A three-day "International Conference on the Relevance of Traditional Cultures for the Present and the Future" was held in Delhi from March 24 to 26.The conference was inaugurated by the Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari. The concept note circulated during the conference dwelled on the issues like the geopolitical changes; changing cultural perceptions; impacts modernity and globalisation on traditional cultures.
In his inaugural address, the text of which was released by PIB, Ansari said that the both civilizations and primitive societies could yield elements of traditional cultures that may be of relevance and the challenge was to identify and retrieve from them the "inherent values and traditions and to re-articulate the relevance of these values in contemporary times to the shaping of the future.
"In its simplest meaning, a tradition is anything which is transmitted or handed down from the past to the present. It includes material objects, beliefs, images, practices and institutions. They are not independently self productive or self elaborating," said Ansari. Traditions were indispensable. They do not impede forward movement of societies. They lend authenticity to them, he added.
According to Ansari, indigenous medicine represents an alternate knowledge system, based on a holistic and traditional understanding of the human condition. Its efficacy and utility is being increasingly recognized the world over.
"It is important to note that tradition and modernity are not antipodes. Neither is static, consistent, homogenous, mutually exclusive, or in perennial conflict. The endeavour of locating what is of value in the past, and adapting it into the framework of modernity, has to be inductive rather than deductive," opined Ansari.