After organising a citywide commemoration of the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha ceremony, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal likened the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) eight-year rule in the capital to ‘Ram Rajya’ in his Republic Day address on Thursday.
Stating that his government was inspired by the concept, Kejriwal said it had sought to work on 10 principles of Ram Rajya —ranging from free ration to the poor and shelter to the homeless to free electricity, water, education, health, bus travel for women and pilgrimages to the elderly.
“We believe in establishing a governance system where everyone has equal rights and opportunities, and everyone lives with love towards each other,” Kejriwal said on the eve of Republic Day celebrations at the Chhatrasal Stadium.
“On 22nd January this year, Shri Ram Lalla was consecrated in Ayodhya, and this is a moment of pride for the country and the world. On one hand, we ought to worship Lord Shri ‘Ram Chandra’, on the other we should take inspiration from his life… it teaches us lessons of love and sacrifice,” Kejriwal said.
Recalling episodes from Lord Ram’s life and quoting couplets from religious texts dedicated to him, Kejriwal underlined how he willingly chose exile over governing his kingdom out of a sense of sacrifice.
His era, the Chief Minister said, defined as ‘Ram Rajya’, was the one underlined by happiness, peace and prosperity, which also finds mention in the Ramayana. “In Ram Rajya no one suffers from physical, or spiritual pains, and everyone lives in harmony abiding by their ‘dharma’ (duties)…Today we are drawing inspiration from the concept of ‘Ram Rajya’ to run our government…we have formulated it on the 10-point principles,” he said.
The AAP-Delhi government, Kejriwal said, sought to ensure that no one should die of hunger, which it was ensuring through free ration to the poor and night shelters for the homeless. “I’m not claiming that we have attained 100% of our goals, but we’re trying…children of the poor get the best education in Delhi. They are getting equal education, now rich people are withdrawing their children from private schools and getting them admitted in Delhi’s government schools,” he said.
Free power, water, pilgrimages for the elderly in addition to enhanced pension for them, the CM said, were all components of ‘Ram Rajya’. “We take elderly people on pilgrimage…we will try to take as many trains as possible to Ayodhya,” he said, adding that there had been many requests for it following the consecration ceremony earlier this week.
“If you are a doctor or a sanitation worker, you must work hard, honestly, patriotically, work for the society and at the same time worship Lord Ram. I have full faith that if we follow the path shown by Lord Ram, then no power can stop India from becoming the number one country in the world,” he said.