New Delhi, 01st Nov, 2016: Salient points of my speech at cultural event “Shunyata” organised by India Harmony Foundation at New Delhi:

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that India’s cultural harmony is the “password” of social harmony. Social harmony can’t be ensured without cultural harmony.

Speaking at a cultural event “Shunyata”, organised by India Harmony Foundation here, Shri Naqvi said that besides preserving and protecting our country’s marvellous and rich cultural tradition and heritage, we have to make efforts to let our younger generation understand this cultural heritage with their present thinking and understanding.

Shri Naqvi said that even after having various languages, religions, regions, cultural traditions, our country is united only because of its cultural harmony. This cultural harmony keeps the nation united with its special feature of “unity in diversity”. We call this “unity in diversity” as “cultural nationalism”.

India has hundreds of languages, more than a dozen religious beliefs, 29 states and 7 Union Territories, different life style, food and clothing. Even then we are united and credit goes to our “cultural harmony and cultural nationalism”. Shri Naqvi said that cultural harmony not only saves us from religious narrow-mindedness and confrontation; but it also strengthens fabric of social harmony.

Shri Naqvi said that the Ministry of Minority Affairs has decided to organise “Sankritik Sauhard Samagam” (cultural harmony conclave) across the country which will showcase our culture-arts to the people. From next year, these conclaves will be organised at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkata and Bengaluru etc.

Shri Naqvi said that cultural, social and religious harmony is the strength of India and we have to make “honest efforts” to strengthen this fabric of nation’s unity. Because of the strength of cultural-social-religious diversity, India is the most beautiful and cultured democracy of the world. Shri Naqvi said that from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Gujarat to Assam, 29 states and 7 Union Territories have different languages, food and clothing. This has no comparison in the entire world. India Harmony Foundation and “Asavari” should also be given credit to showcase this rich Indian heritage through programme like “Shunyata”.

“Shunyata” is a dance and music production by the Grammy Award winners, the Buddhist Monks of the Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat and the Kathak Maestro and Diva, Guru Shovana Narayan with her Asavari Repertory. Shri Naqvi said that programmes such as “Shunyata” can play an important role in strengthening harmony, peace and prosperity in the society.

Shri Naqvi lauded India Harmony Foundation, founded by former Cabinet Secretary Zafar Saifullah, for organising this event. Shri Naqvi said that the Foundation has been engaged into the task of building bridges between different communities and promoting national harmony.