The book communication through the ages an Indian perspective is based on an altogether new concept and a multi-dimensional definition of the word rather tern communication going much beyond its conventional definition to connect and not limiting it to verbal written or print and electronic media, or radio, television, satellite, computer and cellular telephony means and tools of connectivity.
At a mundane level it includes audio visual presentations by means of theatre folk songs and classical music as well as through medium of dance all leading to aesthetic and sublime experience not necessarily making knowledge of language essential for their appreciation.
And at a supra mundane level it connects man with other worldly experience and extra sensory perception viz, god, heavenly bodies and transference of vital energy through the means of reincarnation etc.
The book comprises of twenty contributions of experts and specialist belonging to different schools of thought and diverse disciplines.
Mr. Upendra Vajpeyi was a freedom fighter a veteran journalist one of the founders of U.P working Journalists union and Indian federation of working journalists. He conceived and organized residential colonies for journalists in Delhi and Gurgaon. He was founder general Secretary of the national Media centre as well as founder secretary of the media India centre for research & Development.
He was himself a communication par excellence who had conceived the idea of this book and had also collected the articles being published here.
Mr. Lakhan Mehrotra is an erudite scholar of Sanskrit, history, Indological studies and diplomacy. After a brief period of teaching post graduate students of the Allahabad University he entered Foreign Service and took up several diplomatic assignments of different countries ambassador Mehrotra retired from the position of secretary in the external affairs ministry. He also served as U.N. General Secretary’s personal representative in Cambodia and head of the U.N. Mission in Jakarta (Indonesia).
Dr. Raghavendra Vajpeyi is a professional historian who has experience of teaching undergraduate and post graduate students in Delhi University fro more than four decades. Apart from his published doctoral thesis he ahs to credit a fairly impressive number of published research papers and articles on various aspects of socio economic political and cultural history of early India.
It gives me pleasure in writing a Foreword for the Communication through the ages an Indian perspective edited by Lakhan Mehrotra and Raghavendra Vajpeyi. The book is dedicated to the spirit of journalists and communicators who did not agree to abdicate their professional commitment and succumb to any pressure of those in power and authority Late Upendra Vajpeyi was perfect example of such a journalist. From my personal knowledge I know that the dedication is essentially in memory of Upendra Vajpeyi who possessed these qualities in ample measures. The dedication is much more pertinent since this book had been planned by him and he had collected these articles on its impressive themes in his lifetime itself. My pleasure is much more since I knew him personally though rather late only when I came in contact with his plans to establish the national Media centre. The NMC is a testimony to Upendra Vajpeyi’s commitment zeal and sincerity that was phenomenal.
Communication means transformation of information thoughts and messages. The means of communication have been continuously changing through the ages. The basic form in the beginning were signs and through speech. A basic change in evolution came that was fundamental when writing came into existence. Book publishing and journalism facilitated the wide spread dissemination and preservation of information Mass media for over a century has played a major role in changing the social economic have brought out major changes in communication. Cellular telephony had made personal communication inexpensive and widespread. Worldwide computer networks allow computer users to use modems to communicate rapidly.
The book is divided into two sections. Section I deals with the concept purpose nature and tools of communication A.S. Bais Shilpi Narang have contribute on medical aspects and strategies needed for impaired people. Lakhan Mehrotra philosophically deals with the nature of connectivity of man with his mentor as all pervasive force that governs the universe. Archaeologist S.P. Gupta has described how the Upper Paleolithic man over 18,000 years ago had ably communicated his views on economy society and religion etc. photojournalism happens to be one of the most difficult and risky assignments of a journalist. Manish Swarup has shown how the American public opinion went against the military offensive showing of Vietnamese people. Swarup’s experience of three theatres of war in Afghanistan Iraq and Kargil is worth going through S.P. Dikshit describes the Urdu newspaper Nazm that happens to be the first one entirely produced in poetry. I wonder if there are many such examples. Ramamohan Rao’s rich experience in responsible government assignments is reflected in his article on the scope of information and communication policy of successive governments in India. Raghavendra Vajpeyi had traced the history of communication in India through the ages.
