Ravidas remembered on birth anniversary; Mayawati accuses BJP, Cong of 'neglecting' Dalit, Adivasi saints

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) The contribution of saint-poet Ravidas to the society was recalled on his birth anniversary Friday with several leaders urging people to take inspiration from his teachings even as BSP president Mayawati accused the BJP and the Congress of 'always neglecting saints and great men born in Dalit, Adivasi and OBC' families.

Paying rich tributes, President Ram Nath Kovind said, through his teachings, Ravidas delivered the message of equality, justice, peace and harmony to mankind.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also recalled the saint's messages of unity while Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav offered prayers at a temple dedicated to the seer at his birthplace in Varanasi.

'My humble tributes to great poet-saint Guru Ravidas Ji on his Jayanti today. Ravidas Ji believed in universal brotherhood and spread the message of unity through his writings & teachings. As we remember him, let us emulate his teachings & resolve to follow the path shown by him,' Naidu said on Twitter.

Modi said the messages given by Ravidas centuries ago on equality, goodwill and compassion will inspire the people of the country for ages.

'My humble tributes to him (Saint Ravidas) on his birth anniversary),' he tweeted.

Paying tributes, BSP president Mayawati asked the BJP-led central and the Uttar Pradesh governments to follow the path shown by Ravidas in serving the society and country.

In tweets in Hindi, she recalled the works done by the governments led by her to realise the dreams of Ravidas.

'Under the BSP governments formed in the state four times, a lot of effort was made to realise the dreams of Santguru Ravidasji, and the work done in public interest and public welfare in his honour is not hidden from anyone. It will be appropriate if the central and state governments do good for the society and country by following the path shown by him,' she said.

In a press release issued later, Mayawati said that the message given by Ravidas was not for fulfilling political motives but for serving the society, which has been completely forgotten in the present times, leading to tension and violence.

Recalling the works done in his honour, she said that her government had named Bhadohi district after him but it was changed by the previous Samajwadi Party government due to 'casteist mentality'. She promised that once her party comes to power, Bhadohi will be renamed as Sant Ravidas Nagar.

Noting that governments led by other political parties, including the Congress and BJP, had always neglected saints and great men born in Dalit, Adivasi and OBC sections of the society, she said that instead of giving them respect, they had shown contempt for such great men.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Ravidas' birth in Kashi 645 years ago gave a new dimension to the tradition of Sanatan dharma in India.

Addressing an event organised at the Sant Ravidas temple in Lucknow, he said the spiritual practice is the result of a pure mind and Guru Ravidas is the biggest example of this.

'Guru Ravidasji perfectly demonstrated how a person achieves greatness through his deeds and how one should be revered,' he said.

Adityanath also said his government has started working on the beautification of the seer's birthplace in Varanasi and requested members of the Sant Ravidas Seva Samiti to prepare an action plan for this drive.

After offering prayers at Seer Govardhan temple, Gandhi Vadra said Ravidas taught people a true religion which is easy and has no politics or discrimination. She hoped that the aspiration of Ravidas that people should be served and there should be harmony are maintained in politics.

Yadav visited the Govardhan temple and paid floral tributes.

'Sant Ravidas was a social reformer, revolutionary and independent thinker and strongly opposed wrong practices. His entire life was dedicated towards unity, brotherhood and equality in the society. According to him, serving mankind is the real dharma,' a statement quoting Yadav said.

A function to mark the birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas was also held at the SP headquarters in Lucknow where leader of opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, Ahmed Hasan, state unit president Naresh Uttam Patel and other leaders paid floral tributes. PTI ASK SAB ZMN