The Minority Affairs Ministry will organise 'mushairas' (social gatherings at which Urdu poetry is read) across the country as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, the government announced on Sunday.
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that poetry at such events would be related to teachings and principles of Gandhi such as social harmony, national integrity, democratic values, non-violence and global peace.
"On one hand, these programmes will spread the message and principles of Mahatma Gandhi, on the other these will also promote social harmony and brotherhood in society," Mr Naqvi said.
The first 'mushaira' would be held on October 6 in Delhi, where a number of renowned Urdu and Hindi poets will participate.
Similar events would be organised at Mumbai, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Ranchi and other cities, Mr Naqvi said.
The government has formed a national committee headed by President Ram Nath Kovind to chalk out the contours of the 150th anniversary celebrations and decide what kind of programmes and activities were to be organised.
The committee consists of Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chief Ministers of all states, several Cabinet Ministers, noted Gandhians, social activists and public figures.