PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

 

NEZCC was dedicated to the nation on June 17, 1986 at Dimapur with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam , Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura as regional members. The Centre was inaugurated by late Shri Rajiv Gandhi on October 6, 1987, which forged new cultural ties among the constituent states of the North East. The Centre has been able to highlight performing arts and crafts of these states and integrate then with the mainstream of Indian Culture.

 

North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala was inaugurated on 6th November 1985 by the then Prime Minister of India Late Sh. Rajiv Gandhi. This centre has been registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. Its chief object is to preserve, innovate and promote the projection of dissemination of arts of the Zone comprising the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand and the Union Territory of Chandigarh under the broad disciplines of Sangeet (Music), Natak (Theatre), Lalit Kala (the field of visual arts such as Paintings, Sculptures, Graphics, Photography, Ceramics and other arts allied to the field of fine arts) and Sahitya (Literature), and to develop and expand a zonal centre of excellence in creative arts, and further to develop and promote the rich diversity and uniqueness of various arts of the zone and to upgrade and enrich consciousness of the people and their cultural heritage. The emphasis of its activities has been on the linkages among various areas through evolution of styles of various art forms and their contribution to the larger composite identity of cultural heritage of India. It has made special efforts to encourage folk and tribal arts and to frame special programmes for the preservation and strengthening of vanishing art forms in the member States.

Although, there is variation in the cultural activities of the participating sates yet there runs a common bond of shared heritage through them. We begin with the land of the Ladakhis, the Buddhist people are famous for their mountains, their monasteries, their music and their exquisite attire. A little below on the lush green hills and valleys of the Kashmir, live the people famous for their beauty, their skill in producing the most delicate crafts and weaves and their cuisine. From Ladakh, not only the geography, the religion, the language change, but the race itself changes. Coming downwards to Jammu, the Dogra people have their own language - Dogri. They are mostly Hindus and are proud of their miniature paintings, music and dance.

On the high imposing peaks of Himachal Pradesh, a land famous for temples live gentle traditional people, who sing and dance, free and pure as the mountain air itself. The bright multicoloured and bordered shawls and pattus, the Himachali cap and cascades of silver jewellery make the Himachali stand anywhere.

Uttarakhand is the state with rich cultural tradition. It is land of pious Ganga and important religious centres situated on its banks. The state imparts a special colour to the Indian culture with the arts, crafts, dances and rich musical notes. The swirling twenty meter skirts and the sparking odhanis of the girls and tall handsome men spell Haryana. With fertile land tilled by hard working people, it is famous for its potters, needlework, colourful costumes and colourful dances.

Punjab is known for its vibrant artistic tradition. Born with a fiercely independent and sturdy disposition, forged over generations of upheaval, the Punjabis’ bravado produced a music that had a similar rhythm of raw abandon. Folk songs composed mostly of bolis, tappas, dohas and sithnia are sung by the young and old with dhol and dholki during the wedding celebrations and happy occasions. With its robust beat and intense rhythm the dhol does not leave any foot still in its proximity.

Rajasthan- the land of legends, bravery and colour- has different tribes spread all over its huge expanse, each with different costumes, different costumes, different songs and dances and skills in tie and die, printing, patchwork, jewellery making, carving, pottery etc.

The Union Territory of Chandigarh has special characteristics merging the traditions and cultural heritage chiefly of Punjab and Haryana and also some characteristics of other adjoining states like Himachal and Uttarakhand.

It is the hub of cultural activities for all the incorporating states. Chandigarh popularly known as “The City Beautiful” has a cosmopolitan outlook, which really represents the bond of a shared cultural heritage of the constituent states.

