Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said 25 years from now, India will occupy the top position globally, having made great strides in education, the arts and defence in the past 75 years. Addressing a function at the Victoria Memorial to commemorate the 75th year of Independence and the UNESCO declaration of Bengal's Durga Puja as an intangible global heritage, Shah said the global body’s honour was a “matter of pride” for the entire country.
"In every sector - education, arts, defence, you name it, India has made great strides in the past 75 years. It has gained respect internationally as a great power … when the country reaches 100th year of Independence, India will occupy the top position in the world," Shah predicted. Speaking on the issue of UNESCO’s honour for Bengal's Durga Puja, he said "it is not only a matter of pride for the state, but for the entire country."
Shah said though people talk of women's empowerment today, India’s ancient scriptures already recognised it many centuries earlier. “Women's empowerment has been there in Bharat in all these years," he said. "Durga puja is worshipping the goddess, `Stree Shakti’ (feminine power) is women's empowerment. She is one power whom all the Gods (in the Hindu triity) - Brahma, Bishnu, Maheshwar - invoked to slay the demon. India had shown the world how to celebrate women's power for ages," the home minister said.
Shah pointed out apart from Durga puja which was conferred UNESCO honour in December 2021, India got UNESCO recognition earlier for Kumbh Mela and Yoga. "The entire world turns to India for our rich cultural heritage while the entire country is proud of the rich cultural heritage of Bengal," he added. Shah paid glowing tribute to the freedom fighters who "have made it possible for us to breath in a country freed by their sacrifices." He referred to revolutionaries like Khudiram Bose from Bengal in this context.
In the freedom movement as in arts Bengal showed the country the way, he said. Paying rich compliments to the artists in the cultural show, he said "I can understand Bengali lyrics in the song and dance shows. They shows the rich cultural heritage of India which is a confluence of different strands - from Gujarat to Bengal, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Unity in diversity is India’s strength."
(With PTI inputs)