Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said those who clean our streets should have the first claim to say ‘Vande Mataram’.
Speaking on the occasion of 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s 1893 Parliament of Religions address in Chicago, Modi wondered whether we should have the right to say ‘Vande Mataram’ after what we do to our streets through indiscriminate littering and spitting.
“If there is anyone who should have the right to say ‘Vande Mataram’ before anyone else, it is those children of Mother India who perform the job of cleaning our streets,” he said.
“Whether we clean our surroundings or not, we do not have the right to litter it,” he added.
Modi said that he was proud of women who refuse to get married into families whose houses do not have toilets and called for building of toilets before places of worships.
“Toilets first, temples later,” said the Prime Minister.
In his tribute to the sage, he said Vivekananda was a visionary.
“Who would have thought anyone would be interested in celebrating a 125-year-old speech… Just with a few words, a youngster from India won over the world and showed it the power of oneness,” Modi said about the prescience of the social reformer.