A Guest Lecture on "Panoramic View of Indian Culture & Issues of National Integration" by Dr. Vijay Laxmi Singh, Director, Centre for Professional Development in Higher Education, Delhi was organised by AIPS, Noida on September 25, 2012 at C Block Auditorium. The Lecture was attended by all the students and faculty members of AIPS, Noida.
The lecture started with a warm welcome of Dr Vijay Laxmi Singh followed by an introduction by Prof (Dr) Abha Singh, Director, AIPS & Acting Head, AIBHAS. Dr Vijay Laxmi Singh, then carried on with her lecture by defining the basic concept of culture. She shared that Culture is a common sense concept yet magnetic therefore researchers tend to theorize it. It encompasses each and every aspect of life. She discussed in detail the origin of the word culture. Culture and cultivation share the same root. Culture comes from the latin word “colere” which means “cultivation. She gave the various definitions of culture as given by various Researchers , authors , historian, psychologists. She then moved on to explain the social units,how each social unit develops culture and can be viewed theoretically in four types: Interpersonal Communication, Group Communication, Organizations, Society or Nation.
Moving on to the aspects of Indian culture, she explained with relevant examples two main aspects: the material culture that includes material goods, media culture and The Non Material Culture that includes values, beliefs etc. She mainly emphasized on Media Culture mentioning that media is a powerful source that can influence the culture the masses follow and vice versa. This is explained by putting forth the titles of films in 1970s and those that came later.
Fashion Culture was also taken up as fashion is a tool of expression as it provides people a voice. In the older times, fashion was treated as a distraction unlike now when parents accept it as an everyday life aspect. History of Levis was also an interesting topic that was discussed under this topic.
Further , the importance of mass media as an agent of socialization and also understanding the nature of culture in relationship to communication. The Non Material culture was also put light on explaining the Tribal culture, Folk culture , Oral culture . The major concept of Globalization without which the understanding of Indian culture would not have been panoramic was explained talking about the recent examples of advertisements. Other topics of plurality of Indian culture , gender Inequality , Poverty and population Growth was also taken up briefly. The Later part of the lecture focused on the theory of National Integration and its sources. It also included understanding the relationship of Education and Culture especially in the Indian women context. The fact that modern education in India is often criticized for being based on rote learning has now being shifting to support innovation putting considerable responsibility on the teachers.
Lastly queries and suggestions were invited from the audience. The students tried to understand the role that Psychologist can play in helping the generations to value our Indian culture without blindly following the westernization and modernization to which Dr Vijay Laxmi Singh responded by saying that modernization can be used as a strength rather than a weakness. Culture in psychology can be understood as the ‘personality’ of a ‘self’ or of an ‘organization’. The way we communicate it, it is a way of life.
The main theme that was emphasized throughout the lecture was that India derives it unity from the fact that it welcomes and embraces diversity. The national anthem entails this truth in itself as Community strength integrates and facilitates National Integration. Dr Vijay Laxmi Singh concluded the lecture at an aspiring note: “You belong to your community yet still you are an Indian”. A Vote of Thanks was delivered by a student of Masters of Applied Psychology.