Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2016 the celebrated festival organised by the Ministry of Culture from October 15, ended on October 24 with a dazzling closing ceremony graced by the esteemed presence of the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee as the Chief Guest.
The festival has been receiving continuous gratitude each day for playing a major role to effectively connect the audience to the rich, diverse and undiscovered culture of India. The festival brought together more than 1200 performers to perform over 400 acts and showcased handicrafts created by more than 250 master craftsmen from all over India clubbed with, diverse cuisines prepared by chefs, all under one roof.
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee appreciated the diligent efforts of the Ministry of Culture for organising a great amalgamation of food, dance, entertainment, performance and shopping delights which efficiently delivered a glimpse of the entire country to the audience. This festival had a very noble objective to celebrate the spirit of tradition, culture, heritage and diversity of our great nation. He complimented Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Tourism and Culture, under whose dynamic leadership this festival had been conceptualized and organized.
He said, “India has a rich and unique heritage of art and culture comprising classical music, traditional and tribal music and dances, modern fusion music, and instrumental music. Music, fine arts, ragas and rasas have been an integral part of our cultural life. These elements have all played an important role in our spiritual rejuvenation. By showcasing the composite Indian traditional art and culture including different folk dances, this festival has achieved a very important objective from the nationalistic point of view: integration through diverse cultural tradition.” On this occasion, he paid his tribute to the great artistes, musicians, classical singers, shehnai vadaks and flautists for their contribution to the national cultural heritage.
He said that India is a multi-faceted nation and yet existing under one system, one flag, one Constitution and one type of administration. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once observed and he quoted, “It is a country held together by strong but invisible threads”. In a pluralistic society, the values of tolerance, respect for contrary views and patience are essential in our citizens particularly the youth. Pluralism and tolerance have been the hallmark of our civilization. This core philosophy must continue unabated. For, India’s strength lies in her diversity.
The President said that diversity is a double-edged sword and that if all of us work together in harmony with unity of purpose, we can achieve tremendous heights as a nation. India has always stood out as a beacon of harmonious co-existence in front of the world where in many parts people are fighting people to lunge further into darkness. He opined that we can thrive on our plurality if there is greater understanding and appreciation among our countrymen about each others’ cultures, tastes and habits. Physical distance should not be allowed to come in the way of our citizens engaging with one another in the field of culture.
“Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav” translates the ideal of ‘unity in diversity’ into action. The President complimented everyone associated with this Mahotsav for its very successful organisation.
Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism in his address said, “We are immensely delighted to successfully organise the 10-day long distinguished festival, the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2016, which showcased the unexplored culture of India, like never before. The festival was a pure blend of art and culture, epicurean fest, magnificent performances and shopping delights that well connected people from all over the world with India’s rich culture and heritage”.
He thanked the President of India for kindly agreeing to grace the closing ceremony as the Chief Guest. He informed the august audience that Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav will be organized in other parts of the country also to popularise our rich cultural heritage and traditions.