Section II deals with visual manifestations of means of communication as living organisms are capable of presenting themselves through the medium of performing arts which in my persona view is a very important medium. Nishi Misra’s article on folk songs Kavita Nagpal’s exposition of theatre’s capability in establishing direct communication between the artist and the audience are very lucid expositions of that medium of communication. K.P. Srivastava connects the world of music and dance in his emotions recollected in tranquility. Shovana Narayan has effectively demonstrated the ability of Kathak dance as a medium of communication Raja-Radha Reddy has exposed the traditional relationship of Kuchipudi dance style with the tenets of the Bharatanatyasastra Sucharita Khanna has very ably established the relationship among cosmology cum mythology classical Sanskrit literature aesthetics and Bharata Natyam dance.
The present book entitled communication through the ages an Indian perspective defines communication in its most expandable sense as man’s desire and effort to connect himself with others at all levels of his experience knowledge and consciousness occasionally out stepping the mundane level. Thought processes have been considered as the valid manifestation of the inner working of unconscious mind the real powerhouse and its counterpart the conscious mind being just the operating switch board. Inclusion of articles on different themes on the basis of their well considered parameters has the logic of acceptance of conventional as well as non conventional methods for enquiry. This makes the work a novel experiment and experience all this happens to be a fair enough justification for this study.
Two methods of enquiry have been followed by different scholars viz, archaeological method and religion-philosophical method. While archaeological method adheres to the principle of known to less known to unknown but the other method reposes its faith in receipt of signals followed by message and experience leading to knowledge and enlightenment. Although the former allows the possibility of laboratory test examination and assessment of facts and their evaluation in a scientific manner the latter has faith in concentration feeling and experience as the method which precedes the receipt of knowledge leading to enlightenment. The logic in the latter case happens to be what we know is far less than what we do no know and what we do not know does not necessarily mean that it does not exist at all. That may be because of the absence in our knowledge of methods and means and tools of knowing it.
Man’s innate desire to connect himself with his creator happens to be the theme of philosophical enquiry. It is followed by another article contributed by a famous astrologer who claims that heavenly bodies and planetary configuration happen to be the extraterrestrial signs and signals which foretell about the things to take place. The Upanishadic method of question answer has been applied in the third article in the series in its attempt to understand how two different ideologies Brahmanical and Jain ideologies agree to tackle the issue of worldly existence death, death related rituals and rebirth or reincarnation in their Bhagavadgita context. In such cases we tend to accept inadequacy of our understanding of the method as well as superiority of the knowledge of the learned scholars.
Growth of science and technology has been a major contributor to expansion of education and information programming in its print and electronic medic context. Satellite television and Edusat have been found major players in the spread of information knowledge and education to their farthest level.
Theatre folk, music, classical music as well as regional classical dance styles like Kathak, Kuchipudi and Bharata Natyam have been include among constantly developing audiovisual means of communication which keep on a making sincere efforts to relate themselves to societal and situational realities instead of confining themselves to their stereotype models of the past.
We hope that this study will be of some interest to the lay readers and specialists alike.
Mr. Upendra Vajpeyi enjoyed a reasonably long standing of a thoroughly professional journalist who had the advantage of personally knowing many political leaders of the country. He fondly recalled several occasions of his exchange of views with them on issues of national and international significance. Although he happened to know many people their personal views and reservations about things and people and their public gestures on them he never betrayed them on any occasion. So also he never revealed his source of information without is formal authorization. That is he sincerely believed in keeping all channels of communication open and active by remaining a responsible member of journalist community.
He also had the privilege of participating in many conferences seminars and symposia and in India as well as in other countries. Not only that he himself organized several conferences etc in the capacity of the founder general secretary of the national media centre (New Delhi). Further his relatively long association and communication with cross section of the Indian society convinced him about necessity and relevance of some India centric book on communication which could evoke interest of lay reader and could also serve academic needs of students pursuing some course in journalism and communication.
Once Mr. Vajpeyi had that clarity of perspective he pursued his dream in the right earnest. He contacted several knowledgeable people who could put across their views in simple and lucid language and who belonged to diverse disciplines ranging from medical sciences to music theology and philosophy to pre history and history print and electronic media to photo journalism and also from folk music to Hindustani classical music and from theatre to regional dance styles (i.e. Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi and Kathak dance styles) their theoretical bases as well as their relevance as living systems of communications capable of adjusting themselves according to needs of changing time. He was immensely successful in availing consent of some eminent personalities and also their articles on themes and areas of their own choice.