 

The Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) is an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture, Government of India covering the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) is one of the seven Zonal Cultural Centres established initially at Shantineketan, West Bengal on the initiative of the then Ministry of HRD, Government of India in 1985. The office of the EZCC shifted from Shantiniketan to Kolkata in the year 1994. The Zonal Cultural Centres have been conceptualized with the aim of projecting cultural kinships, which transcend territorial boundaries. The idea is to arouse and deepen awareness of the local cultures and to show these merge into zonal identities and eventually into the rich diversity of India’s composite culture. These centres have already established themselves as a premier agency in the field of promotion, preservation and dissemination of culture in the entire country. Apart from promoting performing arts, they are also making a significant contribution in the associated field of literary and visual arts.

Since its inception in 1985, the EZCC has been functioning as a cultural nerve center, between and among the numerous ethnic cultural centers/groups of excellence of the eastern parts of the country. The Center strives through its various activities to enrich, promote and strengthen these traditions. The Center is totally dedicated to the promotion, projection and dissemination of art, craft and letters.

Presently, Professor Dr. Om Prakash Bharti, a folklorist, art historian, story writer, playwright, director and curator, is the Director of Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata. Dr. Bharti has formulated, design and execute more than four hundred national level festivals, seminars, exhibitions and workshops and 23 festivals at international repute. His Excellency, The Governor of West Bengal, is the chairman of Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre and is headed by The Director who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the society. The affairs of the society are managed by two apex bodies – The Governing Body and The Executive Board with two committees, which are, the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee, which assists the apex bodies in their functioning.

Major festivals:

1. Bharat Lok Parv - National Festival of Folk and Tribal Arts has been planned with the objective to present rich diversity and uniqueness of Indian culture and to promote the cultural inter-linkages amongst the states to strengthen National integration. For national integration through culture it is necessary for the people of the country to know about each other’s culture. With this aim, the festival has been conceived. The essential thrust of this festival is to bind the artists of other parts of the country with the people of north east in a single thread of culture.

2. OCTAVE-The Festival of North East has been initiated in 2006 with the objective of promoting and showcasing the art and the cultural heritage of the North Eastern states of India, also brings the North East into focus and creates a better understanding about the splendid and harmonized aesthetics of the region amongst the people from the other parts of the country. The Octagonal formation of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Sikkim has its own distinct cultures, traditions and topography. Demographically, culturally and linguistically the North East is a perfect example of a beautiful amalgamation of co-existing cultures.

3. Adi Vimb - To encourage folk and tribal arts and to frame special programmes for the preservation and strengthening of the vanishing art forms and also provide with a stage to showcase their talent, a series of Festival, Seminar and Exhibition on tribal and folk arts namely, ADI VIMB is organised in Assam, Andaman & Nicobar Island, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal.

4. Navodit - For identifying the young talents and promote them by providing performance opportunities, a series of festivals namely Navodit – Festival of Music and Dance and Navodit – Festival of Young Directors are organized.

5. Lok Utsav Parikarma - The festival was organized with the objective to infuse among people a conscious appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of its own zone as well as other parts of the country through its manifold programs of folk and tribal arts.

 

Quenching the thirst of the deserts of Rajasthan and semi-arid regions of Gujarat, irrigating the vast expanse of Maharashtra, enhancing beauty of the land of palm fronds-Goa and the Union Territories of Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar haveli, the cultural river winded through these regions to each Udaipur, the West Zone Cultural Centre. Headquartered in the historic Bagore-ki-Haveli, the Centre , which is situated on the banks of picturesque Pichora Lake, became functional on January 9, 1986. Thereafter, its activities have irrigated the cultural roots of the vibrant region.

 

Kalakshetra Foundation is a premier institution of classical dance, music and visual arts founded by the great visionary Smt Rukmini Devi in the year 1936. It was recognised by Government of India as an institution of national importance by an act of Indian Parliament in the year 1993 and became an autonomous body under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Apart from being a leader in the teaching of classical dance, music and visual, Kalakshetra has two schools, a craft research and education centre and its own repertory which performs programmes/events both International and national

A note about the repertory company

The Kalakshetra Repertory Company, formed in the early 1940s, is a one of its kind company performing group works of Indian Classical Dance and Music in India. The repertoire of the company includes mythology based dance- dramas, classical and contemporary Bharatanatyam compositions,as well as programs of the varied folk dances of India. In particular, Kalakshetra’s dance-dramas have come to be recognized worldwide for their impeccable technique and aesthetic. A major part of these works are a legacy of the founder Rukmini Devi Arundale which account for over 25 productions.

