Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam, in Varanasi on November 19, 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam, in Varanasi on November 19, 2022.

Modi inaugurates ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam’ in Varanasi

Varanasi, November 19, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam,’ a month-long programme organised in Varanasi today.

The objective of the programme is to celebrate, reaffirm and rediscover the age-old links between Tamil Nadu and Kashi – two of the country’s most important and ancient seats of learning.

Modi also released the Tamil classical work "Thirukkural" along with its translation into 13 languages. He also watched a cultural programme followed by "aarti".

The Prime Minister expressed delight upon the gathering being held in the most ancient living city in the world. Speaking on the importance of Sangams in the country, be it the confluence of rivers, ideology, science or knowledge, he said every confluence of culture and traditions is celebrated and revered in India.

In reality, it is a celebration of India’s might and characteristics, thus making the Kashi-Tamil Sangam unique, he added.

On the connection between Kashi and Tamil Nadu, he said Kashi is the cultural capital of India whereas Tamil Nadu and Tamil culture are the centre of India's antiquity and pride. Drawing an analogy to the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, the Prime Minister said the Kashi-Tamil Sangam is equally holy which engulfs endless opportunities and strength in itself.

Modi congratulated the Ministry of Education and the Uttar Pradesh Government for this momentous gathering and thanked IIT, Madras and BHU for extending their support to the programme.

“Kashi and Tamil Nadu are timeless centres of our culture and civilisation. Both Sanskrit and Tamil are among the most ancient languages. In Kashi, we have Baba Vishwanath, while in Tamil Nadu we have the blessings of Lord Rameshwaram. Both Kashi and Tamil Nadu are immersed in Shiva.

“Be it music, literature or art, Kashi and Tamil Nadu have always been a great source of culture,” he added.

Both these places are marked as the birthplace and workplace of India’s finest Acharyas. One can experience similar energies in Kashi and Tamil Nadu. “Even today the relevance of Kashi Yatra comes up during the traditional Tamil marriage procession.”

The unending love for Kashi from Tamil Nadu signifies the feeling of ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ which was the way of life of our ancestors.

About Tamil Nadu’s contribution to the development of Kashi, he referred to the Tamil Nadu-born Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan who was the Vice Chancellor of BHU. He also mentioned the Vedic scholar Rajeshwar Shastri who lived in Kashi even though he had his roots in Tamil Nadu. The people of Kashi also miss Pattaviram Shastri who lived on Hanuman Ghat in Kashi.

The Kashi Kaam Koteshwar Panchayatan Mandir is a Tamilian temple on the banks of Harishchandra Ghat and the two-hundred-year-old Kumarswamy Matt and MarkandeyA Ashram on Kedar Ghat. He also stated that many people from Tamil Nadu have been living near the banks of Kedar Ghat and Hanuman Ghat and have made immense contributions towards Kashi for several generations.

The poet-revolutionary Subramania Bharathi from Tamil Nadu had lived in Kashi for many years. BHU was proud of the privilege in establishing the Subramania Bharati Chair.

“In Amrit Kaal, our resolutions will be fulfilled by the unity of the whole country. India is a nation which has lived a natural cultural unity for thousands of years," he said.

Throwing light on the tradition of reciting slokas about the 12 Jyotirlingas after waking up in the morning, he said, “We start our day by remembering the spiritual unity of the country.”

He also lamented the lack of efforts to strengthen this tradition and heritage of thousands of years. “The Kashi-Tamil Sangamam will become a platform for this resolution today while making us realise our duties and being a source of energy to strengthen national unity,” he added.

“It was through this attitude of breaking language and surpassing the intellectual distance that Swami Kumargurupar came to Kashi and made it his Karmbhoomi and got Kedareshwar Mandir constructed here. Later, his disciples got the Kashi Vishwanath temple constructed in Thanjavur on the banks of the river Kaveri," he said.

The Prime Minister reiterated the link between Tamil scholars and Kashi by mentioning personalities like Manonmaniyam Sundaranar who penned the Tamil State song and the connection of his Guru with Kashi.

He also referred to the role of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata written by Rajaji (C R Rajagopalachari) in connecting the North and the South. “This is my experience that without understanding scholars from South India like Ramanujacharya, Shankaracharya, Rajaji to Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, we simply can not understand Indian philosophy,” he said.

Referring to ‘Panch Pran’, he said that a country with a rich heritage should be proud of its legacy. “Despite having one of the world’s oldest living languages, Tamil, we lack in honouring it fully.

“It is the responsibility of 130 crore Indians to preserve the legacy of Tamil and enrich it. If we ignore Tamil we do a great disservice to the nation and if we keep Tamil confined in restrictions we will do great harm to it. We have to remember to remove linguistic differences and establish emotional unity,” he said.

He expressed the hope that more such events are organised in Tamil Nadu and other Southern states and youngsters from other parts of the county visit and absorb the culture. The gains of this Sangamam need to be taken forward through research and this seed should become a giant tree, he added.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Pate, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Ministers L Murugan, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Member of Parliament Ilaiyaraaja were among those present on occasion.

The objective of the month-long programme is to celebrate, reaffirm and rediscover the age-old links between Tamil Nadu and Kashi – two of the country’s most important and ancient seats of learning. It aims to provide an opportunity for people from all walks of life including scholars, students, philosophers, traders, artisans, artists etc. from the two regions to come together, share their knowledge, culture and best practices and learn from each other. experiences.

More than 2,500 delegates from Tamil Nadu will be visiting Kashi. They will participate in seminars, site visits and interact with local people of similar trades, professions and interests. A month-long exhibition of handlooms, handicrafts, books, documentaries, cuisine, art forms, history, and tourist places of the two regions will also be put up in Kashi.

The endeavour is in sync with NEP 2020’s emphasis on integrating the wealth of Indian Knowledge Systems with modern systems of knowledge. IIT Madras and BHU are the two implementing agencies for the programme, an official press release added.


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