New Delhi: Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs participated in the 7th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meeting on 24 May, 2022 hosted by the People’s Republic of China through video conference with participation from all BRICS Member Nations.
Discussion was held for advancement and expansion of cultural activities amongst BRICS countries under the theme “Establishing a Cultural Partnership Featuring Inclusiveness and Mutual Learning among BRICS”. The areas of focus of the discussion were promoting the development and cooperation on cultural digitalization, strengthening cooperation on cultural heritage protection and advancing the building of cultural exchange platforms of BRICS countries. The Ministers adopted the BRICS Action Plan 2022-2026 to further strengthen the cultural cooperation and implement the BRICS Cultural Cooperation Agreement signed in 2015.
The Minister presented India’s perspective and brought forward the following points in her address:
(i) India with its diverse cultural expression ensures to provide a platform to the BRICS countries to familiarize cultural values through exchange programmes/activities in the field of music, theatre, puppetry, various tribal art forms and dance forms especially classical and folk.
(ii) The crucial role of digital technologies in overcoming the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic restricting physical movements during last two and half year and the importance of virtual channels in getting life going on all fronts, including culture.
(iii) India’s priorities to digitize valuable collections in the field of cultural heritage and presenting them in open information space as it provides long-term storage and provision of wider access to the cultural content stored in cultural institutions such as museums and libraries. Through virtual exhibitions of BRICS Countries, the rich cultural heritage of BRICS countries can be explored.
(iv) India believes in diversity of cultural heritage and intercultural dialogue. It strongly advocates sustainable and resilient environment integrating heritage and traditional knowledge into innovative and culture-based solutions to environmental concerns.
(v) The art of India is an amalgam of its own rich legacy and its modern history. It has undoubtedly placed India as an active and creative entity which is an integral part of the art world today.
(vi) In light of today’s environmental, social and economic challenges, working towards an inclusive, and culturally sensitive development paradigms is of utmost importance. Need of the hour is a roadmap which should integrate cultural heritage, cultural and creative industries and an understanding of the innate imagination and collective intelligence of people
She thanked the Chair and wished for progressive and comprehensive BRICS cooperation in all fields.
At the end of the meeting, the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the field of Culture (2022-2026) was agreed and signed by the Ministers of Culture of all BRICS Nations.