Press ReleaseThe N.S.
Kashmir Research Institute is holding the first-ever exhibition on
Kashmiri cultural heritage at AIFACS Gallery, Rafi Marg, New Delhi from April 12
to April 14, 1998. The exhibition will inaugurated by Dr. M.C. Joshi, Member
Secretary, IGNCA, at 5 P.M. on 12the April. Shri J.N. Kaul, President, AIKS will
preside over the inaugural function. The Chief Guest at the inaugural function
will be the eminent scholar, Dr. Lokesh Chandra.
Titled Unmeelan, the
exhibition will highlight different aspects of cultural, artistic and literary
traditions of Kashmiri Pandits, an ethnic community of Kashmir which has made
rich contributions to Indian culture, literature, art and philosophy. In a way
it will not be an ordinary exhibition, but an attempt to profile a uniquely rich
culture which is in great danger of extinction.
One of the main attractions of the exhibition will be
rare, original and breathtakingly beautiful miniature
paintings of the Kashmir School, which will be on display for the first time
in the history of Indian art. Several other objects of art will also be kept for
view in the art section of the exhibition, besides folk- art patterns which from
a part of Kashmiri way of life. Old manuscripts in Sharada,
Kashmir's ancient script which was in vogue throughout the western Himalayan
belt and from which the Gurmukhi script has developed, will be on view in
another section of the exhibition. Besides these, Persian manuscripts from
Kashmir will also be displayed. This section will also include books and
important documents relating to eminent Kashmiri scholars together with their
photographs and original letters written to them by world renowned Indologists.
Yet another section will present the panorama of the Kashmiri Pandit way of life
in the form of unique artifacts, costumes, costume jewellery and objects and
motifs of ritualistic and religious importance. Old photographs depicting
religious and social customs of the Pandits will also form and important feature
of the exhibition.
It is for the first time that an exhibition which will
give a feel of the basic weave of Kashmir's immensely rich cultural legacy and
traditions will be put on view with the objective of informing and educating
people, and encouraging research in the interesting, though challenging, field
of Kashmir studies. The Institute is confident that the show will be a big draw
with the people who are expected to visit it in large numbers. Initially the
exhibition will be held in Delhi, but is likely to be taken to other parts of
the country and even abroad.
Unmeelan is, however, the
first in a series of thematic exhibitions that N.S. Kashmir Research Institute
is holding as part of its effort to preserve, protect and project Kashmiri
Pandit cultural heritage. Exhibitions on Kashmir Shaivism and Kashmir temple
architecture are on the anvil.
(Dr. S.S. Toshkhani)