Our ancestors took India and Bihar in their hearts: Purryag
Mauritius President visits ancestral village Wajidpur near Patna
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.