Nagpur has potential to become centre of development of country: Kovind

Nagpur, September 22, 2017

President Ram Nath  Kovind today said that Nagpur, traditionally regarded as the geograpical centre of the country, had the potential to become the centre of development of India as well.
Speaking after inaugurating the Suresh Bhat Natya Sabhagrah here, he appreciated the rapid development of modern infrastructure which has taken place in the city and noted that there was a project to make it a Smart City.
Mr. Kovind recalled that Maharashtra was the "karmabhoomi" of many revolutionaries, social reformers and saints, including Shivaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Sahu Ji, Samarth Guru Ramdas, Tatya Tope, Sant Eknath, Sant Dnyaneshwar, Sant Tukaram, Jyotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule, and Pandita Ramabai Saraswati to Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Y.B. Chavan and Baba Amte. 
He said Maharashtra was one of the main centres of the freedom struggle. Many important chapters of the freedom movement, including the 'Quit India Movement' of 1942, were written in Maharashtra. Mahatma Gandhi regarded Gokhale as his guru and made Wardha in the Nagpur division his work place, he said.
The President said that Maharashtra is not only a hub of industry and business of the country but that of its culture and art as well. Mumbai is described as the economic capital of India. 
"By linking its heritage of education and culture with trade and technology, Maharashtra is giving strength to the entire country in the 21st century. In the quest for development and economic change, we have to take care to keep our cultural moorings intact. In this context, Maharashtra is setting an example for the nation," he said.
Mr. Kovind also inaugurated a Vipassana Meditation Centre at the Dragon Palace Temple complex in Kamptee, where he said that Vipassana is an effective way to cleanse the mind and body to equip people to face the stresses of modern life.
He said Vipassana is a meditation technique propounded by Lord Buddha that helps the practitioner to connect with the inner self.
“It is an effective way to cleanse our mind and body and equips us to face the stresses of modern life. If practised correctly, it can provide the same benefit as that received from certain medicines. In this way, Vipassana is also beneficial for health in addition to being a meditation technique,” he added.
Like Yoga, Vipassana should not be seen as being associated with any particular religion. It is for the welfare of all humanity, the President said.
“The ideals of Buddhist philosophy are reflected in our Constitution, especially in the stated principles of equality, fraternity, and social justice. The architect of our Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar, had said that appreciation of the democratic system was present in ancient India and its roots in our country have been strong since age-old times,” Mr Kovind said. In this context, he gave the example of the democratic tradition that was in practice in the Buddhist Sanghas.
The President said the urge for social change was central to Lord Buddha's philosophy, and inspired many social reform movements in later centuries. A number of such movements took place in Maharashtra itself and they in turn set an example for social reform movements in other parts of India, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries.
“In today's age of insecurity, the message of non-violence, love and compassion given by Lord Buddha is extremely relevant,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Mr Kovind visited the Deeksha Bhoomi shrine, and paid his respects to Babasaheb Ambedkar.
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