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Culture Ministry pulls out all stops for Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations

The Ministry lines up a slew of public events including 'Unity in Diversity' competitions, such as 'Rangoli making, Desh Bhakti Geet writing, and Lori writing', to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: December 8, 2021 5:53:58 pm
Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory, Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Article 370, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Hasnain Masoodi, India news, indian expressUnion Minister of Culture G. Kishan Reddy(File)

The Union Ministry of Culture is going all out to deploy all its resources – personnel, affiliated organisations and its digital reach – to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.

It is the nodal ministry for the 75-week-long Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations which got underway in March this year.

As part of this initiative, the Sangeet Natak Akademi sent emails to many in the field of arts a few weeks ago, urging them to participate in it in a spirit of “Jan Bhagidaari” (public participation). The national academy of performing arts, which was set up in 1952, also advocated that the celebrations be “filled with the colours of art, culture, songs and music”.

The ministry officials, at a recent press meet, highlighted their upcoming events involving the public at large, which would include “Rangoli making, Desh Bhakti Geet writing, and Lori writing”.

The officials maintain that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants these competitions to be simple in nature, without involving any special skill or expertise, so that people across the board feel encouraged to participate in them.

Most of these events or competitions are being organised by the seven Zonal Cultural Centres located in Patiala, Nagpur, Udaipur, Prayagraj, Kolkata, Dimapur and Thanjavur, that function under the Ministry of Culture and are mandated with “protecting, promoting and preserving various forms of folk art and culture throughout the country”.

These competitions were introduced to the public virtually by several eminent personalities. While Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar tweeted for the Deshbhakti Geet competition, Oscar winner AR Rahman did it for the Lori/Lullaby writing competition and Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik followed suit for the Rangoli making event. Subsequently, the Home Ministry, the Ministers of Culture, and various media units of the I&B Ministry such as PIB, AIR and DD posted on social media about it.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, the “Unity in Diversity competitions”, as these events are being collectively called, are open for children above 10 years, and will offer the opportunity to rekindle pride in India’s collective identity through creativity.

The Republic Day Parade, which is held under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence every year, will also have a participation of the Ministry of Culture this time. The winners of a national-level dance competition, currently underway, will be offered three minutes of spotlight as they get to perform as part of the main parade on January 26, 2022. The Vande Bharatam Nritya Utsav seeks participation in four categories: classical, folk, tribal and fusion/contemporary. A total of 480 selected dancers from the all-India dance competition will perform at Rajpath, says the ministry statement.

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