Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Saturday said that secularism was the “biggest threat” to the traditions of India getting a recognition on the global stage.
“This word ‘secularism’ is the biggest threat to develop India’s prosperous traditions and give it a spot on the global stage,” he said. “The biggest hurdle is this. We have to move away from this and focus on this direction with a pure, moral and healthy life.”
Adityanath made the comments at the launch of the first edition of Global Encyclopedia of the Ramayana, an e-book prepared by the Ayodhya Research Institute. “The construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has made the launch of the Global Encyclopedia of Ramayana more special,” he said.
He also praised the epics “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata” for helping extend India’s boundaries. “Pakistan was a part of India before 1947 and Maryada Purushottam Lord Sri Ram had extended the boundaries of India during his time by making his brother’s son the ruler of Pakistan,” the chief minister said.
He said that Ramleela, a folk reenactment of the life of Ram according to Ramayana, should be staged around the world. “There are seven holy cities of Sapta Puri, which are considered as the holiest Hindu Teerths,” the chief minister said. “Out of these, Ayodhya, Mathura, and Kashi are within Uttar Pradesh. It is a matter of pride for us that a workshop has been organised by the Department of Culture in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs. It should be our endeavour to stage Ramleela all over the world.”
Adityanath also criticised people for raising questions on Ram. “There are still some people who raise questions on the existence of Ram in Ayodhya, but the historical facts cannot be denied,” he said.
The chief minister claimed that there were proofs showing that the legends and places depicted in “Ramayana” exist. “Places have been found... no they are not mere imaginations,” he said. “...Finally, Ram came back [from Sri Lanka] in pushpak viman [a flying machine]. If he walked, he would have taken month.” He added that a flying machine existed in the era, saying we could learn a lot from the science of that age.
Praising the technology of the said time, Adityanath claimed that there was something behind Hanuman reaching Sri Lanka in a short span of time, which today would take at least four hours.
The first edition of the Encyclopaedia was released in the English language. The first edition in Hindi and Tamil languages will be published a month later. The Uttar Pradesh Department of Culture, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, is involved in the project by combining the legacy of the “Ramayana” from 205 countries around the world.