Opposition leaders, activists and celebrities have questioned the non-inclusivity of the list.

DMK MP Kanimozhi giving a speech in an election rally
news Politics Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 17:21

The Union Ministry of Culture has come under criticism after it has announced an expert committee for conducting 'Holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture'. Leaders from opposition parties and activists have alleged that the list of 16 'experts' does not have a single member from minority or Dalit communities in the country.

DMK MP Kanimozhi was amongst the first leaders to ask, "Why is there not even a single member from the minority community in the expert committee to conduct a study on Indian culture. Can’t minorities and Dalits speak about Indian culture? Or are they ineligible?"

The circular issued by the Press and Information Bureau stated that the study will look into the origin and evolution of Indian culture till upto 12,000 years ago and its interfaces with other cultures of the world. The members listed are -

1. KN Dikshit, Chairman, Indian Archaeological society

2. Dr RS Bish, former Joint Director general, Archaeological survey of India

3. Dr BR Mani, Former Director General, National Museum

4. Prof Santosh Shukla, Jawaharlal Nehru University

5. Dr Ramesh Kumar Pandey, Vice Chancellor, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth

6. Prof Makkhan Lal, Director, Institute of Heritage Management, Vivekananda International Foundation

7. Dr GN Srivastava, former Additional Director General, Geographical Survey of India

8. Justice Dr Mukundkam Sharma, Chancellor, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth

9. Prof PN Shastri, Vice Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan

10. Prof RC Sharma, Head, Department of Linguistics, University of Delhi

11. Prof KK Mishra, Dean, Anthropology, University of Hyderabad

12. Dr Balram Shukla, Department of Sanskrit, University of Delhi

13. Prof Azad Kaushik, Scientist and international thinker, Canada

14. Pt M R Sharma, Chairman, Sangmarg, World Brahmin Federation

15. Representative from Ministry of Culture

16. Representative from Archaeological Survey of India

Several people on social media have also questioned the list of names presented for its lack of diversity and for the inclusion of a member from the World Brahmin Federation.

Singer TM Krishna meanwhile alleged that the list exposed the government's bigoted, casteist, patriarchal nature.


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