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Preserving the past, forging the future- initiatives taken by present Modi govt to rejuvenate Bharatiya cultural sites

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Subham Mondal
Subham Mondal
Ministry of culture Awardee '23. Ministry of Science and Technology ( CSIR CGCRI ) awardee . Deccan education society awardee. Budding author. Ex NMMS scholar (2016) . Alumnus - Visva-bharati university.

I count myself fortunate enough to take birth in BHARAT– the land which taught the world the culture of peace, brotherhood, coexistence, humanity. This month we are going to celebrate 76th Independence day of Bharat. Over the years Bharat has reshaped herself from being a ‘third world country‘ to ‘a rising force in the world’. We are fortunate enough that we are taking breath in free Bharat, but in order to make Bharat free, freedom fighters from Kashmir to Kashi and Manipur to Medinipur, Bengal sacrificed their precious lives. It is the deep rooted culture of Bharat that instilled the urge of breaking the shackles of Maa Bharati in the heart of valiant freedom fighters.

Today Bharat has become synonymous with democracy. Being the mother of democracy Bharat has showed the world that democracy can deliver and has delivered. Long before the Magna Carta which was signed in the 13th century, and considered the First charter of democracy, in the 12th century itself, Bharatiya philosopher Guru Basaveshwara gave the world the mantras of Democracy taking inspiration from Bharatiya culture. Harbinger of democracy Guru Basaveshwara founded the first democratic parliament in the world named Anubhav Mantapa during the 12th Century in Bidar, Karnataka.

Today standing in 2023 we are drawing outline for 2047 Bharat. Preserving the past is necessary in order to forge the future of Bharat because it will tell the youths of Bharat what the capability of our land is, what our identity is. But was any action taken to preserve the cultural and heritage sites of India since independence to 2014? Hardly any. Ever since BJP came into power in 2014, Hon PM has taken initiatives to preserve the cultural and heritage sites of Bharat. Recent developments in Somnath, Kedarnath, Mahakaleswar temple, Ayodhya, Kashi speak about the iron determination of PM Modi and BJP.

Following the footsteps of Ahilyabai Holkar and rejuvenating Somnath Temple: The Somnath temple in Gujarat has a history of being attacked and looted by invaders like Mahmud of Ghazni, and Aurangzeb and getting re-built by Ahilyabai Holkar. Somnath is the sign of resistance. Both Somnath temple and Bharat got ‘attacked‘ and ‘looted‘ by invaders numerous times yet both of them are standing and their flags (dhwaj) are flying higher. The renovation of Somnath Temple has been done under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).

After honourable Narendra Modi became the Pradhan sevak of Bharat and also the Chairman of the Somnath Trust, the scale of the improvements increased further with a seaside promenade and an exhibition centre . The Samudra Darshan Path is around 1.5-km long and 27 feet wide, and a wall that shows paintings of Lord Shiva.

Bhakts of almighty lord Shiva can now get glimpse of the ocean and the grandeur of the Somnath temple from Samudra Darshan Path. Along with this, Ahilyabai temple complex has been reconstructed known as Juna Somnath temple. By executing PRASAD and renovating Somanath temple Pradhan sevak of Bharat showed that – ‘action speaks louder than words‘. Under the second phase of PRASAD, a public plaza will be built which will have facilities for the tourists such as a parking facility for the DIVYANGs. In past Iron man Sardar Patel too took the initiative of reconstructing Somnath temple.

Thus the actions taken by PM Modi shows that he is proper successor of Sardar Patel and at the same time following the footsteps of Ahilyabai Holkar. During his tenure as Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi undertook initiatives for the Somnath temple complex’s beautification – this further shows that the bond between Narendra Modi and Somanth is stronger than that of covalent bond. B. Redevelopment of Kedarnath Dham by follower of Adi guru shankaracharya: “No words are enough to do justice to the monumental contribution of the great Adi Shankaracharya towards preserving our culture. In Kedarnath today, I had the honour of dedicating to the nation the Shri Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi” – Pradhan sevak commented after unveiling the 13-foot high statue of Guru Adi Shankaracharya at the restored Kedarnath temple.

The statue of protector of our culture Adi guru Shankaracharya, weighing around 35 tonnes, was placed at the seer’s samadhi sthal that was redeveloped after it got damaged heavily during the 2013 floods. After the devastation and damage caused in Kedarnath due to floods in 2013, many believed it would never be the same again but Narendra Modi believed and thus commented-, “I believe Kedarnath will rise again”. Announcing 500 crore projects to redevelop and reconstruct kedarnath by BJP shows that intention matters and nothing is impossible when the blessings of Baba kedar are with you.

PM Modi in 2017 laid the foundation stones of major reconstruction projects at Kedarnath shrine, which included facilities for devotees, construction of retaining walls and ghats at the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers. PM Modi also laid the foundation of the char Dham project. The Char Dham project was launched to connect four pilgrimage sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. It aims to provide an all-weather road connection between the Char Dhams and a rail link between Rishikesh and Karnprayag.

Upon coming to power at the Centre in 2014, the BJP government under the able leadership of Pradhan sevak initiated “Swachh Kedarnath”, which aims to enhance cleanliness for bhakts of baba kedar visiting the temple. Offering 24×7 connection and cleanliness to Bhakts were the intiatives taken and successfully executed by BJP government. Initiatives taken by BJP government under the able leadership of PM Modi shows that BJP under PM Modi is hell bent following the footsteps of Adi guru shankaracharya and protecting the cultural sites of India.

Taking the responsibility as Varanasi MP and Transforming Kashi Vishwanath Corridor : “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, & looks twice as old as all of them put together “– Mark Twain . These words are more than relevant today in 21 St century India if you see Varanasi through the prism of devotion towards Baba vishwanath and intiatives of central government.A new dawn in the tourism of UP and Varanasi – In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about developing Varanasi as a smart city- you can call it it’s responsibility towards his own constituency or taking initiative to protect the cultural site.

