Untouchability continuing in politics: Narendra Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi regretted `untouchability` was increasing in politics.

Thiruvananthapuram: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi regretted `untouchability` was increasing in politics, apparently alluding to the protest by CPI(M) and resentment by Congress over his visit to Sree Narayana Mutt at nearby Sivagiri.

"Political untouchability is increasing in society though this great evil had been eradicated in social life to a great extent by works of spiritual leaders and reformers," Modi said inaugurating the golden Jubilee of Sree Narayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad at Sivagiri Mutt at Varkala, 30 kms from here.

Though he did not mention any party or leader, Modi apparently had in mind attacks by the Left on the Mutt for inviting him to the function and eyebrows raised by Congress leaders over Labour Minister Shibu Baby John of its partner RSP(B) meeting him recently.

In an apparent reference to discussions John held with him on skill development for youth, Modi said Gujarat had been recognised as the most advanced state in this area by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Modi devoted most of his speech to the role played by spiritual leaders like Sree Narayana Guru in preparing the ground for the national movement and freedom struggle, saying if their ideals had been fully carried out, many problems faced by the country now could have been resolved.

Stating that India today is a `youthful` country where 65 per cent of the population is aged under 35, he said this factor is the nation`s biggest asset for it to forge ahead.

However, uplift of women, depressed and suppressed classes and skill development are some vital areas that needed greater attention to achieve the goals before the nation.

He described Sree Narayana Guru as one who had been a far-sighted spiritual leader, saying his message of "one caste, one religion and one God for men" would provide a solution to problems faced by the present day world, including the scourge of terrorism and global warming.

Modi said he was proud of his RSS background since his childhood and it was during these times that he learnt about the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru.

He said the works and messages of sages like Sree Narayana Guru and Swami Vivekananda had greatly influenced his life.

Earlier, Sree Narayana Dharma Sanmgham Tust member Swamy Sachithananda said the political controversy over the invitation to Modi was unwarranted as the Mutt had no politics.

Modi`s speech in Hindi was translated into Malayalam by BJP state president V Muraleedharan.