Modi Got The Idol From Germany But Will It Reach Srinagar?

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a 10th centery idol of Hindu goddess Durga, that was returned by Germany, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a 10th centery idol of Hindu goddess Durga, that was returned by Germany, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally got the little idol of Durga from Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel in fact flew the antique to Delhi in her latest visit.

This tenth century idol of Durga in her Mahishasurmardini avatar was stolen from a Pulwama temple during 1990s and police had registered a case on basis of which Delhi approached Germany.

“She is a symbol of the victory of good over evil,” Prime Minister Modi told in the joint press conference that he addressed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He thanked her for its return while pointing towards the idol that was placed aside as the two leaders were addressing the media.  “The statue is from Jammu and Kashmir.”

The idol was actually handed over to Prime Minister well before the two leaders signed bilateral agreements. It was immediately shifted to the venue of the news conference for display with nobody knowing what it was and why.

While disappearance of the idol from Pulwama had just been forgotten and almost attributed to militants, its recovery was just a chance. In 2012, the idol was spotted by an Indian Archaeological official at Linden Museum in Stuttgart. Later, its details were collected from police and two ASI officials formally approached German government with evidences that it belongs to Kashmir. The police FIR was the main document on basis of which the claim was made. Later diplomacy took over and it was decided to be returned to India.

Though it is unclear who the smuggler was, but a general belief even in official circles in Delhi is that India’s notorious antique smuggler Subash Kapoor was behind its illegal transportation Kapoor was arrested in 2011 and is imprisoned in Germany.

While the idol has reached Delhi, it remains to be seen when the masterpiece which is part of Kashmir’s heritage reaches home. The apprehensions are around because of the practices in past. As the first war on Kashmir broke out between India and Pakistan, the then prime minister Pandit Nehru volunteered to fly the Gilgit manuscripts for protection. There have been more than three wars but Kashmir is still awaiting the return of these priceless manuscripts which are key to Buddhist studies and gave been decoded.

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