KATHMANDU: Nepal Communist arty (NCP) chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has spoken of the need of creating a religious circuit connecting Lumbini, Pashupatinath and Janakpur.
Addressing the ‘National Luminary Sita Birth Anniversary Programme organized jointly by Nepal Academy and the Mithila Academy here on Monday, he said the religious tourism could be promoted by linking these major religious sites.
The former Prime Minister suggested that the world’s attention could be drawn if a circuit linking Hinduism and Buddhism could be developed, stressing the need of developing Janakpur, Pashupatinath and Lumbini as sites amalgamating knowledge and science.
“While holding talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, an assessment of the economic, political and cultural future of Asia was made, and I had discussed on how to take it forward in future,” he said, adding that both the leaders had shared with him on that occasion that Nepal was not a small country nor was the glory of its history any smaller and that it had a big role to play at present also.
“The opinion of the two leaders shows that they were referring to Janakpur, Lumbini and Pashupatinath. There is also a need of developing another ‘Shaktipeeth Circuit’ linking all the goddess shrines from Pathibhara in the east to Badimalika in the west,” he said.
Circuit connecting the goddess shrines of Nepal and India
The ruling NCP chairman also proposed developing a circuit connecting the Shaktipeeth (goddess shrines) of Nepal and India. He said creating such a circuit would bring a revolution in the tourism promotion.
He stated that scholars from Nepal and India should be brought together and asked to prepare the feasibility study for the same.
Need of developing Mithila civilization
Likewise, Chairman Prachanda opined for promoting the Mithila civilization as the centre of knowledge, economic and social prosperity and development, describing the Mithila region and the Mithila civilization as being the centre of culture not only of Nepal but also of the entire humanity in the world.
Although people could learn and teach knowledge and science from the Mithila civilization, this locus has now moved to some other place from here these days, he added.
Leader Prachanda said activities like the visit of Indian PM Modi to Janakpur, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to India and the inauguration by both the prime ministers of the Ramayana circuit and the flagging of the Janakpur-Ayodhya shuttle bus service, were done by comprehending the Mithila civilization.
As he said, all topics of the ancient and historical glory should be researched and studied so as to raise public awareness on these issues and utilize them in the service of the people and the present times.
The NCP chair shared on the occasion that he supported respecting the religious sentiments of all followers and the notion that the state should show equal respect to all the faiths and religions rather than secularism.
Although I am a student of materialism, I believe that spiritual thinking, yoga and meditation too have a role in human life, he said.
Sita’s birth anniversary should also be celebrated like that of Ram
Leader Prachanda also suggested celebrating the birth anniversary of Sita also like that of Ram as Sita is known the epitome of a virtuous woman. According to Hindu mythology, Sita is the consort of the Hindu god Ram and she was born in Janakpur.
“There is a tradition of giving less importance to the celebration of the birth anniversary of Sita compared to that of Ram. This is because of the patriarchal mindset. Sita’s birth should not be considered any less than that of Ram’s. Sita’s birth anniversary should be accorded more importance and respect for Sita being a woman and Nepal’s daughter. Rather, her role should be highlighted and publicized,” he suggested.
On another note, the NCP chair said the dreams of establishing Nepal’s historical glory would be fulfilled soon.
Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dhan Bahadur Budha said that Sita’s birthplace, Janakpur, would be developed into a historic city.
Lawmaker Prabhu Sah stated that showing respect to Sita would mean doing justice to history, showing respect to women and an end to discrimination.
Senior vice-president of Rastriya Janata Party, Brikhesh Chandra Lal said Sita is the embodiment of all the virtues of a woman.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Democratic) Pashupati Shamsher Rana insisted on developing Janakpur as the centre of faith of all Hindus.
Chief of Osho Tapoban Swami Ananda Arun said Janakpur should be developed as one of the major pilgrimage site of the Hindus all over the world.
Chair of the Mithila Academy, Ramadhar Kapar said the birth anniversary of Sita has been celebrated in Kathmandu also for the first time rather than confining it to Janakpur.
Arabinda Mishra presented a paper titled ‘Mithila Ra Janak Bansha: Ek Samchhipta Itihas (Mithila and Janak Dynasty: A Brief History’, on the occasion.
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