West Bengal: 'Politics should not be done over Durga Puja,' urges Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi

Meenakshi said that the central government had done everything to get the intangible heritage tag for Bengal’s Durga Puja.

Aritra SinghaUpdated: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 10:14 PM IST
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Kolkata: Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi on Saturday said that ‘politics’ should not be done over Durga Puja.

Attending a program to give awards to artisans, Meenakshi said that the central government had done everything to get the intangible heritage tag for Bengal’s Durga Puja.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he wants to see ‘oneness in effort’ and all the departments of the central government including education, cultural, external affairs department and other departments had worked together to get the heritage tag of UNESCO for Durga Puja,” said the Union Minister.

Stating that the plea for a heritage tag for Duga Puja was rejected in 2012, Meenakshi said that in 2018 through Sangeet Natak Academy historian Tapati Guha Thakurta was assigned to make a dossier on Durga Puja.

“The Central government had closely followed the dossier and in 2019 the same was submitted to UNESCO. Two more references were needed by UNESCO which the central government officers had worked upon. There are several intangible heritages in India but we have chosen Durga Puja. This celebration is for everyone,” further added Meenakshi.

Asked that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to say that Durga Puja got the heritage tag due to the works done by the state government, the Union Minister said everyone should believe in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.

“In the exhibition in the Indian Museum, there are statues of Goddess Durga from the Before Christ era. I thank everyone, especially our forefathers for maintaining our culture. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam means the world is one family and all should maintain that before politicizing Durga Puja,” added Meenakshi.

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