Finding ways to bring about oneness is need of the hour: Murmu

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President Droupadi Murmu averred on Thursday that, in a world confronting numerous challenges, it is imperative to discover easy and effective avenues for bolstering understanding amidst people of diverse cultures and beliefs.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Unmesha – an International Literature Festival – and Utkarsh – a Festival of Folk and Tribal Performing Arts – being organised by the Culture Ministry in association with the Sahitya Akademi and the Sangeet Natak Akademi respectively at Ravindra Bhavan here, the First Citizen said, “We live in an era when a new culture will emerge so let us utilise the ability of literature to strengthen the global community.”

India’s streams of thought reveal a confluence of patriotism and universal brotherhood; Mrs Murmu observed and added that literature provided robustness to the ideals of our struggle for Independence.

“Among the myriad sentiments contained in our rich literature is one where the motherland is accorded the stature of divinity. The litterateur’s truth is on a higher plane than the historian’s facts. Literature – which is sensitive – holds up a mirror to the world,” the President said while mentioning towering stalwarts including Mahakavi Kalidas, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Jaishankar Prasad and Subramania Bharati who contributed to the tradition of Indianness.

“Novels, poems and stories composed during the freedom movement still impact on the populace’s psyche. Literature unites people; that art is relevant which makes people rise above narrow domestic walls. Erstwhile prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee blessed my endeavours to place the Santhali tongue on a higher platform. Accelerated translation of works is the need of the hour. Conservation of languages is our collective responsibility,” she added.

While emphasising on the ancient Indian philosophical doctrine of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the First Citizen observed that language played a “stellar role” in making England a dominating power in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Mrs Murmu said that – subsequent to assuming India’s highest constitutional office – this is her fifth visit to Madhya Pradesh, which boasts the country’s highest adivasi population.

“The Union Culture Ministry is executing scores of endeavours for injecting fresh energy. Among them is a Festival of Libraries to be inaugurated on Saturday. All this is rendering possible the creation of a firm cultural ecosystem. Many tribal artists received Padma awards this year. Chhattisgarh’s Teejan Bai being conferred with the Padma Vibhushan was an honour for all tribal sisters. Our collective effort should be to preserve tribal culture and make adivasis partners in modern development,” the President averred during her 15-minute-long speech.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Governor Mangubhai Patel and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

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