 

Virtually the heartland of India, the seventh cultural hub was covered by the cultural current. The South Central Zone Cultural Centre, was constituted with the coming together of states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. On October, 2, 1986, the late Shri Rajiv Gandhi inaugurated the Centre, dedicating it to the country and its people to strengthen their cultural roots.

 

The flow of folk and tribal culture, surged and spread to the South Zone Cultural Centre, which was established at Thanjavur-where music, dance and theatre have flourished since ancient times under dynasties such as the Cholas, Pallavas etc. , who patronized the arts.The Centre was inaugurated by the late Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi on January 31,1986. The Zone constitutes of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and the Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshdeep and Puducherry.

 

BUDDHA CĀRIKĀ

(IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA)

In Pali language the word Buddha refers to the Enlightened One and Carika means the sublime wanderings. Thus Buddha Carika refers to the sublime wanderings of the Buddha, in this context the Shakyamuni Buddha.

The present exhibition is an attempt to illustrate the life, important events and teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. The photographic and 3-dimension images of the master pieces of Indian art, artifacts and important archaeological sites, show some of the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.

It is said that the Buddha during his lifetime had declared in the Mahaparnirvana Sutra that a devout Buddhist should visit the four important sacred places connected with the life of Shakyamuni Buddha, i.e., the place of Birth - Lumbini, the place of Enlightenment - Bodhgaya, the place of teaching of the First Sermon – Sarnath and the place of Great Demise (Mahparinirvana), i.e., Kushinagar. By visiting these sacred places and looking upon them with the feeling of reverence and showing veneration one is able to purify one's thought, speech and action.

In the 3rd Century BCE great Emperor Asoka expanded the pilgrimage by adding four more places related with the miracles of Lord Buddha which are Rajgir, Shravasti, Vaishali and Sankasya. In this way Emperor Asoka elaborated the pilgrimage inspiring the devout to visit the holy places connected with the Buddha and his important disciples and called it the Dhamma Yatra. Later on many a place throughout the length and breadth of the country became studded with Buddhist Viharas, Monuments and Shrines.

Art is the best expression of spirituality. The rich visuals in the form of status, reliefs, murals, photo-blow-ups, etc. arranged in an artistic manner interspersed with sayings of the Buddha, their explanatory captions and other signages are the highlights of the exhibition. In this exhibition people could witness sublime wandering of Buddha, Emperor Ashoka, and glorious Buddhist heritage of India.

THANGKA PAINTINGS

Thangkas are Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhist iconographic paintings. They are a form of religious art, which has a 1,000 year long tradition, which still carries on today. The scroll- paintings are first composed on a screen. Traditionally, natural colors are used, but since the beginning of the 20th century, artificial pigments also. Real gold is often used, in order to show respect to the Gods. This has a fantastic aesthetic effect emphasing the beauty of the Thangkas.

The artists often, not always, are monks, who have had a special training in screen paintings (for at least 10 years), because Thangkas have to follow special iconographic and iconometric rules , according to Holy Texts (Tanyur, Kanyur, Nispannayogavali, etc). The guidelines also include the form, the positions of the Gods, their attributes and throne as well as their dress (monks, princely or wrathful dress).

The paintings serve as sacred works in the monasteries,as help in meditation, by protection from demons or as votive pictures.

