Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed foreign delegates from 188 countries who this week attended the Kumbh Mela, saying he welcomed their participation in a spiritual event that had been held for thousands of years.
PM Modi spoke at an event organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in Delhi today, to felicitate delegates from 188 countries, who participated in the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj, according to the prime minister’s website. Mizzima Editor in Chief Soe Myint attended on behalf of Myanmar.
Millions of devotees converge for a number of events every year in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, joined the 188 delegates for a historic group photo. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said he is happy to meet the delegates who have just returned from the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
“I am happy you had a chance to attend this Hindu pilgrimage,” he told the gathering.
He said that “until one actually visits the Kumbh Mela, one cannot appreciate completely, what a great heritage it is.”
He said that this tradition has continued uninterrupted for thousands of years.
He expressed the importance of “unity” and the spiritual inspiration that comes out of such an event.
PM Modi said the Kumbh is as much about social reform as it is about spirituality. He said that the Kumbh has been a forum for discussion among spiritual leaders and social reformers, to chart a roadmap for the future, and monitor progress.
The Prime Minister said that the effort is now to blend modernity and technology, with faith, spirituality, and cultural consciousness, at the Kumbh Mela.
He said that the world will recognize India, both for its modernity, and for its rich heritage. He thanked the delegates from across the world, and said that their participation has also been an important part of the success of the Kumbh.
The Prime Minister described the Indian Parliamentary elections as a “Kumbh of Democracy.” He said that just like the Kumbh Mela, Indian Parliamentary elections, with their huge scale and complete impartiality, can be a source of inspiration for the world at large. He said people from across the world must also come to see India conduct its Parliamentary election.
India has the largest democracy in the world. The Indian General elections, 2019 are expected to be held in April and May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Jammu and Kashmir are expected to be held simultaneously with the general elections.