“We belong to a tradition where even a bhikshuk (beggar) says, ‘may good happen to the person who gives me and also to the person who does not’,” Modi said in his address at the International Convention on Universal Message of Simhasthon on the sidelines of the Simhasth Kumbh here.
Flanked by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Modi said that a “holier than thou” attitude is taking people towards conflicts. “Let’s look within and see how we can grow ourselves.”
Modi said there was a time when crossing the seas was considered unholy but that has changed. “Likewise, some traditions can also change with time,” he said.
Commenting on the Indian elections, Modi said: “Look at our polls, it’s a wonder for the world…a nation so big and many voters. And see how the EC organises elections.”
His comments come as elections to five state assemblies are set to conclude on Monday. While West Bengal and Assam have held polling, it will be held on Monday in Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. Counting is on May 19.
Referring to the Simhastha Kumbh mela, a huge spiritual gathering on the banks of the Shipra river in Madhya Pradesh, Modi asked “Can we not tell the world about the organising capacity of an event like the Kumbh?”
“What is happening here is the birth of a new effort, a modern edition of what would happen in the yesteryears,” he said, speaking of the arrangements, including connectivity, for the hundreds and thousands of devotees.
President Sirisena, who spoke earlier, referred to the long standing ties between India and Sri Lanka.
Sirisena said that his first overseas visit after being elected president last year was to India, and that Modi returned the bilateral visit later.
Sirisena is here on a two-day visit. He held bilateral talks with Modi in New Delhi on Friday evening.
The Ujjain conference spread over several sessions is part of the ongoing Simhasta Kumbh mela on the banks of Shipra river.