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Rajnath speaks on Bhagwad Gita as the International Gita Mahotsav ends in Haryana

Rajnath Singh said that perhaps this programme is first-of-its kind in the country which was never seen or heard of.

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Mr. Singh mentioned the Indian brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims in India and mentioned strict action against Pakistan terror aids to India in his Kashmir speech
Rajnath Singh went harsh on Pakistan in his Kashmir speech

Delhi, December 12, 2016: On the concluding day of the International Gita Mahotsav, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a speech where he talked about Bhagwad Gita. He described it as the essence of life and said its message could rid the world of the problems, including terrorism, the humanity faced.

He further added to the significance of the holy book by saying, ” Our great saints had given the message of vasudev kutumbakam and treated the entire mankind as their family. Every religion in the world has its own Granth that paves the way to God. But Gita is the only Granth by following which spirituality could be achieved while living in this world.”

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According to the PTI reports, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the festival Gita Jayanti is celebrated every year in Kurukshetra. He added to the importance of the event saying, “Last year, the state government had announced celebrating it at the state level under which a three-day programme was held at the district level….Lord Krishna had delivered the celestial message of Bhagwad Gita on this holy land of Kuruksehtra and to spread this message at the global level, we decided to organise Gita Mahotsav at international level under the guidance of Gita Manishi Swami Gyananand Ji Maharaj…”

To which, Swami Gyananand Ji Maharaj added that, ” Gita provided the art of living which is the need of the hour. The world has recognised the significance of Gita and accepted it.”

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On the district level celebration last year, one person each from 574 districts of the country had reached Kurukshetra with one Shloka scripted on their traditional dresses.

“They have also brought along soil from their respective districts which would be utilised to make a magnificent idol of Lord Krishna at Jyotisar in Kurukshetra to symbolise unity and integrity of the country. Apart from this, 18,473 school students together recited the 18 shlokas from 18 chapters of Gita and created a world record,” he said.

prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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“Visit Strengthens Further Internal Cohesion and Unity”: Pope Francis Meets Leaders of North Macedonia

Ahead of his visit, Francis praised the mix of cultures, religions, and ethnicities in North Macedonia, and said he was traveling there to "sow these seeds" of solidarity.

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Pope Francis
Pope Francis greets the crowds in Skopje on May 7. RFERL

Pope Francis, who is on a historic first trip to North Macedonia, has met with the country’s leadership and held Mass in the main square of the capital, Skopje.

Francis was welcomed by the outgoing president, Gjorge Ivanov, and other government officials.

He has sought to encourage the country’s drive toward integration into the EU and NATO after its name change resolved a decades-long dispute with Greece last year.

Like neighboring Bulgaria — Francis’s first stop on his three-day Balkan tour — North Macedonia, a small Balkan country of 2.1 million, is mainly Orthodox Christian.

But the country has a large community of ethnic Albanian Muslims, who make about one-quarter of the population. North Macedonia is home to an estimated 15,000 Catholics.

In meetings with Ivanov and with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at the presidential palace, Francis praised North Macedonia’s multiethnic and multifaith culture, calling it an example of peaceful coexistence and a bridge between East and West.

“These particular features are also highly significant for increased integration with the nations of Europe,” he said.

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Like neighboring Bulgaria — Francis’s first stop on his three-day Balkan tour — North Macedonia, a small Balkan country of 2.1 million, is mainly Orthodox Christian. VOA

“It is my hope that this integration will develop in a way that is beneficial for the entire region of the Western Balkans, with unfailing respect for diversity and for fundamental rights.”

In his speech, President Ivanov complained about delays in accepting Macedonia in the Euro-Atlantic family.

“You come at a time when [North] Macedonian society is deeply divided, and the [North] Macedonian [nation] is heavily wounded by broken promises, unfulfilled expectations and faltering trust in the international community,” he said.

Viktor Dimovski, state secretary of North Macedonia’s Foreign Ministry, told the media on May 6 that the pope’s historic visit comes at a crucial moment as the country seeks entry into the European Union and NATO.

“The pope’s visit strengthens further internal cohesion and unity, and brings messages of reconciliation and solidarity,” he said.

The pope’s visit also included a prayer at the memorial of North Macedonia’s most famous native daughter, Mother Teresa, who was born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in 1910 in Skopje when it was still part of the Ottoman Empire.

Francis was surrounded by Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity nuns in praying before the memorial. Mother Teresa was canonized by Francis in 2016.

Ahead of his visit, Francis praised the mix of cultures, religions, and ethnicities in North Macedonia, and said he was traveling there to “sow these seeds” of solidarity.

“Living together is not always easy, we know that,” the pope said in a video message. “But it’s worth struggling toward, because the most beautiful mosaics are the ones that are richest in colors.”

muslims
But the country has a large community of ethnic Albanian Muslims, who make about one-quarter of the population. Pixabay

With the name dispute with Greece now resolved, North Macedonia, which has been an EU aspirant since 2005, hopes to get a clear signal for the start of accession talks in June. Skopje also expects to become the 30th NATO member at the end of the year.

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Stevo Pendarovski, who was elected president in a runoff election on May 5, said he saw his victory as a “ticket for NATO and EU.”

Six Western Balkan countries — Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia — are in various stages of the accession process to join the EU. (RFERL)