Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
“Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Subsequently, the Finance Minister announced the initiative in his Budget Speech for 2016-17. Through this innovative measure, the knowledge of the culture, traditions and practices of different States & UTs will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between the States, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.
All States and UTs will be covered under the programme. There will be pairing of States/UTs at national level and these pairings will be in effect for one year, or till the next round of pairings. The State/UT level pairings would be utilized for state level activities. District level pairings would be independent of the State level pairings.
The activity will be very useful to link various States and Districts in annual programmes that will connect people through exchanges in areas of culture, tourism, language, education trade etc. and citizens will be able to experience the cultural diversity of a much larger number of States/UTs while realising that India is one.
India is a unique nation, whose fabric has been woven by diverse linguistic, cultural and religious threads, held together into a composite national identity by a rich history of cultural evolution, coupled with a rousing freedom struggle that was built around the tenets of non-violence and justice. The spirit of mutual understanding amidst a shared history has enabled a special unity in diversity, which stands out as a tall flame of nationhood that needs to be nourished and cherished into the future.
Time and technology have narrowed down distances in terms of connectivity and communication. In an era that facilitates mobility and outreach, it is important to establish cultural exchanges between people of different regions, as a means to further human bonding and a common approach to nationbuilding. Mutual understanding and trust are the foundations of India’s strength
and all citizens should feel culturally integrated into all corners of India.
The idea of a sustained and structured cultural connect between denizens of different regions was mooted by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the Rashtriya Ekta Divas held on 31st October 2015, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Hon’ble Prime Minister propounded that cultural diversity is a joy that ought to be celebrated through mutual interaction & reciprocity between people of different States and UTs so that a common spirit of understanding resonates throughout the country.
All the States/UTs in India have been paired for an entire year. The paired States/UTs have prepared an activity calendar through mutual consultation, paving the way for a year-long process of mutual engagement. Such interaction between students-teachers of each pair of States/UTs at the cultural level, would generate the vibrancy of understanding & appreciation amongst the people and forge mutual bonding, thus securing an enriched value system of unity in the nation.
Why Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat has started?
As per the agenda of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, the concept of a nation for India is based on cultural diversity. Unity has been established by integrating these variations of cultural elements like language, religion, caste, customs, food and living in India.
Experts believe that present-day India is not a single culture but a group of separate traditions that have remained one as a nation. Both state and citizens need to perform their roles in a better way for the success of an ambitious program like ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.
Objectives of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat:
The broad objectives of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat are as follows:-
- To CELEBRATE: the Unity in Diversity of our Nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of our Country;
- PROMOTE: the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories through a year-long planned engagement between States;
- To SHOWCASE: the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity that is India, thus fostering a sense of common identity;
- TO ESTABLISH: long-term engagements and
- TO CREATE: an environment which promotes learning between States by sharing best practices and experiences.
Themes of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat:
- To celebrate the idea of India as a nation wherein different cultural units across varied geographies coalesce and interact with each other, this glorious manifestation of diverse cuisine, music, dance, theatre, movies & films, handicrafts, sports, literature, festivals, painting, sculpture etc. will enable people to imbibe the innate chord of binding and brotherhood.
- To make our people aware about the seamless integral hull of the Modern Indian State spread across a landmass of 32 lakh sq. km, on whose firm foundations, the geo-political strength of the country is ensured benefitting one and all.
- To impress upon people at large about the increasing inter-connectedness between the constituents of various cultural & economic zones which is so vital for the spirit of nation building.
- To induce a sense of responsibility & ownership for the nation as a whole through these close cross-cultural interactions as it intends to build up the inter-dependence matrix unequivocally.
- To further promote inter-state travel for boosting business activities of various hues.
- To create a learning ecosystem between the various stakeholders of the partnering states so that they benefit from the best practices of one another by establishing a State to State Connect.
Illustrative List of Activities under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
- Cultural Exchange Programmes between partnering States with the help of troupes identified in the home State through Cultural Competitions.
- Translation of at least 5 Award Winning Books and Poetry, popular folk songs of One State in the Language of the partner State.
- Identification, translation and dissemination of proverbs having similar meaning in the languages of the two States.
- Exchange programme for Writers and poets.
- Organize Culinary festivals with opportunity to learn culinary practices.
- Organize Educational Tours for schools/Universities Students reciprocally.
- Promotion of Home Stay for visitors.
- Promotion of Rajya Darshan for tourists.
- Organising Familiarisation Tours for the Tour Operators of one State.
- Exposure of students of one State to alphabets, songs, proverbs and 100 sentences in the languages of the partner State.
- Prepare and share with the partner States a book containing information on their culture, customs, traditions, flora & fauna etc. for dissemination to schools and colleges.
- Encouraging the administration of oaths / Pledges in the languages of the pairing states.
- Organising Essay Competition among students in the language of the partner State.
- Organising Optional Classes in schools / colleges, where feasible, for learning the language of the partner State.
- Organising Drama(s) of partner State in the educational institutions.
- Exchange of information on traditional agricultural practices and forecasting among farmers in partner States.
- Organising combined Tableau and participation of Parade Contingents of Partner States on ceremonial occasions.
- Telecasting / Broadcasting of programmes of one State on the Regional Radio channels of Partner States.
- Organising Film Festivals in the partner State with sub-titles.
- Showcase wearing of traditional attire of the partner State.
- Organising National/ State Specific Quiz Competitions in various languages on TV / Radio / Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat website.
- Organising Photography competitions highlighting culture and heritage of the partner State
- Encourage learning and exposure to traditional sports of the partner States.
- Any other items.
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