Dandi March to Mark 75 Years of Independence
The Prime Minister has launched the 75th year of Independence celebrations - 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' - with a commemorative 'Dandi March' on March 12th.
➤ About the 2021 Dandi March:
- The padyatra is being undertaken by 81 marchers from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi in Navsari, a journey of 386 km. The March will end after 25 days, on 5th April 2021.
- Descendants of those who walked the Salt March (in 1930) will be honoured.
- Marchers will traverse the route in memory of the 78 who accompanied Mahatma Gandhi in 1930 from Ahmedabad to Dandi and two others who had joined mid-route.
- Big events will be organised at six places associated with Gandhi. These include MK Gandhi's birthplace Porbandar, along with Rajkot, Vadodara, Bardoli (Surat), Mandvi (Kutch) and Dandi (Navsari).
- Cultural programmes are planned at 21 spots on the route at the nightly stops for the walkers.
➤ About the 1930 Dandi March:
- The Dandi March, also known as the Salt March and the Dandi Satyagraha was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
- The March lasted from 12th March, 1930 to 6th April, 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.
- On 12th March, Gandhiji set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. There, Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from seawater.
- At Dandi, thousands more followed his lead, and in the coastal cities of Bombay and Karachi, Indian nationalists led crowds of citizens in making salt.
- Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhiji himself was arrested on 5th May, but the satyagraha continued without him.
- On 21st May, the poet Sarojini Naidu led 2,500 marchers on the Dharasana Salt Works, some 150 miles north of Bombay. The incident, recorded by American journalist Webb Miller, prompted an international outcry against British policy in India.
- In January 1931, Gandhiji was released from prison. He later met with Lord Irwin, the viceroy of India, and agreed to call off the satyagraha in exchange for an equal negotiating role at a London conference on India's future.
- In August 1931, Gandhiji traveled to the conference as the sole representative of the nationalist Indian National Congress. The meeting was a disappointment, but British leaders had acknowledged him as a force they could not suppress or ignore.
➤ 1930 Dandi March (Background):
- The Lahore Congress of 1929 had authorized the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to launch a programme of civil disobedience including nonpayment of taxes.
- On 26th January 1930, "Independence Day" was
- observed, with the national flag being hoisted in different venues, and patriotic songs being sung.
- In February 1930, CWC meeting at Sabarmati Ashram, invested Gandhiji with full powers to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement at a time and place of his choice.
- Gandhiji's ultimatum to Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India (1926-31), stating the minimum demands had been ignored and there was only one way out-civil disobedience.
➤ Effect of the Movement:
- Civil Disobedience in different forms continued in different provinces. Special stress was laid on the boycott of foreign goods.
- In eastern India, payment of chowkidari tax was refused. This no-tax campaign became very popular in Bihar.
- In Bengal, J.N. Sengupta defied Government laws by reading openly the books banned by the government.
- Defiance of forest laws assumed a mass character in Maharashtra.
- The movement had taken a fire hold in provinces of U.P., Orissa. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.
- Imports from Britain had fallen considerably.
- For example, imports of cloth from Britain had fallen by half.
- The movement was more widespread than the previous one. Mass participation including women, peasants, workers, students, urban elements like
- merchants, shopkeepers provided the Congress a new all-India status.
- The support that the movement had garnered from the poor and the illiterate both in the town and countryside was remarkable.
- For Indian women, the movement was the most
- liberating experience to date and can truly be said to have marked their entry into the public space.
- Although the Congress withdrew the Civil Disobedience in 1934, the movement received global attention and marked a critically important stage in the progress of the anti-imperialist struggle.
Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2021
The third and final leg of 11th edition of the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2021 took place at Murshidabad, West Bengal.
- Various colourful performances were given by the local artists, including 'Baul Gaan', 'Alkup Gaan', 'Leto gaan', 'Jhumuriya' and Ranpa folk dances.
- Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav is the flagship festival of the Ministry of Culture.
- It has been organized since 2015 with the active participation of Seven Zonal Culture Centres.
