India has always been a culturally rich nation with a rich history and heritage. However, the ruling elite never paid attention to the importance of culture and tradition in the socio-economic empowerment of Indian society; or it may be possible that they deliberately chose to ignore it believing it would lead to a ‘Hindu revival’. However, things changed significantly after Modi ascended to the top post in the government. Contrary to popular popular belief, temple revival is not only about Hindutva and promotion of Indian culture, but also about economy and tourism.
Looking at the data regarding the religious tourism market in India, the market is believed to be around $44 billion in 2020. Moreover, it is expected to rise sharply due to the restrictions related to Covid-19. everywhere in the world is raised. The ruling dispensation has launched several programs such as Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Augmentation of Spirituality (PRASAD) and Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY). These special projects are motivated to improve the infrastructure around major temples and heritage sites and attract pilgrims, ultimately giving a significant boost to the tourism industry.
These intelligently curated initiatives also provide job opportunities for locals living around the major pilgrimage sites. Not only this, huge expenses are spent on travel, accommodation and other activities, adding to the almost crippling travel and tourism industry. These newly developed and improved facilities will significantly increase the number of pilgrimages and bring in more money. This will have a huge impact on the income generation of the economy.
In recent times, huge expenditure has been spent on improving these temple sites all over India. The same can be proved by the fact that the center is unwaveringly supporting the construction of a grand Ram temple. From bringing teak wood from Maharashtra forests to Rajasthan sandstone carved from Bansi Paharpur in Bharatpur, every effort has been made to build what the BJP has been promising in its manifesto for decades.
Through the mega Ram temple in Ayodhya, the government is also boasting of revenue from abroad as it is likely that after the completion of the temple, devotees from abroad will also visit the temple in large numbers. This will not only revive Hindutva but will create a rock solid image of India globally. In addition, without forgetting the generated income.
*This article was written by Sanchit Gupta.
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