In describing the important role that temples play in Indian society, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Sunday that the “wheel of history is spinning” in a growing India, in which the nation’s rich legacy and culture will not be overlooked.
During his visit to Varanasi, he said these while delivering a speech on the function of temples in Indian society.
“We must realize today, that the wheel of history is turning. It is coming back. There is a rise of India. That era, there was a neglect of the temple, an era when things were averse to us that era is behind us,” he stated.
Jaishankar said that temples are not just places for faith and worship but are social community centers. “They are places for gathering and centers for knowledge. They are promotors of art and craft.”
He explained that most of the temples are keepers of Indian heritage. “They are our way of life. We will not be who we are without the temples.”
On the importance of the temples in the contemporary world, he said, “we have to worry about globalization. …People are understanding that there are different societies, different people, and different faiths. Each faith has to have its place in the world.”
Jaishankar emphasised the necessity of promoting, presenting, and taking the Indian culture to the rest of the globe in order to counter the competitive rise of other beliefs.
“It is not enough to hold our own, we have to promote, we have to present and we have to take our culture to the rest of the world. So everything that you are doing at home, we have to find a way that this message also goes around the rest of the world,” he said.
“Our faith, our beliefs, and our culture must get recognition and its due place in the world. That is our commitment to you,” he said.
Stating that the civilization of the country is gone beyond India, Jaishankar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has worked in the direction of restoring Indian temples in Cambodia and other countries.
“Today, when we are rebuilding, restoring, and reenergizing Indian civilization, our task is not only in India but all over the world,” he said.
He added that the Modi government led to the establishment of a dedicated branch inside the Indian Foreign Ministry to oversee the preservation, upkeep, and support of our cultural legacy.