Centre urges nation to celebrate UNESCO’s recognition of Durga Puja

Sakti Devi Durga as Mahisasuramardini. (ANI Photo)

The Union Ministry of Culture urged everyone on Thursday to celebrate Durga Puja’s inclusion as the first Indian festival on UNESCO’s Representation List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs praised the Centre’s efforts to promote India’s culture and heritage.

“Nominating the Durga Puja in Intangible Cultural Heritage list is the country’s pride. We have taken all the advice into consideration. As per the direction, we nominated Durga Puja as the Intangible culture of the country because cutting across states is celebrated by everyone. In this process, it brings everyone together, it’s Unity in Diversity,” Lekhi said.

According to the union minister, India has submitted ‘Garba’ for consideration on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

She went on to explain how the “whole-of-government approach” resulted in Durga Puja being successfully inscribed on the UNESCO list.

According to Lekhi, the union culture ministry was involved in preparing the dossiers for inscription, while the union external affairs ministry gathered international support for voting.

She added that everyone should rise above petty politics.

However, Lekhi attacked West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for taking credit for the inclusion of the festival on UNESCO’s list.

“It is horrendous a state government that banned Durga Puja and idol immersion was taking credit for this feat,” she said.

Lekhi also praised the artisans who worked on the creation of Durga idols and pandals.

She will honour 30 such artisans on September 24 at a ministry-organized event in Kolkata.