Gist of Kurukshetra April 2021 Issue: Folk Art and Culture

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Nurturing India's Rich Cultural Heritage
2. Indian Folk Art : An Information, Education and Communication Tool
3. Showcasing Folk Art and Culture at Global Stage
4. Arts and Crafts of Northeast India
5. MSME- A Powerful Engine of India's Economic Growth
6. Warlis: Life around Nature
7. Understanding Indian Classical Dance
8. Traditional Toy Industry- New India’s Sunrise Sector
9. Role of Folk Media in Nation Building
10. Preserving Performing Arts

Chapter 1: Nurturing India’s Rich Cultural Heritage

India’s cultural Heritage:

  • India has bequeathed a remarkable variety of monuments and sites spread all across the length and breadth of the country.
  • There are more than 5 lakh historic buildings and sites that constitute the built heritage of India.
  • There are 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India (as of 2021), of which 30 are cultural sites, seven are natural sites and one mixed site.
  • Along with this built heritage, there are the rich and varied intangible cultural heritage of the country like oral traditions and expressions, craftsmanship, etc. which continue to remain unidentified, unprotected and untapped.

Significance of built heritage:

Reflection of human culture:

  • Heritage is not just brick and mortar but the culture and people who live around it every day. There is history related to the place, culture, way of life, artisanship and economy developed based on the structure.

Socio-economic development of the local population through heritage tourism:

  • The built heritage is not just a reflector of the past, but present opportunities to generate employment and income in the present and future through heritage tourism.
  • Proper management of the built cultural heritage structures and sites can bring in a huge change in the lives of the people living in and around the place.
  • Preservation, conservation and promotion of such places can play a substantial role in enhancing the quality of life of the local population.
    • Even though 70 percent of the population still lives in villages, more than half of them are dependent only on agriculture or allied activities. Villages are experiencing out-migration and marginalization, and loss of cultural and biological diversity.
  • The growth of rural tourism and heritage tourism will enhance the employment and business opportunities in the villages in a big way.

Other benefits:

  • Traditional step-wells apart from their heritage significance can also be explored to revive the dwindling water sources.
  • Water wells can, apart from attracting tourists on the one hand, with a multiplier effect on the village economy with the development of infrastructure, shops, service facilities, etc., can also solve the water issue faced by the people in the area.
  • Preservation, management and promotion of these structures will contribute to the technical know-how of the younger generation too.

Post pandemic phase tourism:

  • Due to the pandemic, people are now more interested in visiting less-crowded rural India.
  • There are various heritage structures with overwhelming cultural and historical significance in the rural hinterlands lying untapped and unattended.

Governmental efforts:

Development of iconic sites:

  • The government of India, in its budget 2020-21, has proposed five archaeological sites, namely, Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh) Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu) to be developed as iconic sites with on-site museums.
    • Rakhigarhi is a site of a pre-Indus Valley Civilization settlement, dating back to about 6500 BCE.
    • Dholavira is a site of ruins of ancient Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan city in Gujarat.
    • Adichanallur is one of the oldest early Iron-Age cemeteries to exist in South Asia.
  • These sites are of immense historical, religious and heritage significance and the development of these will augment knowledge, recognition and tourism, which will boost the rural economy, enriching the socio-economic status of the inhabitants of the place.

Know more about the Indus Valley Civilisation in the link.

Swadesh Darshan scheme:

  • There are different theme based circuits being developed under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism.

Acknowledging tribal heritage:

  • Rural heritage with tribal settlements is now also being recognized under the category of ‘Cultural Landscape’ with the World Heritage inscription of Kanchendzonga National Park in 2016 on the World Heritage list and Apatani cultural landscape, cold desert cultural landscape of Spiti-Ladakh on the UNESCO’s tentative list.

Adopt a Heritage project:

  • The ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project under the Government of India aims to develop the heritage sites/monuments, making them tourist-friendly and enhancing the tourism potential.
  • The corporate agencies are to partner in the noble social responsibility initiative by becoming “Monument Mitra”.

Policy Recommendations:

Documentation:

  • At the very outset, the state should work towards the creation of a National Archaeological Database.

Use of advanced technology:

  • Advanced technology needs to be used for documentation, surveys, excavation, conservation, and promotion and marketing of the sites.

Promoting heritage tourism:

  • Heritage tourism needs to be promoted with a focused and professional marketing strategy.

Enhancing Buddhist theme based circuits:

  • To attract Buddhist tourists, particularly from South Asian and South-East Asian countries, composite development of Heritage and Tourism of Iconic Buddhist Sites of significance in India can be undertaken.
  • Ten Buddhist sites particularly the sites of major Ashokan edicts (Rock and Pillar), eg., 5 rock edicts of Girnar, Sopara, Dhauli, Jaugada, Sannati, Yerragudi and five pillar edicts, namely Kalsi, Delhi, Vaishali, Rampurva and Lauriya can be developed in a circuit manner.

Exploring new themes:

  • Reviving the lost traditional gardens, for example, the royal gardens of Bundelkhand can be considered to provide a boost to the local rural economy.

Developing requisite human resource:

  • Skilled staff is required for managing the monuments at the ground level.
  • Under the ‘Hunar se Rozgar Tak’ programme of the Government of India, training can be imparted to the rural youth belonging to the economically weaker strata of the society to become tourist escorts, event facilitators, security guards, tour assistants, transfer assistants and office assistants.
  • Attempts should be made to increase the skills of local people under the schemes like Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion), UDAAN, etc.

Overarching management plan:

  • An overarching management plan is required to revive the heritage structures.
  • The National Policy on Conservation needs to be implemented vigorously by ASI and all State Archaeology Departments.
    • It is a comprehensive policy focusing on tourism and development (within and around a monument), capacity building, partnerships with multi-disciplinary organizations and institutions and the role of local communities.

Convergence between various initiatives:

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) or State Archaeology Departments need to identify projects that could be carried out in rural areas with MNERGA funds.
  • This could lead to other significant government objectives such as reviving historic water bodies and collecting rainwater too.

Community participation:

  • Projects can be participatory wherever possible including the community in reviewing design, involving them in maintenance such as volunteers for heritage walks, maintaining historic public spaces for reuse, advising them on maintenance for their historic houses, creating opportunities for the local economy (crafts and other production).
  • Volunteering from the local community will help instil a sense of pride among the local communities.
  • Local community participation is essential to protect, manage and promote heritage structures. This gives a sense of ownership, local authorities should also be involved.

Collaboration and Cooperation:

  • Stronger support and partnership with the local bodies like Panchayats, NGOs, business and experts can enhance the proficiency of the heritage asset base and market it systematically.

Outreach programmes:

  • The concerned authorities should develop their annual outreach programme of activities to engage all segments of visitors including children, families, etc.
  • All heritage sites should develop special programmes for engaging school students’ visits with a round the year calendar for children’s workshops, activities and events.
  • Souvenir shops with innovative local crafts products need to be established.
  • Special Heritage walks to enhance the visitor experience with proper interpretation and storytelling on-site or specialized interpretation centre needs to be implemented.

Emulating the Ruritage programme:

  • The ‘Ruritage’ programme, promoted by UNESCO aims to create innovative, rural regeneration-based models for cultural and natural heritage.
  • A similar programme may be launched for India, bringing the role of culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development and to contribute to socially inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability in rural areas.
  • The scheme of Rural Tourism showcases rural life, culture, art, handloom and heritage of the place attracting tourists which benefits the local community economically and socially as well as enriches the interaction and experience between tourists and the local population.
  • Rural India focused Incredible India 2.0 campaign showcasing the invaluable gems of our country along with the rich intangible assets of the country could be the post-pandemic plan for the tourism sector.

Chapter 2: Indian Folk Art : An Information, Education and Communication Tool

Folk Media and Development Communication:

  • The popularity of the folk media is because of its inexhaustible treasure of vivid forms, local aesthetics and meaningful themes.
  • Folk media draws its strength from age-old traditional stories and mythology. Thus, it remains forever young in its appeal.
  • It provides entertainment in the local dialect and has the aesthetic air of belonging and affinity in the local cultural context, thus it touches hearts and minds so easily.
  • For example, people get attracted to tamashas (musical dance shows with a comedian and associate troupe) because of their lively performance, contemporary storyline, colourful presentation, melody, dance and compatibility with local audience culture.
  • Bhajans are quite popular because of familiar religious themes, melodious voice of the singer and again compatibility with local audience culture.
  • Nautanki is another popular folk media. It has intense melodic exchange among performers who perform song, dance, skit, comedy and chorus singing. Nautankis were used extensively in family planning, anti-dowry campaigns. Similarly, dramas, quawwallis, dhandhar, puppet show, Harikatha, Pala, Daskathia and other media attract huge crowds.
  • Jatra is a popular folk theatre in West Bengal, Odisha, Tripura, Assam and Bihar. It is a very long play preceded by a musical concert. These Jatras have been used to bring literary works to the village.
  • Folk media is deeply entrenched in festivals and fairs. In India, we have festivals for every season, deity, rituals, history and for all occasions. Every state or every region has a culture or region-specific festival, for example, Onam in Kerala, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra, Rath Yatra in Odisha, Durga Puja in Bengal, Phool Dei in Uttarakhand, Baisakhi in Punjab, etc. These festivals and fairs are great occasions to communicate the behaviour change messages.
  • Despite the arrival of mass media and new communication technologies, it still exists as a vital mode of communication in the rural hinterland.

Concerns:

  • For a long time, the literature on development communication ignored the role of the folk media.
  • As a result, most of the development communication resources were devoted to technology-based media like radio and television, new age information, almost alien to the local culture.
  • The experience in India showed that these top-down communication approaches, though were peripherally successful to send across the message, could not bring the necessary behaviour change at the grassroots.

Limitation of folk media:

  • Often in communication literature, the folk media is mentioned as a medium with limitations. The argument given is that the number of people folk media reach in a whole year is less than what the cinemas in the city do in less than a week.

Way forward:

Acknowledging the role of culture and folk media:

  • In a big country like India where the participation of people is the most essential condition for the success of any social reform, culture obviously becomes a facilitator of development. An integration of traditional and modern communication systems is important.
  • In a developing, predominantly rural, multi-lingual and diverse country like India, folk institutions, traditions and culture serve as a significant tool in motivating rural masses towards the government’s programmes implemented at national, state and district levels.
  • India is a land of diversity, where it is said that in every 12 km a dialect is replaced by another.

Governmental efforts:

  • The Song and Drama Division (SDD) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was created in 1954 to meet the need to use folk media for development.
  • Since then it has been using folk media such as theatre, mime, song, puppetry, ballets and dances for informing people about services and programmes made available by the government.

Swachh Bharat mission:

  • Experience of Swachh Bharat communication strategy indicates that it is the amalgamation of three elements: (i) a direct connect, (ii) traditional forms of communication i.e, use of folk art as communication media and (iii) an enabling environment that touches the heart of people most, that makes behaviour change possible.

Use of folk media:

  • Folk painting styles and all other media like Katha-kirtan, nautanki, tamasha, Jatra, etc. were used by the swachhagrahis to increase awareness on the subject of cleanliness.
  • The message of swachhata was communicated through folk media to millions of people.
  • All festivals were linked to swachhata and accordingly befitting folk media was mapped and awareness programmes were conducted on a mass scale.
  • One of the reasons for SBM’s success in bringing behaviour change among crores of Indians was its proactive and judicious use of folk media in the amalgamation of modern technology and huge public participation.

Conclusion:

  • To use the folk media as an effective development communication tool, finer technical points such as selection of appropriate folk media artists and language are important but also equally important is the use of modern technology and aids.

Chapter 3: Showcasing Folk Art and Culture at Global Stage

Introduction:

  • India is home to over 2500 tribes and ethnic groups that are both recognized and unrecognized. Art, including music, dance, crafts, and paintings has found its way into these groups, giving rise to at least a few thousand forms of art, yet only a few find their way into the mainstream.
  • Known to be one of the most ancient civilizations of the world with a rich and diverse cultural heritage and a conglomeration of cultures, India has always maintained its cultural heritage as an integral aspect of its global projection.

Challenges in preservation and conservation of folk art:

The Showcase Paradox:

Dilute uniqueness:

  • Rural and tribal folk art emerged from the raw lifestyles of the common man and was not necessarily meant for a proscenium setting.
  • The unrestrained commercial push to folk art may result in a scenario where intricate and intangible elements of the form get neglected, diluting the grandeur and uniqueness of each folk form today. An impatience to exhibit and popularize folk arts without preserving their original flavour and distinctiveness, through increased marketing of folk culture to boost the economy, may strip many folk forms of their uniqueness and individual specialty. This is more dangerous than ignoring the arts.
  • The intent of promoting culture is for its preservation apart from the livelihood opportunities they bestow on the associated artists.

Helped revive some art forms:

  • Preservation and conservation in India have been perhaps limited to that of traditional tribal and folk art. These vibrant and colourful art forms hold immense potential in the international market owing to their aesthetic sensibility and authenticity. The increased commercial attention received by some art forms has in fact helped their preservation and conservation.
    • The increased commercial attention has helped art forms like Ganjifa painting, Bhil painting, Roghan Art, Champa Rumal to return to popular culture.

Limitations associated with sacred forms:

  • Transportation Hubs including metro stations and airports in India have volunteered in preserving and sensitizing the passenger crowd it holds about various art forms. This effort has helped India in the drive to preserve its fine, folk and tribal arts to near perfection.
  • But this exercise of encasement is practical only for Visual Arts. Sacred forms like Baul Sangeet, Sopana Sangeetam, Theyyam, Gurbani and Qawwali need to be preserved in their original sacrosanct form rather than being solely presented as a cultural extravaganza in a performer-audience setting.