With this a project by the same name was officially launched in 2016. Back In 2014, on his first tour of Japan, PM Modi linked Varanasi to his ‘dream’ renovation campaign. He spoke about developing Kashi as the Japanese heritage city, Kyoto. Kashi and Kyoto are ancient cities that have survived into modern times. Kyoto is one of the developed cities of Japan, an economic powerhouse. PM Modi spoke about developing Kashi on Kyoto model with India emerging as a global economic powerhouse. According to recent research by TIJORI Varanasi saw 8 times more tourists in a financial year than Goa . All thanks to PM Modi’s visionary project,Kashi Vishwanath Corridor!

The corridor’s allure has captivated travelers from far and wide, boosting tourism in the heart of India . But this success didn’t come overnight. Taking initiative to transform Kashi Vishwanath corridor didn’t only open the gate of tourism for India but also liberated almighty Bholenath.

”Kashi Vishwanath Dham in a way is the occasion of Bhole Baba’s liberation. Our Lord was closeted within the four walls. I am not sure for how long He was trapped and had tough time breathing. Now, for the first time, several adjoining buildings were acquired.” – Pradhan sevak uttered in Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The Kashi Vishwanath corridor, Rs 700 crore redevelopment project connecting the Vishwanath temple to Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi, was inaugurated by Pradhan sevak in last December . The project involved the demolition and relocation of local residents residing in narrow lanes around the temple complex. Pradhan sevak as an MP of his constituency didn’t only take responsibility of changing the fate of Varanasi but also recognized the project’s historical significance in revitalizing the sociocultural legacy of the ancient city and whole India, which has been linked to Indic faith philosophy for centuries. The temple was reconstructed and expanded to five lakh square feet, ushering in a new dawn for this revered site.

If Mark Twain through his words described the beauty of Varanasi, PM Modi through his actions put everything on stake to justify the words of Mark Twain.

Corridor expansion in Ujjain with the blessings of Mahakal – Mahakal Lok Corridor project in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, with a budget of Rs 850 crore was outlaid by BJP government under the able leadership of PM MODI. Its first leg was thrown open to the public in October 2022 to great acclaim. A wide, spacious and aesthetic corridor flanking the Mahakal temple overlooks the ancient Shipra River and is decked with a vast array of facilities for pilgrims. At the other end is the Triveni Museum, one of the treasures of Ujjain. PM Modi launched the first phase of the Mahakal Lok Corridor on October 11, 2022, which aims to redevelop the Mahakaleshwar temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple complex, currently spanning 2.5 hectares of land, will be expanded to over 40 hectares, along with the Rudrasagar lake as part of the renovation plan.

The corridor, which stretches 900 meters, is flanked by two grand gateways- Nandi Dwar and Pinaki Dwar, each adorned with 108 intricately carved pillars and sculptures showcasing Lord Shiva’s life. E. Construction of Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya by Ram bhakt: Lord Ram isn’t a noun rather an adjective that describes what taking responsibility of parents, fulfilling the duty of husband, fulfilling the commitment as brother means. Lord Ram, in the words of Swami Vivekananda, is the embodiment of truth, morality, representative of an ideal son, and ideal husband and above all, the ideal people’s representative.During 1990s, the then BJP worker Narendra Modi played a role of an organiser of LK Advani’s nation wide rath yatra. However, he played a much vital and way bigger role after the BJP government came to power at the centre. Under his leadership committee was formed for constructing grand Ram temple in Ayodhya .The total cost of constructing the temple and complex is nearly Rs 1,800 crore. The work involves three superstructure comprising the ‘Garbha Girha’, the sanctorum, and five mandaps on the ground floor.

As many as 166 pillars will be installed on the ground floor of the Ram temple, 144 on the first floor and 82 on the second floor. The temple will be 161 feet high from the floor of the sanctum sanctorum. The ongoing construction of the Ram Mandir is the fulfillment of promise made by BJP more than three decades ago. According to reports already 4000 rooms are booked in Ayodhya (as of July 29) for attending Ram temple inauguration ceremony in January,2024. This shows the encouragement and excitement people of India have in their hearts for attending the historical occasion.

BJP under PM Modi has taken intiatives to rejuvenate Indic faith cultural sites with basically four objectives –
a. To fulfill the dream of Guru adi Shankaracharya, Ahilyabai Holkar, Sardar Patel
b. To establish an example infront of youths of India, (the drivers of future of India) what our capabilities are and what resistance looks like.
c. To establish an environment where we will take pride in our roots and culture.(third pran)
d. Attracting tourists from all over the world.

Comments made by PM Modi on various occassions shows that he isn’t only follower of Ahilyabai holkar and Adiguru Shankaracharya but also the biggest ambassador of Indian tourism. In August 2021 during the breakfast with Tokyo Olympics Indian contingent he invited coach of PV Sindhu Tae sang to visit Ayodhya. He further described the connection between Ayodhya and Korea (country from where Tae sang belongs) As a far-sighted leader Pradhan sevak has realised that India’s cultural site is the most powerful bond that forges Bharatavarsha and her people and he is on a mission to re-strengthen those bonds.

Analyzing all the facts we can say that a new age has started in 2014 which aims to salvage Hindus from humiliation and revive sites of Indic faith culture. By doing this BJP under PM Modi is making the path smoother for future India both economically and morally.

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Subham Mondal
Subham Mondal
Ministry of culture Awardee '23. Ministry of Science and Technology ( CSIR CGCRI ) awardee . Deccan education society awardee. Budding author. Ex NMMS scholar (2016) . Alumnus - Visva-bharati university.
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