IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


7th August, 2023 Culture

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  • The President of India recently inaugurated ‘Unmesha’ – International Literature Festival and ‘Utkarsh’ – Festival of Folk and Tribal Performing Arts at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.


Unmesha - International Literature Festival

  • Inclusivity and Diversity: Unmesha is India's most inclusive and Asia's largest literature festival, focusing on celebrating the rich diversity of languages and cultures in the country. It provides a platform for writers and authors from various linguistic backgrounds to come together and showcase their literary works.
  • Participants and Languages: The festival features participation from more than 575 authors representing 102 different languages. This impressive representation emphasizes the country's linguistic pluralism and promotes cross-cultural interactions among writers and readers.
  • International Participation: The festival also welcomes writers from 13 countries, fostering cultural exchange and global connections. This international engagement enhances India's literary landscape and exposes attendees to literary traditions from around the world.
  • Previous Edition: The inaugural Unmesha event was held in Shimla in June 2022, and its success has paved the way for the second edition in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

Utkarsh - Festival of Folk and Tribal Performing Arts

  • Preserving Heritage: Utkarsh serves as a vital platform for showcasing and preserving India's folk and tribal performing arts. These traditional art forms, deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of various communities, are given a resplendent stage to captivate and enthral the audience.
  • Spotlight on Indigenous Arts: By showcasing a vivid tableau of cultural diversity, Utkarsh fosters an appreciation for indigenous arts. It highlights the intrinsic value of these art forms in an increasingly interconnected world, promoting the idea that traditional arts are a vital part of India's identity and must be safeguarded.
  • Empowering Artists: The festival acts as a launchpad for traditional artists and performers, providing them with a platform to showcase their artistry and talent. This exposure can help these artists gain recognition, support, and opportunities for their artistic pursuits.
  • National Cultural Legacy: Utkarsh pays a poignant tribute to the nation's cultural legacy, acknowledging the invaluable contribution of folk and tribal performing arts to India's rich tapestry of artistic expression.

Significance of the Festivals

  • Cultural Exchange: Both Unmesha and Utkarsh promote cultural exchange by bringing together artists, writers, and performers from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This exchange fosters mutual understanding, respect, and appreciation for India's cultural heritage.
  • Preservation of Traditional Arts: The festivals play a crucial role in preserving traditional art forms that are at risk of fading away due to modernization and changing societal preferences. By providing a platform for these arts, the festivals contribute to their continuity and transmission to future generations.
  • Boosting Tourism: Events like Unmesha and Utkarsh attract visitors and tourists from various parts of India and beyond. This influx of cultural enthusiasts can boost local economies and promote tourism in the region where the festivals are organized.
  • Cultural Diplomacy: International participation in Unmesha and Utkarsh enhances India's cultural diplomacy efforts. It strengthens people-to-people ties and showcases India's soft power on the global stage.

Government Support and Future Prospects

  • Encouraging Arts and Literature: The government's support through institutions like Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi plays a vital role in organizing and promoting events like Unmesha and Utkarsh. Continued support from the government can further nurture and sustain India's literary and performing arts heritage.
  • Expanding Reach: The success of Unmesha and Utkarsh can encourage the organizers to explore more opportunities to expand the festivals to other regions and cities, reaching a wider audience and involving more local artists and authors.
  • Digital Initiatives: Leveraging digital platforms can enhance the festivals' reach and engagement. Livestreaming events, virtual exhibitions, and online interactions with authors and artists can attract a global audience and broaden the festivals' impact.
  • Education and Awareness: The government can also focus on promoting awareness and education about India's diverse cultural heritage. Integrating traditional art forms into school curricula and organizing workshops can instill pride in these art forms among the younger generation.

Sangeet Natak Akademi

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi is India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama.
  • It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and was established in 1953 with the aim of promoting, preserving, and propagating the performing arts of India.

Mandate and Objectives

  • Promotion of Performing Arts: The primary objective of Sangeet Natak Akademi is to promote and encourage the performing arts of music, dance, and drama in India. It works towards providing a platform for artists and performers to showcase their talents and contribute to the enrichment of the arts.
  • Preservation of Cultural Heritage: The Akademi plays a crucial role in preserving India's rich and diverse cultural heritage by supporting traditional art forms and encouraging the transmission of knowledge and skills from one generation to another.
  • Recognition and Awards: Sangeet Natak Akademi confers various prestigious awards to outstanding artists, gurus, scholars, and organizations for their significant contributions to the performing arts. These awards include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna), Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar), and other special awards.
  • Research and Documentation: The Akademi promotes research and documentation in the field of performing arts. It encourages scholars and researchers to delve into various aspects of music, dance, and drama, leading to a better understanding of their historical and cultural significance.
  • Festivals and Events: Sangeet Natak Akademi organizes various festivals, seminars, conferences, and workshops to create awareness, foster interactions, and encourage collaborations among artists and art enthusiasts.
  • Training and Education: The Akademi supports training and education in the performing arts. It provides scholarships and financial assistance to young and promising artists to hone their skills and pursue advanced studies.

Activities and Initiatives

  • Annual Festivals: Sangeet Natak Akademi organizes the "Festival of Music, Dance, and Drama" annually, which features performances by eminent artists from across India. These festivals serve as significant platforms for showcasing the country's diverse performing arts traditions.
  • Guru Shishya Parampara: The Akademi supports the Guru Shishya Parampara (teacher-disciple tradition) by providing financial assistance to promising students and facilitating interactions between gurus (teachers) and shishyas (disciples).
  • Publication and Archives: The Akademi maintains an extensive collection of publications, audiovisual recordings, and documentation related to the performing arts. This treasure trove of information is made available to scholars, researchers, and students.
  • Collaborations and Exchanges: Sangeet Natak Akademi collaborates with other cultural organizations, both within India and internationally, to promote cultural exchange and foster global appreciation for Indian performing arts.
  • Promotion of Folk and Tribal Arts: The Akademi recognizes and promotes folk and tribal performing arts by providing them with a platform and encouraging artists from these traditions.
  • Cultural Institutions: Sangeet Natak Akademi supports various cultural institutions, academies, and centers across India dedicated to the promotion and preservation of performing arts.


  • Overall, Unmesha and Utkarsh are important initiatives that celebrate India's linguistic and cultural diversity while safeguarding and promoting traditional arts. These festivals serve as powerful tools for fostering inclusivity, cultural preservation, and sustainable development in the realm of arts and literature.


Q. Explain the role and significance of Sangeet Natak Akademi in preserving and promoting India's performing arts. Also, elaborate on the impact of Sangeet Natak Akademi on the preservation of India's diverse cultural identity. (250 Words)