Cultural Tourism in Haryana Ц the Mindboggling Absence
12th September 2014
Haryana is one of the places where one still sees the old styles of life being lived out to the fullest. It is a place that is steeped in history Ц it was here in Kurukshetra where the Mahabharata battle was fought. It is here in Haryana that one would see Panipat Ц the ground that has been witness to several battles that changed the course of history of India. It was here that Babur established his kingdom and Akbar regained one. One could go on and on about how important Haryana is from a historical point of view but it seems that the state government does not care much about promoting the stateТs culture to the world Ц at least to ones who are not aware of the same.Apart from the glorious history Ц which is an integral part of this North Indian stateТs culture - what one would like about Haryana is its emphasis on performing arts such as saang, dramas, songs and ballads. The unfortunate situation is that not many people know that. What has also worked against Haryana is its location right next to Punjab that has been able to spread its culture Ц such as its various dance forms, its food and marriages. Many people consider HaryanaТs culture to be no different and the blame in this case should be apportioned to the state government that, till date, has failed to make any substantial effort to promote the stateТs culture on the web and other vistas of mass media.Not many people know what HaryanaТs culture is Ц as of now this state can only be identified with acts of different types of evils. That is the most unfortunate thing. Perhaps in such a situation it is the responsibility of the state government to come forward and take the initiative to make people aware of the brighter sides of the stateТs culture especially its wonderful folk literature. However, such efforts have been found to be in short supply as the present administration is more focused on achieving industrial development over almost everything else.Even when one looks up the keyword cultural tourism in Haryana on Google it is evident that there is no specific website devoted to this purpose. There are general sites that offer tourist-related information including places that are of cultural importance. One feels that the state government or at least the tourism ministry should take up the cudgels in this case and start taking steps to make people aware that Haryana has a culture, which is unique and is not to be confused with that of Punjab. Projection is of utmost importance here because people who do not know need to be informed.To start with, there should be at least a website that informs people of the culture of Haryana and ties tourism to it by way of various offers and packages. People need to be enticed to come and visit the state in greater numbers. In fact, international tourists who wish to know more of India can be taken on tours of villages and smaller centers so that they get a hang of things over here Ц it would also be a great revenue earner for the state and increase its prestige both within the country as well as internationally.The state also needs to get rid of the misconception that promoting a few places that are historically significant will reveal the culture of the state. It needs to take the cue from states like Rajasthan and Kerala that have successfully promoted the finer aspects of their culture to other regions in the country as well as the rest of the world. At times, the lead needs to be taken for things to improve Ц they donТt happen just like that. The question is, when will this realisation dawn on the powers and make them sit up and take note of it?