“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton.
Art in India originated sometime during the Indus Valley civilization, around five thousand years ago. The forms of art found from various excavation sites include sculptures, seals, pottery, gold ornaments, terracotta figures, etc. Their art was spiritual and sensual, making it rather distinctive in form and appearance. Indian art has always charmed art enthusiasts, whether modern or historical.
Delhi, The capital of India, holds significant importance in the history of art and culture. The rich art and culture we see today in Delhi is a gift of The Mughals. They brought revolutionary changes to painting and sensual illustrations. Indian elements were present in their works from the beginning, with the fusion of local flora and fauna that were otherwise absent from the traditional Persian style. Later, the artists and the general influence of Mughal arts spread throughout the country. It then developed into religious paintings in many local styles. To this date, there is no match of the skillmanship of the artists of that time.
However, the arts found in the bustling streets of the capital are breathtaking. The main crafts or the art for which the metropolis is famous include miniature paintings, handicrafts, silver and gold enameling, and zari (embroidery in gold thread) work. You can easily find some of the finest potters, wooden toy makers, kite makers, and lacquer artisans here. Craftsmanship is a vital art form in the capital, and you can easily confirm it just by taking a look at Old Delhi. The state is indeed an artisan hub.
It is no secret that the artisans and craftsmen of our nation are quite skilled. Yet, they suffer the most. The industrialization and the technological advancement post-independence have affected the artisans the most. The factory produced goods are a little low-priced compared to the handmade crafts and arts. Thus, taking the place of handicrafts and dragging the cultural artforms on the verge of extinction. Nowadays, people are keener to buy foreign goods which also affects the craftsmen. The mediators also trick the artisans into selling their products at a low-price to them, gaining profits.
We should make some immediate and crucial amends to protect our artisans and save our culture and heritage from extinction.