A war of words has broken out between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the inclusion of “Durga Puja in Kolkata” on the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” of UNESCO.
Earlier on Wednesday, Lok Sabha MP and Trinamool Congressional National Secretary General Abhishek Banerjee tweeted: “Two minutes of silence for @AmitShah and all the great leaders of @ BJP4India who on their pre-election political tours , have HILARIOUSLY AFFIRMED that DURGA PUJA IS NOT CELEBRATED IN WEST BENGAL. Your fanaticism and hoax have been BUSTED, you are STILL EXPOSED! “
In response, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Friday that the strong relations established with other countries by Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to the motion to include Durga Puja in the list which was co-sponsored by Japan and gained the support of 16 countries.
“The strong relationships that PM @narendramodi ji has established with other countries has resulted in this motion being co-sponsored by Japan and supported by 16 countries. Durga Puja now joins 13 previous intangible inscriptions from India, including yoga , Kumbh Mela, Vedic and Buddhist chants, “Reddy said in his tweet.
Mr Reddy attributed the inclusion of the Puja in the list to the Union Ministry of Culture and Sangeet Natak Akademi, the nodal agency that initiated the process which ultimately led to the inclusion of “Durga Puja in Kolkata ”from the list.
He also thanked the Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO.
‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ has been inscribed by @UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This recognition is due to 2 years of hard work by @MinOfCultureGoI through @sangeetnatak. I also want to thank @MEAIndia & India’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, “Reddy said in another tweet.
“It is not only a proud moment for the people of Bengal, but for all Indians and the Hindu community around the world who recognize the Shakti of women by celebrating the female goddess in all her forms. My congratulations to all of you. @MinOfCultureGoI officers who made this possible, ”added another tweet from Mr. Reddy.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inscribed “Durga Puja in Kolkata” on Wednesday on the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.
“Congratulations! Durga puja is now inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! 14 ICH elements of India have been inscribed on this list by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage “UNESCO tweeted.
With the inscription of Durga Puja in Calcutta, India now has 14 items of intangible cultural heritage on the prestigious UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In recent years, the elements of intangible cultural heritage that have seen inscriptions are Kumbh Mela, Yoga, Chhau dance, Kalbelia folk songs and dances from Rajasthan, Sankirtana, ritual songs, drums and dance from Manipur , the Parsi Navroz New Year Festival, the traditional festival performance of Ramayana – Ramlila, Sanskrit theater – Kutiyattam, Kerala ritual theater and dance drama – Mudiyettu, Garhwal Himalayan religious festival and ritual theater – Ramman, traditional brass crafts and copper from the making of utensils among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab.
In its final form, India’s nomination received overwhelming support from the IGC of 24 countries, with Japan sponsoring the amended draft resolution which was co-sponsored by 16 member countries leading to this listing.
The Ministry of Culture, GoI, through the nodal agency Sangeet Natak Akademi, initiated the process which involved the nomination of the element of Durga Puja and the submission of the dossier prepared by experts in 2019.
A strong diplomatic push at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the permanent delegation of India in Paris enabled the Intergovernmental Committee of 24 Nations to understand and appreciate the nuances of the festival and to support its inclusion on the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.