- It started to exhibit the country's rich cultural heritage in all its rich and varied dimensions, namely, Handicrafts, Cuisine, Painting, Sculpture and Performing Arts- Folk, Tribal Classical and Contemporary- all at one place.
- It has played a pivotal role in taking India's vibrant culture out to the masses instead of confining it to auditoria and galleries.
- It has been instrumental in showcasing folk and tribal art, dance, music, cuisines & culture of one state in other states reinforcing the cherished goal of "Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat".
- It also provides an effective platform to the artists and artisans to support their livelihood.
- It reconnects the people (especially the youth) with their indigenous culture, its multifaceted nature, magnificence, and historical importance in the context of 'India as a Nation' over the millennia.
- Till date, Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsavs have been held at various places such as Delhi, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Tawang, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tehri and Madhya Pradesh.
- Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
- It was launched in 2015 to promote engagement amongst the people of different States/UTs so as to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity and integrity of India.
- It is an initiative of the Ministry of Education.
- The broad objectives of the initiative are as follows:
- To CELEBRATE the Unity in Diversity of our nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people,
- To PROMOTE the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian states and Union Territories through a year-long planned engagement between states,
- To SHOWCASE the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of different states for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity that is India, thus fostering a sense of common identity,
- To ESTABLISH long-term engagements, and o To CREATE an environment which promotes learning between states by sharing best practices and experiences.
Every State and UT in the country would be paired with another State/UT for a time period. They would carry out a structured engagement with one another in the spheres of language, literature, cuisine, festivals, cultural events, tourism etc.
➤ Zonal Cultural Centres
- The centres aim to strengthen the ancient roots of Indian Culture and evolve and enrich composite National Culture.
- There are seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCC) in India. o Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre Kolkata, North
- Central Zone Cultural Centre Allahabad, North east Zone Cultural centre Dimapur, North Zone Cultural centre Patiala, South Central Zone Cultural Centre Nagpur, South Zone Cultural Centre Thanjavur, West Zone Cultural Centre Udaipur.
- These ZCCs organize various cultural activities and programmes all over the country on a regular basis.
- Other schemes of ZCCs - Award to Young Talented Artists, Guru Shishya Parampara, Theatre Rejuvenation, Shilpgram, Octave and National Cultural Exchange Programme (NCEP).
Sahitya Akademi Award
Recently, Marathi writer Nanda Khare refused to accept the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel "Udya", published in 2014.
➤ About Sahitya Akademi Award:
- Sahitya Akademi award established in 1954, is a literary honour conferred annually by Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of letters.
- Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India.
- Besides the 22 languages enumerated in the Constitution of India, the Sahitya Akademi has recognised English and Rajasthani as languages in which its programme may be implemented.
- The Sahitya Akademi award is the second-highest literary honour by the Government of India, after the Jnanpith award.
➤ Criteria for Choosing Awardee:
- The author must be of Indian Nationality.
- Book/work eligible for the award must be an outstanding contribution to the language and literature to which it belongs.
- When equal merit for books of two or more are found, certain criteria like total literary contribution and standing of authors shall be considered for declaring award.
➤ About the Marathi Novel 'Udya':
- It is a futuristic account of the possible scenarios emerging as consequences of the current capitalistic and machine-driven human life.
- It nuances how humans have been enslaved by machines, particularly by the ones that are susceptible to surveillance of one's personal life.
➤ Jnanpith Award
- The Jnanpith award is the highest literary award in India and can only be conferred annually upon an Indian citizen.
- English and other languages mentioned in Indian Constitution (8th Schedule) are considered for the Award.
- The prize carries a cash award of Rs. 11 lakhs, a citation, and a bronze replica of Vagdevi (Saraswati), the goddess of learning.
- It is sponsored by the cultural organization Bharatiya Jnanpith.
- For 2018, author Amitav Ghosh became the first English language writer to become a Jnanpith laureate.
- Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri in Malayalam language is the latest recipient of the award for the year 2019.
➤ Other Sahitya Akademi Awards
- Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar is given to an author based on his/her total contribution to children literature and relates to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of Award.
- Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar relates to books published by an author of the age of 35 and below.