India being one of the world’s leading exporters of cultural goods, the government’s continued efforts on this front will strengthen the international market position of Indian artists and institutions, handicrafts, ethnic arts and indigenous cultural industries. .
The government has organized many cultural festivals in India and abroad under the framework of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM). More such festivals will be held before AKAM ends on August 15, 2023.
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata Festival
The ten-day Red Fort Mega Festival – ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidhata’ as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is underway and will run until April 3, 2022.
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata is an event showcasing India’s achievements and rich culture. From classical Hindustani music to Sufi whirling dervish dances, the festival showcases different genres of music and dance. Held from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., the event also focuses on the conservation, preservation and promotion of India’s monuments, arts and crafts.
The festival also provides an avenue to connect the children of our country to their rich cultural heritage. There is a children’s area where they can enjoy ice skating, interactive mind games and quizzes. Augmented reality which offers an immersive experience in India’s pre-eminence as the world’s oldest living civilization is the main attraction of the festival.
Folk arts from various states will also be showcased in the festival giving an insight into India’s cultural richness. Singhi Chham dance from Sikkim, Kabui Naga dance from Manipur and Kalbelia dance from Rajasthan will be a treat to behold in the extravagant cultural parade of vibrant art forms. Visitors can also sample authentic Indian cuisines and street foods during the festival.
Other festivals and efforts to promote Indian culture
During the week itself, many other festivals had been organized, focusing on Indian culture. The first leg of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav Mega Festival 2022, hosted under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, concluded in Andhra Pradesh on March 27. The festival showcased folk and tribal art, dance, music, cuisines and culture from many Indian states.
The Moksha Art of Dance organized a seminar with cultural events around classical kathak dance on March 22, 2022 at the Elphinstone Theater in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture under a grant.
The government has also stepped up efforts to bring back cultural artefacts from different countries, where only 13 artefacts have returned to India in 46 years, now nearly 228 artefacts have arrived in India over the past 7.5 years.
During the inauguration of the Biplobi Bharat Gallery at Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata on March 23, Prime Minister Modi informed that a nationwide campaign was underway in India to increase heritage tourism. Heritage tourism is boosted by several programs like Swadesh Darshan, he said.
The Ministry of Culture’s budget allocation for 2022-2023 has been increased by 11.9% from the Estimated Budget (BE) for 2021-2022, with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) receiving Rs 1,080 crore, 35% of the total amount.
Other efforts to promote cultural exchanges
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers more than 3,500 scholarships annually and organizes various conferences/seminars, intellectual speeches. The ICCR offers a wide range of exchange programs in the field of visual and performing arts and sends more than 150 cultural troupes to perform abroad each year.
The allocation included Rs 532.55 crore for core sector programs including museum development, international cooperation and centenary and anniversary celebrations. Pensions for senior artists have been reduced from Rs 4,000 per month to Rs 6,000.
Prasar Bharati and ICCR signed a Memorandum of Understanding on December 20, 2021 to promote Indian culture. Performances by prominent artists associated with the ICCR will be broadcast on Doordarshan’s national and international channels.