President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said each region in the country has a distinct cultural identity but this does not divide but unites and harmonises all of India.
President made the statement after presenting the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony here on Monday. He remarked that the award is a celebration of Indian tradition of culture.
Remembering Rabindranath Tagore, President Kovind said, "Gurudev was a remarkable genius, who became the first Indian Nobel laureate. Gurudev Tagore is remembered every day as a poet who gave India its national anthem. He belongs to the entire world as he was a nationalist as well as an internationalist."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said culture is the lifeblood of any nation as it gives identity to it. He said "India's rich cultural heritage was preserved in the face of colonisation and foreign invasion. He said this was possible due to the contribution of people like Gurudev Tagore and Swami Vivekananda."
"Gurudev understood the multicoloured and diverse culture of India and translated it into Rabindra Sangeet. He called Tagore's teachings timeless and said the world stands to learn a great deal from his works," he added.
Exponent of Manipuri dance Rajkumar Singhajit Singh was given the award for the year 2014. Chhayanaut, a cultural organization of Bangladesh was given the award for 2015 for its role in the promotion of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's works and Bangla arts.
Renowned sculptor and scholar Ram Vanji Sutar was given the award for 2016.
Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony was instituted by the Government from 2012 recognizing the contributions made by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore to humanity. It is awarded annually and carries an amount of One Crore rupees, a citation in a Scroll, a Plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft or handloom item.
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