New Delhi, Sept 13 (PTI) Union minister Mahesh Sharma today said India’s rich culture, traditions and social harmony are its strength and appealed to the people to celebrate festivals in a way that does not harm others or environment.

The culture minister said respect for India today is on a new high globally because of “our rich culture, heritage and social harmony”.

Speaking at the inauguration of ‘Deep Dharohar’ festival organised by the Ministry of Culture here, he said the world respects “Bharat, Bharatiyata and Bharatwasiyon (India, Indianness and its people)”.

“Today, India is identified in a new way across the world. Be it the President of USA, or China. Today, the respect for Bharat, Bharatiyata and Bharatwasiyon is on a new high globally,” he said.

The ‘Deep Dharohar’ festival was inaugurated by lighting 1,000 diyas by the participating artistes and artisans and children at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

The minister said that India’s strength is in “rich culture, traditions, our social harmony”.

“These are our strengths. So let us celebrate our festivals in a way that it doesn’t harm others or our environment,” said Sharma.

The minister also released a book titled ‘Living Traditions, Tribal and Folk Paintings of India’ published under the matrix of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ by the Cultural Mapping team of the ministry and Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT).

The book celebrates the rich living traditions of tribal and folk art of India and the seminal role they play in the day-to-day lives of tribal and rural people.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.