A truly democratic world order must see full expression of India’s heritage, says Jaishankar in Varanasi

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visits Sri Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.
| Photo Credit: PTI

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Sunday said that the cultural diplomacy of the Modi government is centred around “restoring our rich traditions for the benefit of the world” and a truly democratic and pluralistic world order must see a full expression of India’s heritage, abroad as much as at home. Mr. Jaishankar, who is on a two-day tour of Varanasi, was addressing an event as part of ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam’ on ‘Contribution of temples to society and nation building’.

The Minister who was born into a Tamil family added that temples are keepers of our culture and history along with being centres of knowledge and promoters of arts and crafts. “The cultural diplomacy of the Modi government is focused on creating, rebuilding and restoring our rich traditions for the benefit of the entire world. This is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” he stated. Earlier in the day, Mr. Jaishankar visited the family of Tamil writer and nationalist poet Subramania Bharathi on his birth anniversary. “Privileged to visit the family of Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi in Kashi on his birth anniversary today. Humbled to receive blessings and encouragement from his grandnephew Thiru K V Krishnan ji,” tweeted the Minister. The late Bharathi, one of the greatest Tamil literary figures, stayed in Kashi for a few years.

Mr. Jaishankar also informed that Varanasi will be hosting the G-20 Development Ministers’ meeting. “Kashi is one of the important venues for the G-20 meetings. And one of them, the Development Ministers’ meeting that I will chair, will be held here,” he said while addressing students and faculty at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Saturday.

Mr. Jaishankar was speaking at the university on ‘India as a rising power in the changing global world order’. The diplomat-turned-politician remarked that earlier, the world used to see India and Pakistan on equal terms but not anymore and India has become the primary power in the region.

Mr. Jaishankar also joined the Nagarathar Nattukottai Chettiars in their traditional procession to the Kashi Viswanath temple and witnessed the Ganga Aarti at the Dashaswamedh Ghat. The Minister also paid obeisance to Adi Shankaracharya, Ahilyabai Holkar and Bharat Mata at Kashi Viswanath.

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