Uttarakhand banks on ‘Guru-shishya’ tradition to boost tourism culture

The Uttarakhand government is banking on the guru-shishya tradition practiced in the Himalayan region ages ago to revive its fast fading folk traditions. The tradition is expected to give a boost to cultural tourism, giving a fillip to the state’s tourism-based economy.

“We have a number of vibrant folk traditions in the state. We have introduced the guru-shishya tradition to ensure that all those local traditions — folk dance, singing and music are not wiped out forever,” said Beena Bhatt, director, department of culture.

“This (guru-shishya) tradition ran in families where elders passed on the age-old folk traditions to the younger generations orally as they were not documented. All local traditions that include folk music, folk dance and singing will become a thing of the past if timely measures are not taken to conserve and perpetuate them. The guru-shishya tradition is one such initiative aimed to conserve all folk forms,” she said.

The Uttarakhand cabinet has recently decided to give industry status to tourism, considered a mainstay of the state economy. The tourism sector would get the concessions and benefits extended to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the new decision.
The cabinet has also decided to bring Ayush and wellness centres under the mega industries investment policy. The concessions in bank loans and state GST will now be applicable to tourism-related products.