Thiruvananthapuram: Apparently alluding to the protest by CPI(M) and resentment by Congress over his visit to Sree Narayana Mutt at nearby Sivagiri, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday regretted "untouchability" was increasing in politics.
"Political untouchability is increasing in society though this great evil had been eradicated in social life to a great extent by works of spiritual leaders and reformers," Modi said inaugurating the golden Jubilee of Sree Narayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad at Sivagiri Mutt at Varkala, 30 km from here.
Though he did not mention any party or leader, Modi apparently had in mind attacks by the Left on the Mutt for inviting him to the function and eyebrows raised by Congress leaders over Labour Minister Shibu Baby John of its partner RSP(B) meeting him recently.
In an apparent reference to discussions John held with him on skill development for youth, Modi said Gujarat had been recognised as the most advanced state in this area by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Modi devoted most of his speech to the role played by spiritual leaders like Sree Narayana Guru in preparing the ground for the national movement and freedom struggle, saying if their ideals had been fully carried out, many problems faced by the country now could have been resolved.
Stating that India today is a "youthful" country where 65 per cent of the population is aged under 35, he said this factor is the nation's biggest asset for it to forge ahead. However, uplift of women, depressed and suppressed classes and skill development are some vital areas that needed greater attention to achieve the goals before the nation.
He described Sree Narayana Guru as one who had been a far-sighted spiritual leader, saying his message of "one caste, one religion and one God for men" would provide a solution to problems faced by the present day world, including the scourge of terrorism and global warming.