New Delhi: Wishing the nation on Diwali, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ lauded Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for his contribution to the making of India, ahead of his birth anniversary on October 31. Talking about how Sardar Patel unified Lakshadweep with India, PM Modi said unity is our culture and how he vividly remembers what happened before the 2010 Ram Janmabhoomi verdict.

“I still remember those days before the Allahabad High Court gave its verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi. How people started spreading hatred in the air, according to their own interests and benefits! How people tried to spread bitterness to in the air! We remember everything. But how many days did those continue? Five days? Seven days? 10 days? As soon as the verdict was declared, there was peace,” he said. The message is significant as the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi is awaited next month.

“Thanks to the people of India, social organisations, Saints, Seers and leaders of all faiths, it became a day that furthered unity and the judiciary was also respected,” he added.

Extending wished on Diwali, he said, “Diwali is celebrated in many parts of the world today. Not only the Indian community but also the governments of many countries, their citizens & the social organisations there also participate in these celebrations enthusiastically. In a way they make a ‘Bharat’ there,” he said.

“India is a country of festivals, there is a lot of scope of festival tourism here. Be it Holi, Diwali, Onam, Pongal or Bihu – we should make an effort to publicise such festivals and include other states, other countries in the celebrations,” he added.

Talking about the ‘Statue of Unity’, PM Modi said, “On 31st Oct 2018 ‘Statue of Unity’, made in the memory of Sardar Patel, was dedicated to the nation and world. It’s the tallest statue of world, twice the height of ‘Statue of Liberty’. The tallest statue of the world fills every Indian with pride.”

This year too, India will organise Run for Unity on October 31 on the occasion of Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary, PM said.