Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew for a 2-day visit to Japan on October 27, to attend the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit. In his meeting in Tokyo, PM Modi gifted the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe two handcrafted stone bowls and dhurries, crafted precisely for the occasion.
According to the sources, the bowls were assembled together from rose quartz and yellow quartz stone sourced from Rajasthan and were fashioned by master artisan Shabbirhusen Ibrahimbhai Shaikh of Khambhat region of Gujarat, known for its generational practice of stone craft and is also a leading hub for exports of stone products from India. The rarity of this craft lies in the acquisition of the material that is scooped out of a block of stone, then molded and polished with basic tools.
Hand-woven by the master weavers of Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, the dhurrie designs display the diversity of the crafts from symmetrical repeating geometric tessellation in one, to stylistic floral arranged around the traditional pattern in another.
The dhurries use two idiosyncratic Indian colour palettes; while one uses Indigo blues, reds and sprinkles of turmeric yellows, the recognizing colours that have marked Indian textiles for centuries, the other uses the subdued earthy tones of the Indian landscape.
These stone bowls and dhurries were made under the design supervision of India’s design institute, the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Further according to the sources, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, is working towards the upliftment of the stone craft cluster of Khambhat by bringing in design and technological interventions. Abe was also the recipient of a traditional Jodhpuri wooden chest from Rajasthan.
Prime Minister Modi in his visit also acknowledged Japan as 'one of the most trusted partners' in India's economic and technological modernizations. He said,
"Our complementarities make India and Japan a winning combination. Japan today is one of the top investors in India. Projects like Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail and Dedicated Freight Corridors reflect the high level and strength of our economic engagement. Japan is also at the forefront of engaging in our national initiatives, such as 'Make in India', 'Skill India', 'Digital India', 'Startup India', etc."
On his visit, PM Modi’s itinerary for October 28 is: