Sun, 22 May 2022

New Delhi [India], April 26 (ANI): In an apparent reference to the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday said that 'soft power' has to be complemented by 'hard power'.

Responding to a question over the connection between 'soft power' and 'hard power' at a private event here, the minister was candid in saying "nation needs to have a hard power but to maintain friendly relationship and to exist beyond boundaries, nation needs soft power as well, as it touches hearts."Backing his argument through a cricket analogy, he said that "hard power and soft power relationship could be like two batsmen at crease with one complimenting other in running".

"Economy and military are India's hard power while soft power includes cuisine, culture, architecture across countries including China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia," he said.

Thakur said that while India has been emerging as hard power, it is also emerging as soft power through cinema.

Sharing his experience of visiting the US for the first time in 1997 for attending a trade fair event in Chicago, he recalled that he picked a newspaper in the morning which referred India as a country of snake charmers and beggars, which made him feel very bad but within three years after India conducted nuclear test under PM Atal Bihari Vajpayeei, "things changed considerably and the world started looking at us in a different way".

"It was the hard power which made them rethink. At the same time, our IT-enabled services, which is soft power, had reached beyond boundaries", he said, adding that India being the largest filmmaker, has the potential to be the content subcontinent of the world and also a post-production hub and for that one needs soft power.

Responding to another question on India and Bharat, he asserted that the first generation of directors and film-makers came from small cities and towns and "even now you see a lot of young talent, whether it is sports or cinema, come from small places of India that is 'Bharat'".

"In the last edition of IFFI in Goa, we had a separate segment for young film-makers...of the 75 of them invited for the segment, 70 were from small cities and towns," he said, adding "they have fire in their belly to do something big". (ANI)

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