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Vice President greets the people on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal festivals

New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal festivals. In a message, the Vice President said this festival celebrated with different names all over the country, is a celebration of a positive transformation in people’s lives.

Following is the text of the Vice President’s message:

“ Pongal Nal Valthukkal

I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all our citizens on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal, the harvest festival, which signifies the beginning of Uttarayan and is dedicated to Sun God. It is a thanksgiving festival and celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety by people all across Tamil Nadu. My best wishes for a happy and prosperous year.

·Throughout India, people celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. It is celebrated in different names in different parts of the country. In south India, it is popularly called as “Pongal & ‘Makar Sankranti’, ‘Vishu’ in Kerala, in Punjab and Haryana it is called ‘Lohri’, in Assam it is called ‘Bihu’ and ‘Khichdi festival’ in Bihar.

This important festival holds great historical and religious significan as the Sun God is often regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom.

On this auspicious occasion, let us resolve to resolve to return to our roots and protect our glorious culture, traditions, customs, arts and festivals.

Festivals symbolise the celebration of renewal, rejuvenation and revival. They bring in the sense of togetherness, unity, love and brotherhood in today’s fast paced world.

We witness the coming together of families and communities. They aregreat occasions for social bonding.

Let us also resolve to create cultural renaissance in the country by propagating and practicing India’s time-tested traditions and customs.

The time has come for all Indians to adopt changes in their lifestyles and return to the old traditional methods of healthy living. We need to follow the customs and practices of our forefathers and abandon the western-oriented lifestyles.

Our traditional food habits, flavours and customs are not only time-tested but healthy too as they are tailor-made to suit the requirements of each season and region.

·      We need to create awareness and educate the youth for adopting healthy dietary habits and lifestyles by returning to our simple but effective ways of living. Similarly, the ancient Indian art of Yoga creates a fusion of a healthy mind and healthy body.

I call upon the youth to pay renewed attention to agriculture, which is the backbone of Indian economy. The need of the hour is to accord greater prominence to natural farming and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers.

· Everyone should strive to protect, promote and propagate their mother tongue.

·Traditional family system was the pride of India. There is a need to protect the family values. Our traditions and customs not only strengthen the social fabric, but also create a bonding among different sections.

·Indians always believed in the philosophy of sharing, caring and worshipping nature. On this Sankranthi festival, let us all rededicate ourselves in the cause of building a healthy, strong, prosperous and inclusive India.”

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