External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said that 'Bharat' was about the country's traditions, culture, past and its future.
The Union Minister was speaking here at the launch of the PM Vishwakarma Yojana -- aimed at helping artisans and craftsmen and others engaged in traditional skills and occupations.
At the event, Jaishankar said that in many nations traditional skills and talents vanished over time due to globalisation, industrialisation, people forgetting their traditions and the same being not passed on to the next generation.
The same should not happen to India which is one of the oldest civilisations and whose identity is the traditions and culture of its people inherited over thousands of years.
"Today we have gathered here to strengthen the identity, heritage and culture of India to make sure what we have received over thousands of years is passed on for thousands of more years.
"So when we speak about Bharat, this is what Bharat is. Bharat is about our traditions, our culture, our past and our future," he said.
The statement assumes significance amidst the debate in the country over the BJP-ruled Centre's alleged move to rename India as Bharat.
Regarding the artisan and craftsmen community, whom he referred to as 'vishwakarmas', Jaishankar said it was they "who leave the imprint of our culture in our history" through their creativity, ideas and work.
"That is of enormous value."
The Union Minister further said that under the scheme, the artisans and craftsmen would be given the resources -- including access to financial credit -- to improve their tools and capabilities, sell their products in the market and get the techniques to make the country and the world realise the talent, ability and creativity that people of India have.
Jaishankar said amidst the G20 meeting in the national capital, an exhibition was arranged for the families and spouses of the delegates to see the jewellery, statues, utensils, fabrics and scripts produced by Indian artisans and craftsmen over thousands of years.
'Vishwakarmas' were at the heart of initiatives like 'Make in India', 'Vocal for local' and 'One district, one product', besides promoting tourism as well as supporting start-up and skill India.
Therefore, when people and companies from across the world are coming to India, the first thing to be done is support those who are already in India and make the right products which have been made in the country over many, many years, he said.
As practitioners of these traditional occupations come largely from Other Backward Classes, the 'Vishwakarma' scheme with an outlay of Rs 13,000 crore is also being seen as the ruling BJP's outreach to the politically important segment.
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