Address by Mr. M.V. Rajasekharan, Union Minister of State for Planning, at the Opening Ceremony of photographic exhibition 'Rediscover China'

Prof. I. N. Choudhari, Academic Director of IGNCA,

Mr. Zheng Qingdian, Charge d'Affaires a.i., Embassy of China,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am indeed very pleased to inaugurate the Photographic Exhibition- REDISCOVER CHINA, which is being held from 9th May to 20th May 2005 at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, as last programme of the Cultural Festival of China.


As most of you know, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, established in memory of Smt. Indira Gandhi, is visualized as a center encompassing the study and experience of all the arts-each form with its own integrity, yet within a dimension of mutual interdependence, interrelated with nature, social structure and cosmology.


This view of the arts, integrated with, and essential to the larger matrix of human culture, is predicated upon Smt. Gandhi's  recognition of the role of the arts as essential to the integral quality of person, at home with himself, society and the whole world. It partakes of the holistic worldview so powerfully articulated throughout Indian tradition, and emphasized by modern Indian leaders from Mahatma Gandhi to Rabindranath Tagore.


It is heartening to note that this Photographic Exhibition- REDISCOVER CHINA, comprises nearly 100 pieces of photographs, showcasing natural scenery, historical sites, people's daily life, and festival celebrations in China, helping people rediscover the past, the present and the future of this ancient but dynamic country.


I am sure that the photographs I this exhibition would bring to life the realities of a big & diverse country called China. Somebody has rightly said that- an intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way and an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way. In this regard, Piccaso also said, "Art is lies that tell the truth".


The recent visit of the Chinese Premier Mr. Wen Jiabao has established a new strategic partnership between India & China. As you know, our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Ji and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended together the commemoration ceremony of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and India, on the evening of April 11, 2005 and we are continuing the celebration of the new ties in all fields, including culture.


The well known Chinese pilosopher-Confucius said, "It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop". So, we hope that the Indo-China friendship will continue to grow and would not stop. These exhibitions, cultural programmes, exchange programmes etc. are the building blocks for strengthening bonds between the two countries.


Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and India in 1950, the two countries have kept frequent contacts in cultural exchanges and personnel visits. Lots of cultural activities such as art exhibitions and film weeks have been held in each other's countries. In 1988, China and India signed the Cultural Cooperative Agreement. The same year during the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's visit to China, the Executive Programme of the Cultural Agreement for 1988-1990 was signed between China and India. In 1992 and in 1994 respectively, China and India successively held large-scale art festivals in each other's country, and the cultural exchanges between the two countries has reached a high tide. The exchange visits of high-level personnel have increased constantly. With the restoration and development of the bilateral relations ever since 1999, the cultural exchanges between China and India have become increasingly frequent.


The two countries have many meeting points from the time of Mahabharta till today. The Mahabharta refers to China several times, and talks about presents brought by the Chinese at the Rajasuya Yajna of the Pandavas. In the battle, the Cinas appears with Kiratas among the armies of king Bhagadatta of Kamrupa (Assam). The Cinas are believed to be a tribe from China.


Hiuen-Tsang came in the 7th century when the Tsang dynasty flourished in China, and kong Harshavardhana ruled north India. His book Si-Yu-Ki or the record of the Western Kingdom (meaning India) makes a fascinating reading. But Fa-hien was the first Chinese to visit India in the 4th century. Chinese records show that several Indian astronomers and mathematicians held high positions in the Astronomical Bureau at the Chinese capital during the 8th century.


We need to bild more partnerships in the fields of art and culture, and today's launch of this photographic exhibition for about ten days would be really useful for bridging the cultural gaps and strengthening people to people ties between India and China.


Long Live China-India Friendship.


Thank You.


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