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Diversity is India's strength, says PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended Eid-ul-Fitr greetings to all and said inspiration should be drawn from such pious festivals to spread happiness and to take the nation forward.

He emphasised that India's diversity is its speciality as well as its strength.

"The holy month of Ramzan was celebrated with devotion. Now it is time for Eid. On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, my best wishes to all," Modi said in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'.

Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the fasting month of Ramzan, will be celebrated tomorrow.

"Ramzan is a month of holy donations, to spread happiness... Come, let us all together take inspiration from such pious festivals to keep spreading the treasure of happiness and keep taking the nation forward," he added.

While talking about the diversity, the prime minister also referred to the Lord Jagannath Yatra taken out on Sunday in the country as well as some parts of the world with devotion and religious fervour.

"I extend greetings to the countrymen on the occasion of Jagannath yatra," he said during the 30-minute programme.

"The country's poor people are connected to Lord Jagannath. Those who have studied Baba Sahab Ambedkar would have seen that he used to shower praise on Lord Jagannath temple and its traditions because it involved social justice and social harmony," Modi said.

In this context, he referred to the word "juggernaut" and said it means "such a chariot which cannot be stopped by anyone."

While mentioning about Ramzan, the prime minister highlighted an "inspiring" gesture of the people of Muslim- dominated Mubarakpur village in Bijnaur district of Uttar Pradesh.

He said during the Ramzan, the people of the village with a population of about 3,500 families, mostly Muslims, decided to collectively construct a toilet.

To extend help in this endeavour, the government provided about Rs 17 lakh, Modi said.

"But you will be happy to know that all the Muslim brothers and sisters, on the occasion of Ramzan, returned the amount of about Rs 17 to the government saying they would construct their toilet with their own money and labour," the prime minister said.

He said the villagers told the government to spend the amount on providing other facilities in the village.

Congratulating the villagers of Mubarakpur for this, Modi said while their gesture was inspiring, the bigger element was that village was made 'open defecation free' (ODF).
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