Art & Culture Current Affairs 2017

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India to Organise Cultural Festival in Egypt to mark Tagore’s 156th Birth Anniversary

India will organise Tagore cultural  Festival in Egypt to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore from May 8-12. Tagore Festival will be organised by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), which is the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo. The fest will be organised in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, Cairo Opera House, Cultural Production Sector, Dancers’ Guild and the Indian Community Association in Egypt. The festival will feature a dance show, film screening, a play and painting competition.  As a part of the festival, a dance drama based on Tagore’s work called ‘Chitrangada‘ will be performed by the Kolkata-based Dancers’ Guild. Chitrangada is the warrior princess in the epic, Mahabharata.

Egypt’s Connection

Tagore visited Egypt as a young adolescent in 1878 and later in 1926. Tagore was impressed by the strong literary trends of Egypt. On his visit, he met King Fouad and has interacted with many scholars in Alexandria and Cairo. He had an enduring friendship with Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawki and wrote a moving eulogy on his death in 1932. Tagore had also written about the beautiful relationship between the Nile River and the flourishing civilisation of Egyptians.

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was a famous Indian poet (1861-1941). He was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems, ‘Gitanjali‘. His poetry, novels, plays, short stories and essays are world famous and are widely read across the world. He has contributed immensely to Bengali literature and India’s literary heritage. Rabindranath Tagore had renounced his knighthood protesting against the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre. Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore who was associated with the Brahmo Samaj.

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International Conference on Dara Shikoh to be held

The international conference on “Dara Shikoh: Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India” will be held on April 27 and 28. The conference will be organised by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR). The conference will see the participation of eminent scholars from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India. The objective of the conference is to highlight Dara Shikoh’s contributions to bring about spiritual homogenisation of Hinduism and Islam and his initiatives in building a cohesive social and cultural edifice in India.

Dara Sikoh

Dara Sikoh was an intellectual, wise and a paragon of harmonious coexistence of various religions. He loved Muslims, Hindus, Sufis and Sikhs all alike. Dara Shikoh dedicated himself to create a bridge of Hindu-Muslim Unity and was so learned that translated 50 Upanishads from Sanskrit to Persian for the Muslim Scholars. This work is called Sirr-i-Akbar, the great mystery. Through his research, he reached a conclusion that a common spiritual basis existed between Hinduism and Islam. He wrote that a great deal of Quranic wisdom existed in Upanishads. He also documented the Quranic terms and their Sanskrit equivalents from Upanishads. He was invited to lay the foundation of the Golden Temple of Amritsar and he befriended with 7thGuru of Sikhs Guru Har Rai.

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January 12: National Youth Day  

The National Youth Day is observed every year on 12 January to mark the birth anniversary of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda.

Observance of the day seeks to propagate the philosophy and the ideals of Swami Vivekananda for which he lived and worked.  It will also help and act as a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.

Several functions are being organised across the country to mark the occasion. To celebrate this day, the 21st National Youth Festival was held in Rohtak, Haryana. The theme this Festival was ‘Youth for Digital India’.

About Swami Vivekananda

  • Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendranath Dutta on 12 January 1863 and died on 4 July 1902. He and was chief disciple of the 19th century saint Ramakrishna Paramhamsa.
  • He was one of the most prominent figures of India who introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the “Western” World.
  • He is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.
  • He is also considered as the major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India.
  • He is best known for his speech which began, “Sisters and brothers of America …,” at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893 in which he introduced Hinduism.
  • This speech was considered as one of his most significant contributions to the world and was a breakdown of the ancient philosophy of Hindusim, aided with logic and impeccable scientific insight.

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