Modi's Meditative Retreat at Vivekananda Rock Memorial Stirs Up Controversy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to embark on a two-day meditation retreat at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari from the evening of May 30 to June 1. The high-profile event has led to heightened security measures and political controversy, with the opposition alleging it circumvents election silence period rules.

PTI | Kanyakumari | Updated: 30-05-2024 09:13 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 09:13 IST
Modi's Meditative Retreat at Vivekananda Rock Memorial Stirs Up Controversy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday embark on a near two-day meditation exercise at the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial here, and the district has come under a thick security blanket following the high profile event.

All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Modi's 45-hour stay at the famed, mid-sea memorial, named after the revered Hindu saint.

Modi will meditate at Rock Memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, here following the culmination of the Lok Sabha polls campaign later today, BJP leaders had said. The PM had undertaken a similar exercise in a Kedarnath cave after the 2019 poll campaign.

As the meditation coincides with the silence period ahead of the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections on June 1, opposition Congress and DMK have expressed reservation and moved the Election Commission against the PM's spiritual sojourn.

Modi will meditate from the evening of May 30 to the evening of June 1 at Dhyan Mandapam, the place where Vivekananda -- a spiritual icon admired by Modi -- is believed to have had a divine vision about 'Bharat Mata', BJP leaders said.

The PM is also likely to offer prayers at the famous Sri Bhagavathy Amman temple here. Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue, a towering 133 ft sculpture erected for the Tamil bard. The complex is located adjacent to the rock memorial.

Security has been beefed up ahead of Modi's visit and 2000 police personnel will stand guard during his stay, even as the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy would also maintain tight vigil. Tirunelveli range DIG Pravesh Kumar accompanied by superintendent of police E Sundaravathanam had inspected the security arrangements at the rock memorial, boat jetty, helipad and the state guest house here.

BJP functionaries had earlier said Modi's decision to pick the spot in Kanyakumari for his spiritual sojourn underscores his commitment to bringing to fruition Vivekananda's vision for the country.

The rock, where the PM will meditate, had a major impact on Vivekananda's life and holds a similar significance in the monk's life as Sarnath for Gautam Buddha, they said.

It was here that Vivekananda arrived after wandering across the country, meditated for three days and had a vision for a developed India, they said.

''Meditating at the same place shows Prime Minister Modi's commitment to bringing Swami ji's vision of a Viksit Bharat to life,'' a BJP leader said, adding the place is also mentioned in holy texts as the site of Goddess Parvati's meditation for Lord Shiva.

''Prime Minister Modi is giving a signal of national unity by going to Kanyakumari,'' a leader said, adding that it also shows his deep commitment and affection for Tamil Nadu that he is visiting the state even after the elections are over.

Opposition Congress alleged on Wednesday that Modi was trying to ''circumvent'' the silence period restrictions with his meditation trip and urged the Election Commission to ensure it is not aired by the media as it violates the model code of conduct.

The local unit of the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu has petitioned the District Collector, also the District Election Officer against the PM's event, citing the model code of conduct that is in force and the ongoing tourist season here.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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