More Indian cultural centres to showcase soft power: PM

Saturday, January 8, 2011

NEW DELHI - India will set up cultural centres in five more countries to showcase its soft power and acquire a global footprint for its rich diversity, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Saturday.

“Richness of Indias classical traditions and the colour and vibrancy of contemporary culture are making waves around the world,” the prime minister told the 9th edition of India’s annual event to connect with its 25-million-strong diaspora in 130 nations.

“The government has decided to establish new Indian cultural centres in the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, France and Australia,” he said, and hoped the members of the vast Indian diaspora will support and patronise these centres.

“Indias soft power is also an increasingly important element in our expanding global footprint,” he told what is formally called the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, attended by some 1,500 delegates from 51 countries.

With the stated mandate of promoting awareness of Indias composite cultural heritage overseas, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations has set up 24 Indian Cultural Centres across the globe in cities including Kabul, Cairo, Johannesburg, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi.

“Under its expansion plan, the council is opening similar centres in India’s immediate and extended neighbourhoods, in the capitals of Permanent Five in the UN Security Council, Africa and Latin America,” the council says.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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