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Mann Ki Baat: Canada to return ancient Maa Annapurna idol stolen from Varanasi temple 100 years back, says PM Modi

Addressing his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also lauded New Zealand MP Gaurav Sharma for recently taking oath in Sanskrit and said that his action, filled the hearts of Indians with pride.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation through his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in the 71st edition of the programme.

In his address, PM Modi mentioned that Canada will be returning a very ancient idol of Devi Annapurna. PM Modi said that the idol was stolen from a temple of Varanasi and smuggled out of the country about 100 years ago somewhere around 1913. Expressing his gratitude to the Government of Canada, PM Modi said that the Mata Annapoorna has a very special relationship with Kashi. Now the coming back of her idol is pleasing for all of us, he added.

Stressing on the global mafia that steals and deals with international heritage, PM Modi said, “Just like the idol of Mata Annapurna, a lot of our invaluable heritage has suffered at the hands of international gangs. These gangs sell them at a very high price in the international market”.

Prime Minister added how it is now tough to smuggle as they are being subjected to heavy restrictions. He said India has also increased her efforts for their return and because of such efforts, India has been successful in bringing back lots of such idols and artefacts in the past few years.

“There is a coincidence attached with the return of the idol of Mata Annapurna. A few days back we celebrated World Heritage week which provides culture enthusiasts an opportunity to look back into the past,” Prime Minister Modi mentioned in his speech.

Revisit the past and to know about the history: PM Modi

Emphasising on the rich Indian culture and traditions, Prime Minister in his monthly address to the nation said that the World Heritage Week provides a wonderful opportunity to the lovers of culture to revisit the past and to know about the history of these important milestones.

“In spite of these times of corona, this time, we saw people celebrate this Heritage week in an innovative manner. Culture helps a lot during the crisis, plays a major role in handling it. Even with the help of technology, culture works as an emotional recharge,” the PM added.

Speaking on th glory of Indian culture and the Shastras, PM Modi pointed out to the fellow countrymen how India’s culture and knowledge have always been a centre of attraction for the entire world. Many people came to India to discover and study them and stayed back for ever, whereas some of them returned to their respective countries as carriers of this culture, PM Modi observed.  

“The culture and scriptures of India have always been a centre of attraction for the whole world and people who came to visit our country returned to theirs as ambassadors of Indian culture,” PM Modi said.

He also narrated how he recently got to know about the work of Jonas Masetti, who gives lessons on Vedanta and Geeta to people in Brazil.

“I got to know about the work of Jonas Masetti, who is also known as ‘Vishvanath’. Jonas gives lessons on Vedanta and Geeta in Brazil. He runs an organisation called ‘Vishvavidya’ which is located in hills of Petrópolis about an hour’s driver from Rio De Janeiro,” PM Modi said.

“After completing mechanical engineering, Jonas worked for his stock market company. Later he was attracted towards Indian culture, especially towards Vedanta. He studied Vendanta in India and spent 4 years at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Coimbatore. I congratulate Jonas for his efforts, ” PM Modi added.

PM Modi lauds New Zealand MP Gaurav Sharma

Addressing his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also lauded New Zealand MP Gaurav Sharma for recently taking oath in Sanskrit and said that his action, filled the hearts of Indians with pride.

“Recently, a New Zealand MP Gaurav Sharma took oath in Sanskrit. The spread of our language, which is one of the oldest in the world, fills our heart with pride. I want to congratulate him through this platform and wish him good luck for his tenure,” the PM said.

Newly elected New Zealand MP Gaurav Sharma took his oath of office in Sanskrit. However, he was also targeted and accused of using the language of “religious oppression” and “caste superiority”. New Zealand journalist Michael Field  also claimed Sanskrit is a “mark of Hindutva”, a “mark of fundamentalism”.

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