Scholars demand establishment of National Folklore Academy

New Delhi, Dec. 8 (ANI): A three-day national workshop on 'Documentation, Conservation and Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage of India' concluded here yesterday with scholars demanding an immediate survey of Indian folklore and establishment of a National Folklore Academy for the conservation of pluralistic and diversified identity of Indian culture.

The scholars said: "In the current socio-political context, the folklore of the people has been marginalized, hence it is vanishing away. Therefore, efforts should be made to preserve this intangible cultural heritage through documentation."

"As a country having rich and diverse cultural heritage these vanishing traditions should be documented in various formats and should be kept in archives/museums for the purpose of future generations.

"This intangible cultural heritage including traditional and indigenous knowledge systems and technology will be an asset to 'knowledge industry' and shall be useful as a raw material for 'new industries", the scholars felt.

Apart from this, archives and museums on intangible cultural heritage would be instrumental to generate personal pride of communities through their heritage, thus paving way to keep their identity within the community and outside for a mutual understanding and co-existence.

The conference felt that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws must benefit all holders of such IPRs equally - whether they are huge multinationals spending billions of dollars on research or traditional local communities where knowledge has simply been passed on to one generation to other.

The resolution passed at the conclusion of the conference, said:" We strongly feel that various organizations and Government of India have debated many times on this issue. But there is no movement as such to document and explore the rich diversified intangible cultural heritage and traditional knowledge systems of communities of India, hence we need to survey Indian folklore for understanding its richness, and need to establish a National Folklore Academy for nurturing it"

Conversing with the workshop participants, Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury said that in the current Indian context, it is highly essential to explore those hidden or forgotten traditional knowledge systems from the people through an exhaustive and comprehensive documentation as a national movement in a vigorous way in coordination with all the concerned communities and groups.

"Then only the intangible cultural heritage and traditional knowledge systems and its bearers for generations together shall get due recognition at National level and International level," he added

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Yechury assured the scholars that he would help them in pressurizing the government to form a national folklore academy.

This three-day workshop was organized jointly by Delhi Karnataka Sangha, Folklore Society of South Indian Languages, and Institute for Indian Folklore on December 5, 6 and 7.

The workshop was supported by the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, Central Institute of Indian Languages and Kannada University, Hampi.

Prof. Y. Sudarshan Rao, the chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research; Prof. B.A. Viveka Rai, former Vice Chancellor of Karnataka state Open University, Mysore, Karnataka; Prof. Jawaharlal Handoo, eminent folklorist, Central Institute of Indian languages Mysore, Karnataka; Prof. H C Boralingaiah, Vice Chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi Karnataka; Prof. N Bhaktavathsala Reddy, Director, Institute for Indian Folklore Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh; Vasantha Shetty Bellare, President of Delhi Karnataka Sangha; Dr. Raghavan Payyanad, Professor of Folklore, Calicut University, Kerala; and Dr. M N Venkatesh, Assistant Professor, Dravidian University, Kuppam, AP, were among the important scholars who participated in the workshop.

Shashi Kumar, Oxford University Press, New Delhi; Prof. Chellaperumal, Department of Anthropology, Pondicherry University; Dr. Shubha Chaudhuri, Associate Director General of American Institute of Indian Studies, Gurgaon; Dr. S. Simon John, Associate Professor, Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS), Ra. Gandhi University Rono Hills, Itanagar; Dr. Sakaram Somayaji, Professor and Head Research Institute of Corporate Sustainability Management (ICSM), Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon; Dr. Desmond Kharmaphlang, Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong; Dr. T S Satyanath, Department of MIL, Delhi University; Dr. Venkatachala Hegde, School of International studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Dr. B. Krishna Reddy, IIF, Thirupathi; Member of Parliament Sitaram Yechury; Balakrishna Naik, Indian Oil Corporation, Noida; Prof. H M Maheshwarayya, Institute for Kannada Studies, Karnataka University; Dr. Rajeshwari Maheshwarayya, Vice Principal, Karnataka College, Dharwad; Prof. Prakash Khandge, Department of Performing Arts, Bombay University; S Krishna Bhat, Director, Academy of Tenku Tittu Yakshagana, New Delhi; Gourab Ghosh, Archives and Research Centre for ethnomusicology, American Institute of Indian Studies, Gurgaon; Dr. Avanindranath Rao, Central Secretariat Library, Government of India; Dr. Purushottama Bilimale, Director of American Institute of Indian Studies, Gurgaon, also participated on the occasion. (ANI)