“My life is an indivisible whole,
and all my activities run into
another; and they all have
their rise in my insatiable love
This vihangama issue is a dedication to the 125th year of Gandhi the Mahatma. Through this volume we express our admiration, gratitude and salutation to the great soul whom we all fondly know as Bapu. The Indian culture as Gandhi believed is a process of continuous adaptation and development. Each cultural strand is webbed to form a social life system. In order to build a strong cultural heritage, it is important that the treasures of each culture should be appreciated, while retaining the spirit to hold on to one’s own true self and identity.
IGNCA through its multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach, promotes and encourages various research programmes by exploring the multidimensional fields of the cultural expressions through its inter-relatedness, yet within its own integrity by adopting an overall holistic view to understand the functions of different society and culture in their totality.
The year 1995, was a year full of various activities in the Centre. The Conference on Cultural Dimension of Education and Ecology, was the major event of this quarter, which realised the need to evolve the basic strategy of the educational structure present today. The emphasis was layed on the Gandhian ideas of learning by doing, involvement of community and love and tolerance.
This issue also focuses on the Children’s World. The active and enthusiastic participation of the children, ensures the success of this programme. “If we are to reach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war, we shall have to begin with children.” The puppet theatre, In the Shadow of the Mahatma, presented different facets of Gandhi’s epic struggle, projecting the intense force and power of satya and ahimsa.
Vihangama also highlights the two photographic exhibitions, lecture by T.N. Khoshoo on Gandhiji’s environmentalism and a review of book, Art as Dialogue by Prasenjit Biswas.
There is a dialogue of another kind, that of Kathleen Raine’s with the IGNCA Academic Director, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan. Art has the ability to define and refine a culture through its various artistic manifolds. The poet in Kathleen Raine expresses her sentiments, “The world may collapse round the year; but truth, reality and beauty always remains and we must always maintain these”, giving us a glimpse of her sensitivities towards different aspects of art, literature and theology.
From his very early stages, nature has always beckoned man towards itself, healing his wounds and comforting him by providing food and shelter. The report on the healing practice among the Angami of Nagaland, prescribes the various rituals toward off evil spirits and restore the ailing back to health. The strong belief in the healing qualities of the locally grown herbs, strengthens man’s trust and retreat to nature.
Modernisation has brought about a drastic change in the present day civilization, affecting human sensitivities and values. Solution to the dilemma faced by man, culture and society today, lies in Gandhi’s gospel of swadeshi, a three fold process of human development. Dialogue on Culture and Development echoes Gandhi’s solution to the problems faced by the developing countries based on his ideas of swaraj, swadeshi and sarvodaya.