Calls for status quo:

  • The pursuit to bring the folk into the mainstream through implementing policies, use of communication facilities, has also been invasive in the traditional domain in a sense that strips away the barriers that once protected them.
  • There have been calls for the preservation of culture whilst maintaining the status quo.

Governmental efforts:

  • The government machinery in their respective capacities has tried their best in drawing Folk Culture along with other Classical Art forms to a Global Setting. The number of schemes and policy decisions implemented for the promotion of folk arts has increased in the last decade.

Grant in aid:

  • Through ICCR, in the last six years alone, Rs 1267.71 crores (ICCR Report, 2014-2020) was spent as Grant-in-Aid to various agencies for the promotion of art.

Outreach activities in other countries:

  • The government has organized ‘Festivals of India Abroad’ and ‘Namaste India’ in countries like Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Liechtenstein, Korea and Ukraine.
  • ICT initiatives including the Sanskriti Channel, virtual museums and the Indian culture portal, have tried reducing the distance between art and art enthusiasts overseas.
  • Promotion of Culture Ties with Diasporas (PCTD) schemes, various commemorations and festivals, establishments/renovations of cultural centres like the centre in Jaffna, Sri Lanka have all facilitated the showcasing of traditional Indian culture at an international level.

Bilateral agreements:

  • India has signed several bilateral agreements with other countries for cultural exchanges and promotion.

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav:

  • Since 2015, eleven Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsavs have been organised under the EK Bharat Shreshtha Bharat campaign which have served as a catalyst to protect and promote folk culture.

National Mission on cultural mapping:

  • National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM) has been set up by the Ministry of Culture in 2017. The mission will compile data of artists, art forms & geo-location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies.
  • Participatory movements and efforts involving documentation could facilitate the ambitious National Mission on Cultural Mapping and Roadmap.

‘Dekho Apna Desh’:

  • Instead of taking art forms to people, initiatives like ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ will help people go back to their roots, help appreciate that of others, and experience them in their natural setting so that torchbearers of culture needn’t migrate from their habitat in search of opportunities.

National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India:

  • The Ministry of Culture had launched a draft National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India as part of its Vision 2024. Through this, the government aims to increase awareness about the various intangible cultural heritage elements from different states of India at the national and international level. This will aid the protection and preservation of traditional Indian folk art and culture.

Conclusion:

  • There are several places and occasions in India of international interest. This provides an avenue not just for tourism and economic growth but also provide an opportunity to focus on the conservation and preservation of India’s art forms.
  • It is critical that the culture is first preserved in the vicinity of where it originated, then comes the sensitization of them in the other parts of the country before its showcase is even planned at an international level.
  • The need of the hour is the preservation of folk culture without divesting it of its sanctity.

Additional information:

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

  • Kumbh Mela is a recognized list item in the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • UNESCO’s upcoming meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage will consider including ‘Durga Puja’ in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Folk dances:

  • Some examples of folk dances – ‘Ghode Modini’ from Goa, ‘Poikkaal Kuthirai Aattam’ from Tamil Nadu and ‘Kachchi Ghodi’ from Rajasthan.
    • ‘Ghode Modini’ is performed to praise warriors from Goa, who fought ferocious battles against the Portuguese and to drive out thieves from villages.
    • ‘Kachchi Ghodi’, on the other hand, uses the folk media at weddings to narrate the tales of the Bhanwariya bandit.
    • ‘Poikkal Kuthirai Aattam’ is linked to the worship of Ayyanar in costumes of kings and queens indulging in acrobatics for hours.

Historical references to art:

  • One can trace back the roots of the classical arts to ‘Natya Shastra’ by Bharata Muni, which was first compiled between 200 BCE to 200 CE.
  • Books like Abhinaya Darpana by Nandikeshvara or the Sangita Ratnakara by Sarngadeva throw light on the folk art of the times.

Folk art and associated region:

Lai Haraoba Manipur
Vilasini Natyam Andhra Pradesh
Bor Geet Assam
Gaudiya Nritya West Bengal
Mahari Odisha
Yakshagana Karnataka
Krishnanattam Kerala
Hojagiri Tripura

Chapter 4: Arts and Crafts of Northeast India

Introduction:

  • The northeastern region of India bears a huge testimony to the country’s colourful tradition and heritage.
  • The seven states of the region is home to over 160 major Scheduled Tribes and over 400 other tribal and sub-tribal communities and groups, each having its own distinct and unique cultural tradition, replete with a rich history and folklore.

Arts and crafts of the region:

  • North-east’s artistic communities have a wide range of handicraft products, inspired by the distinct and unique cultural tradition of tribal communities and groups.

Handloom:

  • Every indigenous community of this region whether in the hills or in the plains has its own range of handloom textiles, each also depicting the distinct identity of the tribe or community.
    • In Nagaland, women of different tribal communities weave their respective wrappers, loincloths, scarves and aprons. The Ao shawl is known as tsungkotepsu, and the Angami shawl is called loramhousho.
    • In Arunachal Pradesh, Singpho women weave the pukang, Nyishi women the par-ij, Apatani women the bilan-abi and chinyu-abi.
    • In Mizoram, women weave different varieties of the puan — a drape and uncut rectangular fabric with well-crafted edges, as also the punchei and tuallohpuan.
    • In Meghalaya, the jeinsem worn by Khasi women comes in different colours and materials including muga silk and cotton. Garo women of Meghalaya weave the dakmanda, and occasionally an eking too.
    • The tribal communities of Tripura on the other hand are experts in weaving the rignai and pasara.
    • The gamosa – a traditional hand-woven cotton towel – of Assamese women have remained so popular and so also the Bodo scarf aronai.
  • The predominant materials used in the handloom include cotton, muga (golden silk), endi (warm silk) and paat (white silk).

Bamboo and Cane:

  • North-east’s artistic communities have a wide range of handicraft products, mostly manufactured of bamboo, cane and reed.
    • In Assam, the decorative jaapi made of bamboo and palm leaves is almost a must for welcoming guests and VVIPs.
    • Adi bolup, the Apatani bopo, both of Arunachal Pradesh, and the Mizo varika — not only bear deep cultural significance, but have attracted both buyers and researchers as well.
    • In Arunachal Pradesh, they even make hanging bridges across swift-flowing rivers including the Siang (Brahmaputra) with cane and bamboo.
    • Cane and bamboo craft occupies an important place in the economy of Meghalaya.
  • Northeast is home to at least 90 species of bamboos, of which 41 are endemic to the region.
  • The bamboo sector has provided means of livelihood to thousands of families across the region.

