Make Indian classical music compulsory in schools
This petition had 954 supporters
Dear HRD Minister,
Congratulations on the many laudable initiatives of your government to make India an economically strong and a culturally vibrant nation. Just like in yoga, India has a rich heritage of classical performing arts, particularly Carnatic music and Hindustani music. These traditions date back several centuries and form an integral part of Indian culture, playing an important role all round the year in festivals and social events. Indian classical music has also significantly contributed to the Independence movement, and forms the backbone of Indian dance, theatre and film industry. Indian performing arts have a pride of place in the world.
Classical music was once taught in the gurukula. Today, just like yoga, it can be taught in schools using modern methods to develop good fundamentals, nurture talent, and kindle an abiding interest in Indian music. Weekly lessons based on a syllabus created by a team of great musicians can cover both Hindustani and Carnatic music basics. This will enrich the cultural foundations in the education of our youth and create many more great musicians like Ravi Shankar and MS Subbulakshmi. Basic schooling in Indian classical music will also diffuse classical music from elite concert halls to mainstream Indian life.
The intent of this petition is not to create a burden or imposition of an unpleasant school subject. Music can be offered in every school with an attractive format and content and therefore become a happy, group learning experience. Children will show enhanced learning abilities and become more proficient in studies and sports, due to classical music exposure.
Some worthwhile initiatives of past governments languishing for follow-up:
- In 2006. The Sarva Shiksha Abhyan invited the famous musician, Chitravina N. Ravikiran, to conduct a macro-level camp for over 31,000 rural children of Tamil Nadu for which he authored a book,Inaiyatra Innishai as well as a 2-Volume DVD that included live demos by some other big-name musicians.
- Short pieces composed specifically and Tamil poetry was tuned in classical ragas. These turned out to be very well received by the children.
- This resulted in a UNESCO award of USD 50,000 for a follow up project, but that is apparently languishing due to some reasons within the state government.
- Ravikiran was soon invited to provide a syllabus from Class I-VIII for “Music Education in Schools” by the Manmohan Singh Government to be a member of the"Music Education in Schools" Core Committee.
- He was tasked to create a syllabus from Class I to VIII, which is also held up for implementation in one of the numerous offices of the Culture/Home/ some other Ministry. The former PM was also the Minister of Culture then and he was all for this.
Institutions like Prasar Bharati can be very effective partners with the HRD Ministry and our school system to reinforce this cultural education.
Compulsory introduction of Indian classical music in schools will give a big impetus to taking our cultural traditions of music and performing arts to the great heights that our founding fathers intended for our country, India or Bharat. Indians will be enriched with Indian classical music in their veins.
Please initiate this as soon as possible.
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