Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday burnt the effigy of demon Ravana at the Ram Leela Maidan in the national capital to conclude the festival of Dussehra. PM Modi attended the event organised by Dwarka Sri Ram Leela Society at DDA Ground in Dwarka Sector 10. Delhi BJP MPs, including Manoj Tiwari, felicitated the prime minister with a Gada (mace) at the event. According to reports, PM Modi travelled in the Delhi Metro from Dwarka Sector-1 Metro Station to reach the venue in Dwarka Ram Leela ground for Ravan Dhahan."In our country, festivals form part of our values, education and social life. Festivals unite us and mould us. They generate energy, enthusiasm and new dreams," PM Modi said at the event.
"On this Vijaya Dashami, at a time when we mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, I have a request for my fellow citizens. Let us take up a mission this year and work to achieve it. This mission can be, not wasting food, conserving energy, saving water," he added.
PM Modi shot an arrow to set the 107-foot Ravana effigy in Dwarka on fire. High dignitaries joined the Dussehra celebrations at Ramlila Maidan.
"During Mann Ki Baat, I had spoken about Ghar Ki Laxmi. This Diwali, let us celebrate the accomplishments of our Nari Shakti. This can be our Lakshmi Pujan," the prime minister said. He also pointed out that India is a land of Shakti (power) and Sadhna (penance): "In the last nine days we worshipped Maa (Durga). Taking that spirit ahead, let us always work towards furthering empowerment of women as well as according dignity to women."
Observing that the country is also celebrating Air Force Day on Tuesday, Modi praised the Indian Air Force and said that the country is phenomenally proud of its services. He greeted people on Vijaya Dashami saying that India is a land of festivals and due to its vibrant culture, there is always some or the other festival in some part of India. Every festival brings our society together, Modi said.
"India is the land of festivals. Due to the vibrance and diversity in our culture, there is always a festival or celebration in some part of our country which brings us closer to one another," the Prime Minister said while addressing the gathering.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and several others extended greetings to citizens on the occasions of Dussehra and Air Force Day.
"Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on Dusshera. The festival is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. It inspires us to live by honesty and truthfulness. May the day bring joy and prosperity to the people of the country," Kovind tweeted. Dusshera or Vijayadashami is celebrated at the end of Navaratri every year. It also marks the end of the five-day Durga Puja festival.
Dedicating a separate tweet to Air Force Day, Kovind said: "On Air Force Day, we proudly honour our air warriors, veterans, and families of the Indian Air Force. They safeguard our skies with courage and commitment. India remains forever indebted to the brave men and women in blue for their selfless devotion and sacrifice."
Even PM Modi, in his tweet, said: "Greetings on the auspicious occasion of #VijayaDashami." Regarding Air Force Day, Modi said: "Today, on Air Force Day, a proud nation expresses gratitude to our air warriors and their families. The Indian Air Force continues to serve India with utmost dedication and excellence."
Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi also greeted fellow citizens on the occasion of Dussehra. "Followed by days of fasting and worship, the festivities of Dussehra signify the victory of truth over untruth, virtue over vice and good over evil and provides us with the message of goodness, modesty, moderation and the holy and unassailable position of women," Sonia Gandhi said, adding that Vijayadashmi also underlines that arrogance and injustice, even of the most powerful is ultimately defeated.
She expressed the hope that the this Vijayadashmi would bless all with peace, prosperity and righteousness. Rahul Gandhi, in his tweet, said that "the eventual triumph of good over evil is a universal truth. Today we celebrate and reaffirm our belief in that truth. My best wishes and greetings to each and every one of you, on the joyous occasion of Dussehra."