Rediscovering Historical Links Between Kashi and Tamil Nadu
- Muskan Khandelwal
- Published on 3 Dec 2022, 5:00 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
- A one-month long mega event - ‘Kashi-Tamil Sangamam – is being held in Varanasi to rediscover age-old links
- The Varanasi administration is working round the clock to give a memorable experience to the visitors
- CDO, Varanasi, Himanshu Nagpal, IAS, said that this event will bridge the gap of cultural divide, as Kashi and Tamil Nadu share age-old traditions
- Kashi-Tamil Sangamam
To celebrate, reaffirm and rediscover the age-old links between Kashi and Tamil Nadu – two of the country’s most important and ancient seats of learning – the Government of India has organised a month-long mega event named ‘Kashi-Tamil Sangamam’in the ancient city of Varanasi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the event on November 19, and more than 2500 delegates from Tamil Nadu are currently visiting th city.
Indian Masterminds spoke with IAS officer Himanshu Nagpal, the Chief Development Officer of Varanasi, to know how the administration is managing the mega event.
Located in the western banks of the mighty Ganga, Varanasi or Kashi is known as the city of spirituality. Knowledge, culture, philosophy, art and literature have flourished in this holy city. This oldest living city is endowed with a civilization and cultural continuation, that is unparalleled. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu, where Varanasi is popularly called as Kashi, is not only rich in culture, lifestyle, art and crafts, but has temples built with highest qualities of Shilpa Shastra and architecture made up with mathematical precision.
To celebrate many more aspects of the historical and civilizational connections between India’s North and South, the Government of India started the initiative called ‘Kashi-Tamil Sangamam’, as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, to uphold the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’. The mega event, which started on 17November, will continue for a month, and end on 16 December.
The objective of the mega event is to create an understanding of the shared heritage and deepen the people-to-people bond between the regions. Further, the event is in sync with the National Education Policy 2020, which emphasises on nurturing a generation that is modern and in sync with the 21st-century mindset, while being rooted in the Indian culture and ethos.
Mr. Nagpal said, “The programme aims to provide an opportunity for people from all walks of life, including scholars, students, philosophers, traders, artisans, artists, etc., from the two regions to come together, share their knowledge, culture and best practices, and learn from each other’s experiences.”
More than 2500 delegates from Tamil Nadu are currently visiting Kashi. They will participate in seminars, do site visits, etc., to interact with local people of similar trade, profession and interest. A month-long exhibition of handlooms, handicrafts, ODOP products, books, documentaries, cuisine, art forms, history, tourist places, etc., of the two regions is also being put up in Kashi.
“This mega event will result in bridging the gap of the cultural divide because Kashi and Tamil Nadu share age-old traditions. In Tamil Nadu, there are cities called Choti Kashi. There are age-old linkages, so this event is to revive those linkages,” Mr. Nagpal said.
Twelve groups from Tamil Nadu are visiting Varanasi. They will also visit Prayagraj and Ayodhya. The visitors are being given a basic description about the holy city through various cultural events and academic interactions.
“As student groups are also coming to the city, so there is an academic session where inter-exchange of dialogues between the students of Tamil Nadu and Varanasi would happen. The exchange of cultural practices would also take place. The basic event would be held at the Amphitheatre of BHU and the Trade Facilitation Centre,” Mr. Nagpal said.
ROLE OF ADMINISTRATION
The officer further said that the basic role of the administration is to ensure the proper arrival and stay of the groups coming to Kashi for this mega event. Basically, to ensure that they have a pleasant stay in Varanasi and go back with happy memories.
Also, they have to ensure that the interaction among the various groups and the exchanges of dialogues and cultural practices happen in the correct way and people have an amazing experience.
“This is a huge exercise where multiple dignitaries are coming every day. So to ensure the safety and to ensure the proper organisation of the events, the responsibility is on us and we have to ensure that everything goes well,” Mr. Nagpal said, adding that the event is going on very well as of now and they are getting some really good feedback from the people of Kashi and also from the people of Tamil Nadu who have come here to attend the month-long event.
Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and IIT-Madras are the knowledge partners for the event while the management of cultural events are in the hands of Indira Gandhi National Academy in Prayagraj and the state Ministry of Culture.
Also, there is a colony in Hanuman Ghat where people originally from Tamil Nadu live, and the administration is making them a part of the whole exercise to help in better coordination. “The most important challenge is that of coordination, but the administration is coping with it with ease now,” Mr. Nagpal said.
END OF THE ARTICLE