India Is Restoring, Rebuilding, Re-Energising Our Civilisation All Over The World: EAM S Jaishankar At Kashi Tamil Sangamam
A truly democratic and pluralistic world order must see a full expression of India's heritage abroad, as much as at home, Jaishankar said at the Kashi Tamil Sangamam.
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar addressed the Kashi Tamil Sangamam on 11 December.
Stating that global rebalancing is being expressed in culture as much as in politics and economics, India is ‘restoring, rebuilding, and re-energising’ Indian civilisation all over the world, Jaishankar said.
A truly democratic and pluralistic world order must see a full expression of India's heritage abroad, as much as at home, he added.
”The cultural diplomacy of the Narendra Modi Government is focused on creating, rebuilding and restoring our rich traditions for the benefit of the entire world. This is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,' Jaishankar said.
The Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia is being restored by India because our civilisation is not limited to India, but is spread across countries, he added, addressing the Kashi Tamil Sangamam on Sunday (11 December).
Speaking on 'contribution of temples in society and nation building', Jaishankar said, “Temples are keepers of our culture and history. They are centres of knowledge and promoters of arts and crafts”.
He added that there are temples not only in India, not only in the Indian subcontinent, but in many regions beyond.
"So, today when we are restoring, rebuilding, and re-energising Indian civilisation, our task is not only in India. Our task is all over the world. But, it is not only where our civilisation went, it is also where our travellers went, our traders went, our people of faith went," he said.
Recalling his days as India's Ambassador to China, the Minister said, "Some of you know that for many years, I have been an Ambassador to China. I have seen the remnants of Hindu temples even in China on the east coast."
He said that there is a very special connection between Ayodhya and Korea, whose people want to be associated with the developments in Ayodhya, he said.
He also mentioned the Shrinath Ji temple in Bahrain, and said, "All these were established by our people, when they went out. It is a matter of pride for us that we are building a temple in United Arab Emirates (UAE), that we got approval to built a temple in Bahrain. We have done a lot of work in Vietnam as well."
"So, how do we today take our culture out, take our values, our philosophy, our way of life and share it with the rest of the world, through activities outside. We are very committed in the Foreign Ministry to doing that. We also support what people of India are doing outside. There are more than 1,000 temples in the United States," he said.
He said that there are 3.5 crore Indians and people of Indian origin abroad, who have taken Indian culture with them. "So, it is also our efforts today to support them, and we do it in different ways."
Jaishankar also informed the audience that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged Rs 200 crore to build a Ramayan Circuit into Nepal, "so that all of us will have an opportunity to visit our heritage in close quarters."
"Even in Sri Lanka, we restored the Thiruketheeswaram Temple in Mannar. This temple was closed for 12 years. So the fact that we took interest, made efforts, has made it possible for the revival of that temple," he said.
Thiruketheeswaram Temple, one of the five sacred Ishwarams dedicated to Lord Shiva, is venerated by Shaivites throughout the subcontinent and the temple was testimony to the most difficult period in the history of Sri Lanka as it was closed for 12 years during the armed conflict and reopened in 2002.
The Minister also said that in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake, many temples were damaged because they were old. "We have committed USD 50 million for restoration of cultural heritage in Nepal.
(With inputs from PTI)
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