Woodcraft:

  • The north-eastern region is home to a wide variety of trees that provide raw material to the communities to make various items out of wood.
  • Wood-carving is popular across the region, and products range from human figures, replicas of birds and animals, door frames and furniture, etc.
  • Wood carving or woodcraft is particularly notable among the tribal communities of Nagaland. Different Naga tribes like Ao, Konyak, Sangtam, Phom, Chang, Khiamniungam and Yimchunger, also make log-drums carved out of solid pieces of logs — as part of their community tradition.
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, wood carving varies from tribe to tribe. The Sherdukpen and Monpa artisans produce a variety of door and window frames, boxes and wooden saddles, apart from beautifully painted household items like bowls, cups, plates and saucers. The magnificent wooden masks produced by the Monpa, Sherdukpen, Memba and Khamba tribes, used in ceremonial dances are really eye-catching. Wood carving of the Khamti, Wancho, and Tangsa communities on the other hand depicts human figures, as also replicas of birds and animals. The Khamtis, being Buddhists by faith, also make beautiful images of various deities.
  • In Assam, the dhol played in Rongali Bihu is made of wood, so are the traditional drums of the Bodo, Rabha, Mishing and Karbi communities. Monks in Satra monasteries create sculpted wooden door-frames, and various kinds of guru-asana — the altar where the Holy Scripture is kept inside the naam-ghar, the traditional prayer hall.

Masks:

  • Indigenous communities of north-eastern India also manufacture and use a variety of masks in their rituals and festivals.
  • Masks are also associated with various indigenous religious faiths and beliefs.
  • In Assam, mask-making is particularly concentrated in the Satra institutions — Vaishnavite monasteries—in Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited river island. Artisans, mostly monks, use bamboo, cane, clay, cloth, jute, coir and paper pulp to make masks, which are an integral part of the traditional Bhawona performance.
  • The Monpas and Sherdukpens of Arunachal Pradesh use a wide range of masks in their traditional and ritual dances and festivals. These are made of handmade paper, cloth, fur, feathers, bamboo and cane.

Jewellery:

  • Different communities of the north-east make their own traditional jewellery.
  • In Assam, traditional gold and silver jewellery have a special place in marriage ceremonies, as also part of a dancing girl’s attire during Rongali Bihu.
  • Ornament-making is also a popular craft widely practised across communities in Arunachal Pradesh. Singpho, Monpa, Sherdukpen, Wancho and other communities use beads, shells, stones, wax, silver, gold, wood, clay, wild seeds, bamboo, cane and reeds, feathers, etc. to make various ornaments.

Brass and Bell Metal:

  • In Assam, two places, Sarthebari and Hajo are traditional centres for manufacturing various brass and bell-metal products. They also make bhor-taal (large cymbals) used during prayers in the naam-ghar and Satra, while smaller cymbals are musical instruments used with Bihu and oja-pali songs.
  • Huge gongs and singing bowls manufactured in Assam go out to Buddhist monasteries across the Himalayan region.

Pottery:

  • Pottery, especially based on clay, is more common in the plains of Assam, Manipur and Tripura, though tribal communities in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram too manufacture a variety of pottery with their limited clay resources.
  • Wheel-less pottery villages exist, particularly in Majuli island.
  • In Dhubri (western Assam), a cluster of villages has specialized in manufacturing fascinating terracotta and pottery items. While tubs, pots and pitchers are common, they also manufacture a wide range of clay toys depicting dolls, animals, and idols of gods and goddesses, which have a global attraction.
  • Several villages in western Tripura too have a rich tradition of manufacturing various pottery products, which include toys and decorative items, apart from the earthen Diyas.
  • Longpi, a village in Ukhrul district of Manipur stands out with its black earthenware.
  • In the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, the Larnai area excels in the blue-grey earthen pottery that is shaped by hand, without the aid of a potter’s wheel.

Challenges to the art forms:

  • The above-mentioned art and crafts have been facing stiff competition from machine-made products, whether manufactured elsewhere in the country or outside India.
  • Traditional artisans are increasingly facing a tough time, especially with production cost rising every passing day, while the majority of customers look for low-priced items.

Recommendations:

  • The first step is to preserve the traditional art forms from becoming extinct.
  • Secondly, there is a need to integrate the traditional technique with modern know-how.
  • Art products produced traditionally can be promoted as souvenirs, decorative items and collector’s items alongside tourism.

Conclusion:

  • The Prime Minister’s call for India to become AatmaNirbhar can probably also focus on the traditional art and crafts sector of the north-eastern region so that such a rich heritage does not get wiped away due to so-called modernization.

Additional information:

Tribes and associated states:

Adi, Apatani, Sherdukpen, Tangsa or Khamti tribe Arunachal Pradesh
Reang, Jamatia, Noatia or Uchai tribe Tripura

Chapter 5: MSME- A Powerful Engine of India’s Economic Growth

Significance of the MSME sector:

  • The MSME sector accounts for 29 percent of the Indian GDP.
  • It employs 11 crore people in its 6.3 crore enterprises. MSME sector is next to agriculture in terms of providing employment.
  • MSME sector accounts for 48 percent of Indian exports.
  • Through its strong and complex backward and forward linkages, the sector provides essential support to large enterprises and their value chain. MSMEs are complementary to large industries as ancillary units and this sector contributes enormously to the socio-economic development of the country.
  • One-fifth of the MSMEs are based in rural areas. This also indicates the role they play in promoting sustainable and inclusive development and generating large scale employment in rural areas.
  • MSMEs not only play a crucial role in providing large employment opportunities at a comparatively lower capital cost than large industries but also help in the industrialization of backward areas. They also help in reducing the regional imbalance, assuring equitable distribution of national income and wealth.

Impact of the pandemic:

  • The Indian MSME sector has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with millions of businesses across different sectors seeing extensive economic devastation.
  • Hit by COVID-19 and its aftermath, the MSME sector has been facing a strong contraction in revenue.
  • The sector suffered the most in ensuring business continuity, challenged by severe liquidity crunch and dipping demand. The sector has challenges such as delayed payments, over-dependence on a few customers and lack of a skilled workforce.
  • Even though contributing significantly to exports, Indian MSMEs are still not regarded as a force to reckon with in the international markets.

Sector-wise impact of COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The demand shocks are expected to hurt the Indian textile exports and employment will be impacted because of limited demand.
    • The textile and apparel sector provides 45 million direct employment and contributes two percent of GDP.
  • The auto and auto components sector which provides 40 million employments and contributes 7.1 percent of GDP, will be significantly impacted due to a reduction in people’s purchasing power.
  • The tourism and hospitality sector will see a huge job loss.
  • The real estate sector is one of the biggest employment generators in the country and has a multiplier effect on around 250 allied industries. Housing is expected to have a muted demand.
  • While the impact of the pandemic is likely to be low on both primary agricultural produce and usage of agri inputs like seeds, pesticides and fertilizers, all food exports to major economies will grapple for the next six months.
    • The food and agri sector contributes to 16.5 percent of GDP and provides 43 percent of the total employment.

