Humbled to be given opportunity to preserve, promote 'vibrance of Bharateeyata': Culture Minister Shekhawat

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (PTI) Three-time MP from Jodhpur Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday took charge as the Union Culture and Tourism Minister and said in "transitioning from India to Bharat", under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "giant steps" have been taken in shedding the colonial cloak and reinstating the country's glorious cultural heritage.

Soon after taking charge as the Culture minister at the ministry's office at Shashtri Bhawan here, he said that a "new identity and image" of the country has been created the world over in the last 10 years and that he has been accorded an opportunity to take this work forward.

Shekhawat served as Union Jal Shakti Minister in the previous government.

Born in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer in 1967, Shekhawat was elected to the 16th and 17th Lok Sabha and again to the 18th Lok Sabha in the recently-held general elections from Jodhpur, scoring a hat-trick win.

The minister was accompanied by his family members, including his wife and two daughters when he took charge of the two ministries.

Shekhawat took charge as the Tourism minister at the ministry's office located at Transport Bhawan here.

The voters of India for the third consecutive time with a majority have given an opportunity to Narendra Modi to become the prime minister of India for the third time, he told reporters at Shashtri Bhawan, and termed it a "wise decision" of the country’s voters.

He said that with a resolve to develop the country, Prime Minister Modi has in the last ten years brought in "comprehensive development" in the country.

"By immersing with hope an India that was mired in a trough of despair, and by generating confidence that India can become developed... the success achieved in sending this message to the entire world... the voters of the country has put a stamp on it ('Nirasha ke gart me doobe hue Bharat ko, asha se labrez kar, Bharat Viksit ho sakta hai, is vishwas se paripurit kar...')," he told reporters.

He later shared on X that he was both humbled and proud to be given this opportunity.

"In transitioning from India to Bharat, under the leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi we have been taking giant steps in shedding our colonial cloak & reinstating our glorious cultural heritage. As I take charge of this immensely beautiful ministry of culture, I am both humbled & proud to be given this opportunity to preserve, protect & promote the vibrance of Bharateeyata both across our country and the world," Shekhawat wrote on X.

"Our nation's growing soft power is in its rich cultural fabric and its myriad manifestations in the form of art, music, dance, textiles among others. Let's work together to strengthen it in this Amritkaal and make culture a strong thread to weave #ViksitBharat," he added.

In another post on X in Hindi, he said the last ten years have been "unprecedented" in the field of culture and "our team will continue to do excellent work to achieve new milestones" as per the prime minister’s vision.

While talking to reporters soon after taking charge as Culture minister at the Shashtri Bhawan, he said the Modi government is a government that has "an identity of continuity".

In the last 10 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, as per his vision, "the way the Culture Ministry has worked in the country... and after seeing the culture of India, again the way the entire world is dazzled and surprised.. Through different segments and dimensions, the way a new identity and image of the country has been created the word over, I have been given a fortunate opportunity to take this work forward”, the Union minister said.

"As per the intention of the prime minister, in making a Viksit Bharat, Culture Ministry and Tourism Ministry, both make a special contribution, and we will make concerted efforts for it," he added.

Shekhawat after taking charge as the Tourism minister, also posted on X along with some photographs.

"As I also take charge of the Ministry of Tourism in the cabinet of our PM Shri @narendramodi, I am honoured to be given this responsibility of globally showcasing Bharat & inviting the world to our country. As Modi ji has emphasized through his various visits & words about our tourism potential, we will work towards enhancing the same highlighting our various natural & cultural heritage sites from Kashmir to his recently visited Kanyakumari," he wrote.

Prior to Shekhawat, G Kishan Reddy served as the Union Minister for Culture and Tourism. Reddy has been given the Coal and Mines portfolios.

Shekhawat took oath as one of the 30 cabinet ministers on Sunday. Five ministers of state with independent charge and 30 ministers of state were also sworn in as the members of the prime minister's council of ministers.

Suresh Gopi on Tuesday took charge as the Minister of State in the Tourism Ministry. PTI KND AS AS AS