Tibetans love colors. This can be seen by the bright radiating colors in Thangka-paintings. There are traditional color paintings, and also the so-called red - based, black - based and gold - based paintings. During this Exhibition people can discover the marvelous world of Thangkas and live demonstration of Thankas. Here you will find an endless variety of Thangkas in every imaginable traditional style of good to excellent artistic quality.

SAND MANDALA

Sand Mandala, Tibetan sand painting, is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism. The mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “world in harmony.” Mandalas are drawings in three-dimensional forms of sand.

Sand painting is an ancient Tibetan art form. The Sand Mandala is carefully constructed from colored sand particles to represent the particular esoteric, textual traditions of Buddhism. It is a transient art form, thought to have originated in India and been transferred in the middle ages to Tibet. The sand mandala is constructed as vehicle to generate compassion, realize the impermanence of reality, and a social/cosmic healing of the environment. In Tibetan Buddhism, a Mandala is an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing some aspect of wisdom or reminding the mediator of some guiding principle. Various scriptural texts dictate the shapes, forms, and colors of the Mandala. There are many different Mandalas, each with different lessons to teach and blessings to confer. Most Mandalas contain a host of deities, symbolic archetypes of the landscape of the mind.

After finishing day’s long hard work, to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists, the colored sands (Sand Mandala) are swept up and poured into a nearby river or stream where the waters carry healing energies throughout the world. During this Exhibition people can witness the hard work of lamas and the symbolic truth of impermanence.

SOWA-RIGPA

"Sowa-Rigpa (Science of healing)” commonly known as Amchi system of medicine is one of the oldest, Living and well documented medical tradition of the world and also believed to have been taught by Lord Buddha himself. It has been popularly practice in Tibet, Magnolia, Bhutan, some parts of China, Nepal, Himalayan regions of India and few parts of former Soviet Union etc. There are various schools of thought about the origin of this medical tradition, some scholars believe that it is originated from India; some says China and others consider it to be originated from Tibet itself. The majority of theory and practice of Sowa-Rigpa is similar to "Ayurveda" . The first Ayurvedic influence came to Tibet during 3rd century AD but it became popular only after 7th centuries with the approach of Buddhism to Tibet. There after this trend of exportation of Indian medical literature, along with Buddhism and other Indian art and sciences were continued till early 19thcentury. India being the birth place of Buddha and Buddhism has always been favorite place for learning Buddhist art and culture for Tibetan students; lots of Indian scholars were also invited to Tibet for prorogation of Buddhism and other Indian art and sciences. This long association with India had resulted in translation and preservation of thousands of Indian literature on various subjects like religion, sciences, arts, culture and language etc. in Tibetan language. Out of these around twenty-five text related to medicine are also preserved in both canonical and non-canonical forms of Tibetan literatures. The impact of Sowa-Rigpa along with Buddhism and other Tibetan art and sciences were spread in neighboring Himalayan regions. In India this system has been practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pardesh, Dargeling (West Bangal), Lahoul & Spiti (Himanchal Pardesh) and Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir etc. During this Exhibition (Sowa-Rigpa Exhibition) people can have practical experience of Buddhist & Himalayan system of medicine.

BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF B.T.I. INSTITUTIONS

NAVA NALANDA MAHAVIHARA, NALANDA, BIHAR

Nalanda and the ruins of the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara are almost synonymous. The name Nalanda conjures up a picture of ancient Mahavihara, which was a great seat of Buddhist education for nearly 700 years between the 5th to 12th centuries AD.

The contribution of the Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda in the development of Buddhist education is widely recognized. Many great Acaryas of Nalanda had helped in dissemination of knowledge and Buddhist culture throughout the world His Excellency, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India had initiated the idea and declared that the ancient seat of Buddhist learning at Nalanda would be revived and thus had emanated the vision of establishing the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara. On November 20, 1951, At the insistence of Ven. Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap and with this goal in mind, the Government of Bihar established a research institute called "Magadh Institute of Post-Graduate Studies and Research in Pali and Allied Languages and Buddhist Learning" at Nalanda in 1951. It later came to be known as Nava Nalanda Mahavihara.

