Minister Jeevan Thondaman inaugurates Ramayana Art Exhibition in New Delhi

At the invitation of the Director General of the National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) New Delhi, Minister of Water and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman inaugurated the ‘Ramayanam Chitrakavyam’ exhibition as the Guest of Honour together with Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi on 1 March 2024.

Addressing the event, Minister Thondaman observed that in Sri Lanka as in India, the Ramayana is woven into the rich cultural tapestry and adapted into various forms of literature, dance, theatre and art, serving as a common narrative and contributing to a shared cultural consciousness, facilitating understanding and strengthening ties between the two countries. Noting that people-to-people connect remains the fulcrum of bilateral interactions, which further strengthens the civilizational links, he remarked that artistic depictions and interpretations of the Ramayana are often associated with sites and festivals which have become points of interest for cultural and religious tourism, attracting visitors from both Sri Lanka and India. Minister Thondaman pointed out with pride, that his constituency of the Nuwara Eliya district is associated with several sites stated as being connected to the Ramayana. In this context, he underscored the tremendous potential to increase tourism between the two countries through the Ramayana trail and Buddhist pilgrim circuit. He also referred to the intellectual and engineering prowess attributed to King Ravana both in Sri Lanka and in the Ramayana epic.

State Minister Meenakashi Lekhi stated that the Ramayana remains a beacon of wisdom, virtue, and moral guidance, transcending time and space, connecting diverse civilizations in a shared understanding of humanity. She highlighted the epic’s association with Sri Lanka, where multiple sites including the Ashok Vatika (Sita Eliya) are deeply etched in the cultural landscape.

Director General of the NGMA Dr. Sanjeev Kishor Goutam stated that the exhibition is a depiction of the enduring legacy of the Ramayana, and the timeless themes of the epic showcases the creativity and talent of eminent Indian modern, contemporary, and traditional artists.

This event, through the shared narrative of the Ramayana, is a testament to inextricable historical ties between Sri Lanka and India and the intrinsic legacy of cultural, religious, linguistic and societal interaction which have unfolded over millennia.

High Commission of Sri Lanka

New Delhi

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