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Indian Institute of Mass Communication launches course on ancient arts treatise

The new model will focus on communication theories of Natya Shastra - an ancient treatise on performing arts.

education Updated: Sep 02, 2017 08:45 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IIMC,Ancient arts treatise,Natya Shastra
Institute of Mass Communication offers courses in journalism and public relations.(File)

Students at the government-run Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) will now be taught the intricacies of Indian communication theories included in Bharat Muni’s Natya Shastra, an ancient treatise on performing arts.

The mass communication institute, which offers courses in journalism and public relations, has taken inspiration from Nepalese scholar Dr Nirmala Mani Adhikary’s construct of the sadharanikaran (simplification) model of communication based on Natya Shastra.

The course in Indian communication models is already being taught in universities such as the Makhanlal Chaturvedi University of journalism and communication and is being replicated at IIMC to introduce “Indian communication models” to aspiring journalists and public relations professionals.

Aware that the introduction of the module could be perceived as an attempt to saffronise curriculum, director general of IIMC, KG Suresh said the new addition is not an attempt to foist any religious viewpoint on the students, but to ensure they have an understanding of India’s achievements in the past in several discipline, including communication.

He said the institute has been teaching “western models of communication”, which will continue to be taught and Natya Shastra will expose them to the Indian models.

“We are producing global journalists with strong Indian roots,” Suresh told HT. He said India’s strong tradition of oral history, and the theories in Natya Shastra are also being researched abroad and it is only relevant that the concepts are introduced to students at the journalism school, which comes under the ministry of information and broadcasting.

The module will be taught to students from the current academic session by experts who are familiar with the treatise, including Dr Adhikary.

“The model illustrates how successful communication is possible in the society where complex hierarchies of castes, languages, cultures and religious practices are prevalent. Sahridayata helps those communicating to pervade the unequal relationship prevailing in the society and the very process of communication is facilitated,” Suresh said.

India’s ancient past as well as contemporary history, including its transition to a democracy will be the focus area.

First Published: Sep 02, 2017 07:07 IST