On November 13, 2006, the University Grant Commission accorded the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda the status of a Deemed to be University. Now Nava Nalanda Mahavihara is under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Nava Nalanda Mahavihara with help of Ministry of Culture has organized several Buddhist exhibitions in India and abroad including China, Hongkong (SAR), Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bhutan, Medan (Indonesia), Bali (Indonesia), Jakarta (Indonesia) , Sarnath(Uttar Pradesh ), Bodhagaya (Bihar), Dimapur(Nagaland).

In Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsava, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara will organize Buddha Cārikā, a Buddhist exhibition. The Exhibition is composed of three dimensional images & replicas of the master pieces of Indian art, artifacts and important archaeological sites as well as photographs showing some of the sites of the important Buddhist Pilgrimage places in India. Along with Buddhist Exhibition Nava Nalanda Mahavihara will also display its valuable publications in Pali, Hindi and English.

CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF BUDDHIST STUDIES, LEH

Ladakh is known for Buddhist monasteries and living Buddhist culture. Scholars, novices and monks of Ladakh used to go to famous Buddhist monastic Mahviharas, like, Sera, Drepung, Tashi Lhunpo, Gadan, Sakya, Sangag Chosling, Dege, Digung etc. in Tibet for their higher monastic education.

To fulfill the need of higher monastic education in India especially in Ladakh in 1962 at the behest of Ven. Kushok Bakula, the Head Lama of Pethub Gonpa of Ladakh and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, the institution was given full financial support by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. The School of Buddhist Philosophy was registered as an Educational Institution in the year 1964 under the J&K Societies Registration Act of 1941. Later on the institution was renamed as Central Institute of Buddhist Studies and had its new set up at Choglamsar, 8 kilometers South-East of Leh on Leh-Manali Highway in the year 1973. In Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsava CIBS will organize an exhibition of Thangka paintings.

CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF HIMALAYAN CULTURE STUDIES

DAHUNG, WEST KAMENG DISTRICT ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies (CIHCS), Dahung, West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh was established as an aegis of Buddhist Culture Preservation Society (BCPS), Bomdila under the Presidentship of H. E. 13th. Tsona Gontse Rinpoche and commenced its first academic session on the 4th August, 2003, and is affiliated to Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, U.P. The Institute has got registered under Society Registration Act 1860 vide registration no. SR/ITA/4650 dated 10-11-2010 Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, and has become an Autonomous Body of the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.

Then the Department of Culture, Government of India took the initiative to establish an institute of Himalayan Culture Studies to help the people of the region in preservation and promotion of their cultural identity and the growth of traditional arts, crafts and sciences and other genres of indigenous knowledge.

The mandate of the Society is to undertake Under Graduate, Post Graduate and Doctoral Programmes in Buddhist and Himalayan studies and may also establish and maintain feeder schools. During Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsava the CHISCS will organize an exhibition of sand Mandala art which is a Tibetan Buddhist Traditional Art, involving the creation and destruction of Mandalas made from coloured sand.

CENTRAL UNIVERSITY OF TIBETAN STUDIES

SARNATH, VARANASI

The Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS) at Sarnath is one of its kinds in the country. The university was established in 1967. The idea of the university was mooted in course of a dialogue between Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and His Holiness the Dalai Lama with a view to educating the young Tibetan Diaspora and those from the Himalayan border regions of India, who have religion, culture and language in common with Tibet. Originally called Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS), it began functioning as a constituent wing of the Sampurnananda Sanskrit University, and eventually emerged as an autonomous body in 1977 under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Education, Government of India. Now it is known as Central University of Tibetan Studies. CUTS will organize an event known as “Sowa Rigpa”.

