PM Modis gifts to dignitaries reflect India's diverse traditions
Items reflecting India’s rich and diverse heritage and showcasing distinctive traditions of its various regions were chosen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his gifts to various dignitaries from Nordic nations he met during his three-day tour to as many European countries.
Official sources said Modi gifted a Rogan painting, art of cloth printing practised in Gujarat’s Kutch, to Danish queen Margrethe, a silver meenakari bird figure from Banaras to crown princess Mary and a brass tree of life from Rajasthan to his Finland counterpart.
He presented dhaal with koftgiri art from Rajasthan and a wall hanging with Kutch embroidery to prime ministers of Norway and Denmark respectively while giving a pashmina stole in a papier-mache box from Jammu and Kashmir to his Swedish counterpart.
Modi gifted a dhokra boat from Chhattisgarh to crown prince Frederik of Denmark, sources said, noting these products are in great demand in domestic and foreign markets because of their primitive simplicity, enchanting folk motifs and forceful form.
Dhokra is a nonferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique, something in use in India for over 4,000 years.
In Rogan painting, paint made from boiled oil and vegetable dyes is laid down on fabric using either a metal block (printing) or a stylus (painting). The craft nearly died out in the late 20th century.
Referring to Banaras’ meenakari work, officials noted that the art of silver enamelling practised in Benaras (Varanasi) is almost 500 years old and has its roots in Persian art of Meenakari.
Meena is the Persian word for glass.
The tree of life, they added, symbolises development and growth of life, and this hand-crafted wall decorative art piece is made of brass and is an example of the excellent craftsmanship and rich tradition of India.
The roots of the tree represent connection with the earth, leaves and birds represents life and candle stand represent light.
Tarkashi or koftgiri on metal is a traditional art of Rajasthan as a means of decorating arms and armour. Today it has been diverted to the decoration of objects such as picture frames, boxes, walking sticks and decorative swords, daggers and war accessories like shields, they noted.
The Kutch embroidery is a handicraft and textile signature art tradition of the tribal community of Kutch district in Gujarat, the embroidery with its rich designs has made a notable contribution to the Indian embroidery traditions, the officials noted.
A symbol of luxury and elegance, Kashmiri pashmina stoles have been treasured for their rare material, exquisite craftsmanship and reminiscent designs since time immemorial. The warmth and softness that these stoles offer are simply beyond comparison.
On a three-day tour to Germany, Denmark and France from May 2, Modi is scheduled to meet eight world leaders from seven countries besides having several other engagements during his stay before his return to India on Thursday.
(With Agency inputs)