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Government likely to re-constitute panel to study ‘origins of Indian culture’

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel. File   | Photo Credit: M. Samraj

The Union Culture Ministry is considering re-constituting the committee that was formed in 2016 with the objective of “holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years ago” as it has failed to submit its report till now, Ministry sources said.

Asked whether the Ministry had set up a committee to study ancient history, Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said in his written reply to the Lok Sabha on September 14: “Yes, Sir. An expert committee has been set up for conducting holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world.”

Mr. Patel’s reply included the list of names of the committee members, including chairperson K.N. Dikshit, the former Joint Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. Asked if the committee’s report would be used in textbooks, the Minister replied: “At present, there is no such proposal.”

The 16-committee was formed in 2016 by then-Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.

More members

The source added that Mr. Patel had reviewed the matter and was likely to re-constitute the committee with a larger number of members who represented all aspects of Indian history, including experts of Buddhist, Jain and Mughal history.

One of the members of the committee, Dr. B.R. Mani, the former Director General of the National Museum and former Additional Director General of the ASI, told The Hindu that a report of the committee could not be compiled as only a few members had submitted their reports.

After Mr. Patel’s reply to the Lok Sabha, concerns over the composition of the committee were raised by various political parties.

While speaking in the Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour on September 22, DMK MP Tiruchi Siva raised the lack of diversity, asking for Tamil scholars to be included as well.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23 asking for the committee to be re-constituted as it did not include any representation from Southern States, particularly Tamil Nadu.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 8:26:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/government-likely-to-re-constitute-panel-to-study-origins-of-indian-culture/article32704962.ece

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