Category List

The formative years of the Madras Museum

The detailed history of museums has not been attempted much in India, but I had an inkling that such a detailed study may throw considerable light on development of the museum as an institution in our country. I also felt that the Madras Museum, which was in its 15th decade at that time, could be an ideal starting point for such a study because it had been carefully groomed through the years of its existence to attain an eminent position in its field. The first award from the NTICVA to me was meant to carry out such a study of the first gfive decades of the Madras Museum.

Pointing Method of Stone Carving in Jaipur, Rajasthan

The grant helped me to work on this subject - a project that I had dreamt of doing but could not take forward because of monetary problems. It helped me to come to know about a traditional method of carving which is almost dying out. It has both helped my creative work as a sculptor and given me knowledge that I can pass on to my students so that they can use it in their work. I have also discussed the procedures with colleagues who work on portraiture.

The construction of indigenous gods and linkages with the communities of eastern Uttar Pradesh

The award of a Small Study and Research grant proved invaluable for me for reasons probably different from many others. I was not a young scholar but a university teacher in mid-career, and had developed a serious academic interest in an area that was not directly related to my formal discipline of English literature. My independent readings in sociology, anthropology and history, along with my travels in the Indian countryside had opened the fresh arena of the creation and continuation of village gods as an intergral part of cultural existence in India.

Documentation of traditional diving for pearl and chunk in Mannar Gulf, from the Sangam period onwards;

These funds were very useful as seed money for ethnographic study in the Tamil region. As a result, Tamil University has extended its helping hand to widen the survey for the Palk Bay region also. INSA, New Delhi, also provided some contingency grants to improve the study of traditional pearl and chank fishing. Since the Trust has encouraged such a small study, I feel more confident in pursuing further ethnographic study uncovered by the scholars.