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Culture And Communication In India Contemporary Relevance of Indian Classical Texts


  • To identify and understand the distinctive elements of Indian communication system from the classical texts in grammar, philosophy, arts, and sciences.
  • Four elements of ontology, axiology, epistemology, and methodology, can be used to understand the nature, goals, ways of knowing, and ways of reaching the goal of Indian communication.
  • To highlight the continuity and contemporary relevance of India’s intellectual tradition in the field of communication.
  • To show that a unifying approach of integrating research work in communication studies with grammar, philosophy, arts and science is a fruitful area of inquiry.
  • To examine the gulf between Indian cultural values and communication studies and practices in educational institutions and the media.

Indian Classical Texts

  • Nada Bindu Upanishad
  • Nighantu and Nirukta
  • Ashtadhyayi
  • Tolkappiyam and Silapaddikaram (Tamil)
  • Mahabhasya
  • Natyashastra
  • Vakyapadiya
  • Bhavartha Dipika and Amratanubhava (Marathi)
  • Caryapadas (Bengali)


  • Belvalker, S.K. (1915) Systems of Sanskrit Grammar. Poona, University of Bombay.
  • Potter, Karl H. (2011) The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Vol 1: Bibliography. Delhi: MLBD.
  • Capra, Fritjof, and Pier Luisi (2014) The Systems View of Life. Delhi: Cambridge University Press.
  • Chatterji, Suniti Kumar, ed. (2016) The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol V: Languages and Literatures. Calcutta: The Ramakrishna Mission.
  • Coward Horold G., K. Kunjunni Raja, ed. (1990) Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Vol. V: The Philosophy of the Grammarians. Delhi: MLBD.
  • Dasgupta, Surendra Nath, and Sushil Kimar De (2017) A History of Sanskrit literature: The Classical Period. Delhi: MLBD.
  • Iyer, K.A. Subramania (1992) Bhartrihari, A Study of Vakyapadia in the Light of the Ancient Commentaries. Pune: Deccan College.
  • Matilal, B.K. (2014) The Word and the World: India’s Contribution to the Study of Language. Delhi: Oxford.
  • Vatsyayan, Kapila (2018) Bharata: The Natyashastra. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi.

Research Gap

  • In relation to the systemic level influences, communication studies have tended to focus in particular on political and economic aspects of social systems. Other crucial variables also need to be taken into account.
  • One such variable relates to a nation’s cultural system and how this impacts the media and communication systems.
  • The relative lack of research in this area is somewhat surprising, The present research will continue the efforts to fill this gap in the Indian context.
  • The discourse on Indian communication has so far been limited mainly to Panini, Patanjali, and Bhartrihari. This project will explore more extensive resources from diverse regions in India.
  • The research project will also attempt to integrate research work in biology and neuroscience with the work in education, culture and communication studies.

Western Model


Indian Model



  • The methodology for conducting research on this project will take the three faceted interactive process of discursive mediation, the social and political context, and lived realities as the basic structure.
  • Research methods will include archival research, analytical surveys, and in depth interviews.
  • Archival materials on India’s classical texts will be available at different institutions in the country and for this inter-institutional team of research associates from major regions will be helpful.
  • Analytical surveys will be helpful in determining the relationship between communication styles and the cultural values of people from diverse areas.
  • In depth interviews with renowned scholars in India’s intellectual tradition from different regions and eminent media professionals will be helpful for better understanding of relationship between culture and communication.

Social Relevance

  • Wider awareness about the Indian classical texts on communication will instill a sense of pride in Indian society and culture.
  • Since a number of these texts will be in regional languages the project will serve to bring into the mainstream regional contributions to Indian concept of communication.
  • At present communication studies and cultural studies are dominated by Western concepts and theories. As a result, practices of media and communication are often divorced from the ground realities of life of the people in the country.
  • Study of communication in the context of Indian culture should make journalism and media professionals more sensitive towards Indian cultural values of coordinative and integrative communication.

Policy Relevance

  • Recent studies on higher education in India have shown that very few graduates were highly refined in their written and spoken communication skills.
  • There is also a perception that the quality of teaching in colleges in India is distressing, and the competence levels of the faculty in many universities and colleges are very low.
  • In this scenario, the finding of the proposed research project will be relevant for policy making.
  • There is an urgent need to have another look at the content and structure of education in the country and take a systems view of communication as part of Indian culture.
  • There is a need to develop and Indian perspective on communication which should reflect and reinforce the reality lived by the people of India.

Innovative Research

  • The innovativeness of proposed research lies in its unifying vision of theological, metaphysical, and scientific aspects of communication.
  • The Western model sees communication as transfer of information through a channel. In practice, neither “information” nor “channel” exist in isolation from other forces that shape communication.
  • The disintegrated way of thinking is a typical Western way of reason, emphasizing a fixed, deterministic world, focusing on separate objects instead of the larger picture.
  • Indian classical texts speak of constant change and contradictions, searching for relationships of people, things, and words, to understand complex phenomena as interaction of simpler parts rather than a monolithic entity.

Research Institutes

  • Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
    11, Man Singh Rd, near Andhra Bhavan, Rajpath Area, Central Secretariat, New Delhi, Delhi 110011
    Phone No: 011 2338 8460
  • The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute
    84, Thiruvika High Road, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004
    Phone No: 044 2498 5320
  • The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
    812, Chiplunkar Road, (ILS, Law College Rd, Shivajinagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411004
    Phone No: 020 2565 6932
  • The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture
    Gariahat Rd, Golpark, South End Park, Kolkata, West Bengal 700029
    Phone No: 033 2464 1303/04/05