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India's Culture: The State, The Arts, and Beyond

Balmiki Prasad Singh (Author)

India's culture lies at the heart of Indian experience. This culture, which bloomed well before the beginning of the Christian era, has in the author's view given the people of India (as well as people of Indian origin) an identity and character which have helped them retain their integrity through the passage of time and changes in human consciousness. This book--an unusual exploration and interpretation of the culture of India--highlights several interrelated themes. Among them is the notion that India is rare in that it embraces both a developed culture and a developing economy. In this context the author asserts that, in the last decade of the twentieth century, culture is emerging as a new factor in determining the international status of nations. In the post-Cold War era, the market has displaced military strength as the primary index of power--and now culture challenges both. The author examines the interaction of the Indian state with art and culture, both historically as well as in contemporary times. He suggests that the government has followed a consistent policy on the sponsorship and patronage of art and culture since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad (some of whose hitherto unpublished correspondence on this topic is included here). With the liberalization of the economy since the early nineties, and with increasing media influences from the west, the author contends that it is now both timely and necessary for business totally itself with the state in order to properly conserve heritage sites and sponsor projects and programmes needed for creatively maintaining Indian culture. The role of concerned citizens and voluntary organizations in the area is also highlighted. Suggestions on how this might be done include proposals for the Indian government to create specialized administrative cadres to manage the country's cultural heritage. This innovative work refutes widely publicized ideas about the 'clash of civilizations'. Instead, it visualizes harmony among civilizations and relates this to the wider context of strengthening democracy, ecology and culture. Within this framework, the author maintains that the concepts of Gautama Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi will be increasingly relevant in the forthcoming millennium. With its mix of Indian cultural history, state policy analysis and philosophic speculation, this book represents a challenging and fresh look at the national cultural heritage and its relevance for both India and the world today.

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About the author

Balmiki Prasad Singh

Balmiki Prasad Singh is a highly distinguished scholar, thinker, and recipients of several prestigious awards and honours. Currently Governor of Sikkim, he has in the past four decades held some of the top-ranking government positions in India.

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Bibliographic information

Title India's Culture: The State, The Arts, and Beyond
Format Softcover
Date published: 17.10.2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0198077343
length lxxiii+263p., 6p. of Plates; Col. Illustrations; 23cm.
Subjects History