Governmental efforts:

  • Apart from the initial relief package to MSME during the COVID-19 crisis, the Union Budget 2021-22 brought relief to the capital-starved MSMEs with the government infusing Rs. 15,700 crore into the sector.
  • The decision to incentivize the incorporation of One Person Companies (OPCs) in the budget will feed the MSME eco-system.
  • Also, by redefining MSMEs, the Central Government and the Ministry of MSME have brought in a large number of micro and small units under the sector, benefitting them with measures, schemes and concessions.
  • There have been numerous measures announced under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan as well for the MSME sector. The measures include Rs. 20,000 crore subordinate debt for MSMEs, Rs. 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME fund of funds, Rs. 3 lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee scheme (ECLGS).
    • The ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ is a mission to galvanise the forces of growth across the country in various sectors of the economy. It is a launchpad for fostering entrepreneurship, nurturing innovation and the creation of an eco-system for rural-urban symbiotic development. The five pillars of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ include economy, infrastructure, systems, vibrant demography and demand.
  • The collateral-free automatic loan for businesses has been a major support to the sector. The rationalization of taxes and duties (for various products from steel and alloys to garments and leather) favours domestic manufacturers and will further boost the sector.
  • The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) adopted the cluster approach as a key strategy for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness as well as capacity building of small enterprises (including small scale industries and small scale service and business entities) in the country.

Potential sectors for growth:

  • It is worth noting that there are some certain sectors as mentioned below which are throwing open great opportunities for entrepreneurs in the current context.

Health and Wellness:

  • There are immense possibilities today in the Indian healthcare industry.
  • A number of start-ups have come up using the pandemic as an opportunity.
    • A few examples include Bangaluru based start-up Biodesign Innovation Labs, which has come up with a portable ventilator, and Hyderabad based Aerobiosys Innovations which has come up with an IOT enabled ventilation system ‘JEEVAN Lite’. It is a low-cost portable ventilator that can be used during power cuts also. There are also many other start-ups that have come up with solutions using Al to address various issues like misinformation around coronavirus.
  • The healthcare industry has three major problems – affordability, reach and trust and the recent innovations have tried to address these challenges.

Digital Education:

  • This sector is experiencing new growth during the pandemic period.
  • The pandemic has made it essential for educators and learners to adopt more efficient digital processes and tools. As the economy normalizes, the disruptions and innovations coming to the fore during this phase will become key industry growth drivers in future.
  • Companies like BYJU’s, WhitehatJr, Unacademy, Toppr, Vedanta, etc. have gained up to three times surge in usage since the first phase of lockdown.

E-Commerce and Delivery Based Services:

  • The E-Commerce and Delivery based sectors are booming.
  • Given the advent of technological revolution and interface management systems, the industry was already on a growth trajectory and the recent turn of events have further catalyzed the entire game to unprecedented levels. India’s online grocers, Big Basket and Grofers have nearly doubled the number of daily deliveries and both are expected to hire new personnel to meet the increasing demand.
  • In fact, e-retail including online grocery will be a sunrise sector in the long term even after the COVID-19 chapter comes to a close.

OTT platforms and Online Gaming:

  • With cinema halls facing closure, movies are being released online through partnerships with media streaming applications. The OTT platforms and online gaming have surfaced above the conventional ways of entertainment.

Alternative Medicine:

  • The self-care industry has seen growth during the pandemic, and consumption of motivational content, exercises, healthy diets, mind management, etc., has increased exponentially.
  • Ayurveda market is continuously growing and along with that, there is a growing market for healthy snacks.

Recommendations:

For businesses:

  • It is time for Indian businesses to transform and take a positive approach towards investment for building ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’.
  • Entrepreneurs need to take advantage of the opportunity thrown up by the COVID-19 crisis.

For government:

  • The government along with facilitating entrepreneurs to capitalize on opportunities must also focus on increasing investment in the social sector including healthcare, education, environment and rural infrastructure. There is a need to look at sustaining demand and the government should plan to push demand through another fiscal stimulus.

Focus on strategic sectors:

  • India must embark on its journey of self-reliance and start with three missions – solar and battery energy, consumer electronics and Artificial Intelligence.

Moving from imitation to innovation:

  • For long, Indian companies, be it pharmaceuticals, automobile, or IT services, have enjoyed imitation.
    • It is pertinent to note that India’s Research and Development spending is 0.6 percent of GDP, whereas for China it is 2.1 percent and South Korea 4.55 percent.

For the MSME sector:

  • Owing to the strong government support and the resilience shown by MSMEs, the sector has been able to take off, scripting a revival story. The sector still needs a much stronger policy thrust to maximize its potential.

Capital access:

  • There is a need for greater focus on making credit and capital easily accessible to MSMEs. The lending ecosystem, therefore, needs to be eased and strengthened by leveraging digital technologies for a seamless lending process and for assessing the credit risk of potential borrowers.

Other aspects:

  • Addressing skilling challenges
  • Easing various licencing and compliance regulation
  • Making interventions that would guide the sector to wider markets, through e-commerce
  • The MSMEs, to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and identify opportunities, need to:
    • Embrace technology and digitization
    • Focus on business innovation
    • Monitor labour productivity
    • Launch e-commerce vertical
    • Business needs to be more agile and come up with crisis management strategies
    • Building resilient and local supply chain

Conclusion:

  • In the post-pandemic phase, India is aiming to discover possibilities for spurring inclusive, equitable growth, and to discover new value chains that would make the country self-reliant.
  • The MSME sector would play a key role in the making of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
  • Looking ahead, the challenges are in building the next generation of MSMEs that can function as powerhouses of the economy. It is imperative for MSMEs to demonstrate greater competitiveness, position themselves strategically and leverage their engagements in global value chains.

Chapter 6: Warlis: Life Around Nature

Tribal folk art in India:

  • India has one of the largest tribal populations in the world.
  • In India, all states except a few, have a tribal population.
  • Our country has a rich tradition of folk art that originates from tribes in different parts of India.

Warlis:

  • Warlis are an aboriginal tribe living in the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range of Maharashtra.
  • The Warlis are mainly found in Thane, Palghar, Mokhada, Talasari, Vikramgad, Vada, Jawahar, Dahanu, Cosbad, Nashik and Dhule districts in Maharashtra; Valsad district in Gujarat; and the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
  • Warlis speak an unwritten Warli language.
  • Their main occupation is agriculture and allied activates. They cultivate, gather and grow a single crop for subsistence and also gather forest produce in the form of fruits and herbs. Farming is their main occupation and also a way of life for them.
  • Warlis’ life revolves around forest and forest products. They remain highly dependent on nature and natural products.

Relationship with nature:

  • Warlis are considered as one of the most significant tribes of Maharashtra as they share one of the most unique relationships with nature which makes them different in comparison with other tribes of Maharashtra.
  • Warlis worship nature and believe in peaceful and sustainable co-existence with nature.
    • The Warlis worship the earth and refer to it as the mother goddess.
    • They are well known to have a faith in Tiger God (Vaghai). They acknowledge Waghoba and worship its role in balancing the food chain. They consider the tiger as a symbol of life and regeneration. They do not have well-built temples but have carved wooden statues of tigers for worship.
  • The Warlis’ daily social settings show a close relationship with nature which is reflected in their art, communicated through their paintings, on the wall in the form of stories and happenings of their daily life.

Warli painting:

  • The most crucial form of art of the Warli’s is the Warli painting.
  • There are no records of the exact origin of this art but its roots can be traced to the early 10th century AD.

