ICCR to not celebrate 70 years, yet online Tabla, mythology classes go on
India’s global soft power arm, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) completes 70 decades on Thursday but has decided to put all celebratory events on hold in view of the coronavirus threat yet is continuing a slew of activities from online Yoga to using Amar Chitra Katha comics to teach mythology.
ICCR chief Vinay Sahasrabuddhe told HT that the council had decided to not hold any celebrations to mark the 70th Foundation Day but was still trying to adopt a ‘The Show Must go On’ approach.
“We have postponed our conferences and public functions…But, our classical dance, music or Hindi and Sanskrit language classes are continuing at most of our centres via skype and other applications without hinderance,” said Sahasrabuddhe.
The ICCR’s centre in Jakarta is conducting online classes of tabla with the help of India-based tabla teacher-cum-performer deployed by ICCR. Online Yoga classes were being conducted by centres in Seoul, Colombo, Tehran, Tashkent, Mexico, The Hague, Jakarta and Sydney.
In Male, the ICCR has formed Viber groups to impart training in Tabla and Vocal Music.
“In Moscow we are using Amar Chitra Katha books to teach Indian epics and mythology. At Nur-Sultan too we are conducting on line classes of Kathak dance. At Dar-es-Salam, even Surya Namaskar classes are being conducted using virtual platforms. At Mexico, an online Indian Culinary class has become very popular. So, there is absolutely no question of allowing Corona to disrupt our functioning,” said Sahasrabuddhe, a Rajya Sabha MP from the BJP.
The ICCR runs 36 cultural centres across the globe.
At Budapest and in Seoul too, we are conducting online quiz competitions. In Seoul, with the help of India based teachers, we are conducting quiz competition on the theme of the life of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
He added that Indian philosophical tenets like Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam were the need of the hour at a time when the world was facing a common problem. In Indian cultural ethos, emotional strength and security are given more importance, he said.
Sharing other details, Sahasrabuddhe said the ICCR was having a relook at our scholarship schemes. Our emphasis will be on making India a hub of higher education, he said. Besides, we also want to have Gandhi-150 to be celebrated by way of conducting an Asian Assembly of Artisans on two distinct streams , textiles and pottery.
ICCR, which is the only soft power institution of the country will also like to focus more on areas that have so far largely remained “neglected” like Indian literature, Indian artisans and also Ayurveda, he said.