India is a land of diverse culture, unity and sovereignty. Our values, architecture, spirituality and cuisine are some of the aspect that truly reflect our amazing culture. Now it clearly indicates that India boasts an exceptional variety and wealth of soft power resources which were never fully utilized by the previous governments. This was majorly because of the lack of political will and strong leadership. But the scenario has been completely changed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power.
We have clearly seen the seriousness of current government about the soft power push which has yielded unsurpassed cultural respect for India and acceptance as a highly potent country. From exchange of gifts with heads of state and government to International Yoga day, to conducting mega events on foreign land evidently demonstrates an increased emphasis on India’s cultural credentials. He has certainly played the cultural card very well.
Frequent use of cultural expressions like ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, and ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ has not only revived our cultural values but he has also reintroduced these values to the world. He always acknowledged the underlying strength of India and tried to harness India’s soft power with all possible means, the results of which are clearly visible now. Some of the remarkable cultural milestone achieved by this government are given below:
International Yoga Day
Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Yoga got inscribed as an element in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Ethiopia. Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 for promotion of global health, harmony and peace. Yoga, which was never even recognized earlier in our own country has received global recognition now.
World Cultural Heritage
India currently has 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which is a remarkable number in itself. Rani ki Vav, Khangchendzonga National Park, Manas National Park, Sanchi, Chttor Fort are some of them.
UNESCO Creative Cities Network
Varanasi & Jaipur
The City of Varanasi and Jaipur have been declared by UNESCO as the first two Indian cities to be part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network which aims to strengthen cooperation with and among cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor of sustainable development as regards economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects.
Intangible Cultural Heritage
A total of 13 Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) elements from India have been inscribed till date on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Kumbh–Mela- On 7th December, 2017 the Intergovernmental Committee for safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage under the Paris-based UN body inscribed Kumbh-Mela on the representative list of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Retrieval of stolen antiquities
Total 25 antiquities have been recovered from abroad out of which 18 are from USA. If you compare it with earlier government, they brought only 14 antiquities in 37 years. The commendable job done by current government is clearly visible here.
The project initiated by Modi government aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’ – collating archaeological and historical research in order to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean – extending from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago. It also aims to promote research on themes related to the study of Maritime Routes through international scientific seminars and meetings and by adopting a multidisciplinary approach.
The above actions are a clear indicator of Narendra Modi’s emphasis on soft power through strategic decisions, and undeterred vision to convert India into a global power and he is working relentlessly to achieve this goal.