Our an­ces­tors took In­dia and Bi­har in their hearts: Pur­ryag

Mau­ri­tius Pres­i­dent vis­its an­ces­tral vil­lage Wa­jid­pur near Patna

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE - Anil Ku­mar

WA­JID­PUR (PATNA): Over­whelmed by emo­tions upon set­ting his foot on the na­tive vil­lage of his fore­fa­thers - Wa­jid­pur, 22 km south of the Bi­har cap­i­tal — Mau­ri­tius Pres­i­dent Ra­jkesh­wur Pur­ryag on Sun­day said the re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and the is­land na­tion are not about two coun­tries but about the strong bond shared be­tween two brothers.

“When our an­ces­tors left, some 150 years ago, they did not leave the state and the coun­try be­hind. Rather, they took In­dia and Bi­har in their hearts,” said Pur­ryag, on whose short no­tice the state government had made ar­range­ments for his brief visit to his roots and a fam­ily re­u­nion of sorts.

Pre­fer­ring to speak in Hindi, the pres­i­dent, who struck an in­stant rap­port with the size­able gath­er­ing there, said: “This is a very happy moment for me. I will cher­ish it all my life. I salute the land of Wa­jid­pur.” Pur­ryag, how­ever, broke down and burst into tears as he re­called his story of grit and suf­fer­ing of his great grand­fa­ther Pur­ryag, son of Lak­sh­man.

“English­men led them into be­liev­ing that they would strike gold that lay un­der­neath stones in Mau­ri­tius. But im­mense hard­ships awaited the mi­grants who had to go with­out proper food and shel­ter,” Pur­ryag said.

“But, they did not give up and lit­er­ally ‘cleared the stones’ to cre­ate cul­tivable land in­stead. How­ever, the ad­vice of Ma­hatma Gandhi in 1901 and See­woosagur Ram­goolam in 1934 to rely on ed­u­ca­tion for end­ing their mis­eries and suf­fer­ings has really paid off in mak­ing the is­land na­tion a pros­per­ous coun­try,” he said.

The Pres­i­dent, who was here with his wife Anee­tah Pur­ryag and four min­is­ters, urged the vil­lagers to take les­son from the success of their fore­fa­thers in Mar­i­tius, shun casteism for join- ing hands to give a fur­ther im­pe­tus to Bi­har’s growth story.

“The only way to come out of poverty, want and suf­fer­ing is ed­u­ca­tion. En­sure that your chil­dren are em­pow­ered with this pow­er­ful tool in the mod­ern knowl­edge-based econ­omy,” he urged, while lay­ing the foun­da­tion stone for Pur­ryag High School, Kalyan­pur, be­ing named af­ter him.

He also praised chief min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar for his devel­op­men­tal ini­tia­tives say­ing that un­like Bi­har of yesteryears, the state’s growth story is be­ing dis­cussed in Delhi, Mau­ri­tius and the rest of the world. “I con­grat­u­late the chief min­is­ter for achiev­ing this turn­around and also thank him for help­ing me to trace my roots. I prom­ise to re­visit the place,” he said be­fore sign­ing off with the tra­di­tional ‘pranam’.

Mau­ri­tius Pres­i­dent Ra­jkesh­wur Pur­ryag (C), wife Anee­tah Pur­ryag and chief min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar wave to the gath­er­ing at Wa­jid­pur on Sun­day. Over­whelmed by warm wel­come, Pur­ryag could not con­trol his emo­tions.

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