Acceptance speech of Scharada Dubey as Culture Minister

Respected PM Vidyut ji, I am extremely honoured to be chosen for the Ministry of Culture. As a first step I put before you what I see as the most pressing tasks ahead. I hope these are in line with the objectives you had outlined for us. We begin our term when our social fabric has been torn and destroyed. Incidences of rape are increasingly reported, affecting even children and infants. Hate crimes and mob violence have become common. We must ask: what sort of culture is producing this? Harmful messages through mobile phones have taken over communication. Now possible to forward and receive gang rape and mob lynching videos and hate messages against particular communities, ‘Hum sab ek hain’, or ‘Mile sur mera tumhara’ have been eclipsed. A narrowed down definition of our ‘culture’ has projected the glories of ancient India and its superiority to the world. This may give momentary gratification, but it does not help us to take our place in a rapidly advancing world of scientific innovation and change. Moreover, claims that defy verification and smack of superstition have also become routine in recent days. Several people who stood for rationalism and progressive thought have been assassinated. Science and higher education appear to be under attack. History is giving us a chance to create a culture for nurturing each one of our citizens. We must decide whether we will continue to reap the imagined rewards of our past, or whether we will sow, with our actions today, the shape of a just, and progressive country. We will announce policies for Art and Culture soon. They will be based on RESPECT. For women, respect for marginalized communities, respect for minorities of all kinds, religious, gender, region, sexual orientation, respect for the disabled, respect for the elderly. We will also respect existing knowledge systems in our country and abroad, in science, technology, human psychology, the evolution of society and people across the world. We are committed to fight distortion of history glorifying any particular race or ideology. My heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to present these ideas for our present and future. We are solidly behind you in the quest for a better country for all citizens.

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