Book Release

Prof. Maheswar Neog

Dr. Aditya Malik

Delegates of the SAARC Expert Group Meeting

Vishnu at work

Book Release

The re-edition of Dr. Shivarama Karanth’s book Yakshagana was released on 15 April, 1997 by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan. Shri H.Y. Sharada Prasad, presided over the function. He described Dr. Karanth’s work as singular contribution to the preservation of Yakshagana and added that, “he had been working on all aspects of this art form, namely – dance, music and literature since 1930 and put together his findings in the shape of a book Yakshagana in English. It was IGNCA’s privilege to reissue this standard work”.

Dr. Karanth, whose presence added a glitter to the moment said, “Yakshagana is a history that is over 300 years old, the earliest Yakshagana manuscript dating back to A.D. 1651. In this art form narrative was used to present themes in the musical form; dance and dialogue were used to show valour and emotions”. At the insistence of the audience Dr. Karanth sang few verses from the swayamwara scene in the court of the king of Kashi.

Calling Dr. Karanth a multidimensional and a multifaceted personality, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan said, “his multiplicity emerged out of an integral vision. He had been experimenting with Yakshagana 300 years old dance-drama all the time perfecting his art, giving the tradition a new direction”.

IGNCA Library Maheswar Neog’s Collection of Books

Maheswar Neog – a name that brings to mind the instantly rich literature, history and culture of Assam. Professor Neog devoted his entire life to building around him a world of creativity, indological learning and research. His numerous works in both Assamese and English relate to multi-dimensional features of Vaishnava renaissance in Assam. He was a versatile scholar with an encyclopaedic range. The arena of his work covers all disciplines of Indian studies, language and history, lexicography and orthography, epigraphy and ethnography, historiography and hagiography, fine arts, paintings, music, dance and drama, religion and folk-lore.

Prof. Neog’s Personal Collection of books are now part of IGNCA. After his death his family gifted 2844 volumes of books from his collection besides 342 journals and pamphlets. Assamese and Bengali languages find a major place in this donation (2098) followed by English (694) and Hindi and Sanskrit (52 volumes). The books broadly deal with Assamese literature, politics, arts and sculpture.


Dr. Aditya Malik from the University of Heidelberg, Germany visited the IGNCA as International Consultant between 27 January-27 March, 1997 for providing assistance in implementing the UNDP programme, ‘Strengthening of National Facility of Interactive Multimedia Documentation of Cultural Resources’, within this framework he formulated a multimedia project on the Narrative Traditions of Rajasthan with special reference to Devnarayan. He conducted a workshop on this visual narrative for the Research Faculty of the Centre. Dr. Malik undertook extensive video documentation of the Devnarayan scroll painting and the performance associated with it for the centre.

Participation in the SAARC Expert Group Meeting

Dr. T.A.V. Murthy representing the IGNCA led the Indian delegation in the Expert Group meeting at Colombo under the umbrella of SAARC to discuss the modalities of establishing National Databases and operation of Networking System on Cultural Information in February 1997. The Expert Group greatly appreciated the Cultural Informatics work at the Centre and advised the SAARC Secretariat to request India to extend the facilities developed by IGNCA in direction of multimedia, databases and research. In the year to come the IGNCA looks forward to an effective cooperation with Sri Lanka along with other Members of the SAARC Region.


Shri Vishnu is well-known in the IGNCA for his deftness at creating idols, specially the images of Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and Ganapati, the remover of obstacles. His talent was recognised and encouraged by the Centre and he has been deputed to a training course in modelling-conservation at the National Museum, New Delhi, to acquire competence in scale, stone, clay and fibre modelling and also in plaster casting.

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