Kabir to Tulsidas, PM Modi conjures legendary verses in speech to caution about coronavirus in festive season

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Updated: Oct 20, 2020 7:24 PM

In a crisp under 15-minute speech, PM Modi sensitised the  public over the coronavirus pandemic and laxity of safety measures during the festive season.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation amid intense speculations on Tuesday evening. In a crisp under 15-minute speech, PM Modi sensitised the public over the coronavirus pandemic and laxity of safety measures during the festive season. He exhorted the masses to diligently adhere to Covid protocols. Invoking legendary poets of ‘Bhakti’ movement such as Sant Kabir and Tulsidas, PM Modi stressed on the public awareness about wearing masks and social distancing.

He recited Sant Kabir’s doha – ‘Pakki kheti dekhike, garab kiya kisan, ajhun jhola bahut hai, ghar aave tab jaan‘ to talk about how we should not let our guard down. He said that till the time the scientists are not able to develop an effective vaccine, we must not forget the dangers of Covid-19 infections. In the couplet, Sant Kabir talked about a farmer who was happy with a ready crop. But he forgot that there are many hiccups between the field and the godown. Similarly, we must know that even as the researchers are working on the vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the danger persists.

He also recited a ‘chaupayi’ from Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas. The couplet -‘ripu ruj paavak paap, prabhu ahi gania n chhot kari’ – talks about why we must not undermine the dangers of an enemy, fire, mistake, and a disease. With folded hands, PM Modi said that “I want to see you all happy and healthy.” ‘Stay alert and stay vigilant,’ the Prime Minister added.

Ahead of the evening national broadcast, many speculated about the reason behind PM Modi’s speech. Some went as far as connecting it with the ongoing border tensions with China. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was one of them. In a witty tweet, Gandhi said that the Prime Minister must tell the nation about when is he freeing Indian land from Chinese occupation. However, PM’s speech was solely about coronavirus and the probable spike in infections as predicted by the health experts.

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