Materials used:

  • They use fine powder of Geru known as lal mati and mix it with water to form liquid colour to prepare the mud-plastered walls. They use the muddy walls as their canvas.
  • Bamboo sticks are crushed at the end to form a brush.
  • The Warlis use only white colour for their paintings. The white colours are made using a mixture of rice dough and natural glues which are obtained from trees.

Features:

  • In Warli paintings, usage of basic geometric shapes like triangles, circles, squares and lines are used to add effect and beauty.
  • All these shapes are influenced by nature.
    • The triangle often symbolizes hills and pointed trees.
    • The circles symbolize the sun and the moon god.
    • The squares symbolize chowks. Inside the chowk, they paint their mother goddess, Palghata, symbolizing fertility.

Context:

  • Homes of the Warlis are painted at the time of marriage, birth of children and new harvest.
  • ‘LagnachaChauk’, meaning marriage paintings, are sacred and without them, marriage cannot take place.

Themes:

  • The Warli paintings reflect their beliefs and traditions. They depict the life and culture of the Warli community.
  • The paintings highlight the struggles of their daily life. Activities of hunting, fishing, farming, festivals, dances, trees, snakes, ants and animals are depicted in their paintings.
  • The Warli paintings show the simple lives of the people in the region. They live peacefully with their animals and give equal significance to every aspect of life in their paintings.

Changes in the art form:

  • Warli paintings, which were first made by women to communicate their daily social life situations, are now even done by men.
  • In contemporary times, Warli paintings have also started depicting radios, cycles and double-decker buses.
  • Warli painting is also seen in major five-star hotels, firms, in trending fashion and many other places. There is new creativity being seen in warli art.

Significance:

  • Today, warli painters are famous throughout the world.
  • Warli painting is now a new source of income for the Warli community.

Dance forms of the Warlis:

  • Dance is a very important part of the Warli culture.
  • The Tarpa (instrument) dance, is one of the most famous dance forms of the Warlis.
    • When the Tarpa is played, the Warlis gather and dance together to the rhythm of the Tarpa. The Warlis sing songs to worship nature, especially the sun and moon.
  • Along with Tarpa dance, Dhol dance, Gauri dance are also important in Warli culture.

Chapter 7: Understanding Indian Classical Dance

History of classical dance in India:

  • Classical dance started out in the form of worship in temples, then in the kingdoms of the Mughal Empire, and this gained acceptance (since the 18th-19th centuries) at an international level in the field of ‘Art and Culture’.
    • The earliest evidence of dance can be traced to Bharat Muni’s Natya Sastra (believed to be written prior to 200 C.E.).

Classical dances of India:

  • Bharatanatyam, one of the most famous Indian classical dances, belongs to the State of Tamil Nadu. This is famous as Ekaharya, where a single dancer performs many characters.
  • Kathak is a popular dance form of North India and has three major Gharans: Lucknow, Jaipur and Banaras.
  • Kathakali is from Kerala with a perfect blend of dance, music, drama, expressions, and the costumes which are huge and enchanting as they involve green colour Paccha make-up on face, kirita (big golden headgear) and other elaborate costumes.
  • Mohiniattam dance, which is also from Kerala, is subtle with delicate movements of body parts and is generally performed solo by a woman (known as dance by the enchantress).
  • Manipuri dance from Manipur has a more devotional form and is based on Radha-Krishan’s Raslila.
  • Odissi is one of the ancient dances which depicts the archaeological culture of Odisha and has a circular movement of legs. Tribhanga is its main standing posture in which the body bends at three levels.
  • Kuchipudi dance belongs to the State of Andhra Pradesh and has fast foot movements with dramatic expressions and dialogues. It is also performed on the edge of a brass plate (known as Tarangam) on the beats of Carnatic music.

Characteristics of classical dances:

  • Classical dance in India is broadly represented in two formats.
    • One is Tandava, which is said to be originated by Lord Shiva (believed to be the originator of dance and mudras as ‘Nataraja’) and includes fast movements of body parts to show aggression, courage, etc.
    • Another is Lasya, which displays grace, love, beauty, gentleness (it is believed to be originated by Goddess Parvati), and is mostly performed by females.
  • Performance or Abhinaya in the classical dance forms is divided into three parts: Natya, referring to the imitation of a story; Nritta, implying actual dance movements; and Nritya, depicting the usage of facial and hand gestures/motions.
  • Classical dances are different from folk dances which lack strict rules.
    • Folk dances include Bhangra from Punjab, Ghoomar from Rajasthan, Lavani from Maharashtra, Bihu from Assam, Garba from Gujarat, Chhau from West Bengal and Odisha, Bacha Nagma and Rouf from Jammu and Kashmir, etc.

Various benefits of Indian Classical Dance:

Helps in acupressure treatment:

  • Indian classical dances involve immense footwork whose pace differs as per the dance.
  • These are done barefoot. So when feet are skillfully put on the ground, several acupressure points are naturally pressed.
    • Example – Kathak’s Jaipur Gharana includes fast footwork and spins.

Enables Free expression of creativity and loving all our emotions:

  • Regular dancing enhances one’s creative skills especially so in the case of classical dances, where one needs to also act while dancing. Classical dance is a performing art, which involves innovative communication of emotions and feelings.

Bestows on us yogic benefits of different hand mudras as well as connects us with nature:

  • All classical dances use hand mudras or Hastak to truly denote or express the storyline, characters or emotions or meaning of the song to the audience.
  • Classical dance also becomes a yogic practice with the use of all its mudras.

Helps in perfect alignment of body and keeps us physically healthy:

  • All dances keep the body’s weight under control, but classical dance makes us more mentally and physically active and healthy and helps to maintain alignment in the body.
  • Dance helps to keep our body in perfect shape, as it is equivalent to exercising, doing aerobics or yoga, and promotes fitness and flexibility.

Promotes better coordination of left and right side of the brain:

  • In classical dances, there are simultaneously focused movements of hands, limbs, face, head, feet, etc. which require performing different actions at the same time.
  • This factor leads to greater coordination and connection between both sides of the brain, thereby activating the mid-brain – which helps to release happiness hormone, stimulates the proper functioning of visual and audio processing.

Releases good hormones and aids in mental and psychological health:

  • When one dances, it is equivalent to an activity that secretes feel-good hormones like Endorphins (which is released in the brain to deal with pain and curtails stress hormone Cortisol), Dopamine as the happiness hormone, and Serotonin as a mood-uplifting hormone, etc.
  • Indian classical dances offer immense therapeutic benefits for our mind, body and soul.
    • Research has shown that in Kathak, mainly in Jaipur Gharana, the fast tatkar helps in relieving stress, anger and anxiety whereas, soft and peaceful movements in dances like Manipuri bring ease and relaxation.

Conclusion:

  • India needs to give due importance to classical dances and utilize their advantages.
  • There should be a greater amount of learning and performing of classical dances to comprehend their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.

