- December 11, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Art and Culture
Context – We need to make an effort to bring Indian manuscripts back – Rajya Sabha MP
- A manuscript is a handwritten composition on paper, bark, cloth, metal, palm leaf or any other material dating back at least seventy-five years that has significant scientific, historical or aesthetic value.
- Lithographs and printed volumes are not manuscripts.
- Manuscripts are found in hundreds of different languages and scripts. Often, one language is written in a number of different scripts. For example, Sanskrit is written in Oriya script, Grantha script, Devanagari script and many other scripts.
- Manuscripts are distinct from historical records such as epigraphs on rocks, firmans, revenue records which provide direct information on events or processes in history. Manuscripts have knowledge content.
Manuscripts in India
- India’s manuscripts have for centuries captured the imagination of the world.
- As early as the seventh century Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang took back hundreds of manuscripts from India.
- Later in the late eighteenth century, the Nawab of Awadh gifted a superb illuminated manuscript of the Padshahnama to King George III of England. Today, it is considered one of the finest pieces in the Royal Collection.
- National Museum is a treasure for Manuscripts and ancient written records.
- The replica of Girnar Rock Edict is placed in the prime place to view and know the creative genius of Indian scribes.
- The major, minor rock edicts and pillar edicts of Ashoka found across India are in the languages of Bramhi, Prakrit, Greek and Kharoshti, which are earliest written documents.
The National Mission for Manuscripts
- The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India, established the National Mission for Manuscripts in February 2003 as an ambitious project with the specific objectives of locating, documenting, conserving and disseminating the knowledge content of India’s manuscripts.
- India possesses an estimate of five million manuscripts, probably the largest collection in the world.
- The National Mission for Manuscripts revived the New Catalogus Catalogorum programme in 2003 with Madras University.