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ART AND CULTURE - November 2019

Nov 2019

Nov 06, 2019

Pushkar Fair 2019 Losing Charm as Cattle Fair

  • One of the world's largest animal fairs is underway in Pushkar, Rajasthan. The fair will go on till November 12, 2019. It has been attracting more tourists but is slowly losing charm as a cattle fair as the number of animals turning up at the event has sharply fallen in the last couple of years.
  • Ironically, it is their status as a state animal that is partly seen as a reason to this. 
  • In 2014, the status of camel as state animal came with a lot of protocols as the state government went on to pass a law banning the slaughter, trade and unauthorised transportation of camels.
  • The animals are not allowed to be sold outside the state, except for agricultural purposes. Though the state launched a scheme to pay Rs. 10,000 to a camel farmer for each calf born, it has now been discontinued. 
  • There has been a decline in the overall population of camels as the utility of the animals as beasts of burden has reduced. 
  • In 1991, India had the seventh largest camel population in the world with more than 10 lakh of them. But it is now ranked outside the top 20 with just 2.5 lakh camels left.
  • But the emphasis on cultural, sports and fun activities curated every year for improving the experience has been a reason for increase in the number of foreign visitors visiting the event.

Thiruvalluvar's Religion a Subject of Scholarly Debate

  •  The ongoing political controversy over the origins of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar is nothing new. The religion to which he belonged has always been a subject of debate among scholars.
  • Even a perusal of four different works does not offer much clarity on the subject. The works are: A History of Tamil Literature, Mu. Varadarajan (Mu.Va), Sahitya Akademi, 1988; Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature, Volume-V, Sahitya Akademi, 1992; A History of South India (Fourth Edition), K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Oxford University Press, 2000; and Tamil: A biography, David Shulman, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016.
  • Placing Tirukkural among the works belonging to the post-Sangam era or the period of ethical literature (100-500 CE), Mu. Va. concluded that Thiruvalluvar should have "practised religious eclecticism, maintained unshakeable faith in dharma but should have rejected religious symbols and superstitious beliefs".

British Museum Gets Largest no. of Stolen Goods

  •  A leading human rights lawyer has accused the British Museum of becoming "the world's largest receivers of stolen property".
  • Geoffrey Robertson QC, author of the new book "Who Owns History? Elgin's Loot and the Case for Returning Plundered Treasure", wrote a blistering criticism of US and European institutions housing treasures taken from "subjugated peoples" and called for their return.
  • Robertson criticises the British Museum in particular for allowing an unofficial "stolen goods tour" that "stops at the Elgin marbles, Hoa Kakananai'a, the Benin bronzes and other pilfered cultural propriety". The artefacts he refers to are wanted by Greece, Easter Island and Nigeria, respectively, and are the subject of ongoing controversies.
  • "The British Museum acknowledges the difficult histories of some of its collections, including the contested means by which some collections have been acquired such as through military action and subsequent looting", she said.

Nov 05, 2019

Delhi Aadi Mahotsav to be Organised at Dilli Haat

  •  The Delhi Aadi Mahotsav will be organised at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi between 16th to 30th November, 2019. The inaugural ceremony will be graced by the Union Minister for Home Affairs Shri Amit Shah as Chief Guest and the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda will preside.
  • The Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta will be the Guest of Honour. This was announced by Shri Pravin Krishna, MD, TRIFED.
  • The theme of the festival is "a Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Crafts, Culture and Commerce", which represents the basic ethos of tribal life.
  • The festival will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through 200 stalls to showcase this.
  • Over 1000 tribal artisans and artists from 27 States will be participating in the festival. The event will be marked by mesmerizing performances and cultural shows, showcasing the products of tribal artisans based on the tribal rituals, harvest, festivals, martial art forms etc., from 20 States of the country.
  • The performances from different States shall be showcasing rich tribal cultural diversity like never-seen-before during the course of the event.