Chapter 8: Traditional Toy Industry- New India’s Sunrise Sector

Significance of toys:

  • Toys are an important part of childhood, as they aid in physiological, mental, and emotional development.
  • The activities and control that are required to understand and operate varying types of toys, instill a sense of shape and colour, enhance cognitive abilities, and improve creativity.

Traditional toys:

  • Local toys are manufactured from various raw materials such as plastic, wood, rubber, metals and textiles.
  • It is a labour-oriented industry based on master craftsmanship and creative designing.
  • Toymakers who live in cities and industrial areas make use of recycled waste materials such as old newspapers, discarded cartons, metal scraps, boxes and tins. The use of recycled materials has no overhead cost and hence enables artisans to manufacture and sell toys at an unbelievably low price.

Significance of traditional toy industry:

Source of livelihood:

  • The Indian toy manufacturing industry is the livelihood of thousands of craftsmen and their families.
  • This sector also plays an important role in generating employment opportunities for women and providing a regular source of income for rural households. In the toy industry, over 60 percent of toy factory workers are women.

Cultural asset:

  • Traditional toys are also an important cultural asset as they depict ancient mythological stories and display the beliefs and traditions that exist among communities.
  • Manufactured all over the country, Indian toys reflect cultural diversity in the range of products manufactured.
  • Traditional toys are a means to preserve the cultural heritage of the nation.

Concerns associated with the sector:

Untapped potential:

  • The Indian toy retail market was valued at INR 16,000 Crore (USD 2.2 Bn) in 2020, which accounts for <1 percent of the global market.

Continued dependence on imports:

  • Currently, 85 percent of the domestic demand for toys is met through imports from China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Germany, etc.
  • India’s toy exports stand at Rs. 730 Crore (USD 100 Million).
  • This trade deficit is alarmingly large, given the potential of India to be self-reliant in an industry that is likely to grow at 10-15 percent against the global average of 5 percent.

Governmental efforts:

  • With Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Vocal for Local’, concerted efforts are being made to uplift the traditional toy industry in India to a global level.
  • To boost the toy industry, the Government has undertaken the following initiatives:

National Action Plan:

  • A comprehensive action plan to boost local manufacturing and incentivize toy and handicraft manufacturers in the country has been initiated.

Toy Fair:

  • In line with the national initiative to promote the domestic toy industry, the government organized a National Toy Fair. The toy fair aimed to provide a platform to promote traditional, eco-friendly, and indigenous toys and boost the Indian economy by supporting the local toy industry.

Toycathon:

  • A first-of-its-kind hackathon to develop indigenous toys and games highlighting India’s culture, history and mythology, it aims to invite students, teachers, start-ups, toy experts and professionals to innovate and submit feasibility assessments for local manufacturing of creative toys, games and concepts.

Toy Cluster Programme:

  • 90 percent of the Indian toy industry is unorganized, with more than 4,000 micro, small and medium enterprises operating across the country.
  • To streamline this sector, the government announced the ‘Product Specific Industrial Cluster Development Programme’ in 2020 to build toy clusters in dedicated SEZs and help them become customized, self-sustained ecosystems catering to export markets.
  • The government is also providing incentives at each step, from setting up a plant and facilitating key resources at subsidized rates to incentivizing running costs with the single goal of attracting investments and building export capacity.

State government schemes:

  • Several state governments have swung into action and allocated dedicated areas for building toy cities and park clusters.
  • Karnataka is creating India’s first toy cluster in Koppal district, designed with a view of housing an inclusive ecosystem of ancillary suppliers and industrial and social infrastructure.

Conclusion:

  • With the numerous government initiatives, growing awareness around traditional toys and a countrywide push for local handicrafts, New India’s traditional toy industry is at the cusp of unprecedented growth.
  • The industry is witnessing rapid transformation through a plethora of technological innovations and is likely to become a major contributor to the economy in the coming years.
  • The growth of the traditional toy industry is truly a step towards the vision of a self-reliant new India.

Chapter 9: Role of Folk Media in Nation Building

Folk Media:

  • Traditional folk media is a term used to denote ‘people’s performances’. This term refers to the performing arts which can be described as the cultural symbols of the people.
  • Folk media include visual, verbal, and aural forms accepted by a specific community and used to entertain, inform, or instruct.
  • Folk dance, rural drama and musical variety of the village people, all come under folk media. Poetry, puppetry, songs, and dramas are examples of folk media. Traditional folk media is not just confined to dance and music, but also includes art and crafts.

Folk Media in India:

  • Rural India is a treasure trove of folk art, theatre, music, dance, art and craft.
  • In India, folk performance is a composite art. It is a total art created by the fusion of elements from music, dance, pantomime, versification, epic ballad recitation, religion and festival peasantry. It absorbs ceremonies, rituals, beliefs and of course the social system.

Role of Folk media:

  • Folk media are the arts that have been transmitting values, thoughts, norms, beliefs and experiences of people through its various forms. This media can play an important role in nation-building as it is depicting the realistic culture of people.

Lacunae in the state policy:

  • The folk media in India seems to be used as a supplement to the mass media rather than being considered as the centre of communication efforts to reach 70 percent of India’s total population who live in villages.
  • Mass media has been playing a major role in nation-building but the main concern has been the reach of mass media which has been limited to urban areas, largely unable to trespass in the rural areas because of its orientation towards the urban population.

Significance of folk media in IEC:

  • Traditional folk media has the capability to reach a large number of rural people as this media is embedded in the traditions of the local community.
  • The reach of folk media is higher as it breaks the language and literacy barriers, and adds curiosity in the listeners, which can change the attitude and perception of people.
  • The folk media are considered dynamic in that they are adaptable, subject to change, and capable of incorporating new forms and ideas.
  • Even in the era of advanced technology, the folk media have a more propounded effect as we can use this media based on our flexibility of time, space and attract the audience via adequate idioms, purposeful significance and entertainment component.
  • Traditional performing arts being functional, interpersonal and having a contextual base would be able to carry the message of change, development and growth.
  • Folk media persuades the individual through a face-to-face situation in the rural setting and convinces a large audience about the message through personal touch.

Use of folk media:

At the global level:

  • The first significant international recognition of the traditional media in the communication and development strategies of the developing countries came in the year 1972 when the international parenthood federation and UNESCO organized a series of meetings in London relating to the integrated use of folk and traditional media in family planning communication programmes.

Independence movement of India:

  • “Baul, “Kavigan”, “Chhau” dance of Bengal, “Lavani” of Maharashtra, “Gee-Gee” of Karnataka, and “Villupattu” of Tamil Nadu were effective in arousing the conscience of the people against British colonial rule.
  • The eminent Tamil poet Sumbramania Bharati started using folk music to evoke patriotic feelings.
  • The traditional media were effective in many political and social campaigns launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Folk tunes were used to popularize songs and glories of spinning wheels and consequently boycotting British goods.
  • Similarly, in the 1940s, the India People Theatre Association successfully used some of the popular regional theatres like “Jatra” of Bengal, “Baval” of Gujarat, “Tamasa” of Maharastra, “Burkatha” of Andhra Pradesh, to increase social awareness and political education.

