Kochi, Mar 2: Cultural activities are the easy targets for the cuts in expenditure all over the world, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday, as he emphasised on public funds for investment in culture.
Addressing the latest edition of 'Kochi-Muziris Biennale' here, he said contemporary art is one of the most significant ways of expressing thoughts, emotions, concerns and ideas that are current, that are relevant to us in the present time.
"We need the arts. All over the world cultural activities are easy targets for spending cuts. But if the state is to act as the catalyst, then what must be its role? What institutions must be built up, and what confidence measures should be taken? "The Kochi Biennale Foundation is a good case study of what is possible when differing agencies come together to pursue profound goals: to value culture, and the achievements of the human spirit, to celebrate the human imagination, and to make those achievements key markers of development," the President said.
The Kochi Muziris Biennale is an international festival of contemporary art organised by the Kochi Muziris Foundation in association with the Kerala government. The Biennale, which is today known as the People's Biennale, has cemented Kochi's status as a cosmopolitan city brimming with potential and ideas, Mukherjee said.
"Kerala has always been known for its secular approach towards art and culture. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is a proud symbol of this approach and the sense of oneness and inclusivity that exists here," the President said. He said public funding for the arts provides support, offers certainty and the opportunity to touch the lives of vast numbers of people.
Public funds have the power to act as seed funding, giving others the confidence to invest in the creation and innovation of cultural organisations like the Kochi Biennale Foundation, the President said. Kerala Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, among other dignitaries, attended the function.