Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata via video conferencing as the five-day celebrations begin in West Bengal amid the pandemic.
Listing an array of Bengali freedom fighters, writers, artistes and others, the PM remarked: "If I continue to take names of such Bengalis, we will come to the end of the day, but the names shall continue." The BJP, prepping for the Bengal election just months away, made elaborate arrangements for the live-viewing of PM Modi's virtual address. TV screens were put up in all the 78,000 election booth areas across the state.
Here are the Highlights from PM Modi's address:
- Let me begin by wishing you all a very happy Durga Puja and Deepavali. I consider it an honour to be here among you all at this auspicious time. We are here to celebrate Maa Durga and her shakti. This festival is a festival of unity and strength of all of India. It also reflects the traditions and culture that comes from Bengal.
- Whenever the need was felt in India's history, Bengal has always led the way for India and shown the path. There have been many renowned people who have come from Bengal and have contributed immensely in guiding the nation is the right direction.
- Listing an array of Bengali freedom fighters, writers, artistes and others, the PM remarked: "If I continue to take names of such Bengalis, we will come to the end of the day, but the names shall continue."
- These people have not only given direction and focus to all Indians, but also contributed in the respect India has across the world. If I continue to take names of such Bengalis, we will come to the end of the day, but the names shall continue.
- Durga Puja gives the unity and oneness of India a new glow and new colour. Durga Puja is Bengal's awakened consciousnes, spirituality and heritage.
- This time we are all celebrating Durga Puja amid the crisis of Corona. Devotees of Maa Durga, organizers of pandals, all have shown amazing restraint this time. The numbers may have been affected this time due to covid, but the grandeur is the same, the divinity is the same.
- Even though this year's celebration is limited, the festive colour and joy is unlimited. Maa Durga is the symbol of shakti and Bengal welcomes Maa Durga as their daughter.
- Today, the campaign for the empowerment of women in the country is also continuing at a rapid pace.