All this happened towards the fag end of the life of the national Media Centre which after accomplishing its aims and objectives arrived at unanimous decision to dissolve itself on September 01, 2007. And the present Media India Centre for Research & Development came into responsibility of fulfilling the commitment of the former about publication of volume on communication.
Unfortunately Mr. Vajpeyi fell critically ill and passed away on 17th February 2008. The Mic/R&D has taken the decision to fulfill his last wish by publishing the book i.e. communication through the ages. An Indian perspective in the manner and spirit he had envisaged it.
This collection comprise of twenty academic contribution classified into two section reflecting two separate strands of thought.
Section I has a strong theoretical bias in favor of idea concept purpose nature and scope and means and tools of communication. This section has twelve articles. Professor A.S. Bais has in is article discussed the structure of ear and its significance in communication. Dr. Shilpi Narang had likewise, focused her attention on problems of hearing impaired people and strategies needed for improving their lot. Next three articles have been devoted to the examination of unusual and untraditional methods of communication. Mr. Lakhan Mehrotra has in his article on communication of man with his mentor through the means of understanding and realization. Professor K.N. Rao has in his article indicated the role of extra terrestrial communication in the form of different planetary positions and their equally different influences on nature and man like. The third article in this series reproduces Mr. Upendra Vajpeyi’s dialogue with Acharya Mahapragya on the underlying bases of the concept of incarnation reincarnation and death and rituals related with it and their rationale in the light of their exposition in the Bhagavadgita. The next two contributions return to the material world. Thus Dr. S.P. Gupta has in his learned paper posited how the Uppe Paleolithic Man had ably communicated his views on economy society religion and magic to his contemporary people through thematically illustrated paintings on the inner walls of Rock Shelters in India and elsewhere. Invention of writing as an alternative and effective means of communication took place some 12000 years later. Dr. Raghavendra Vajpeyi has documented in his article the story of communication in India from the earliest time down to the advent of the modern age. The next two articles underline the significance of satellite programming and television telecasts in the spread of information and communication. Thus Dr. Rajendra Mishra has shown in his article how the satellite technology has successfully offered a real breakthrough in planning programming and presentation of programmes made on education for the target audience of students and teachers alike all because of the availability of the Edusat facility Dr. Sunil Misra’s article also adopts near identical approach to the problems of population awareness related strategies in tier radio television centric presentation Mr. Manish Swarup has competently made out the case of justification for photo journalism as one of the most potent means of communication. He has shown in his article how the American public opinion had gone against the American military offensive in the Vietnam War because of publication and telecast of photographs showing suffering of the Vietnamsee people. Mr. Swarup’s experience of three theatres of war, viz, Afghanistan Iraq and kargil underlines the fact that photo journalism happens to be one of the most difficult and risky assignments of journalism but also that it becomes equally rewarding and commendable when he receives applause and acclaim for coverage of the conflict zone. Mr. Ramamohan Rao’s contribution sheds welcome light on purpose nature and scope of information and communication policy of succeeding governments in India right form the time of Hickey’s Gazette down to the present day. It rightly make plea for change of mindset of bureaucracy on right to information. Professor S.P. Dikshit has in his well researched and ably presented article underlined the fact that the late 19th century Urdu newspaper Nazm published from Lucknow happened to be the first newspaper of its kind. It was entirely produced in poetry a unique concept in the tradition of newspaper publication and that such a style had not been tried till then either in India or anywhere in the world.
Sections II deals with visual manifestation of means of communication as living organisms capable of presenting themselves through the medium of performing arts. It has another set of eight articles in it. Ms. Nishi Misra has made in her article a strong plea in favor of folk songs as an effective means of communication. Ms. Kavita Nagpal’s article examines theatre’s capability in establishing direct communication link between the theatre people and their target audience virtually both having an equal sense of participation in the action taking place there. Mr. K.P. Srivastava had relieve his long association with celebrities of the world of music and dance in this emotions recollected in tranquility piece. Ms. Shanti Hiranand herself a renowned musician has in her article shown that music happens to be an effective means of communication. Dr. Sucharita Khanna’s article tries to establish relationship among cosmology cum mythology classical Sanskrit literature plastic art aesthetics and Bharata Natyam dance style.
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