Simple start to Gita Mahotsav as President cancels visit after Jayalalithaa’s death | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Simple start to Gita Mahotsav as President cancels visit after Jayalalithaa’s death

With President Pranab Mukherjee cancelling his visit to Kurukshetra to inaugurate International Gita Mahotsav in the wake of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's death, Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar jointly opened the five-day festivities here on Tuesday.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2016 00:41 IST
Neeraj Mohan
From right: Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and CM Manohar Lal Khatta at the Gita Mahotsav in Kurukshetra on Tuesday.
From right: Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and CM Manohar Lal Khatta at the Gita Mahotsav in Kurukshetra on Tuesday.(PTI)

With President Pranab Mukherjee cancelling his visit to Kurukshetra to inaugurate International Gita Mahotsav in the wake of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's death, Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar jointly opened the five-day festivities here on Tuesday.

The inauguration was a simple affair, with ‘Gita Pujan’ being held at the historical Brahma Sarovar. 

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of an international seminar, governor Kaptan Singh Solanki said: “India will lead the world in the 21st century and Bhagavad Gita can provide guiding principles for it.” 

Religious leaders from other communities too took part in the seminar, titled  ‘Bhagavad Gita: Holistic Life Management and World Heritage Tourism’. Maulana Kokab Mujtaba, who is the president of Ulema Foundation, called for translating Gita to Urdu and other languages so that it could be read and understood by people from other religions.  David Frawley, founder of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, and Bhai Satpal Singh, chairman of Ram Das Mission in the US, also praised the teachings of Gita.

Sidelights
  • The entire Kurukshetra city covered is covered with hoardings of religious gurus and local politicians of the ruling BJP, who want to make their presence felt
  • Almost all ministers of the Khattar cabinet and BJP state legislators are participating in the celebrations amid heavy police deployment
  • The handicraft fair at the Brahma Sarovar is seeing a massive response. The district administration claimed 5 lakh people visited the fair so far
  • The administration has introduced electrical rickshaws to reduce pollution and check traffic jams

Khattar for promoting K’shetra as religious tourism hub 

Earlier, chief minister Khattar said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state was committed to develop Kurukshetra as the religious tourism hub of the country. 

“Since the Saraswati river is a symbol of faith and belief, the state government has constituted Saraswati Heritage Development Board for rejuvenation, conservation and research on this mythical river,” the CM said. 

Khattar said the road map for Krishna Circuit had been prepared to “develop this holy land as a world-class tourist destination”. Under this project, Rs 100 crore will be spent on the development and beautification of Sanhit Sarovar, Ameen Kund, Narkatari, Brahma Sarovar and Jyotisar. 

Besides, a 3D multimedia show based on different themes of the epic Mahabharata, a grand statue of Lord Krishna and a theme park complex depicting the 48 kos area of Kurukshetra will also be developed. 

Representatives of 574 districts join festivities

Representatives of 574 districts of the country reached Kurukshetra with 400 gram soil from their areas, which will be used to create a statue of Lord Krishna. Khattar accorded a warm welcome to all of them. Chanting one shloka of Gita, they took part in the festivities in their traditional dresses.

“I have come here to learn teachings of Gita and will take back its message to my native place,” said Abhay Singh, who came from Alwar district of Rajasthan. Samair Vishwas from West Agartala in Tripura said: “ We are very happy that Gita is being promoted worldwide. Now i will promote its teachings back home.”

Haryana guv all praise for Modi 

Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki was all praises for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Modi is the only PM whose high command is ‘janta’ (people). The entire world listens to him carefully and is praising him,” he said while referring to Modi coming on the top in the readers’ poll for TIME ‘Person of the Year 2016’.