Not even a day into Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Washington DC and we already have a reason to cheer. Something that will warm every Indian’s heart. The United States has decided to return to us over 200 cultural artefacts that were stolen from India over the years.
PM Modi resonated what every Indian felt, in response to this kind gesture: “I am grateful to the United States and President Obama for returning these treasures to India which join us to our past.”
Included in this collection, is a statue of Maanikavasagar, a 9th-century Tamil poet & a minister to the Pandya king Varagunavarman II (862 – 885 AD). The statue was stolen from Chennai’s Sivan Temple & is valued at around $1.5 million. There is also a 1,000 year-old bronze sculpture of Lord Ganesha.
Though this decision may seem like a diplomatic one entirely between two states, we must not forget the contribution of a group of individuals called the India Pride Project and investigative work by Mr. Vijay Kumar of the Poetryinstone. Together they spent years to unearth the trails & whereabouts of these artefacts.
And today, thanks to their collective effort, coupled with that of the current Indian & US Governments, we have our Gods back home.