New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's high-speed definition of the "Idea of India" during his speech in Parliament today had his party men thumping their desks and the opposition looking amused.
Concluding his remarks on the Constitution and BR Ambedkar, the man who drafted the document, PM Modi used the phrase "Idea of India" at least 19 times.
"The government's only religion is India first, the only holy book the government follows is the Constitution of India," said the prime minister.
He then went on to list what he believed was the country's essence.
"Idea of India... Satyamev Jayate, Idea of India... Ahimsa Parmo Dharma, Idea of India... Ekam Sad Viprah Bahudha Vadanti, Idea of India...Paudhe mein bhi parmatma, Idea of India...Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Idea of India...Sarva Panth Sambhav, Idea of India... Appo deepo bhava, Idea of India...Ten Takhten Bhunjitha, Idea of India..." he rattled off many Sanskrit shlokas.
As the "Ideas" kept coming, BJP lawmakers thumped their desks in approval while Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were seen smiling. Next to Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, looked nonplussed.
PM Modi appeared to pause for breath only after saying "Idea of India ...Janani janmabhoomischa swargadapi gariyasi", a shloka spoken by Hindu god-king Ram in the epic Ramayana, which means: "Mother and motherland are greater than heaven."
PM Modi was the final speaker in the two-day special discussion on the Constitution to mark the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, who drafted the document.