Regional office of Press Information Bureau, Chandigarh, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India organised a webinar on Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat which beautifully showcased the rich culture & heritage of paired states Himachal Pradesh & Kerala under Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat. The webinar was moderated by Smt. Devpreet Singh, ADG, PIB, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. While briefing the participants in the webinar she said that the Government of India’s unique initiative of “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” is aimed at reviving the sense of national unity in today’s times by connecting people of far-flung states. Amid such a vastly diverse social panorama, India has a running thread across the country that binds it so strongly and gives it a composite national identity.
Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) is the flagship initiative of Government of India to celebrate the Idea of India and its cultural diversity through mutual interaction and reciprocity between people of different states. As part of this initiative, a webinar was organized today with focus on sharing of rich culture & heritage of the paired states of Himachal Pradesh & Kerala under the EBSB initiative.
Ms. Shailaja Khanna, Member of the Expert committee for Culture, Government of Himachal Pradesh, who was one of the subject experts highlighted the rich history of Folk Music of Himachal Pradesh, its associated instruments and uniqueness during her session. She further spoke about the simple, graceful and melodic Nati Dance of Himachal Pradesh and states physical beauty that has inspired the art, crafts, music and dance of the state.
Dr. Purnima Chauhan, former Secretary, Language Art & Culture, Government of Himachal Pradesh emphasized on the commonalities between the two states. She said that both states with abundant natural beauty, situated at two ends of the Indian subcontinent, have done very well on Human Development Indicators. While explaining about different cultural aspects of the Himachal Pradesh, she touched upon its Buddhist connection and colonial past. She said Tabo Monastery in Spiti is considered to be the Ajanta of the hills whereas single rock cut Masrur Temple in Kangra as Ellora of the hills. She also showcased the different Pahari painting styles of the state of Himachal Pradesh namely Kangra paintings and Thangka paintings.
Dr.Neena Prasad, an Academician, Researcher & a Classical dancer from Kerala explained in detail about the various Performing Art Traditions in Kerala, namely, “Kutiyattam” – an ancient Sanskrit theatre art from Kerala and “Mohiniyattam” – a classical dance form of Kerala. Adding further about the Kerala’s rich culture, she briefly shared the Kerala’s historical connect with Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch that helped in developing the common Malayali culture.
She added that Kerala is a land of temples with each temple having its own way of celebrating festivals. Onam, a harvest festival, is the most popular festival in the state with people from all sections of society celebrating it with gaiety and enthusiasm. She also touched upon the Mural paintings from Kerala, Martial Art form – Kalaripayattu, and Kerala cuisine.
S. Venkateswar, Director General, South Zone, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that people from the paired states should visit each other more often and learn about the cultural diversity. He suggested that exchange programs could be organised for the benefit of students from the paired states.
The Webinar was attended by students from G D Goenka World School, Haryana. The students appreciated the session and visual presentation by the guest speakers as very informative and enriching.
The session concluded with Ashish Goyal, Director, Regional Outreach Bureau (ROB) Chandigarh, presenting a vote of thanks to all the participants. AnujChandak, Deputy Director, ROB Chandigarh and other officials of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting from the region participated in the webinar.