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(ARCHIVE) Vol. XIX No. 4, june 1-15, 2009
Listing a priority

– The call at INTACH jubilee

(Courtesy: Virasat, the journal of INTACH)

The Silver Jubilee Year of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage was commemorated recently with an All India Convenors’ Meeting held in Delhi.

An important idea floated by Shyam Chainani of Bombay at the meeting was that the 25th year of INTACH’s establishment, 2009-2010, be declared as the ‘Year of Listing’. This would be a way of going back to basics. ‘Listing’ was enshrined by the Founding Members as one of the cardinal objectives in the Trust’s Memorandum of Understanding.

If every Chapter were to take up ‘Listing’ as its major plank of activity during the current year, a veritable heritage tsunami might blow across the country. The launch of such a national campaign, with a well calibrated publicity in the media, will soon gather a force and momentum of its own with each passing month as the Listing grows.

Listing would capture the attention of the Government. It would create greater awareness among youth and public alike. It would remind all citizens that it is one of their fundamental duties laid down by the Constitution to protect and preserve heritage.

The Listing would span built, natural, tangible and intangible heritage, covering all areas of INTACH operations, with each Chapter taking up an area of Listing most important to its region. In a mega-stroke, this national campaign would address INTACH’s multiple objectives if conducted in a well-coordinated and concerted manner.

Naveen Kapur, INTACH US Convenor, was emphatic that if heritage projects are presented as economically viable propositions, funds would flow from different sources and there would be no need for the begging bowl. A national campaign has the potential to become a bankable proposition. With every Convenor on board, every Chapter undertaking Listing, the Head Office would have a strong case on hand to write to the Union Government to make a budgetary allocation for Lisiting under the aegis of INTACH, whose credentials are well established as the largest and leading organisation in the field of heritage conservation. A similar directive could follow across States when Central funds are allocated to them. A good gift-wrapped national campaign could also catch the eye of the private sector and funding agencies, especially if tax exemption is granted.

Listing is an idea whose time has indeed come! It requires not only an army of conscience keepers, but movers and doers. The idea floated has to be anchored. It will set the stage as a forerunner for declaring 2010 as the Year of National Heritage Mission.


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