 

The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It was set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959. In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Training in the School is highly intensive and is based on a thorough, comprehensive, carefully planned syllabus which covers every aspect of theatre and in which theory is related to practice. As a part of their training, students are required to produce plays which are then performed before the public. The syllabus takes into account the methods of great theatre personalities who have shaped contemporary theatre in all its variety. The systematic study and practical performing experience of Sanskrit drama, modern Indian drama, traditional Indian theatre forms, Asian drama and western dramatic protocols give the students a solid grounding and a wide perspective in the art of theatre.

Besides its 3-year training programme, the School has also explored new vistas in the areas of children’s theatre and decentralization of theatre training through workshops under the Extension Programme.

The School has two performing wings – the Repertory Company and Theatre-in-Education Company.

The Repertory Company was started in 1964 with four artistes – Shri Ramamurthy, Ms. Meena Williams, Ms. Sudha Shivpuri and Shri Om Shivpuri – with the objective of providing a platform where graduates of the School could perform plays professionally. Over the years it has presented works of various playwrights and directors who have been associated with it and has evolved into one of NSD’s major institutions, working on contemporary and modern plays as well as introducing experimental work on a regular basis. In addition to doing productions, it organizes its own Festival, where past and new productions are introduced and staged each summer. NSD’s Repertory Company also tours and performs extensively in India and abroad.

The second performing wing the ‘Theatre-In-Education Company’ (Sanskar Rang Toli) was established in October 16, 1989, and is one of the most important theatre education resource centres in the country. It consists of a group of actor-teachers working with and performing for children. The major focus of the TIE Company is to perform creative, curriculum-based and participatory plays in schools, specially designed and prepared for children of different age groups. The major thrust of the plays is to create an atmosphere that encourages children to raise questions, take decisions and make choices with an awareness of themselves within the larger social context. The TIE Company has done more than 800 performances of 26 plays in Delhi and other parts of the country. More than 5.5 lakh children, apart from college students, teachers, parents and theatre lovers, have witnessed these plays.

In addition to these two wings, the School also has an active Extension Programme, a publication section and a literary forum named Shruti. The Extension Programme, under which NSD faculty and alumni conduct workshops in various parts of the country, was launched in 1978 and since then has conducted workshops and programmes for adults and children across the country, and in Nepal, Sikkim, Laddakh and Bhutan as well. The ‘Traditional Theatre Project’ initiated in 1980, has facilitated creative interaction between traditional and contemporary theatre artists on a regular basis. Along with an introduction to theatre, these workshops also seek to develop personality and expand the emotional horizons of the participants.

The Publication Unit of the National School of Drama is responsible for publishing text books on theatre, arranging for the translation of important books on theatre from English into Hindi and bringing out other important books on theatre. The unit’s first major publication titled Rang Yatra which chronicled 25 years history of the NSD Repertory Company from 1964 onwards, came out in 1990. Besides its regular publications, until 2010 the unit has brought out 82 publications on drama and related subjects.

 

The Sahitya Akademi was formally inaugurated by the Government of India on 12 March 1954. The Government of India Resolution, which set forth the constitution of the Akademi, described it as a national organisation to work actively for the development of Indian letters and to set high literary standards, to foster and co-ordinate literary activities in all the Indian languages and to promote through them all the cultural unity of the country. Though set up by the Government, the Akademi functions as an autonomous organisation. It was registered as a society on 7 January 1956, under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, is the central institution for literary dialogue, publication and promotion in the country and the only institution that undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English. Over the 56 years of its dynamic existence, it has ceaselessly endeavored to promote good taste and healthy reading habits, to keep alive the intimate dialogue among the various linguistic and literary zones and groups through seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances, to increase the pace of mutual translations through workshops and individual assignments and to develop a serious literary culture through the publications of journals, monographs, individual creative works of every genre, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, who's who of writers and histories of literature. It has so for brought out over 6000 books, the present pace of publication being one book every 19 hours. Every year the Akademi holds at least 50 seminars at regional, national and international levels along with the workshops and literary gatherings-about 300 in number per year, under various heads like Meet the Author, Samvad, Kavisandhi, Kathasandhi, Loka: The Many Voices, People and Books, Through My Window, Mulakat, Asmita, Antaral, Avishkar, Nari Chetna, Yuva Sahiti, Bal Sahiti, Purvottari and Literary Forum meetings.

Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India, both after a year long process of scrutiny, discussion and selection. It also gives special awards called Bhasha Samman to significant contribution to the languages not formally recognized by the Akademi as also for contribution to classical and medieval literature. It has also system of electing eminent writers as Fellows and Honorary Fellows and has also established fellowship in the names of Dr. Anand Coomaraswamy and Premchand. The Akademi has launched Centres for Translation in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Delhi, and an Archive of Indian Literature in Delhi. A project office for the promotion of Tribal and Oral literature has also been set up in the North Eastern Hill University Campus, Shillong. Many more imaginative projects are on the anvil. Sahitya Akademi is aware of cultural and linguistic differences and does not believe in forced standardization of culture through a bulldozing of levels and attitudes. At the same time, it is also conscious of the deep inner culture, spiritual, historical and experimental links that unify India's diverse manifestations of literature. This unity seeks an international species-dimension through the Akademi's Culture Exchange Programmes with other counties on the globe.

Languages Recognised: Besides the 22 languages enumerated in the Constitution ofIndia, the SahityaAkademi has recognised English and Rajasthani as languages in which its programme may be implemented. Names of present members of various language Advisory Boards, which have been constituted to render advice for implementing literary programmes in these 24 languages are given in the website

 

The Sangeet Natak Akademi - India's national academy for music, dance and drama - is the first National Academy of the arts set-up by the Republic of India. It was created by a resolution of the (then) Ministry of Education, Government of India, dated 31 May 1952 notified in the Gazette of India of June 1952. The Akademi became functional the following year, with the appointment of its first Chairman, Dr P.V. Rajamannar, and the formation of its all-India council of representatives, the General Council. The first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, inaugurated it on 28 January 1953 in a special function held in the Parliament House. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, then Union Minister for Education, in his opening address at the inauguration of the Akademi, said:

“India's precious heritage of music, drama and dance is one which we must cherish and develop. We must do so not only for our own sake but also as our contribution to the cultural heritage of mankind. Nowhere is it truer than in the field of art that to sustain means to create. Traditions cannot be preserved but can only be created afresh. It will be the aim of this Akademi to preserve our traditions by offering them an institutional form…” “In a democratic regime, the arts can derive their sustenance only from the people, and the state, as the organized manifestation of the people's will, must, therefore, undertake … maintenance and development [of arts] as one of [its] first responsibilities…”

The Akademi's charter of functions was expanded along the original lines in 1961, when the Sangeet Natak Akademi was reconstituted by the Government as a society and registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 (as amended in 1957). These functions are set down in the Akademi's Memorandum of Association, adopted at its registration as a society on 11 September 1961.

Since its inception the Akademi has been functioning as the apex body of the performing arts in the country, preserving and promoting the vast intangible heritage of India's diverse culture expressed in the forms of music, dance and drama. In furtherance of its objectives the Akademi coordinates and collaborates with the governments and art academies of different States and Territories of the Union of India as also with major cultural institutions in the country. The Akademi establishes and looks after institutions and projects of national importance in the field of the performing arts. The National School of Drama, set up in 1959, was the first of their two national institutions of dance -- Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in Imphal and Kathak Kendra (National Institute of Kathak Dance) in New Delhi - were set up in 1964 respectively. National Projects of Support to Kuttiyattam - the age-old Sanskrit theatre of Kerala - Chhau dances of eastern India and Sattriya traditions of Assam have been lauched subsequently. After ten years of intensive work under the Kutiyattam project, the UNESCO declared Kutiyattam as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in May 2001.It organizes performances of music, dance, and theatre. The Akademi Awards are the highest national recognition conferred on eminent artistes. The Akademi also confers Fellowships and Scholarship, their numbers being restricted to 30 living recipients. The Fellowship and Awards caries purse money of Rs. 3,00,000/- and Rs. 1,00,000/- respectively besides a shawl and Tamrapatra..

