Western culture replacing traditional Indian art forms: VP raises concern

at 3:55 pm

New Delhi: Pitching for a “cultural renaissance”, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today said urgent action is needed to preserve the rich Indian folk art forms which are disappearing because of the craze for western culture.

He also talked about the need to “correct distortions” in history books and literature, saying unsung heroes of the country’s freedom movement made huge sacrifices but didn’t get the appropriate attention.

Speaking at the investiture ceremony of the Sangeet Natak Akademi and Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowships along with Akademi Awards for 2018 and 62nd National Exhibition of Art Awards, Naidu called upon schools and parents to encourage children to learn any art form of their choice as part of the efforts to preserve and promote India’s rich cultural heritage.

The Vice President stressed the need for a cultural renaissance saying that there is a need to go back to our roots.

“Our rich traditional folk art forms such as puppetry are disappearing due to the craze for western culture. They have to be revived with the active involvement of not just the governments but society at large,” he said.

Observing that exposure to creativity and art at an early age will help children become more aware of their surroundings and help them lead a more meaningful life, Naidu wanted educational institutions to give equal importance to art subjects in their curriculum.

The Vice President presented the honours to various artists for their contribution to the field of performing arts and fine arts.

Referring to ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations, he said that many unsung heroes made sacrifices for our freedom but their stories remain largely unknown to the masses as they did not get enough attention in our history books.

He further called for correcting these distortions and highlighting the contributions made during the freedom struggle by these lesser-known heroes.

Recalling the role of visual and performing arts in arousing patriotic feelings during the independence movement, the Vice President said that art was used as a “powerful political weapon” to tell the stories of British oppression in an effective manner.

He recalled how the fiery patriotic songs and poems of Rabindranath Tagore, Subramania Bharati, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee inspired strong feelings of nationalism among the masses.

“The contribution of our freedom fighters through powerful artistic expression is integral to our freedom struggle and must not be forgotten”, he stressed.

Lauding the contributions of artists in “strengthening the thread of continuity connecting our rich past to the present and future”, the President observed that art unites people across cultures, influences and inspires them, thus “becoming a powerful agent of change in the process”.

“It is the duty of each one of us to preserve and promote our grand cultural traditions and various art forms”, he said.

“India has a grand tradition of highly refined art, backed by theories mentioned in ancient texts,” he said.

He called for preserving visual and performing arts which he said are “intertwined with the intangible cultural heritage of the nation and shape our national identity”.

On this occasion, the Vice President noted that India’s rich tradition of folklore is one area that needs immediate attention and calls for urgent action. He said that with the passage of time various forms of folk traditions have been on a decline and the “onus is upon us to make every effort to preserve our great folk traditions”.

Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region, Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Chairman, Sangeet Natak Akademi and Lalit Kala Akademi, Smt. Uma Nandoori, Secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Smt. Temsunaro Jamir, Secretary, Lalit Kala Akademi, Shri Ramakrishna Vedala, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Smt. Sanjukta Mudgal, eminent artists and other dignitaries were present during the event.