Govt may Accept NAGA Museum Demand Showcasing 70 years of Struggle

  •  Even as the Centre prepares to hold wider consultations with Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam before finalising the Naga peace accord, it may agree to the demand to set up a museum showcasing 70 years of Naga struggle.
  • Arms and ammunition surrendered by rebels could be part of the existing state museum. Besides weapons, the museum will also honour Naga leaders who were part of the struggle.

Nov 02, 2019

Hardeep Puri launches Guru Nanak Chair at Birmingham University

  •  Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has inaugurated a new Guru Nanak Chair, supported by the Indian government, at the University of Birmingham to enable research around the teachings of the founder of the Sikh religion.
  • The minister announced the new Chair to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, during a visit to Birmingham where he delivered an Annual Lecture on the Contemporary Relevance of Guru Nanak's Teachings.
  • The lecture has been organised by the India Institute of the university.

UNESCO Designates Mumbai As Member Of UCCN In Field Of Films, Hyderabad In Field Of Gastronomy

  •  UNESCO has designated Mumbai as a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of FILM and Hyderabad in the field of GASTRONOMY. Culture Minister Shri Prahlad Singh Patel has congratulated the people of Mumbai and Hyderabad for this unique distinction.
  • UCCN, created in 2004, is a network of cities which are thriving, active centres of cultural activities in their respective countries. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 246 cities.
  • The member cities that form part of the Network come from all continents and regions with different income levels and populations.

MP Government Sanctions Rs 12 Crore To Develop State's Sikh Religious Places

  •  The Madhya Pradesh government sanctioned Rs 12 crore for development of six prominent sikh religious places in the state as religious tourism centres.
  • The government also decided to set up a museum and a research institute at Jabalpur in memory of Guru Nanak Dev.
  • The museum and research centre will involve an expenditure of Rs 20 crore. The decisions were taken at a meeting of the CM with a committee constituted to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
  • The Sikh religious places which will get Rs 2 crore each include Tekri Sahib in Bhopal, Imli Sahib in Indore, Betma Sahib, Gurudwara at Omkareshwar, Guru Nanak ghat Gurudwara at Ujjain and Gurudwara at Gwari Ghat, Jabalpur.

Nov 01, 2019

Chhath Puja Festival: 'Kharna' To Be Observed

  •  In Bihar, on the second day of Chhath Puja festival 'Kharna' would be observed. After paying obeisance to the God, devotees would take prasad of 'Kheer'.
  • With this, 36 hours long fast of devotees without water would begin.
  • On November 2, 2019 devotees would offer Sandhya Arghya to the setting Sun on the ghats of river, ponds and water bodies.
  • The four day long festival will end on 3rd November, 2019 morning with Pratah Arghya offered to the rising Sun.

Imran Khan Announces Concessions For Sikh Pilgrims Going To Kartarpur

  •  A week ahead of the formal inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor connecting two Sikh shrines in India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced some concessions for Sikh pilgrims going to Darbar Sahib gurdwara at Kartarpur in Pakistan's Punjab where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, spent the last years of his life.
  • He waived off 2 requirements: they won't need a passport-just a valid ID and they no longer have to register 10 days in advance. Also, no fee to be charged on day of inauguration & on Guruji's 550th birthday. 
  • India may not welcome the move given that New Delhi has been pressing for a waiver of a $20 service charge on any Indian devotee crossing into Pakistan for the pilgrimage on all days — something Pakistan has not agreed to.

Arunachal Pradesh To Host Its 1st Multilingual Writers' Meet

  • For the first time, Arunachal Pradesh will host the Multilingual Writers' Meet at its oldest town Pasighat in East Siang District. The two-day event will be held at the auditorium of College of Horticulture and Forestry.
  • Sahitya Academi in collaboration with Central Agricultural University, Imphal and Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society, Itanagar are hosting the meet.
  • 25 prominent multilingual writers and poets from all parts of India and many literary dignitaries of the host state will attend the event.
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