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Upcoming Kashi-Tamil Sangamam will train its gun on Sanatan Dharma critics

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Upcoming Kashi-Tamil Sangamam will train its gun on Sanatan Dharma criticsDecember 10, 2023Varanasi, Dec 10 (IANS) Preparations are underway to “respond” to the critics of the ‘Sanatan Dharma’ through the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam.

People associated with the Sanatan Dharma believe that the leaders of some political parties who are constantly making headlines with their controversial statements will get to see a broader perspective of the Sanatan Dharma in this Sangamam, which will “enlighten them about the completeness of the Sanatan Dharma”.Political experts say that the North-South divide has come to the fore after controversial comments on Sanatan Dharma by some parties in the past. And the ruling BJP seems to be in no mood to take any risk now.Through the Kashi-Tamil Samagam, the ruling party also wants to give the message of union between the North and South to the opponents. Kashi has a connection of reverence and culture with Tamil Nadu and the Tamil language. The people of Tamil Nadu consider coming to Kashi, residing here and visiting the temples here as a virtuous result of their previous birth.The second edition of the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam is proposed to be held from December 17 to December 30. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the programme.Recently, Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, while speaking at the ‘Sanatana Dharma Eradication Conference’, said that the Sanatan Dharma is against social justice and equality. “Few things cannot be opposed, that should be abolished only. We can’t oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria or coronavirus. We have to eradicate this,” he had said.“The name Sanatana is from Sanskrit. It is against social justice and equality,” Stalin said. His remarks triggered a huge uproar.Resident of Tamil Nadu’s Kumbakonam and a trustee of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, K. Venkat Raman Ghanapathi said that the culture of Kashi and Tamil is similar. The people there have great faith in Kashi. Whenever people come from Tamil Nadu, they take a bath in the Ganga, visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple and also pay obeisance at the Vishalakshi Devi shrine, which is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Maa Sati. The shrine’s importance is similar to that of Kancheepuram’s Kamakshi Amman Temple and Madurai’s Meenakshi Temple. Kashi has great importance in every village of Tamil Nadu. Ganga’s confluence occurs in Kaveri. People from Kashi also go there to pay obeisance. There are many students and teachers from Tamil Nadu here, he said.”The culture of both places is interconnected. The Kashi-Tamil Samagam programme has increased awareness among the people. This programme has brought considerable economic progress as well. People are very happy about the second edition of the programme. I wish that God give wisdom to those commenting on Sanatana,” Ghanapathi added. “His (Stalin’s) remarks will have no impact on the programme. Rather, people from there (Tamil Nadu) will come here (Kashi) in large numbers. An eternal relationship has always existed between Kashi and Tamil Nadu. This meeting of North-South can be a powerful medium to realise Prime Minister Modi’s concept of ‘Ek Bharat-Shrestha Bharat’,” he said.Senior political analyst Ratanmani Lal says that if any negative comments are made against the Sanatan Dharma, it definitely makes headlines.“BJP wants to keep this issue alive as it will help them in campaigning in future. Such programmes are a way to show the importance and influence of Sanatan Dharma and to stay connected with Tamil Nadu,” he said.Under the ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’ programme, IIT Madras has launched the registration portal for the Kashi-Tamil Samagam.Banaras Hindu University (BHU) will cooperate with IIT Madras for the Samagam programme, which will see the participation of students, teachers, farmers, artisans, weavers, traders, businessmen, spiritual leaders, writers, and professionals. They will be selected by a high-level committee of IIT Madras.The objective of the programme is to revive the vibrant relations between the two ancient centres of education and culture — Varanasi and Tamil Nadu. According to a senior official of IIT Madras, cultural programmes mixing the cultures of Tamil Nadu and Kashi will be organized at Namo Ghat in Varanasi. During this period, there will be academic exchanges – seminars, discussions, and lectures on literature, ancient texts, philosophy, spirituality, music, dance, drama, yoga, Ayurveda, handloom, and handicrafts.–IANSvkt/sha

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