The BJP is set to develop a national framework for the culture departments in states ruled by the party with an eye on the 2019 general elections. With Narendra Modi’s vision of cultural nationalism in mind, the culture ministers of the BJP-ruled states will be meeting on June 5 and 6 in Delhi. Called the Samanvaya Baithak, the meeting is expected to finalise the blueprint of bringing forgotten freedom fighters and lesser-known tribal cults to the forefront of the cultural scene through textbooks, programmes and museums. Sources stated that at least 15-16 state cultural ministers will participate along with RSS representatives.
“Every state has a history that has not been taught. The government wants the untold histories to become a part of the curriculum. The attempt is also being made to have museums and galleries for unsung heroes so that their contributions in the freedom struggle remain etched in people’s memory. For example, Lachit Borphukan thwarted attempts of the Mughals to enter Assam. While he is a hero in the state, the rest of the country may not be aware of his contributions,” said a source. Sources said the culture departments have been asked to work on identifying tribal art forms that are fast becoming extinct.
“The fact that there is a place in Chhattisgarh where Durga Puja is celebrated for 70 days is a little-known fact and should reach out to the next generation,” said the source. The sources said the ministers would work on a framework of promoting languages of other states as part of the education system.