At Indore’s Saifee Mosque, Modi calls Dawoodi Bohra community his family

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INDORE, Sept 14 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed on Friday the Bohra Muslim community for globally spreading the message of co-existence, as he attended an event here to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad.

Sharing dais with the Bohra’s spiritual head Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin at the event held at Saifee Mosque here in Madhya Pradesh, Modi also praised the community for its culture of honest business dealings.

Bohra community is a sect within Shia Islam known for trading and business acumen.

The prime minister was felicitated by Saifuddin on his arrival at the mosque for the ‘Ashara Mubaraka’ event, which commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Husain.

“The concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is a great strength of India, making it distinct from others. The Bohra community is making the world aware of this concept through its work,” Modi said in his address to the community leaders and followers.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, he explained, is an ancient Indian concept which envisages the the world as one family.

“We are proud of our past, we believe in our present and are confident of our bright future,” Modi said at the event which was also attended by Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

In his address, the prime minister spoke about his government’s initiatives like ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (cleanliness campaign), ‘Make-in-India’ programme and rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He said the members of the Bohra community took maximum advantage of these initiatives as they are known to carry out their trade and business world over with honesty.

“They (Bohras) have set an example for other people (with their honest trade dealings),” he said.

At the same time, he added, “all five fingers of a hand are not equal. Some people consider fraud as business.”

He said his government, over the last four years, has sent out a message that the business should be done within the purview of the rules and law.

“Honest businessmen are being encouraged through steps like GST and Bankruptcy law,” Modi said.

The prime minister also praised the Dawoodi Bohras for their efforts to make the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a success. The ‘Swachhata Pakhwada’ (cleanliness fortnight) will be launched on Saturday and will culminate on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, he said.

Modi recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s close association with Sydena Mohammad Burhanuddin, the late spiritual head of the Bohra community.

“Mahatma Gandhi met the Sydena during a train journey and they became very close. During the ‘Dandi March’, Gandhiji stayed in Saifee Villa (a building owned by the community in Dandi, Gujarat) which was later dedicated to the nation,” the prime minister said.

Referring to the ‘Make-in-India’ programme, Modi said, “The confidence of investors across the world has increased in India. The production of mobiles phones, vehicles and other goods is increasing due to the record investment.”

He said that in the last quarter of the current fiscal, the country has achieved the growth rate of more than eight percent.

“We are eying the double digit. I believe that the country can reach to the goal despite all the challenges,” the prime minister said.

Modi also said that his government has given priority to health and nutrition sectors and that it was being done for the first time in the country’s history.

The facilities of cheap treatment and medicines are being expanded exponentially, he added.

He said the ‘Ayushman Bharat Scheme’ (national health protection scheme) has emerged like a panacea for nearly 50 crore people of poor sections of the country, which is almost equal to the entire population of Europe.

Modi also said that the government is working to provide a house to every homeless poor in the country by 2022. Under this scheme, more than one crore people have been given the houses so far, he said.

He also lauded Indore for topping the nationwide cleanliness survey earlier this year.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Sydena Saifuddin also addressed the gathering.

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