New Delhi, Jan 27 : Amid criticism at certain quarters that the Karnataka-based seer should have got Bharat Ratna, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid homage to the spiritual leader Shivakumara Swami, who breathed his last on January 21 this year.
Prime Minister also paid tributes Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore and Sant Ravidas.
"India is a land of saints. Our saints have conveyed the message of goodwill, equality and social empowerment through their thoughts and deeds," Mr Modi said in his first monthly radio broadcast 'Mann Ki Baat' of the circa 2019 through All India Radio.
"One such Saint was - Sant Ravidas," Mr Modi said adding that on February 19, "we will observe Ravidas Jayanti".
"The couplets or ‘dohas’ of Sant Ravidas ji are very well-known. Sant Ravidas used to convey a profound message through the few lines of his couplet or doha".
Paying tributes to the Karnataka-based Lingayat sect seer, Prime Minister said - ShivaKumar Swamiji was a true follower of the values he believed in.
"..... during his life spanning a hundred and eleven years, he strived tirelessly towards the social, educational and economic upliftment of thousands of people . He was renowned to be a masterly scholar of languages such as English, Sanskrit and Kannada," Mr Modi said.
Prime Minister said the seer was a social reformer. "He dedicated his life in ensuring that food, shelter, education and spiritual knowledge reached out to people. The welfare of farmers was a priority in his life. The Siddhganga Mutt regularily used to organise cattle and agricultural fairs," Prime Minister said.
It may be mentioned that after the announcement of country's highest civilian award to be conferred on Pranab Mukherjee, Bhupen Hazarika and Nanaji Deshmukh, there have been a bit of criticism of the Modi government by Congress leaders in Karnataka and also by the Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy for not giving the prestigious award to the seer ShivaKumar Swami.
In his radio broadcast, Prime Minister spoke at length on the exemplary contributions of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and said Netaji will always be remembered as a brave soldier and adept organiser; a valiant fighter who played a significant role in the Freedom Struggle.
"Through his clarion calls ‘Dilli Chalo’, ‘Tum mujhe Khoon do, main tumhe azadi doonga’, Netaji secured a special place in every Indian’s heart."
Prime Minister also lauded the paintings of Rabindranath Tagore.
"...the most unique aspect was that Gurudev Tagore did not ascribe any name to most of his works. He believed that the person seeing his painting should comprehend the painting in totality, from his own perspective," Mr Modi said.
He invited people to go and see Tagore's unique collection of paintings in the ‘Kranti Mandir’ at the Red Fort premises. (UNI)