PR Log - Apr 12, 2012 - While India’s diversity is a matter of pride and joy for the people of the country, it has posed tremendous problems towards the cause of national integration. Former Prime Minister of India, the great visionary, late Shri Rajiv Gandhi was one of the first to realise the problem brought about by this sheer diversity. He had noted with great foresight, “Our diversity is a practical reality; it is not a theoretical concept. But for the first time in our history, that diversity is being challenged with the churning of our whole society.”
Faced with such a situation, late Shri Rajiv Gandhi then realised that culture was the most suitable tool that can be used as the base for national integration – it has the capacity to reach across to people, cutting across barriers of time, space, language, values and traditions. It is pertinent to remember the words he spoke then: “The performing arts reach across all communities, all language barriers, and have a unique role to spread the values that have inherited. Participating in the performing arts is an osmotic process of building values, awareness, familiarity and respect and even reverence for different strands in the rich tapestry of our civilisation and our heritage. So integrating our country must be seen as one of the functions of the performing arts today.”
The genesis of the seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCC) of the country can be traced to this dream of late Shri Rajiv Gandhi. These seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs), spread across the country, were set up in 1985 as autonomous bodies under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India with the objective of preserving, innovating and promoting the projections and dissemination of arts pertaining to the respective zones or regions. Formed to create awareness about local cultures among the people in the hinterland, these centres have been playing a supportive role to the manner in which local flavours merge into Zonal identities, and eventually into the rich diversity of India’s composite culture.
While the government has been promoting India’s culture and art forms right from independence, the sad fact was that the average man in rural areas continued to be denied the chance to explore their richness and vibrancy. The inauguration of the ZCCs, thus, ushered in a new era of “cultural development”. By making the common man absorb and assimilate the richness of the variegated culture, heritage and traditions, the ZCCs have been striving to awaken the sensibilities of not just a select few but that of the masses.
And in order to ensure that the ZCCs were able to discharge their objective of “cultural development of the masses”, the centres were established in prominent cultural centres of the country, and not just a busy commercial capital. Accordingly, the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) came up in Patiala; the East Zone Cultural Centre (EZCC) was established in Kolkata, the South Zonal Cultural Centre (SZCC) in Thanjavur, the South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC) in Nagpur, West Zone Cultural Centre (WZCC) in Udaipur, the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) in Dimapur, the and the North Central Zonal Cultural Centre (NCZCC) in Allahabad.
Though there have been a number of bodies involved in the field of promotion of cultural forms right from the time of independence, the mandate of the ZCCs were clearly defined. With the close cooperation of other bodies under the Ministry of Culture , these centres have managed to disseminate the best of the country’s variegated cultures throughout and between the zones. While performing arts, especially folk and tribal art forms which reflect the sheer diversity of the country’s spiritual traditions, are the main thrust areas of the ZCCs, they have also been promoting other arms forms, such as crafts, the fine and plastic arts, literature, cuisine, documentation or folk culture and traditions, innovative ideas in the field of culture, encouraging hybrid arts and the like. The youth has always remained a major focus area of these seven centres. Besides novel schemes like the Guru-Shishya Parampara (Master Disciple Tradition), periodic training programmes and workshops for rural children and youngsters are organized on a regular basis to ensure their holistic development. 25 years is a long time for any organization to look back in retrospect at its activities. While the ZCCs can now look back and smile for having made a difference, they cannot relax as they have to ensure that the flag they have unfurled reaches newer heights. As the centres celebrate their silver jubilee year, they reaffirm once again their commitment towards “cultural development” of the country.
THE SILVER JUBILEE YEAR-LONG CELEBRATION “MAATI KE RANG ” WILL BE INAUGURATED ON 13TH APRIL AT PARADE GROUND, PANCHKULA, HARYANA IN A FOUR DAYS EXPOSITION Day 1 (13th April 2012) at 6.30 pm The Opening day will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the function will be graced by Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the National Advisory Board and UPA. Hon’ble Minister for Culture, Kumari Selja (http://indiaculture.nic.in/indiaculture/who-is-who.asp) wil preside. The programme will be followed by a Choreographed folk Dance presentation showcasing India as a multi-cultural country but with an element of nature running through the country as the commonality in all communities of India. The show will take the audience through a journey through the diverse landscape of India and highlight the endeavour of the seven Zonal Cultural Centres in bringing unity through culture. Day 2 (14th April from 4pm onwards) The Aangans (literally means courtyard) of each ZCC will be opened to the public. The 7 aangans will showcase the rich traditional crafts of each state of the country and craftsmen will give live demonstration and also sell their products. Live folk dance and music will be showcase in each aangans. There will be exhibitions of folk arts, paintings and food court from all the zones. At 6.30pm, there will be a choreographed Folk dance, percussion, and music on the main stage. Day3 (15th April) Special Folk Music and Dance presentation by artistes from Northeast India will be showcased depicting the rich and unique cultural milieu of the region. Day 4 (16th) The last day will showcase the Martial Arts and Martial Dance of all the regions of India. The idea is to show the rich tapestry of Indian culture. For more details visit http://www.facebook.com/MaatiKeRang/
Press Release Contact: Shri D.S. Saroya North Zone Cultural Centre Virsa Vihar Kendra, Near Bhasha Bhawan, Sheranwala Gate, Patiala, Punjab – 147001 Telephone: 0175-2211429/ 0175-2203225 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org