Extract of the Speech by The Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu - Shri R.N.Ravi on the inaugural function of Bhavans Cultural Festival 2022 on 25th November 2022
Namaskaram to all of you!
Bhavan has been at the Forefront of preserving and promoting our culture - Bharatiya Culture - encouraging the young artists with limited resources and with the patronage of well-meaning people. Bhavan has been carrying out this Noble campaign for almost over eight decades. We all know that Bhavan has been at the Forefront. In fact I am not aware of any other Institution which has been doing what Bhavan has been doing so meticulously, so tirelessly....
....On this occasion, it is indeed important that we recollect a bit the background in which Bhavan was created.
We all know that Dr K. M. Munshi, with the blessings of Mahatma and others, created this legendary Institution for preservation and promotion of India's Culture and Heritage.
But what was the background?
At that point of time, what prompted them to take this initiative?
Often with the passage of time, when the context changes, we often tend to forget or the background fades into the background indeed.
I am reiterating that primarily because they are relevant even today.
When in 1930, when leaders of our national Freedom Movement realized the magnitude of what is being done to this country by the colonial Administration and rule, they adopted a resolution properly called Lahore declaration.
It was on 26th of January 1930, wherein Mahatma Gandhi read out that the British rule in India has ruined India politically, economically, culturally and spiritually.
We often talk about the political and economic exploitations. We got rid of it politically in the sense that, British left us and we tried to move forward on the path of Economic Development. But the fact that they had ruined our culture and spirituality that aspect is not much talked about it and is perhaps underappreciated.
We all know that when the British started occupying territory since the middle of 18th century, following the 1757 Battle of Plassey and the capture of Bengal, they were in dual drama.
What to do was how to run this Affairs of this country and when they realized that it would not be possible for them to replicate their colonizing experience of North America. It was not possible to do that in India. So they had to change the tactics and the objective of the British rule was transfer as much wealth as speedily as possible and to make the empire as enduring as possible. To make the Empire as enduring as possible they had to ruin what was the strength of this country.
And that was its cultural and spiritual Unity and it was with that they took on the education system. They took on our institutions that connected us together. ...
.... We know that our Unity lies in our Cultural Spirituality. Bhakti originated from this land of Tamilgam and taken by Maha Mahaprabhu Chaitanya to Bengal, taken by Mahapura Shankar Dev to ashram taken by Ramanand to the central India, taken by Sri Guru Nanak Devji to the western part of the country.
This connectivity- cultural and spiritual connectivity - that made this apparently diverse looking people as one family was the strength that the British tried their best to destroy that and that is where in that backdrop at the time when Independence of India was nowhere on the sign. Nobody could have conceived of in 1930-31 at the time that India was going to be independent anytime soon.
But then people like Dr K. M. Munshi, Mahatma they all felt that while the struggle against the British would be a long campaign, we must do something.
We must do something for the Preservation of our culture and spirituality and that led to the formation of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
We must not forget that it was for preserving the cultural spirituality of Bharat which united Bharat against the odds faced during the British time.
Today it is relevant it is no less relevant I must say because we have our problems, we have stresses here and there, when the country is moving forward is trying to reach its destiny attempts are being made at straining the fabric of our unit in National Unity and at this moment role of institution like Bhavan becomes all the more important.
Bhavan has been carrying out this responsibility with a great sense of Pride and commitment.
I wish they will continue doing so and in this everyone every well-meaning Bharatiya would continue to lend their support.
Thankyou very much.