Academy Of Archaeology & Sciences Of Ancient India (A.A.S.A.I)
Our heritage is very rich and varied. Yet there is a unity in diversity. The tangible heritage of our country was passed on orally from generation to generation for more than 5000 years. Let us take a simple parable like the sincere effort of a crow to drink water from a jar by putting stone into it while the stupid deer failed or the great old fable of crow losing its food at the niceties uttered by the wily fox. These two stories imbued with a practicable moral underline were faithfully depicted on the jars of Indus civilization excavated from Lothal. These stories were handed down to us from generation to generations both orally and perhaps in other forms too. So are the other traditions.
The built heritage of our country is also equally ancient. The forms of built heritage is so varied that every region of India has its own unique form. It was influenced by local conditions and created to suit local conditions. To our understanding, we have bequeathed only a fragment of built heritage is preserved. And many of it in a very dilapidated condition, is requiring urgent attention. It will be not an exaggerated statement to state that our heritage was preserved in the rural space. We strongly believe that, as long as our village are preserved, the built heritage will also be preserved.
The effect of globalisation on the rural space is highly detrimental to our rural space and is bringing about irreversible and drastic changes to the lifestyle of India’s rural population. They are alienation from the landscape has affected the built heritage. They almost are becoming ignorant of values and significance of their inheritance. Therefore, we strongly feel that we must intervene to create awareness among all.
Secondly we strongly feel that there is an increasing shift in education pattern with more emphasis on career-developing courses rather than culture-developing course. While the former in present economic conditions, is imperative to survive. At the same time, the later should not be ignored.
Thirdly, there is an acute shortage of trained professionals to interpret our heritage remains. This is due to the reason that not many are coming forth to take up these studies. But every one wants to know about our past in an authentic manner. We strongly feel that this lacuna can be bridged through an active interaction.
As part of this vision, this Academy was formed to carry out the following activities in order to achieve a practicable balance between past, present and future.
Conducting courses on:
- Heritage tourism, required to sustain the spread of accurate information
- Inscriptions, being the largest resource of information to past
- Taking up projects to preserve mural paintings
- Taking up projects to preserve Structural heritage
- To provide Consultancy on heritage management
- To create a database on dilapidated heritage, Documentation of Antiquarian wealth through the volunteers
- Creating a forum for volunteers like Uzhavarappani groups for conservation of heritage structure.