India has been well-known for its rich heritage in culture and art. However, in this age of consumerism, an erosion in the value of this rich heritage is seen. Today’s younger generation is more interested in cricket, cinema and popular music rather than delving into India’s traditional lineage. And to some extent, media is also blamed for not giving adequate coverage to India’s art and culture.
Keeping these issues in mind, Samachar4media, the Hindi news website from exchange4media Group, organised a series of discussions as part of its Media Manthan initiative. The event, held in Delhi on October 10, 2013, centred around the role of media in the coverage of and improving the state of India’s art and culture.
Media Manthan 2013 saw three panel discussions on topics such as ‘Art and culture should also be an integral part of media coverage’, ‘The influence of Indian art and culture on a global level’, and ‘The congruence of art with the mainstream society’.
The event was inaugurated by Brijmohan Agrawal, Cabinet Minister of Art, Culture, Tourism, and School Education from Chhattisgarh. While speaking about the steps taken by Chhattisgarh to promote the state’s heritage, Agrawal noted that as part of the state’s Establishment Day, not just well-known artists, but budding artists, sculptors and handicraft artisans too are offered a platform to showcase their talent. Different training sessions and workshops are organised for folk artists throughout the year. Talented writers and artists are also provided financial aid and felicitated on various occasions. The Chhattisgarh Government is also actively involved in protecting and conserving the state’s monuments and places of tourist interest.
Commencing the discussions, senior media analyst PK Khurrana applauded the role of media in conserving art and stressed on the fact that art is much more than just dance, music and acting. He added that traditional handicraft, sculptures, historical monuments, traditional attire, and regional cuisines also form an important part of our art and culture. “Media needs to revise its definition of art with respect to all of these,” he maintained.
Rajesh Badal, Executive Director, Rajya Sabha TV said, “We need the help and cooperation of industrialists and businessmen to further the cause of art and culture.” Dr Harish Bhalla, an art lover, made a significant observation when he said, “Indian art and artists are well known abroad, but not in their own motherland.”
Other eminent speakers who shared their views at the event included Suresh Goyal, Director General, ICCR; Om Thanvi, Editor, Jansatta; Sudhir Choudhary, Editor, Zee News; Yogesh Kochhar, Director - Strategic Engagement, Microsoft Corp; Vinod Agnihotri, Advisory Editor, Amar Ujala; senior journalist Virendra Mishra; media analyst Ravi Khanna; BV Rao, Editor, Governance Now; theatre director Ravi Raj Sagar; art lover KK Kohli; KM Srivastav, Professor, IIMC; media entrepreneur Jwalant Swaroop; Ajay Chaturvedi of Harwa; Subbi Chaturvedi, Assistant Professor at Lady Shri Ram College for Women; and Bhavna Sethi, Director, CSR, among others.