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Campaign on to challenge India's foundational aspects of cultural, spiritual unity: Rajnath Singh

Chennai: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said a concerted campaign to challenge the foundational aspects of India was on, but this “misguided interrogation” was historically inaccurate and betrayed a lack of understanding.

Despite the immense diversity in terms of languages, religions and customs, the people of India were united by a common thread of a shared culture and heritage, he emphasised while speaking at the ‘Thirumurai Thiruvizha’ celebrations here.

The one-day divine festival was held on the occasion of the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai with Lord Sundareswarar.

The event held at Neelankarai, East Coast Road, saw the participation of 10 Saiva Atheenams (Mutt Pontiffs), former MLC and BJP national co-incharge of Tamil Nadu Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, among others.

Speaking at the function, Singh said, “There has been a concerted campaign in recent times to challenge the foundational aspects of Bharat’s cultural and spiritual unity. Certain mischievous elements persistently propagate the notion that India is not a nation, but a mere union of distinct states.”

“This misguided interrogation of India’s national and cultural identity was historically inaccurate and betrayed either a lack of understanding of cultural nationalism in the Indian context or a profound hatred for all things Indian,” he added.

“Questioning the oneness of Bharat is a wrong idea, a bad idea. The disruptive and secessionist tendencies that have emerged are being effectively addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is actively reinforcing the national fabric of our cultural unity,” he said.

“Under the far-sighted leadership of the Prime Minister, the entire nation is being brought together physically and emotionally,” Singh said, and pointed to the connectivity through rail, roads, ports and airports, cheap data and 5G network, and development of North-Eastern states.

The Defence Minister further said the Prime Minister consistently emphasised on the contribution of Tamil people and their rich culture to the Indian identity. “His deep personal affinity and emotional attachment to the great Tamil traditions is known to everyone,” he added.

(Published 16 December 2023, 14:00 IST)

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