Heritage Conservation

Philanthropy so far has mostly been kind to and concentrated towards the tangible assets with very little attention paid to the intangible assets and heritage. We, at Anād, have pioneered with our attempts to change this mindset —a callous attitude towards the upkeep of precious heritage has been the reason for the near decimation of the cultural wealth of South Asia.
A sword, for example, is precious indeed but its making required multiple skills including the inception of the very concept of a sword – its evolution and eventual perfection, the whole process of creation of tools that in turn helped create the sword and then, its usage.
Musical notes kharaj, rikhab, gandhār, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nikhād are not preserved when written down or even recorded in any medium beyond the human voice. The legendary dhrupad maestro Ustad Allabande Rahimuddin Khan (1900-1975), a follower of the dagur-vani style (one of the four vani-s namely khandar, nauhar, gaubarhar and dagur) used to say “…music is for singing not for talking…”. The reason is that each of these seven notes become numerous upon becoming the notes of a particular Indian classical music raga. The intonations of each of these ‘numerous’ notes can only be rendered (or preserved) after undergoing an extensive aural experience and pedagogical process. Even if they are scientifically identified (physics-wise) and categorized, a singer must undergo the process as mentioned earlier in order to render these particular notes. Moreover, the oral narratives and classical repertoire can only be had after a sustained apprenticeship. Similar is the case with other cultural assets.
We, at Anād Foundation, are all very sensitive towards the conservation of both the intangible as well as the tangible heritage believing that top priority must be accorded to the conservation of the intangible heritage for it is much more susceptible to extinction when compared to the tangible heritage for it lives in the memory and practice of the masters. The uniqueness of the intangible is that it must be re-learnt and relived by every subsequent generation in order to sustain it; cannot be framed or even recorded in any (known) medium – it must be kept in practice. Unlike, a tangible asset, intangible wealth cannot be ‘distributed’ after the demise of a protagonist.

Sound has a logic so has silence.
Silence is as if the canvas while sound,
the colours and contours within.
Space wherein the silence is displayed
is a ‘matter’ beyond apprehension
but that of wonderment..!

We hold all of these very dear to our hearts.

2 thoughts on “Heritage Conservation”

  1. Taroon C. Kamdar said:

    In the write up above: you say “Musical notes kharaj, rikhab, gandhār, madhyam…..”.
    Pls correct this, as there are no such notes as Kharaj or Rikhab – they should be listed as Shadaj and Rishabh.

  2. Dr Karanveer Singh said:

    I am presently in Bangladesh and we have historically very important Gurudwaras here that are in dire need of conservation and maintenance. Can you please help???

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