ICCR 'Ramayana-Mahabharata

We Can Float A Grouping Of Ramayana-Mahabharata Countries: Dr Sahasrabuddhe

ICCR 'Ramayana-Mahabharata

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)’s former President Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has said that a group of ‘Ramayana-Mahabharata’ countries can also be constituted where these holy epics are deeply engraved in the culture.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe recalled an anecdote he encountered in Azerbaijan, where he witnessed a Hindu fire Temple.

“Many times it comes to mind that we have several groupings like the G20, BIMSTEC, SAARC, and perhaps others. We can also float another grouping of Ramayana- Mahabharat countries. There are so many countries that are linked to Ramayana and Mahabharat. I was in Baku a few years ago, the capital city of Azerbaijan. Right on the outskirts of the capital city, there is a ‘Fire Temple’, which is a Hindu temple. As the saying goes, that spot is related to the story of Daksha and Sati and is now considered a Shakti Peetha,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe also mentioned that since 2015, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations has continuously engaged with Asian and Southeast Asian countries by conducting the Ramayana Festival.

“Since 2015, ICCR has been engaging itself in the conduct of the Ramayana festival which is an international festival and we invite troops from all those countries from which Ramayana is part of their tradition: Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka,” he said.

Recalling his surprise at a group of artists from Brunei who also participated in the Ramayana Festival, Dr Sahasrabuddhe said, “Brunei also came. We did not expect anyone to come from Brunei since they are a 100 percent Islamic country. Our officials were a little bit surprised that a delegation from Brunei came.”

“Their group presented a skit on the theme of Jatayu Vadh. When we told them that we were not thinking that someone would come from your country, the head who was leading the artist contingent said, You are making a mistake, we have changed our religion, not the culture,” he added.

On the question of figures like Jatayu and Varuna, who hold importance in Southeast Asian countries but not so dominantly in India, Sahasrabuddhe said that research should be carried out on this aspect.

“It is interesting and it merits deeper research into why there is so much love affection reverence for the story of Jatayu and the kind of struggle he did against Ravana in his bid to save Sita,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

Dr. Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe served as a Rajya Sabha member from 2016 to 2022 and held the position of Vice President in the BJP from 2014 to 2020. (ANI)

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