‘Dard Aryan’ is not among the list of notified Schedule Tribes. Ministry of Tribal Affairs has not formally received any charter of demands from the concerned State Government for seeking financial help for preservation of cultural heritage of ‘Dard Aryans’. However, as informed by the Ministry of Culture, a seminar on the cultural traditions of Dard Aryans of Laddakh was organised during Dard Aryan Festival (Aryan Utsav) held in Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) from 16-21 January, 2019. During the Seminar, a few artists from Dard Aryans community had presented a charter of demands regarding preservation of their culture and other grievances to the Minister of State of Tribal Affairs.
As informed by the Ministry of Culture, during the Seminar on Dard Aryans at IGNCA from 16-21 January, 2019, artists from Dard Aryan Community raised the issues that due to modernization, migration, and religious conversion, etc., their traditions and culture are at threat. However, no formal communication has been received by MoTA from the concerned State in this regard.
IGNCA has taken up the following initiatives to preserve cultural heritage of the Dard Aryans:
(i) Assistance in setting up a few Museums in the Regions of Dard Aryans in Leh, Laddakh, Kargil, etc., with the help of local community.
(ii) A festival of Dard Aryan was organised by the IGNCA during 16-21 January, 2019 at IGNCA, in which around 35 artists from Dard Aryan regions participated. The five-day festival included organizing a full-day Seminar at IGNCA, arranging their visit to MahaKumbh at Prayagraj, connecting them with the students and faculties of the Jawahar Lal Nehru University. Wide publicity of these was given in leading print media, electronic and social media etc.
In addition, IGNCA, with a view to preserve the cultural heritage of ‘Dard Aryans’, had organised a seven-day long workshop at Dha-hanu, Laddakh, Jammu & Kashmir from 9th June 2018 to 15th June 2018 for documentation of traditions of Aryan Valley.
This information was given by Shri Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
NB/SK/jk/Tribal Affairs-2/ 7-02-2019