India’s Cultural Renaissance – Kashi Tamil Sangamam

  • IASbaba
  • January 14, 2023
  • 0
History and Art and Culture
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Context: The month-long Kashi Tamil Sangamam, which showcased Tamil culture, heralded a new era where ancient Indian traditions intermingle with one another and are revitalized with the help of modern practices so that they contribute to cultural and economic growth.

  • It gave a rich cultural context to India’s mission to become a developed country by 2047. The event carried forward our tradition of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

About Kashi Tamil Sangamam:

  • The Kashi Tamil Sangamam commemorates a variety of characteristics of the North and South of India’s shared history and culture.
  • The overarching goal is to strengthen the bonds between the peoples of the North and the South by bringing their respective knowledge systems and cultural traditions closer together.
  • It is being put on by the Ministry of Education in association with the Government of Uttar Pradesh and other ministries including Culture, Textiles, Railways, Tourism, Food Processing, Information and Broadcasting, etc.
  • The project is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP), which places a strong emphasis on fusing the richness of Indian Knowledge Systems with contemporary knowledge systems by the year 2020.
  • The program’s two implementing organisations are IIT Madras and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

Ancient links associated with the Sangamam:

  • Kashi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, and Tamil Nadu, where people proudly speak the world’s oldest language, are towering pillars of ancient Indian civilization.
  • Both have rich, old arts, music, craftsmanship, philosophy, spirituality, and literary traditions.
  • Since ancient times, higher education in Southern India was not considered complete without a visit by the scholar to Kashi.
  • People from Rameswaram would take a dip in the Koti Teertha (in the temple) before visiting Kashi for darshan, and they would bring back water (Ganga) from Kashi for abhiseka at the temple in Rameswaram.
  • The government’s initiative to build the landmark Kashi Vishwanath corridor, which connects the Jyotirlinga with the Ganga, embellishes traditions with a touch of modernity for the benefit of residents and visitors.

Cultural Significance:

  • In order to construct a temple for Lord Shiva, King Parakrama Pandya of the area around Madurai in the 15th century travelled to Kashi (Uttar Pradesh) and brought back a lingam.
  • He took a break under a tree while travelling back, but when he tried to move on, the cow carrying the lingam stood still.
  • When Parakrama Pandya realised that this was the Lord’s intention, he put the lingam in the area, which later became known as Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu.
  • The Pandyas had constructed the Kasi Viswanathar Temple for devotees who could not go to Kashi at what is now Tenkasi in southern Tamil Nadu, near to the state’s border with Kerala.

Overall Significance of the Sangamam:

  • Integrating Heritage: The Sangamam created a unique platform to rediscover and integrate our heritage and ancient knowledge with modern thought, philosophy, technology, and craftsmanship.
    • This creates a new body of knowledge and fosters innovations that will help our artisans, weavers, entrepreneurs, and traders.
    • For instance, Varanasi is well known for Banarasi silk saris, and Kancheepuram, for its shimmering silk saris.
    • Weavers and entrepreneurs from both regions have a lot to gain from interacting with each other and from their exposure to modern practices of branding, quality control, marketing, product consistency, the use of modern machinery, and value addition.
  • Facilitation through government policies: The Sangamam was in step with the entire spectrum of this government’s policies.
    • These policies accord top priority to accelerating development with a focus on the welfare of the poorest of the poor, love for Indian culture, and promoting local industries and handicrafts.
  • One District One Product: The government is strongly promoting the One District One Product scheme that will take Indian products to the world market.
    • The Prime Minister of India is a brand ambassador for these products and gifts them to world leaders.
    • Traditional wooden toys of Varanasi are getting more export inquiries and are being showcased in international business exhibitions.
  • Traditional products: Traditional products will also get a big boost from other government initiatives such as the Open Network for Digital Commerce and the Government e-Marketplace.

The need to focus on textiles sector:

  • Potential of the textile sector: The textile sector, which has great job-creating potential, is a key part of our mission to become a developed country by 2047.
    • India’s textiles market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12-13% to nearly $2 trillion by 2047, while exports from the sector are expected to grow at double digits.
  • Textiles Conclave: The government organized a ‘textiles conclave’ during the Sangamam. Several eminent personalities of different segments of the textile industry from Tamil Nadu and Kashi shared their experiences and exchanged ideas at a session on Amrit Kaal Vision 2047.
    • They were excited and confident about the government’s vision of raising textiles exports to $100 billion by 2030 and creating new opportunities in the sector.
  • 5F formula: 5F formula (farm, fibre, fabric, fashion, foreign) will accelerate growth in the sector and transform the lives of farmers and weavers.
    • Kashi and Tamil Nadu have a key role to play to achieve this vision.
  • Technical textile: The government is also encouraging technical textiles, which have phenomenal potential.
    • These products include functional textiles that are used in vehicles, protective clothing, bulletproof vests, and construction.
    • Man-made fibre, also an area of focus, has great potential for growth and exports.

Way Forward:

Around 2 lakh people visited the campus of the Banaras Hindu University which hosted cultural shows and a popular exhibition that highlighted Tamil products and cuisine. The Sangamam has ignited a new cultural zeal in India and whetted the country’s appetite for more. The Sangamam is the beginning of India’s cultural renaissance that is not limited to the bonding of Tamil Nadu and Kashi. It will also extend to all cultures across this Bharathabhoomi  and make this country Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Source:  The Hindu


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