Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism, participated in the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Culture Ministers’ Meeting held on September 10, 2020.
Discussion was held on the role and place of culture during the global epidemiological crisis and on the prospects for developing multilateral cultural cooperation within the SCO. Patel addressed participants of the meeting and presented India’s perspective to strengthen the cultural cooperation within SCO by using digital technology as an effective medium for dissemination and awakening with regard to customs, culture and traditions in the prevailing conditions.
In his statement, the Indian Culture Minister said that at the time of such a disease, when we are all struggling with this grave condition, our meeting at the same time also shows the aim of our sacred intentions.
Patel said that one of the important aspects that unites and connects SCO countries to each other is shared heritage of Buddhist philosophy and art. To promote the mutual bonding, the National Museum of India is in process of organizing the first SCO Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage this year.
The Exhibition marks India’s Chairpersonship of Council of Heads of Government this year. The exhibition will be held in digital format due to prevailing pandemic situation. I look forward to a very good exhibition on an issue which binds the region with millennia old historic linkage, Patel said.
He also informed that Sahitya Akademi is translating ten Indian literary works into the SCO languages Russian and Chinese with the objective of sharing Indian literature with our fellow nations of SCO. These translations would be released during the upcoming Council of Heads of Government Meeting to be hosted by India in 2020.
He also said that National Gallery of Modern Arts intends to hold collaborative programmes on reciprocal basis such as collection based virtual exhibitions, online art workshops and dialogues with museum professionals and artists to discuss ways that our partnership can grow stronger and discuss on a way forward for the future and the role of the museum/institutions.
He informed that 2021 is the 20th Anniversary year of the founding of this Organization and India supports the proposal of declaring 2021 the Year of Culture of the SCO to celebrate the occasion. The ICCR is willing to be part of 2021 Year of SCO culture through organizing festivals/ performance of Indian culture, Conference & Seminars and sponsor Indian speakers as part of the celebration in the Member states of SCO. We would be happy to organize a Film Festival to commemorate the occasion, he added.
He emphasised the need to share the initiatives which we all are taking in our respective nations in the field of culture with each other to further enhance our bonding, and also to spread the message of hope and unity in the prevailing situation. This could be through exchange of e-journals, e-periodicals, e-books on theatre and its allied arts, and other literature and knowledge programs within the cultural institutions of SCO Nations.
At the end of the meeting Protocol of the 17th Meeting of the SCO Ministers of Culture was agreed upon and signed by all the representatives of Member States.