Hindu Arts and Culture

Proud to be British and Proud to be Hindu

Art pervades every facet of Hindu life, and is found on every byway of Indian Civilization. Hindu art in its purest form is aimed to serve God and be in communion with Him. May art forms like dance and music are embibed in scriptures like the Natya Shastra whereas sculpture, architecture and placement are traced to scriptures like the Shilpa Shastra

Hindu artists have celebrated and immortalized the beauty of human bodies in bronze and stone for more than 5,000 years. We do not know the name of a single genius among the many who brought gods to life in the Ellora, Ajanta or Elephanta, Karli caves or those who created the Chola Natarajas as magnificent as any work by Benvenuto Cellini. The great Rodin was possibly the most sensitive and perceptive of the admirers of Indian art.

The creation of Hindu temples is most dramatically and powerfully depicted at Ellora, where an entire mountain has literally been scooped out over several centuries by patient devoted artists and architectural geniuses, who envisioned and "extracted" Lord Shiva's Mount Kailasha temple inside that enormous rock dome. Ellora's Kailasantha cave temple remains one of the true "wonders" of the world of art and a unique monument to Hindu devotion. Captain Philip Meadows Taylor (1808-1876) author, says: "the carving on some of the pillars, and of the lintels and architraves of the doors, is quite beyond description. No chased work in silver or gold could possibly be finer. Bu what tools this very hard, tough stone could have done wrought and polished as it is, is not at all intelligible at the present day."

Indian art is so intimately associated with Hindu religion and philosophy that it is difficult to appreciate it fully unless one has some knowledge of the ideals that governed the Indian mind. In Indian art there is always a religious urge, a looking beyond. From the exuberant carvings of the Hindu temples to the luminous wall-paintings of Ajanta, to the intriguing art of cave sites and sophisticated temple-building traditions, the Indian subcontinent offers an amazing visual feast.

Timeline of Art

Timeline of Indian Art
List of important art movements in Indian history with links to articles and pictures.

The Puppeteers
Article on the traveling puppeteers of India, and their art; includes pictures of a number of painted leather puppets.

Gatekeeper in Indian Art
Depiction of the temple gatekeepers (dwarapalakas) in various forms of Indian art.

Prehistoric Art
Rock and cave paintings from Bhimabetaka in Central India.

Indian Paintings
List of Paintings online at Kamat's Potpourri

Decorative Arts

Alamkara - 5000 Years of Indian Art
Online exhibit exploring the notion of ornamentation in Indian art in domestic, religious and courtly settings.

Kavi Art

Monochrome Marvels
Till Kamat presented his scholarly analysis of this rapidly vanishing art form, nobody recognized Kavi art as an art form. Nothing has been done since then.

Daria Daulat

Daria-Daulat
Paintings on the walls of a summer place of Tippu Sultan are both beautiful and historic.

Painted Prayers of India
Rangoli is a simple and beautiful art form from India practiced by women. Includes a  large collection of Rangoli designs and patterns.

Ravi Varma

The Genius of Ravi Varma
No other painter has captured the essence of Indian culture as Ravi Varma has. See why.

Color and Pageantry
When the folk-artists from all over Karnataka gathered for a cultural meet, Kamat was there.

Indian Music
Miscellaneous topics on Indian music explore musical instruments, styles, musicians, and other Indian musical trivia.

India by her Artists
Daily life in India as expressed by some of India's best known artists.

HFB meets New Labour Leader

 

The HFB wrote to Sir Keir Starmer, the new leader of the Labour Party, on 8th April in which we shared some serious concerns the Indian/Hindu community had with the Labour Party.  The Labour leader wrote back on 27th April and whilst this is welcome, the issues raised by the HFB had not been addressed properly.  On 30th April 2020 a teleconference took place between the representatives of the HFB led by Ms Trupti Patel and Sir Keir Starmer and his team.  The HFB considers this as the first step in what we hope will be a continued positive dialogue for the Labour Party to learn, and to understand, the issues arising from within the community.

Those in attendance at this teleconference were:

Hindu Forum Britain (HFB): Mrs Trupti Patel (President), Mrs  Harsha Shukla MBE (VP North) and Dr Ramesh Pattni OBE (VP South).

Labour Party:    Sir Keir Starmer MP, RT Hon Angela Raynor MP, Rt Hon Janet Daby MP, Baroness D Lawrence and Navendu Mishra MP.

The discussion was cordial and Sir Keir Starmer confirmed that he was aware of the concerns, that as the new leader he wanted to reset relations with the Indian community.  He went on to say, he wanted proper engagement and that the Labour Party needed to hear and to be held accountable.  He further added that if the changes are not seen then he wanted the HFB to tell him so without any reservation. He accepted that an apology was due to the community.  His team echoed his thinking to move forward and build good relations with the Hindu community. 

The President of the HFB, Ms Trupti Patel thanked Sir Keir Starmer for taking the step in this important dialogue.  She pointed out that the reservations and concerns raised in her letter to him are serious and require the Labour Party to address those urgently.  She reminded him of the exclusion of Hindus in CV 19 steering group and most importantly Hate filled incident unfolding on the 15th of August 2019 on India’s Independence Day when some  4000 strong group of anti-Indian protestors threw missiles at the gathering of 200 people  celebrating Independence day and created a very tense situation.  She also pointed that it was alarming that some Labour politicians took an active part and voiced their views on Kashmir that were a detriment to community cohesion in the UK.

Sir Keir Starmer suggested that after the call it was essential to make sure that we don't let things fall by and to set up systems for communications that allow for continuous and direct communication with the senior leadership of the Labour Party.  

Dr Pattni pointed out that unless there are channels and systems of dialogue between the Labour leadership and the Hindu community, there will remain such tensions due to biased thinking in the Party.  Mrs Shukla pointed out that there  should be trust and respect which should reflect in transparent communication and be inclusive of all faiths in any policy forming process. There needs to be a practical  action plan as a way forward in dialogue which was echoed by Trupti Patel as doing the walk beyond just the talk.

The meeting concluded on the note that the HFB will be writing to Sir Keir Starmer with their observations on his letter as well as the teleconference call.  In so doing to give a series of actions points that the party can work on immediately. 

The Hindu Forum Britain have now written to Sir Keir Starmer with their observations as detailed in the letter below. 

Mrs Trupti Patel 

President 

HFB 

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Corona Virus Health Advice

Corona Advice pg 1

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Corona Advice pg 6

Hindu Reflection by Mrs Trupti Patel - 16th May 2020

Hindu Reflection by Mrs Trupti Patel (16 -05-2020)

PLEASE CLICK ON THE ABOVE LINK TO HEAR HINDU REFLECTIONS ON THE CURRENT PANDEMIC SITUATION ON BBC SOUNDS.

ABOUT US

The Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) is the largest umbrella body for British Hindus with more then 320 member organisations from around the country. HFB is the first port of call from the central government and the most reported Hindu organisation in the British media.

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