Chief Minister Pema Khandu has profusely thanked the people of Gujrat for bringing Arunachal Pradesh to limelight by connecting with it even if the link is based on folklores and myths.
Khandu, who is in Gujrat, along with Governor Brig (Retd) Dr B D Mishra, this evening attended the famous Madhavpur Mela at Ghed in Porbandar district, which is celebrated every year, commencing on Ram Navami, to commemorate the wedding ceremony of Lord Krishna with Princess Rukmini.
Madhavpur Ghed, a small but culturally significant village, is the place where, according to folklore, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka, who is said to have ruled Bhismaknagar, which is sited near Roing in Arunachal Pradesh. Though the ruins were discovered during excavations from 1969 to 1973 and is dated back to 8th century, historically it finds prominence during 12th-16th century under the Chutiya kings of Assam.
“There may not be any historical or written records but our folklores have been passed down through generations. These folklores bind us in an unaccounted but strong thread. In the present context of diversity, we need to not only respect but celebrate this bond for the sake of unity in diversity,” remarked Khandu.
He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intent to connect the North East with rest of the country through whatever way possible.
“This way we in the far-off frontiers will have a sense of belonging and relate to rest of the states,” he said.
Khandu viewed the festival as one of its kind for acknowledging Arunachal Pradesh for the first time. He said that even when the folklores attributed Rukmini to hail from the present-day Arunachal Pradesh, never in the history of Madhavpur Mela, Arunachal Pradesh was ever made a part of it.
The Mela witnessed its first-ever cultural integration with the North-East. The Union Ministry of Culture is organizing the Madhavpur Mela from March 25 to March 28 in a grand way.
Madhavpur lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. A 15th-century Madhavrai temple marks the site. A colourful chariot carrying the idol of Krishna circumnavigates the village and the festivities usually continue for five days.
The purpose, according to the Ministry is to bring various parts of the country especially the North-East, close to each other under the banner of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This year the Ministry of Culture is collaborating with Government of Gujarat to scale up the festival by incorporating the various vital elements.
Also present were Arunachal Governor Brig (Rtd) Dr B D Mishra, Gujrat Governor Om Prakash Kohli, Manipur CM N Biren Singh, Gujrat CM Vijay Rupani, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, MoS Culture (IC) Dr Mahesh Sharma and others.
Khandu, earlier in the day, visited the birth-place of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, at Porbandar, where he went around the Kirti Mandir.
It is a three-storeyed ancestral house of Gandhiji where Putlibai, Gandhiji’s mother, gave birth to Gandhi, is marked with a ‘swastik’. A narrow wooden staircase leads the visitor to the upper storey, in particular Gandhiji’s reading room.
Behind Kirti Mandir is Navi Khadi, where Kasturba, Gandhiji’s wife was born.
The new building adjoining Kirti Mandir, houses a Gandhian Library, a prayer hall, a nursery and a steeple decorated with episodes from Gandhiji’s life.