"Dance and music have been inherent in our culture and tradition for centuries and one of the specialties is that they are not state-dependant. Indeed that is the hallmark of a healthy society, that art and culture should not be dependent on patronage from the state but be honoured by it," Modi said.

The BJP's prime ministerial candidate came almost one hour after the recital began and sat through the entire performance after which he gave an impromptu speech.

Modi spoke of the ancient tradition of India, a country which imbibed the influences of all the powers who ruled the country. "Today the world speaks of soft power as a tool of global diplomacy, but India has been practising it for centuries. Even before Independence whichever forces ruled us they adopted our soft power and we imbibed theirs," Modi said.

"We have never imposed boundaries on knowledge, literature and music. That’s why we have been timeless in the field of art," he said.

"All forms of art and music has its own strength. While the music and dance of the West move the body, our music and dance move our mind," Modi said.

The Gujarat Chief Minister felicitated all the three dancers who had participated in the "Divinity Series" Dance Festival, which began on Friday and was telecast live on DD Bharati and simultaneously streamed live on Facebook.

Modi also called Bharantayam as the "finest form of yoga".

"The world talks of yoga today but Bharatnatayam encompasses all seven senses in a balanced and collective manner. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch this performance," he said.

(Agencies)

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