be long, but when I come to this city, it gives lot of flavors at once. Now you see, even though there was a big gap, but when Kashi called, the people of Banaras created a flurry of so many development works at once.In a way today, with the blessings of Mahadev, the people of Kashi have flown the Ganges of development. Today, many schemes worth hundreds of crores were inaugurated and the foundation stone was laid, and now is the turn of convention center-Rudraksh! The ancient glory of Kashi is coming into existence in its modern form, in a way, in a modern form. It is said about Kashi, this city of Baba never gets tired, never stops! This new height of development has once again proved this nature of Kashi. When the world came to a standstill during the Corona period, then Kashi became restrained, disciplined as well, but the stream of creation and development continued to flow. These dimensions of development of Kashi, this 'International Cooperation and Convention Center - Rudraksh' today are the result of this creativity, this dynamism. I extend my heartiest congratulations to all of you, each and every person of Kashi for this achievement. In particular, I would like to thank India’s best friend, Japan, the people of Japan, Prime Minister Mr. Suga Yoshihide and the Ambassador Mr. Suzuki Satoshi.And just now we saw the video message of the Prime Minister. Kashi has got this gift from his soulful efforts. Prime Minister Shri Suga Yoshihide ji was the Chief Cabinet Secretary at that time. Since then till the role of PM, he has been personally involved in this project continuously. Every Indian is grateful to him for his affection for India.


There is another person in today's event, whose name I cannot forget to mention. Another friend of mine from Japan, Shinzo Abe ji. I remember, when Shinzo Abe ji came to Kashi as Prime Minister, I had a long discussion with him on Rudraksh's idea. He immediately asked his officials to work on the idea. Then there is the culture of Japan, which is well known. Their specialty is perfection and planning. With this, work started on it, and today this magnificent building is adorning Kashi. This building has a glow of modernity, and a cultural aura. It also has a connect of India-Japan relations, and a scope for many possibilities for the future. During my visit to Japan, we spoke of the same affinity in the relations between the two countries, in the people to people relations, we outlined a similar cultural relationship with Japan. I am happy that today a new chapter of sweetness is being written in the relations along with development with the efforts of both the countries. Like the Rudraksh of Kashi, just a few weeks ago, the Japanese Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy were also inaugurated in Gujarat. Just as this Rudraksh is like a garland of love gifted by Japan to India, the Zen Garden is also spreading the fragrance of mutual love between the two countries. Similarly, whether in a strategic area or economic area, Japan is one of India's most trusted friends today. Our friendship is considered as one of the most natural partnerships in the entire region. Japan is our partner in many important and biggest projects related to modern infrastructure and development. Be it Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, or Dedicated Freight Corridor, these projects, built in collaboration with Japan are going to be the strength of New India.


India and Japan are of the view that our development must be linked with our gaiety. This development must be all-round, it must be for all, and it must be all-encompassing. In our Puranas it is said-

तत्र अश्रु बिन्दुतो जाता, महा रुद्राक्ष वृक्षाकाः। मम आज्ञया महासेन, सर्वेषाम् हित काम्यया॥

That is, rudraksh appeared as a tear drop from Lord Shiva's eye for the welfare of all, for the benefit of all. Shiva belongs to everyone; his tear drop is a symbol of affection and love for human beings. Similarly, this International Convention Centre- Rudraksh will also become a medium to connect the whole world through mutual love, art and culture. And kashi is the oldest living city in the world anyway. From Shiva to Lord Buddha at Sarnath, Kashi has treasured spirituality as well as art and culture for centuries. Even in today's time, be it 'Banarasbaaz' style of Tabla, be it Thumri, Dadra, Khayal, Tappa and Dhrupad, popular and famous singing styles of Banaras like Dhamar, Kajri, Chaiti, Hori, Sarangi and Pakhawaj, or Shehnai, songs, music and art flows from every nook and corner of Banaras. Here on the ghats of the Ganges so many forms of arts have developed, knowledge has reached the pinnacle, and so many serious discussions related to humanity have taken place in this soil. And that’s why, Banaras can become a huge global center of music, religion, spirituality, and knowledge and science.


Banaras is an ideal location in itself for intellectual discussions, big seminars and cultural events. People from all over the country and abroad want to come here and stay here. In such a situation, if there is a facility for similar events, if there is infrastructure, naturally, a large number of people from the art world will give priority to Banaras. Rudraksh will realize these possibilities in the coming days, the country will become a center of cultural exchange from abroad. For example, the Kavi Sammelans held in Banaras have fans all over the country and all over the world. In the near future, these kavi sammelans can be organized in this centre in a global format. There are 1200 seating arrangements as well as auditoriums and conference centres, parking facilities and special arrangements for physically challenged persons. Similarly, in the last 6-7 years, a lot of work has been done to promote and strengthen the handicrafts and crafts of Banaras. Due to this, Banarasi silk and Banarasi craft are getting a new identity again, business activities are also increasing here. Rudraksh will help in enhancing these activities as well. This infrastructure can be used for business activities in many ways.


Lord Vishwanath himself has said-
सर्व क्षेत्रेषु भूपृष्ठे काशी क्षेत्रम् च मे वपुः।

That is, the entire region of Kashi is my form. Kashi is the real Shiva. Now that Kashi is being adorned with so many development projects in the last 7 years, how could this adornment be completed without Rudraksha? Now that Kashi has worn this Rudraksh, then the development of Kashi will shine more, and the beauty of Kashi will further enhance. Now it is the responsibility of the people of Kashi, I request you especially, that you have to make full use of the power of Rudraksh. The cultural beauty of Kashi, the talents of Kashi have to be linked with this centre. When you work in this direction, you will connect the whole country and the world with Kashi. As soon as this center opens its doors, the India-Japan relations will also get a new identity in the world. I have full faith, with the blessings of Mahadev, this center will become a new identity of Kashi in the coming days, and will give a new impetus to the development of Kashi. With these good wishes, I would like to conclude. I once again express my special gratitude to the Government of Japan, to the Prime Minister of Japan, and this is what I pray to Baba to keep everyone healthy, happy, alert and make a habit to follow all corona protocols.

Thank you all very much! Har Har Mahadev.

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister’s remarks. Original remarks were delivered in Hindi.