Preserving Heritage – UPSC GS1

“…India as a repository of countless performing arts, local health practices, indigenous knowledge systems and rich language traditions spanning generations could ill-afford to destroy or lose it.” Discuss with suitable examples. (200 Words)

India is known for its diversity. The 64 Arts, practices of AYUSH, knowledge of tribals, coastal inhabitants and rich languages with 22 scheduled and around more than 1600 in general, all exemplifies the kind of diversity.
All of these are a result of thousands of years,intermingling of cultures, traditions, customs and each generation handing over their beliefs and traditions to the next. The continuity in civilisation is a rich heritage and India cannot afford to lose its very own identity.
  1. Many languages are getting extinct with death of speaking communities. Majority of scheduled languages specified in 8th scheduled are spoken by people today but the other languages are on verge of extinction.
  2. Medical practices of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Yoga and Naturopathy are also not being practices in India to the extent Allopathy is. There is a notion of inferiority among people in using such practices in some sections relative to western medical practices.
  3. It is western countries who are more interested and practicing aspects like Yoga than the Indians.
  4. Indigenous knowledge systems like tribal knowledge on medicines, coastal inhabitants on weather patterns etc. is not being utilized.
When every country is proud of its heritage, Many of the Indians are little lethargic in promoting their very own practices which are part of its composite culture. Steps like including AYUSH in a ministry for its promotion, International Yoga Day are a welcome step. Further institutions for language research and printing of books for education in regional languages will do greater benefit for promoting languages.
Bringing rationality to the practices in promoting within country. Indigenous knowledge can be documented and promoted. It is commitment on part of government and responsibility on part of citizens that will be the driving factor for Indian rich heritage and in becoming the vanguard for cultural diversity of the world.



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