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  India   All India  29 Jan 2018  PM Modi wants people to study Narmada

PM Modi wants people to study Narmada

THE ASIAN AGE. | RAHUL CHHABRA
Published : Jan 29, 2018, 1:37 am IST
Updated : Jan 29, 2018, 1:37 am IST

“The message of conservation of rivers has also been highlighted in the book,” says Mr Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presented a coffee-table book Naman Narmada by author and veteran Hindi editor Alok Mehta (extreme right) at his Parliament office. On the extreme left is Manasi, senior Hindi journalist, and next to Mr Modi is Sanjay Arya, publisher (Shubhi).
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presented a coffee-table book Naman Narmada by author and veteran Hindi editor Alok Mehta (extreme right) at his Parliament office. On the extreme left is Manasi, senior Hindi journalist, and next to Mr Modi is Sanjay Arya, publisher (Shubhi).

New Delhi: The Narmada is the life force for the well-being of farmers and for the sustainable development of humanity, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the tallest among contemporary politicians who have devoted enormous efforts and energy for the holy river’s glorification and conservation.

Apart from his reverence for the holy Ganga, the Narmada is also close to Mr Modi’s heart because of its religious, cultural and economic significance for central India’ ethos and the existence of his pet Sardar Sarovar Dam on this holy river.

The Prime Minister recently spent almost an half-hour with veteran Hindi journalist and author Alok Mehta discussing the rich history of the Narmada and its significance in the cultural milieu of India, particularly among the people of Madhya Pradesh and Mr Modi’s home state Gujarat.

Mr Mehta, who presented his 105-page coffee table book Naman Narmada to Mr Modi at his Parliament House office, shared his experiences on creating the book which showcases about 80 colour photographs (many rare) of the 1,312-km-long river from Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh to Gujarat.

The book carries a message from Mr Modi who engagingly shares his thought about the river while discussing the contents of the book with Mr Mehta and the publisher (Shubhi) Sanjay Arya.

In his message printed in the book, Mr Modi says that it contains a rich history of the Narmada and also highlights the importance of the river for all Indians.

“The message of conservation of rivers has also been highlighted in the book,” says Mr Modi.

“In this day and age, it is absolutely essential we conserve our river ecosystems. They are essential for the well-being of our farmers, and for the sustainable development of humanity. This book would hopefully inspire more people to study about the Narmada and even engage them in water conservation effort,” says Mr Modi.

Naman Narmada will be officially released in the beginning of February by Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who also takes interest in rivers and in-charge of Ganga’s conservation.

The Narmada, says Mr Mehta, is one of seven holy rivers of India, besides Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Sindhu and Kaveri.

“Narmada Maiya has always inspired me as it originates in my home state Madhya Pradesh and flows into Gujarat. It is the life line of both the states,” says Mr Mehta.

“Interestingly, the Narmada does not emanate from the melting snow of the mountains. Most of our rivers go to the east, but Narmada flow westwards,” points out Mr Mehta, who was born in historical Ujjain city.

“With Jyotirlinga Mahakal, we have river Shipra. But due to her water limitation the whole region struggled for years to get water from the Narmada,” says Mr Mehta.

“After 54 years’ efforts, we now have Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada in Gujarat, which is the second largest dam in the world,” says Mr Mehta, adding,  “People believe that the greatest is the Ganga, but historically the Narmada is the oldest river, glorified even by the Vedas and later Kalidas.”

According to Mr Mehta, some of the oldest cave paintings in the world are found at the Bhimbetka caves, near the banks of the Narmada. Adi Shankara was initiated into sanyas at Omkareshwar on the banks of the Narmada.

Tags: narmada, prime minister narendra modi