The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu on Dec. 15,2020, appealed to the artists’ community to utilize the potential of India’s soft power to expand its global outreach. He also urged the artists to fully explore and exploit the opportunities in the virtual medium to reach out to their audiences.
Inaugurating Yours Truly Margazhi’ festival through virtual mode from Hyderabad, the Vice President highlighted the glorious traditions of music and dance in India, and emphasized the importance of reviving them in current stressful times. ‘Yours Truly Margazhi’ is an initiative to keep alive Chennai’s famed tradition of December music and dance festival through the online medium.
Speaking on the occasion, the Vice President underlined the unobtrusive nature of soft power in shaping global thought. Through our dance and music, we can spread ideals like non-violence, peace, and harmony around the world, in line with India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’, he noted. Observing the limitations of the government in this process, the Vice President called upon the practitioners, patrons, and organizers to showcase the Indian culture, thought, and way of life.
Recalling his long association with Chennai, the Vice President hailed it as the Carnatic music capital of the country. Shri Naidu also highlighted the unique characteristic of Chennai—as a lively modern city but which continues to maintain its cultural and traditional character.
Shri Naidu observed that the artists community has also suffered during the pandemic and with innovative virtual initiatives like ‘Yours Truly’, they will be able to find new audiences across the world. In the future, real and virtual mediums are likely to co-exist and artists should fully tap the potential of the virtual medium, he added.
Noting the importance of dance and music in relieving people’s anxiety, the Vice President highlighted its importance especially during the time of COVID. He further stressed that Indian classical music and dance epitomize the balance we are looking for in our life. He observed that our classical art forms embody principles of holism, unity, and harmony- within oneself and with nature.
The Vice President traced the ancient music and dance traditions of India, quoting the examples of Samaveda and Nataraja. In the case of Nataraja, Shri Naidu observed how the form of Shiva as the cosmic dancer has been around for more than a thousand years and still retains its original form.
The Vice President emphasized that our cultural treasure of dance, drama, and music is India’s greatest gift to the world and every effort should be made to preserve and propagate them.
He also noted the tremendous interest across the world for our classical art forms
Shri. Venkiah Naidu, reflecting on how classical art forms were integral to our ancient education, suggested that this tradition be revived in a big way. He called for making music and dance an indispensable part of the curriculum. He noted that the New Education Policy is a progressive step in this regard. The Vice President emphasized that practicing classical art forms is highly beneficial to children as it improves attention span, inculcates discipline, creates confidence, increases patience, and teaches the importance of perseverance among many other virtues in children.
Lastly, the Vice President observed that the youth today have a wide exposure to various cultures. While encouraging awareness of cultures of other countries, Shri. Venkiah Naidu said it is important to remain rooted in one’s own culture, heritage, and traditions.