MISCELLANEOUS

dated January 29, 1953: Music, Dance, and Drama Academy Inaugurated

India's President Dr. Rajendra Prasad inaugurated in New Delhi a national Academy of Dance, Drama and Music. It was the first of three National Academies envisaged by the Central Government, the other two being an Academy of Letters and an Academy of Arts. Dr. Prasad expressed the hope that the body he had inaugurated would give the fullest and widest opportunity possible to people, and not be limited by bureaucratic red-tape. He cautioned against regimentation of art, and observed, "If there can be anything ugly in art, it will be art made to order." Dr. Prasad referred to India's great literary and artistic heritage and said: "It is not only our duty to collect information about the heights attained in the past but also to further enrich and enhance the heritage which we have received from our ancestors. This is just what this Academy is intended to do. It will collect all that is available in our vast literature and it is also going to encourage the further development of our arts. As Maulana Azad said, "preservation really means re-creation.: The seed is sown, it grows, it bears fruit; the fruit ripens, the tree dies, but the seed again grows into another tree. That is what goes on in nature. We want the same thing in arts... . The Government have taken upon themselves the financial responsibility of running the Academy. But I have a suspicion, although I am the Head of the State, that Government institutions have a way of developing that is not the best way. There are cramping, limiting influences in that way, for which nobody is to blame but the circumstances which are such that it becomes difficult for any Government institution to get out of the rut. I do hope that this Academy will be free, and give the fullest and widest opportunity possible to the people who are actually interested in music, dance and drama. We have a great heritage, and it is our duty to preserve, enhance and enrich it. Our national genius has been to reconcile and synthesise different, and even contradictory, elements of living and believing, and it is through this great virtue, which somehow or other we have got in this country and in the atmosphere of this land, that we have been able to survive for so long in spite of various calamities in our national life," said the President.

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