New Delhi: Just ahead of assembly elections in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said development of the state is the top priority for the double-engine government.
“Today the development of Karnataka is a top priority for the country, and for the Government of Karnataka,” he said at the inauguration of Baarisu Kannada Dim Dimava cultural festival at Talkatora Stadium here on Saturday.
The PM also took a walkthrough of the exhibition.
He informed that between 2009-2014, Rs 11,00 crore were given by the Center to Karnataka, whereas, from 2019-2023 till now Rs 30,000 crore have been spent.
Between 2009-2014 Karnataka received Rs 4,000 crore in railway projects whereas only this year’s Budget has allocated Rs 7,000 crore for Karnataka Rail infra.
National highways in Karnataka received Rs 6,000 crore during those 5 years whereas, in the past 9 years, Karnataka received Rs 5,000 crore investment every year for its highways.
PM Modi said the current government is fulfilling the long-pending demand for the Bhadra Project and all this development is fast changing the face of Karnataka.
He complimented everyone who was part of this 75-year journey of Karnataka Sangh. “The identity, traditions and inspirations of India cannot be defined without the contributions of Karnataka,” the Prime Minister said.
Drawing the analogy to the role of Hanuman in the ‘Pauranik Kaal’, the Prime Minister underlined that Karnataka has played a similar role for India and said that even though the epoch-changing mission started in Ayodhya and ended in Rameswarm, it got its strength from Karnataka.
The Prime Minister also referred to the medieval period when invaders were ravaging the country and destroying Shivalingas like Somnath, it was saints like Devara Dasimayya, Madara Chennaiah, Dohara Kakkaiah, and Bhagwan Basaveshwara who associated people with their faith.
Similarly, warriors like Rani Abbakka, Onake Obavva, Rani Chennamma, Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna faced the foreign powers. Post Independence, the Prime Minister said, dignitaries from Karnataka continued to inspire India.
The Prime Minister lauded the people of Karnataka for living the mantra of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. He talked about ‘Naada Geethe’ by the Poet Kuvempu and praised the national feelings beautifully expressed in the revered song. “In this song, the civilization of India is depicted and the roles and importance of Karnataka are described. When we understand the spirit of this song, we also get the crux of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat,” he said.
The Prime Minister remarked that India is guided by the ideals of the Mother of Democracy when it is presiding over a global organisation like G-20.
He said that the vows and democratic sermons of Lord Basveshwara through ‘Anubhava Mantapa’ are like a ray of light for India.
The Prime Minister expressed delight at getting the opportunity to inaugurate the idol of Lord Basveshwara along with a compilation of his vows in several languages in London.
“This is proof of the immortality of Karnataka’s ideology and its effects,” the Prime Minister remarked.
“Karnataka is the land of traditions and technology. It has historical culture as well as modern artificial intelligence,” the Prime Minister remarked.
Modi recalled meeting the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier in the day and expressed delight that his next programme is taking place in Bengaluru tomorrow.
He informed us that an important G20 meeting is also taking place in Bengaluru.
The Prime Minister said the 75 years of the Delhi-Karnataka Sangha have brought forward many important moments of growth, achievement and knowledge.
Emphasizing the importance of the next 25 years, Modi highlighted the significant steps that can be taken in the Amrit Kaal and the next 25 years of the Delhi Karnataka Sangha.
He underlined that the central focus should be kept on knowledge and art and highlighted the beauty of Kannada language and its rich literature. He also informed that the number of readers of the Kannada language is very high and the publishers have to reprint a good book within a few weeks of its publishing.
The Prime Minister dwelled on Karnataka’s extraordinary achievements in the field of art and noted that Karnataka is rich in both the classical and popular arts from Kamsale to Carnatic style of music, and from Bharatnatyam to Yakshagaan.
Praising the efforts of the Karnataka Sangh to popularise these art forms, the Prime Minister stressed the need to take these efforts to the next level and asked the Delhi Kannadiga families to try and bring non-Kannadiga families to such events.
The Prime Minister said some films that depicted Kannada culture got very popular among non-Kannadiga audiences and created a desire to know more about Karnataka. “This desire needs to be leveraged,” he said.
The Prime Minister requested the visiting artists and scholars to visit the National War Memorial, Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya and Karavya Path.
Modi also touched upon ‘The International Year of Millets’ being celebrated all over the world and said that Karnataka has been the main center of Indian Millets, or Shri Dhanya.
“Shri Anna Ragi is a part of the culture and social identity of Karnataka,” the Prime Minister said as he highlighted the programmes initiated for the promotion of ‘Shri Dhanya’ in Karnataka since Yeddyurappa’s time.
He underlined that the whole country is following the path of Kannadigas and has started calling coarse cereals ‘Shri Anna’. Noting that the entire world is recognizing the benefits of Shri Anna, he pointed out that its demand is going to get a boost in the times to come, thereby greatly benefiting farmers of Karnataka.
Concluding the address, PM Modi said that when India completes 100 years of its independence as a developed nation in 2047, the contributions of Delhi-Karnataka Sangha in the glorious Amrit Kaal of India will also be discussed as it will also enter its hundredth year.
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai, Adichunchanagiri Mutt Pontiff Nirmalanandanatha, President of the Celebration Committee, CT Ravi and President of Delhi Karnataka Sangha, CM Nagaraja were present on the occasion among others.