Strategies for Promoting Role of Folk Media for Nation-Building:

Identifying Interest, Needs and Attitudes of Rural Communities:

  • For the success of any developmental programme, there is a need for the identification of interests and requirements of the rural community in different regions of the country. This will result in a proper understanding of the grassroots situation and will be helpful in drawing the attention of people towards important issues.
  • It will also help in better integration with the customs and beliefs of the local communities.

Planning:

  • Planning is needed for the implementation and success of any developmental programme. Through proper planning, the gaps in communicating the message will be eliminated.

Utilizing the Social Structure of Village:

  • In a rural situation, there are change agents who act as a source for reinforcement of decisions.
  • In order to promote the development of the nation, there is a need for understanding the rural situation, its social structure and potential change agents.

Integration of Folk Media, Mass Media and Social Media:

  • Integration of folk media with mass media and social media channels would add a flavour that would create value to the dissemination of the message.
  • The advantage of the integration of folk media is to spread the message to a large number of masses in a short period of time.
    • For example, Nutritional International, a YouTube channel, developed a video named Namak Raja for promoting iodized salt in India.

Chapter 10: Preserving Performing Arts

Performing arts:

  • The performing arts are arts such as music, dance, and drama that are performed for an audience. They also include oral traditions and folk songs.

India – A repository of performing arts:

  • Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Sattariya, Mohiniyattam are recognized as classical dances of India.
  • In music, India has Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music styles under which there are numerous singing schools with their own unique character.
  • The following table provides a list of performing art practices and the corresponding states/region:

 

Performing Art State
Ras, Rasiya Geet, Nautanki, Birha, Sohar, Hori, Dhobiya Dance, Alha, Ramleela Uttar Pradesh
Pankhida, Lotia, Ghoomer, Kalbelia, Swang, Phad, Langa and Mangniyar, Khyal, laavni Rajasthan
Pandvani, Baans Geet, Loriki, Nacha Chhattisgarh/

Madhya Pradesh

Ramleela, Shakunakhar, Mangalgeet, Devgeet, Baramasa Kumaon
Mando, Dasavatar Goa
Chhakri, Bhand Pather, Rouf  Dance, Bachnagama, Bhakha Jammu and Kashmir
Laman Himachal Pradesh
Tappa, Bhand Mirasi, Jugni, Dhad Sarangi, Algojha, Heer, Bhangra, Gidda, Shabad Kirtan Punjab
Sang/Swang ragini Haryana
Powada, Lavani, Tamasha, Dasavatar, Jhadipatti Maharashtra
Burrakatha Andhra Pradesh
Bhuta Song, Kuttiyattam, Kathakali, Mohiniattam, Mudiyattu, Chavittunatakam Kerala
Daskathiya, Prahalad Natak, Bharat Leela, Ramleela, Daskathia, Chhau Odisha

 

Bihu, Sattariya, Gayan Bayan, Tokri Geet, Jikir Zari, Ojhapali, Dhulia Circus, Mobile Theatre, Devdhani, Bhavona Assam
Li Haroba, Manipuri Ras, Sumang Leela, Pung Cholam, Dhol Cholam, Moirang Parva Manipur
Saikuti Zai, Bamboo Dance Mizoram
Basant Geet, Ghasiyari Geet Garhwal
Salhes Naach, Chandaini, Vidapat, Bhikari Thakur’s Bidesia, Chaiti, Jat Jatin, baramasa, Poorvi, Hori, Jogida Bihar
Villu Paatu, Ammanaivari Tamil Nadu
Hojagiri Tripura
Chhau Jharkhand
Jhumur, Chand Biwir Pala Gaan, Baul, Chhau, Jatra West Bengal
Bhavai, Garba, Dandiya Gujarat

Significance of performing arts:

Livelihood avenue:

  • The performing arts industry is very big in India and it supports thousands of craftsmen, technicians, actors, hall owners, etc. to sustain their livelihood.

Part of human culture:

  • Performing arts are locally connected, community-based living practice. Through the performing arts, artists keep on sharing the knowledge acquired from the elders. Performing arts makes a natural bonding between the generations.
  • Hence, performing arts are a very important part of human culture.
  • Human beings can remain connected to their roots through the performing arts.

Cultural heritage:

  • Apart from being a tool of survival and a source of earning for many artists, performing arts are the repository of intangible cultural heritage. Performing arts is an important avenue to showcase India’s cultural diversity to the world.

Portrays cultural diversity and creativity:

  • Performing arts promotes cultural diversity and human creativity which are so very important for the holistic development of human beings.

Impact of the modern age on performing arts:

  • In the 21st century, the content, form, and style of the performing arts are being changed with time. This is to cater to the audiences’ changing tastes and preferences.

Safeguarding the performing arts:

  • Given the threat to the original form of performing arts, there is a need to maintain the basic traditions, philosophy, and nuances of many performing arts. The practice of various performing arts must seek to acknowledge the specific practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills, appropriate, associated instruments, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces and forms.
  • The performing arts create an intangible cultural experience that needs to be safeguarded, preserved, and recreated, and transmitted to the next generation as heritage.

Recommendations for safeguarding performing arts:

  • Need to develop a specific museum (Living Home) of live performing arts at the regional level. These living homes of performing arts should develop inventories to encourage creativity in the community and individuals to originate effective expressions. The state will have to support the establishment of living houses for performing artists.
  • The establishment of a performing arts council at the regional level will be helpful to take measures to ensure the substantial existence of the art form.
  • Scholars, researchers should be engaged to identify and define the best practices of art.
  • India must encourage the practice of the performing arts in schools and institutions. Every school should host the regional local cultural expressions in the form of performing arts in their campus with the involvement of the traditional artists and the stakeholders. It will help them to get a better status and sustainability.
  • Documentation is a good effort to preserve a tradition/practice. The community members are needed to be involved and trained to document the practice with all its tangible and intangible elements.
  • Ministry of Culture, Government of India with its regional Zonal Cultural Centres, Sangeet Natak Akademi, National School of Drama, Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), Kalakshetra and many state cultural bodies should continue giving grants to individuals and institutions for creation, research and organizing festivals and celebrations of performing arts in India.
  • The state could establish Indian Cultural Services, to bring some best administrative minds of the country to enhance the status and practice of performing arts.
  • For the further betterment and innovation in performing arts, there is a need to have more investments, cultural administrators, professional performing artists at district levels, museum cultural complexes, cultural library, cultural magazines, fellowships, and scholarships and, training opportunities.
  • Low cost fully equipped auditoriums at the block level may support the artists in a big way. More opportunities for artists can be created so that they can perform for the rural spectators as well.
  • National, regional and local performing arts competitions, and creative workshops and productions may be facilitated by the government and local bodies concerned. National, regional and local channels that would showcase, document, and disseminate the knowledge behind the practice of various performing arts can also be encouraged.

Gist of Kurukshetra April 2021:- Download PDF Here

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