Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday offered prayers at the ‘Shri Guru Ravidas Vishram Dham Mandir’ in Karol Bagh in Delhi on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti. The mystic poet enjoys a nationwide following, especially among a section of the Dalits.
He also took part in an event here and prayed with devotees at the temple. He then participated in ‘Shabad Kirtan’ with other devotees at the temple.
Earlier on Tuesday, PM Modi hailed Guru Ravidas, saying he dedicated his life to eliminating evil practices such as casteism and untouchability. The Prime Minister had said he would offer prayers for people’s welfare at the temple. The PM further said his government has imbibed the spirit of Guru Ravidas in every step and scheme.
Guru Ravidass Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas. It is celebrated on Magh Purnima, the full moon day in the month of Magh month of the Hindu calendar. He belonged to the bhakti movement during the 15th to 16th century and his hymns are included in the Guru Granth Sahib. He is considered the founder of the 21st-century Ravidassia religion.
Guru Ravidas was born in the 14th century in Seer Govardhanpur village near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. On this day, followers of Guru Ravidas visit Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan in Varanasi to offer prayers.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is popular among Dalits who constitute about 30 per cent of the population in Punjab and 20 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. While Punjab will vote on February 20, Uttar Pradesh has voted in two of the seven phases so far. Guru Ravidass Jayanti is also a holiday in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states.
With Dalit voters in focus, scores of leaders, scores of politicians are visiting Varanasi today to offer prayers at the Ravidas Temple.