UNESCO’s Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register

Context:

Recently, UNESCO has added three revered literary works – Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana – to its esteemed Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register.

  • This recognition not only celebrates India’s rich literary heritage but also underscores its global significance.

Relevance:
GS-01 (Culture)

IGNCA’s Advocacy:

  • The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) played a crucial role in securing the inclusion of these literary gems.
  • At the 10th meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP) in Ulaanbaatar, IGNCA passionately advocated for the nominations, garnering widespread support.

Symbol of Cultural Legacy:

  • The inclusion of Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana reaffirms their enduring influence on Indian culture and society. Each work holds a unique place of honor:
  • Ramcharitmanas: Penned by Sant Tulsidas in the 16th century, this epic poem in Awadhi language is based on the Valmiki Ramayana. It has profoundly shaped cultural traditions, especially through the Ramlila tradition.
  • Panchatantra: Attributed to Vishnu Sharma, this ancient collection of fables, believed to date back to around 200 BCE, imparts valuable life lessons through engaging animal tales, written in Sanskrit.
  • Sahṛdayāloka-Locana: Authored by Kashmiri poet Acharya Anandvardhan, this seminal work in aesthetics and literary criticism offers profound insights into Sanskrit poetics, enriching our understanding of Sanskrit literature.

UNESCO’s Preservation Initiative

  • The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, initiated in 1992, aims to safeguard humanity’s documentary heritage.
  • By emphasizing the preservation and accessibility of archival holdings worldwide, it ensures that future generations can cherish and learn from these invaluable literary treasures.