The Art Of Learning.

In this modern era where the world moves at an ever-increasing space, people spend a lot on finer aesthetics & learnings. Like art for instance, people tend to spend millions on it every year. Sure, most of it is to avail tax benefits but that does make it a lucrative industry. Learning of finer skills also is today, a means to acquire fame and getaway in this fast-paced society.

Now we arrive at the question about the modern Indians understanding of crafts. Our society has been westernized to the point that the average Indian is not even aware of the various local handicrafts, arts, traditions, etc., much less think to acquire experience or mastery in it through learning. While the Middle class and above would happily shell out Money for a western sports coaching, western culinary arts, fine arts, western dance & music, foreign languages, etc., while talking a big game about how the Indian culture and local arts are dying out. Their kids grow up with a sense of western cultural superiority, while not even knowing that the very west is dwarfed by the Cultural traditions and the Local handicraft of their own soil.

While the blame does not lie solely on the average citizens. The government which should have played an active role in rejuvenating the Cultural and local handicrafts and art given the fact that it was under constant attack for 10-12 centuries throughout our history with the britishers dealing the crippling blow, has been busy sleeping since Independence. Many Arts and techniques are as critically endangered as a panda today, with some being unknown to even exist anymore.

Now many organizations are doing their level best in getting the artist of these fabled traditions the financial stability they need through the sale of their artworks as fine arts in the circles of the rich and the elite. What many fail to understand that it is just one way of looking for a solution. In today’s day and age, the art also thrives through Imparting it to other for a fee. This is thanks to today’s society being a monotonous and gray gruel in itself needing Fine arts and other activities as a means to add some spice and flavor in it. This creates an environment in which such artist can thrive through acting as a source for this knowledge. But this would require a few more elements.

When we look at our fellow nations of Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, etc., we see their local tradition being popular with the youth and adults while standing strong in this era of globalization. Japan for instance, have such pride in their traditions in their traditions that people overseas are learning calligraphy as a fine art. Their unique style of painting is also popular with many Elites and collectors. As for sports, many have of Kendo, Kyudo, Kyokushin Karate. Why can’t we show a similar resurgence towards local arts? Why not have it trend in today’s times?

The government and media need to play an active role alongside with organizations promoting these crafts to spread Information about these rich traditions along with places to learn them. As without outlets to learn, awareness won’t do much and without knowledge of existence of these arts, not many would come to learn them.

And above everything the duty lies on the shoulders of the citizens to guarantee the survival of these arts and artists and for them to flourish in the subcontinent and beyond. So let this be a humble appeal to the masses, to recognize the sheer Greatness of your own arts and traditions and aid in its rejuvenation. - by Samarth Misra