?We not only have bonds of religion, language and culture with that of India but also ties of blood. We suffered much hardships and tortures, but never let go our religion, culture and language. When the erstwhile Prime Minister of India Smt Indira Gandhi visited Mauritius, she exclaimed, ?it was a mini India by the sea?, we want it to be that way forever?, said President of Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth. He was releasing a book, Himalaya Ka Mahakumbh – Nanda Raj Jat, written by Uttarakhand Health Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal ?Nishank? in Dehradun on December 19.
Shri Jugnauth spoke of the cordial and friendly relations between India and Mauritius and said, ?Our relations are not only of culture, religion and economics, but also those of ethnicity.? He further said, ?Migrated labourers faced much hardship and humiliation before freedom in Mauritius, but they kept the religion, culture and language of their motherland safe in their hearts.? He said the book would contribute to increasing the tourism potential for the Nanda Devi Yatra, a major attraction in Uttarakhand. Shri Jugnauth also paid a visit to Baba Ramdev'sAshram in Haridwar and in the evening participated in the Ganga Aarti in Rishikesh.
A Mauritian official Shri Suresh Ramban announced to organise Kumbh Mela in Mauritius and said the mela would be hosted at Ganga Talao. The Grand Basin is a lake situated in a secluded area in the district of Savanne, deep in the heart of Mauritius. It is about 1800 feet above sea level and is surrounded by natural scenery of breathtaking beauty. In 1972, sacred water from the Ganga was poured into the lake, which, from then on, came to be called the Ganga Talao, the lake of the Ganga. During ?Maha Shivaratri, people from far and near dressed in white, travel to the lake on foot. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and other deities including Hanuman, Lakshmi and others along the Grand Basin. During ?Kanwad Mela?, pilgrims visit Ganga Talao, carrying their ?Kanwads on the shoulders.
Speaking on the occasion, Swami Ramdev urged Indians to be brave to combat terrorism. ?Most Hindu deities have their abode in the treacherous hills for a purpose. To visit these places, one needs to stretch one'sphysical and mental strength to its limits, which help one to overcome one'ssenses. The Nanda Devi Yatra of 280 kilometers at a height of 17,500 feet, is more than devotion, adventure and thrill; it makes the devotees brave and courageous,? he said.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati Muni said it was a matter of great concern that the spiritual and moral values were disappearing from the society rapidly. Bharat was known for its moral and spiritual values, which should be brought back so that India can be known Vishvguru again and shine most brilliantly in the entire world like the India of the past.
RSS Uttarakhand Prant Pracharak Shri Shiv Prakash said the pen is mightier than the sword. People can be inspired by the pen to do the good in the society. Writers serve the nation like the soldiers. The feelings of modesty, patriotism and sacrifice are needed to be developed through writings. The pen should contribute to make the nation strong and prosperous. He said Rashtra Chintan should be one of the major mottos of life.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri hoped that the ties between the people of Uttarakhand and Mauritius would be strengthened by the visit of the President. Dr Nishank introduced the book. Prominent among those present on the occasion included former Chief Minister Nityanand Swami, Social Welfare Minister Ajay Tamta, Mayor of Dehradun Vinod Chamoli, senior BJP leaders Manohar Kant Dhyani, Ajay Bhatt, Naresh Bansal, Balraj Pasi, Jyoti Prasad Gairola, Smt. Nirupama Gaur, Smt. Sushila Balooni, Smt. Beena Maharana, Shri Prabhat Sarangi, etc.