New Delhi: Calling the Kumbh Mela the biggest cultural event in the world, the Vice President said that it was the largest gathering of Dharmik and Spiritual people. It is one of the greatest wonders of the World, he added.
The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Kumbh has projected the magnificent “Soft Power” of India to the world. He said that it would develop Prayagraj and adjoining historical places into tourist destinations.
Shri Naidu, was on a day-long visit to Prayagraj, where he felicitated the volunteers at the Yuva Kumbh Sammelan. He also addressed the Kiva Kumbh Mela where representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Netherlands, Brazil etc were in attendance.
Addressing the Yuva Kumbh Sammelan, Shri Naidu stressed upon the need to educate and inform people about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation especially during events such as the Kumbh where more than 19 crore people offered prayers to the river Ganga.
Asserting that peoples’ participation was crucial in achieving the objectives of programmes such as Namami Gange and Swachh Bharat, he called upon the volunteers to educate the devotees on the importance of keeping rivers clean and of avoiding the use of plastics. For this, he wanted them to become Swachhta guards.
Later, speaking at Kiva Kumbh Mela, the Vice President highlighted the need to evolve a social behavior which was compatible with nature. He further said that such behavior, if in consonance with nature, would be called as ‘Sansktiri’ or Culture and if it destroys the fragile balance of the nature, it would be called ‘Vikriti’ or perversion.
Shri Naidu said that humans have tinkered with nature through the relentless pursuit of industrial growth, unmindful of environmental consequences. He added that for development to be sustainable, it has to be compatible with nature.
The Vice President lamented that the pollution of the air, water and food resources and degradation of forest resources have created a situation where human and animal life was becoming increasingly unsustainable. ‘Our future is tied up with how we respect nature and preserve it’, he reasoned.
There is a cultural dimension as well, he said. ‘In my view, cultural ethos that promotes peace, harmony, tolerance and inclusive growth tends to be the best foundation for sustainable future’, he added.
Observing that the holy land of Prayag holds great relevance in our tradition, Shri Naidu said that the city has been the seat of culture, learning and literature.
Talking about the relevance of the Kumbh, the Vice President said that it conveyed an important message; that it is the river that sustains us like divine nectar or ambrosia. ‘It is divine. So, we must worship it, not defile it. It is life giving. So, we have to preserve it’, he asserted.
Earlier in the morning, the Vice President visited the holy Sangam at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh and offered prayers on the occasion of Kumbh. He was accompanied by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh Shri Ram Naik, Health Minster of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Sidharth Nath Singh and others.
The Vice President appreciated the state administration for taking up massive urban renewable mission and for providing facilities to crores of devotees visiting Kumbh.
Paying homage to the CRPF martyrs who lost their lives in the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, the Vice President said that the neighbour has committed a heinous crime and expressed confidence that the Indian Army would a teach befitting lesson at the time and place of its choice.
On the two occasions, the Vice President and the gathering had observed silence in the memory of the martyrs.
Vice President also called upon world community to work together to uproot the menace of terror. He urged the United Nations Security Council to conclude their discussions and come out with a comprehensive action plan against terrorism