Encouraging “cultural nationalism” and incorporating the teachings of Deendayal Upadhyaya in the lives of people were identified as priorities during a meeting of culture ministers of BJP-ruled states here. The ministers, along with two RSS joint general secretaries (seh sarkaryawah) Dattatreya Hosabale and Krishna Gopal, had gathered for a brainstorming session on the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. The two-day session ended on Tuesday.
“We have become more Marathi, more Gujarati, more Bengali and so on. And we are losing Indianness. We forgot we are Indians first and got divided into our own states. We have to encourage cultural nationalism. That was identified as one of the priorities,” said a source who attended the meeting. Other sources said emphasis was laid on incorporating the teachings of Jana Sangh ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya in the lives of people.
While the Northeast got special mention at the meeting, the focus was on cultural assimilation with other states, the sources said.There were also discussions on how to encourage culture through education. “Education is a different department, but culture and education are not different. They work together and need to be assimilated,” said the source. Languages bridge gaps and thus there is a need for exchange, he added.
The meeting was attended by artistes, cultural experts and ministers, and BJP and RSS leaders. During one of the sessions, state culture ministers shared their problems with Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma. It was emphasised that non-BJP ruled states should also be involved in promoting culture.