“We the educated elite of India are wary of any attempt to understand the Indian mind. . . . Deep within, we, the elite of India, are also acutely conscious of this highly elaborate structure of the Indian mind. We, however, want to deny this history of Indian consciousness, and wish to reconstruct a new world for ourselves in accordance with what we perceive to be the modern consciousness. Therefore, all efforts to understand the Chitta and Kala of India seem meaningless to us. The study of the history of the eighteenth and nineteenth century India, which I undertook in the nineteen sixties and the seventies, was in a way an exploration into the Indian Chitta and Kala. . . . That study, of course, was not the most effective way of learning about the Indian mind. It did help in forming a picture of the physical organisations and technologies through which the Indians prefer to manage the ordinary routines of daily life. But it was not enough to provide an insight into the inner attitudes and attributes of the Indian mind. The mind of a civilisation can probably never be grasped through a study of its physical attributes alone.”
– From Dharampal’s Bharatiya Chitta, Manas and Kala
Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) and the Society for Integrated Development of Himalayas (SIDH) are jointly organizing four seminars anchored around Dharampal’s important essay, Bharatiya Chitta, Manas and Kala between April 2022 and March 2023. Around 40 people who are familiar with the works of Dharampal will be invited to participate in the seminars. The seminars will be three days long, residential and will be held at IGNCA, Delhi. The seminars are designed to initiate and spread a conversation about our civilizational identity and its role in creating a vibrant future for our nation.
Tentatively, the topics for the four seminars are:
- What did Dharampal mean by the words Bharatiya Chitta, Manas and Kala? And why did he think it was so important to understand these words?
- Our ‘educated’ people have become separated from the Chitta, Manas and Kala of our ‘ordinary’ people. What are the reasons and resolutions for this? What are the obstacles that come in the way of the resolution and how do we deal with it at an individual and societal level?
- Western modernity has ended up creating a uni-polar world over the last 100 years. Is the Indian thought and foundational values in alignment with this?
- What are the ways and practices for reconnecting back to the Chitta, Manas and Kala of the ‘Ordinary’ people?
These seminars will be recorded and the videos of the expert presentations and discussions will be made available in various formats (YouTube videos, articles, books on the proceedings etc.) by IGNCA and SIDH.