SPIC MACAY IN FOREFRONT OF PUTTING INDIAN CLASSICAL ARTS BACK ON RAILS/MAINSTREAM
* Ministries of Culture, HRD to discuss inputs of culture into national curriculum framework as suggested by SPIC MACAY and NCERT.* National Culture Fund ambit to grow; PSUs, Corporates to be encouraged to support CSR for monumental heritage and projects of music and dance via NCF .
NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Culture organized a meeting of eminent musicians from both, the Carnatic and Hindustani traditions of classical music, under the aegis of the All India Musicians Group (AIMG), with the Prime Minister (who is also Minister for Culture) Dr. Manmohan Singh in Delhi on Wednesday, Dec 8, 2010.
The delegation represented the finest exponents of Indian classical tradition, especially the musical one. The AIMG members present at the meeting were Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Zakir Husain, Pt. Rajan Mishra, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma (All North Indian (Hindustani) Music) Shri Ravikiran Chitravina, Shri T N Krishnan, Smt Sudha Raghunathan and Shri U Shrinivas (All South Indian (Carnatic) Music). Pt. Arvind Parikh participated in the meeting as Convener and Pt Vijay Kichlu – Kolkata, Pt. Sajan Mishra – Delhi, Shri Ashok Vajpeyi – Delhi as Observers.
During the meeting, AIMG raised a number of issues. These covered the Guru Shishya parampara, the revitalization of state and other akademies, the need to inject public sector and corporate funds for the classical arts, the possibility of a dedicated TV channel for the classical arts; re-emphasizing of music education in schools and developing a national repository of the performing arts of India.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in his response to the issues raised by members of the AIMG, said he recognized their contribution to taking forward the cultural heritage of India. He stated that it was necessary to have in place adequate institutional arrangements to support these arts. He mentioned that classical arts are the soul of India and their presence reminds us all of the great cultural and civilizational tradition of India. The PM agreed with the delegation that India’s emergence as an economic power could only be completed when our country’s profile adequately reflects our ‘soft power’ as reflected by our achievements in the cultural field. He also said that funding of the projects suggested by the AIMG should not normally be a problem and he looked forward to another meeting with the Group, after some work has been done on their suggestions.
Specifically, the Prime Minister stated that:
1. The Ministry of Culture should consider as to what all it can do to carry forward our age-old Guru-Shishya parampara. The Ministry’s scheme for professional groups and individuals engaged in performing arts may be revisited so that the eminent Gurus and maestros are facilitated in nurturing fresh and upcoming talent.
2. A re-look is also necessary at the artiste pension scheme, under which Ministry of Culture grants a monthly honorarium of 4000 rupees to old artistes living in indigent circumstances, with a view to make it more effective. He also supported the idea of a National Artiste Welfare Fund which should be flexible to accommodate the needs of the artistes. The suggestion of encouraging contribution from senior artistes, and the corporate sector apart from the Ministry of Culture and the National Akademies was a useful one and should be built into the proposed Fund.
3. Ministry of Culture would take up with Ministry of HRD the issues regarding the inputs of culture into education, such as putting in place the recommendations of the NCERT for a national curriculum framework and those of the Central Advisory Board on Education and SPIC MACAY to promote education of music and other liberal arts in schools.
4. Development of a dedicated Television Channel on Culture could also be examined, especially since the advantages of such an initiative in the present age may outweigh the costs involved.
5. Prime Minister also assured the Group that he would also take up the matter with the Chief Ministers for strengthening of State Academies of art and culture and institutions of music etc. and remind them of their responsibilities in the cultural arena including the preservation of many dying Gharanas (schools of music).
6. It was felt that Corporate Social Responsibility could also be channelized through the National Culture Fund of the Ministry which could be imaginatively utilized by various corporate bodies and PSUs. The scope of the National Culture Fund could be enlarged by the Ministry of Culture to go beyond its present support to monumental heritage and could encompass the living heritage of India, including projects of music and dance.
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