Strengthening ties: Govt to organise national cultural festival in Ladakh

The government is set to organise National Cultural Festival in the strategically important region of Ladakh. The festival will be held at the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh, but the dates have not been finalised yet, said sources in the Culture Ministry. The institute is an autonomous body under the ministry.

Sources in the ministry said the choice of Ladakh, located on the India-China border, as the venue is aimed at providing the people of the region a sense of belonging to the country.

During the festival, Ladakh will witness live performances by nearly 250 artistes from across the country. Folk dance and paintings from various regions will be showcased too. The ministry has also planned to invite some prominent Bollywood personalities to perform during the festival.

Since a large number of German nationals visit Ladakh, the ministry also plans to involve them in the festival.

According to officials, the festival will also celebrate the Buddhist heritage of the region from where Buddhism flowed to other parts of Asia, including China. “It will also be a celebration of the Buddha,” a source said.

On the choice of Ladakh as venue for the cultural extravaganza, the source said, “The cultural exchange will strengthen the ties between people in Ladakh and those in other parts of the country.”

“These people live in a strategically-sensitive region and many a times, they just witness violent exchanges between armies of two countries. A sense of belonging to the country will only prevail if we maintain a cultural exchange and celebrate it,” added the source.

Last year, the festival was organised in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

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