Our idols and antiquities are India’s heritage and with the relentless efforts of Narendra Modi, our country’s heritage is being brought back”: G. Kishan Reddy

New Delhi : Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER  G. Kishan Reddy took part in several important events and activities during his day-long visit to Uttar Pradesh today which included Lucknow and Ayodhya. The Minister started his day with a review of the various regional offices of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Uttar Pradesh. This included the Agra Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the North Zone Cultural Centre, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) and the National School of Drama at Varanasi, the Prayagraj Museum, the Rampur Raza Library, the Lalit Kala Akademi branch at Lucknow among others.

The Union Minister addressed the media in Lucknow at the residence of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh  Yogi Adityanath regarding the return of the Annapoorna Devi Murthi to its rightful place in Varanasi and highlighted the efforts of  Prime Minister NarendraModi  for bringing home the idols and antiquities from various foreign countries.

“It’s a proud moment for all Indians that the Murti of Goddess Annapurna Devi was rightfully returned to India”, he said. “Since 1976, 55 idols have been returned to India.  75% of the idols that have been returned were done during the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Out  of the 55 antiquities, 42 were returned after 2014 with the Annapurna Devi being the last addition to this”, the Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER added . “Our murthis are India’s heritage. The Ministry of Culture working closely with the cultural wings of Embassies under the Ministry of External Affairs together repatriates our antiques which hold heritage value and have  local importance.

Later in the evening, he participated in the Ayodhya Deepotsav programme and released several publications and books on Ramayana at the event.

Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister conveyed his warm wishes for the continuous four-day festivals  i.e. deepavali, badideepavali, govardhanpooja, Bhaidhooj and Chhathpooja. He said that the life of Lord Ram is an example of inclusive administration taking everybody along including the likes of Jatayu, Jambavanta and Angada and the Prime Minister’s mantra of Sabkasaath, sabkavikas, sabkaprayas is based on the tenets and principles of Ramarajya.

The Union Minister also highlighted the speedy construction for a grand and magnificent Temple of Lord Rama since the historic day of  August  5th, 2020 when the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for Ram temple. The Minister said that the resolve and determination to make Ram temple as an iconic destination is a worthy and noble cause and the  Union Minister congratulated all the office bearers of Sri Ram Janmabhoomiteerthkshetra Trust.

He said the construction of the Ram temple and the development of Ayodhya city with an international airport, road connectivity and other infrastructure projects with internationally benchmarked facilities will become a world class tourist center. “Under the Prime Minister’s leadership, Ayodhya will be developed as the most visited pilgrim centre not in India but in the world”, he added.

Later,  the Union Minister on the invitation of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, attended an event that witnessed around 9 lakhdiyas at the Ram KiPaidiGhat on the banks of river Saryu on Diwali and 3 lakhdiyas in different places of the city.

Deepavali is celebrated in a grand style to welcome the return of Lord Sri Rama along with his wife Goddess Sita  and his brother Lakshmana to his kingdom in Ayodhya, after 14 years of exile and vanquishing Ravana in Lanka.

The AyodhyaDeepotsav will enthrall the visitors and public with a series of programmes which includes  rally of folk artists, tableaus depicting various episodes of Ramayana, the performance of SaryuHarathi, 3D Holographic show, projection mapping, thematic laser show, staging of Ram Leela.