The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 to Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut (a cultural organisation of Bangladesh) and Shri Ram Vanji Sutar respectively, at a function held in New Delhi today (February 18, 2019).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said this Award is a celebration of Indian traditions of culture and of our civilisational wealth – whether in literature or music, art or drama, sculpture or handicrafts, design or digital art. Each region in our country has a distinct cultural identity. Yet, in its essence, culture does not divide – it unites and harmonises all of India and all of humanity.
Pointing to the contributions of the award winners, the President said that Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh is one of our greatest exponents of Manipuri dance. He has bridged this age-old art form of Manipur with not only modern sensibilities but with other parts of the country. Chhayanaut is an organisation that has promoted and preserved the works and philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore in Bangladesh. And Shri Ram Vanji Sutar is a sculptor and scholar who represents an art tradition that goes back thousands of years to our ancient past. These days he is most well-known for the Statue of Unity.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma.