PV Desk : President M Abdul Hamid today stressed promoting non-communal spirit among new generation, including children, juveniles and youths, to keep them away from superstition, communalism, narcotics, terrorism and militancy.

“Communal harmony is our longstanding tradition…let them (new generation) know that militancy or communalism has no room in our homeland,” he said while addressing the Shilpakala Padak-2017 distribution ceremony at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy here.

The President observed that the cultural activities would help flourish the spirit of patriotism, discipline and nationality among the country’s young generation.

Cultural activities can play a significant role in turning the future generation into a modern, cultural-minded and creative one, he said.

Recalling the contribution of artiste community in different democratic movements of the country, including the 1952 Language Movement and the Liberation War, President Hamid said the cultural activists had played a courageous role in every crisis moment of the nation.

“We are owed to cultural activists as they are playing a very significant role in rebuilding a knowledge-based and humanitarian society,” he said.

Referring to different development initiatives of the present government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the President said the country is proceeding towards progress to build a hunger and poverty free Sonar Bangla envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

He underscored the need for presenting the country’s own culture in global arena by using the opportunity and potential created during the present government.

Congratulating the award recipients, President Hamid said they (award winners) have been honoured with the Shilpakala Padak for their outstanding contributions to their respective cultural areas. “You have reached a reputed position by your hard work and practice.”

The President hoped that the Shilpakala Padak would encourage the recipients to make more contributions to their respective fields in the future.

He handed over ‘Shilpakala Padak-2017’ to seven creative personalities for their contributions to their respective fields.

The award recipients are Alauddin Mia in instrumental music, Sharmila Bandyopadhyay in dance, Nasir Ali Mamun in photography, Chandra Shekhar Dey in fine arts, Kangalini Sufia Begum in folk culture, SM Mohsin in dramatics and Mihir Lala in music.  Each award winner got a cheque of Tk one lakh, a certificate and a crest.  Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Nasir Uddin Ahmed and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky, among others, spoke on the occasion.