Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged schools and universities to encourage literature and arts as India needs "poets, writers, artists and singers as much as we need doctors, engineers and scientists."
Addressing the valedictory session of the 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) here, Naidu said, "Poetry should promote peace, motivate people to cultivate universal brotherhood, social harmony and tolerance. Poetry can serve as a powerful catalyst that could hasten the process of social transformation."
He added, "I urge schools to make poetry reading and appreciation a compulsory part of the curriculum. I also ask universities to encourage literature, arts and humties education. We need poets and writers and artists and singers as much as we need doctors, engineers and scientists. Promotion of literature is also an impactful method to preserve and promote languages, a cause that is very close to my heart."
Naidu said that the best way to preserve or promote any language is to use it extensively in everyday life.
"More and more people should be encouraged to write poetry, stories, novels and dramas in their native languages," he said.
Calling poetry as "one of the finest expressions of human emotions", Naidu said, "It conveys the deepest insights, wide range of emotions and elevates the human experience to highest levels of consciousness. What is however important is to recognize its impact on the inner chemistry of human emotions. How we perceive, how we respond and how we behave - all this is shaped by literature and fine arts to a large extent. Among the literacy forms, poetry has an especially profound influence.
"Poetry is not just an expression; it is an expression that has beauty in it. Poets do not just express themselves in mere words but paint images with their words. They breathe life into words with rhyme, rhythm and melody. Poetry speaks of deep feelings, creates stunning images and beautiful lyricism and blends truth with beauty," he added.
Naidu further highlighted that India's tryst with poetry is "as old as the civilisation itself."
"India has a long illustrious poetic tradition and includes such luminaries like Kalidasa, Mira Bai, Tulsi Das, Amir Khusro, Kabir Das, Sarojini Naidu, Subrahma Bharati, Mirza Ghalib and Rabindranath Tagore mesmerized one and all with their poetic genius," he added.
The Vice President stated that it is crucial to promote arts and culture in order to build an enlightened and healthy society.
"Arts nurture creativity in society. Without a creative voice, society will become stagnant. Biologists have argued that the development of creativity was the most important step in human evolution and that society cannot move forward without creative people. Artists enliven lives. Some artists transform our lives. They change our perception, our world view," he said.
( With inputs from ANI )