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Centre's Adopt a Heritage initiative matters a lot; Red Fort sold. What's next campaign is nothing but petty politics

Red Fort sold. What’s next? The question aired by Modi’s detractors has little substance as the Adopt a Heritage project is all about exploring the possibilities of CSR initiatives to preserve our heritage sites

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“If you hire someone to clean your house doesn’t mean you are selling your house to them. No, Red Fort is not being sold. It’s an innovative way to save the government some money and preserve a monument,” celebrity Indian writer Chetan Bhagat tweeted amid the controversies on the so-called handing over of the nation’s pride, the Red Fort, to Dalmia group, a powerful business empire in the country spanning across sectors from cement to energy.

Certain reports appearing in local and national media outlets state India’s Red Fort was sold to Dalmia group. But the reality is that the hullabaloo has no logic as Chetan Bhagat said, hiring someone to clean house doesn’t mean we’re selling the house to him.

Dalmia group has adopted Red Fort as part of the government’s ‘Adopt a Heritage’ programme, an innovative initiative to preserve and maintain our heritage sites with the participation of corporates, making their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative more meaningful and creative.

It’s a part of responsible tourism programme, where the corporates will get an opportunity to build quality tourism infrastructure in a non-profit mode, according to the government’s press note.

The MoU signed for ‘Red Fort ‘ with Dalmia group is ‘only’ for the development, operations and maintenance of tourism amenities in and around Red Fort. No handing over of monument’ is involved, claimed the clarification note issued by the government

“It aims to involve public sector companies, private sector companies and corporate citizens/individuals to take up the responsibility for making our heritage and tourism more sustainable through development, operation and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities at ASI/ State heritage sites and other important tourist sites in India,” states a press note issued by the government of India.

The website named adoptaheritage.in makes it clear that it is a project aimed at entrusting heritage sites to private and public sector companies and individuals for the development of tourist amenities there. It has to be noted that the tourist infrastructure at our historical monuments has little to offer for travellers and history lovers, and because of our bureaucratic inefficiency many important monuments are on the brink of losing its significance. Just look at the recent statement made by the Supreme Court of India on India’s wonder, the Taj Mahal.

The argument that the private companies would benefit a lot, in monetary terms, from this handing over process has no logic

What is wrong in inviting private players to be part of a noble cause? Protecting all monuments is a herculean task for the government. What the government and ASI need to do is supervising the maintenance without any compromise.  The argument that the private companies would benefit a lot from this handing over process has no logic, according to the terms and conditions released by the government.  Everything about this project is transparent and one can see it in detail on the website of Adopt a Heritage-from the list of heritage sites to making an expression of interest and signing MoU.

Moreover, this is implementing as part of their CSR initiative so that the issue of making monetary benefits seems to be not practical. This is what the official website of Adopt a Heritage project states on the benefits for Monument Mitra (in this case, Dalmia), “The ‘Monument Mitras’ would associate pride with their CSR activities. They would also get visibility in the monument premises and in the Incredible India website.”

“The Memorandum of Understanding signed for ‘Red Fort ‘ with Dalmia group is ‘only’ for the development, operations and maintenance of tourism amenities in and around Red Fort. It envisages limited ‘access’ of non-core areas and ‘no handing over of monument’ is involved,” claimed the clarification note issued by the government.

Then, what is the merit of the slogan, ‘Red Fort sold, what is next?’ It is nothing but a political vote-bank statement to make use of every single issue to corner Narndra Modi, indeed, a less civilized way of dealing things in politics.

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Acharya M R Rajesh receives International Vedic Award from Swami Ramdev

Praising Acharya Rajesh for his efforts to popularise the Vedas, Ramdev also said that the founder of Kashyapashram is a man of yajnas

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Acharya M R Rajesh receiving International Vedic Award from Swami Ramdev at the four-day global convention of the Arya Samaj in New Delhi/Image: Facebook/Acharyasri Rajesh

Eminent Vedic scholar Acharya M R Rajesh received the Mahashay Dharampal International Vedic Award, instituted by International Arya Sammelan, New Delhi, Friday (October 26, 2018) from yoga guru Swami Ramdev.

Acharya Rajesh, the founder of Kasyap Ashram which is based in Kozhikode, Kerala, has been spearheading a movement of democratising the Vedas for the last 15 years. Praising Acharya Rajesh for his efforts to popularise the Vedas, Ramdev also said that the founder of Kashyapashram is a man of yajnas.

Acharya Rajesh has also published around 40 books in both Malayalam and English which includes the English translation of the Atharva Veda

Under Acharya Rajesh’s leadership, Kasyapashram is conducting Vedic classes to all irrespective of caste, religion, age or gender.

An ardent follower of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, Acharya Rajesh has taken the Vedas to the masses, training thousands of people in South India to absorb the ideals of Sanatana dharma in their daily life.

Mahashay Dharampal International Vedic Award is instituted to those who have devoted their lives to spread the message of the Vedas in society.

Acharya Rajesh has also published around 40 books in both Malayalam and English which includes the English translation of the Atharva Veda.

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Sabarimala is not a place for activism: Sri Sri Shankar

The founder of the Art of Living movement made it clear that Sabarimala is not a place for activism or one-upmanship

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Image: Facebook/Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

As Kerala has been witnessing heavy protests over the state government’s stand on Supreme Court’s judgement on Sabarimala temple, eminent spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s tweet on the issue is getting much attention.

The founder of the Art of Living movement made it clear that Sabarimala is not a place for activism or one-upmanship. “The abode of Lord Ayyappa should be kept intact with utmost serenity, respecting tradition. It’s not a place for activism or one-upmanship,” Sri Sri tweeted.

He also believes that while considering the review petition, the Court will take note of the sentiments of devotees as well.

The Supreme Court’s judgement that allows women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple has resulted in one of the biggest movements in the history of Kerala by Lord Ayyappa devotees, demanding the state government to back off from implementing the Court’s order with immediate effect.

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The sentiments of Ayyappa devotees cannot be ignored: RSS

The RSS makes it clear that the sentiments of the Ayyappa devotees cannot be ignored while considering the judgement on Sabarimala

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Image credit: www.rss.org

The devotees of Swami Ayyappa have just started an unprecedented movement in the history of Kerala to save the prestigious Sabarimala temple in the backdrop of Supreme Court judgement that permits women of all age groups to worship at the temple. As the movement against the judgement is gaining momentum, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has made it stand clear on the issue.

RSS, in a statement, said that it is an issue of a local temple tradition and faith to which sentiments of millions of devotees are attached. “The sentiments of the Ayyappa devotees cannot be ignored while considering the judgement,” said the statement issued by RSS Sarkaryavah Suresh (Bhayya ji) Joshi Wednesday.

The Sangh also emphasized the point of honouring Supreme Court. “While respecting the varied temple traditions followed by devotees, we need to also honour the Supreme Court.”

The RSS has criticized the Kerala government for their plans to implement the judgement with immediate effect without considering the sentiments of devotees.

According to the RSS, all the stakeholders should come together and address the issue in a way that reflects the concerns of devotees on their right to worship.

 

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