Ramayana's Core Message, Even Today, Is About Respecting Women: Modi

24/02/2015 8:29 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 23: Artists of an Indonesian troupe perform dance drama on Ramayana at the inauguration of International Ramayana Mela at FICCI Auditorium on February 23, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Addressing the event the, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that world affairs are no longer on one track. Soft power is becoming increasingly critical in world affairs across the world and India should leverage its great traditions and culture in forging ties with countries around the world in a way that is deeper, more personal, and therefore, far more powerful. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Highlighting the issue of crime against women, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took a leaf out of the epic Ramayana to drive home the point that demi-god Jatayu can be inspiration for men as he died for the honour of a woman.

He also said that time has come for India to realise the potential of "soft power" as an important tool of foreign relations.

Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of International Ramayana Mela, the Prime Minister said one feels hurt after going through news about atrocities against women.

"An unarmed Jatayu fought and was ready to lay down his for the honour of a woman (Sita who was being abducted by Ravana) without fear. Can't he be an inspiration for us?" said Modi.

He said the story of Ramayana has a message at its core that remains relevant today, in this case, that of respect for women.

The Prime Minister said that world affairs are no longer on one track. Soft power is becoming increasingly critical in world affairs across the world, he said.

He said that India should leverage its great traditions and culture in forging ties with countries around the world in a way that is deeper, more personal, and therefore, far more powerful.

The Prime Minister said that all countries that have Gautam Buddha, Ram, and Ramayana as part of their own culture have a bond with India that transcends diplomatic ties. In the domain of soft power, he said, India has a lot to offer to the world.

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