To subsidize the work of institutions engaged in teaching, performing or promoting music, dance, or theatre; the Akademi gives grants-in-aid for research, documentation, and publishing in the performing arts; organizes and subsidizes seminars and conferences of subject specialists; documents and records the performing arts for its audio-visual archive.

The Akademi's audio-visual archive comprising audio/video tapes, photographs and films is the largest in the country and is extensively drawn upon by the scholars for research on the performing arts. The Akademi maintains a reference library consisting of books in English, Hindi and some regional languages. The Akademi has a gallery of musical instruments in Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, where more than 250 musical instruments are displayed. It also has a documentation unit, which has collected and recorded works of maestros in the field of music, dance and theatre on audio and video to help researchers in the field and a gallery of musical instruments; and publishes literature on relevant subjects on a small scale.

As the apex body specializing in the performing arts of the country, the Akademi also renders advice and assistance to the Government of India in the task of formulating and implementing policies and programmes in the field. Additionally, the Akademi carries a part of the responsibilities of the state for fostering cultural contacts between various regions in India, and between India and the world.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi is presently an Autonomous Body of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and is fully funded by the Government for implementation of its schemes and programmes.

 

The Lalit Kala Akademi was inaugurated in New Delhi on August 5th, 1954, by the then Minister for Education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The youngest of the three Akademies founded by the Government of India, the Lalit Kala Akademi was established in pursuance of the dream of the first Prime Minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for a cultural and national identity. Thus the Lalit Kala Akademi as one among three such national organizations, that emerged. The LKA was the principal establishment to direct its focus on activities in the field of visual arts. In his inaugural speech, Maulana Abul Kalam had stated:“…The Akademi must work to preserve the glorious traditions of the past and enrich them by the work of our modern artists. It must also seek to improve standards and refine public taste...”

 

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), established in 1987, is an autonomous academic, research institution encompassing the study and experience of all the arts --each form with its own integrity, yet within a dimension of mutual inter-dependence, inter-relatedness with nature, the social structure and cosmology.

IGNCA’s view of the arts encompasses a wide area of studies, such as creative and critical literature, written and oral; the visual arts, ranging from architecture, sculpture, painting and graphics to general material culture; photography and film; the performing arts of music, dance and theatre in their broadest connotation; and all else in festivals, fairs and in lifestyles that have an artistic dimension. The Centre aims at exploring, studying and reviving the dialogue between India and her neighbours, in areas pertaining to the arts, and between communities in India and the world, sharing a similar world view.

The uniqueness of the IGNCA’s approach to the arts lies in the fact that it does not segregate the folk and the classical, the oral and the aural, the written and the spoken and the old and the modern. Here the emphasis is on the connectivity and the continuity between the various fields that ultimately relate human-to-human and human-to-nature symbiosis.

IGNCA manifests its academic, research work in its publications, international and national seminars, conferences, exhibitions and lecture series. Schools and other education institutions are within the focus of the outreach programme of the IGNCA. It complements its research by cross disciplinary landscape studies in the field to catalyse cultural inputs in development.

IGNCA performs its functions through following divisions:

IGNCA has a rich library, of multi-form, consisting of books in over a dozen languages (Indian and foreign), nearly 200 journals, microfilm and microfiche, slides, audio-visual documentations and an archive. It has several ethnographic collections, thousands of hours of audio visual documentation of lifestyles studies and a rich list of publications. IGNCA is actively involved in continually creating culture-technology interface. The IGNCA website www.ignca.gov.in is one of the most visited art and culture sites in India.