Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel virtually participated in the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Culture Ministers' Meeting in New Delhi on September 10, 2020. (Credit: PIB Delhi)

India supports the proposal of declaring 2021 the Year of Culture of the SCO

Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel participated in the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Culture Ministers’ meeting organized on September 10, 2020. The participants held a discussion on the role and place of culture during the global pandemic situation and on the prospects for developing multilateral cultural cooperation within the organization. Patel said that the year 2021 is the 20th Anniversary year of the founding of this organization. India supports the proposal of declaring 2021 the Year of Culture of the organization to celebrate the occasion.

In his address to the participants, Patel said that one of the crucial aspects that unite and connects Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries is the shared heritage of Buddhist philosophy and art. To promote mutual bonding, the National Museum of India is organizing the first exhibition by the organization on Shared Buddhist Heritage this year. 

Patel also conveyed that Sahitya Akademi is translating ten Indian literary works into the organization’s languages viz. Russian and Chinese to share Indian literature with our fellow organization members. These translations would be released in the upcoming Council of Heads of Government Meeting hosted by India in 2020. 

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations is willing to be part of the 2021 Year of the organization’s culture by holding festivals/performances of Indian culture, conferences, and seminars and sponsoring Indian speakers as a part of the celebration in the organization’s member states. 

Speaking on occasion, Patel also emphasized the need to share the initiatives we all are taking in our respective nations in culture. It should be done to enhance our bonding further and spread hope and unity in the prevailing situation. This could be done by exchanging e-journals, e-periodicals, e-books on theatre and its allied arts, and other similar programs within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Nations’ cultural institutions.

To conclude the meeting, the Protocol for the Ministers of Culture was signed by representatives of Member States.