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Performance by Pt. Bhajan Sopori and Dr. Deepti Omchery Bhalla on 6 - 7 Feb., 2010.

About SPIC MACAY

Beginning of SPIC MACAY :-
An idea originates and finds someone through whom it can manifests itself. That fortunate someone, experiences during the birth process, a feeling which is beyond description. Imagine for a moment that you are witnessing the creation of the universe.

The “big bang” of SPIC MACAY came in 1972 at a concert of Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. After a few sporadic concerts (notable amongst them was that of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) at Columbia University, New York, under the aegis of the India Club of Columbia University during the period 1972-76, the idea took a more defined direction in 1977 in India. However in 1979, a two-day programme again at IIT Delhi of Ustad Bismillah Khan, Dagar Bandhu, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Ustad Sitahid Parvez turned out to be a marginal success. MEFYS( Mechanical Engineering Final Year Students) organized the programme. It was at this programme that the name SPIC MACAY was first launched and the aim expressed was not to fight Westernisation but the process of deculturisation.

The first lecture-demonstration series LEC-DEM’79 was also conducted in the same year when six Delhi based artistes, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Smt.Sonal Mansingh, Ustad Asad Ali Khan, Dagar Bandhu and Ustad Munnawar Ali Khan gave three presentations at the Jawaltar Lal Nehru University (Godavari Hostel), Lady Irwin College and Miranda House respectively. The name FEST for our annual festival was first used in 1980 and FEST 80 was conducted in a number of educational institutions all over Delhi. Fest’81 took SPIC MACAY to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta, and Kharagpur. In 1982, the first lecture-demonstration series in schools was conducted when Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and Smt. Sonal Mansingh gave three lec-dems each at Modern School, Barakhamba Road, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya & Ramjas School no.3 in Delhi. From then SPIC MACAY started spreading to many Schools and colleges all over the country. 1986 saw the introduction of folk arts& crafts into the gamut of SPIC MACAY. The scholarship scheme began in the year 1986 to help give students a glimpse into the age-old Guru-Shishya tradition. This was also the year that the first annual convention, was held at Hyderabad .

In 1988 the first programme, was conducted abroad, Pandit Jasraj sang at the University of Connecticut at Harford. ‘THE EYE’ Magazine, was first released in 1991 as a thought provoking ‘written word movement’, for the Youth. In 1993, the first schools convention was held at Delhi Public School, R.K Puram. Virasat, a festival comprising performances, workshops in folk, classical arts, literature, theatre, cinema, yoga and other areas of our heritage was launched for the first time in Dehradun in the year 1995. As the SPIC MACAY movement spreads both geographically and in content, great care must be taken that the direction and intensity are not lost and that at least a glimmer of the original spark remains.

The Movement :-
SPIC MACAY is an affirmation of:

- a priceless cultural heritage rooted in what is essentially Indian. With the onslaught of rapid change and global homogenization, this multifaceted Indian heritage is being increasingly marginalized and diluted. SPIC MACAY seeks to conserve and promote an awareness of this rich and heterogeneous cultural tapestry amongst the youth of this country through focus on the classical arts, with their attendant legends, rituals, mythology and philosophy and to facilitate an awareness of their deeper and subtler values.

- the pulsating and dynamic vitality of the young person. The movement incorporates this vitality to cajole them into being custodian of what is actually their birthright, namely their heritage, roots and identity. It seeks to provoke thought and a genuine spirit of enquiry in the young.

- a solid value-based education, which involves the absorption of aesthetics and spirituality in an increasingly technical, mundane and competitive world. Thus its work is educational in spirit and character and locates itself in educational institutions only.

- the effectiveness of voluntary work in inculcating a spirit of service. This is, in fact, the hidden agenda of this movement. Volunteers come from all walks of life with varied aspirations and skills. They give some of their time to a cause which is for the larger good and outside of their immediate self interest. The emphasis is on participation without hierarchy and too much formalism.

- the need for a more inspired perspective in a world bombarded by too much information. A unique feature of the heritage of India is its inbuilt characteristic of introspection and a philosophy that transcends mere intellectualism.

- all that is beautiful, lofty and wholesome, of the sensitive, kind and gentle human being who is inspired and in turn inspires.

Its Growth :-
The movement caught the imagination of the young and began to grow geographically and numerically. While on the one hand, the idea had to be painstakingly introduced in minor doses, on the other, there was a clamouring for the the programmes in schools and colleges. A combination of both has resulted in network of over 200 centers in India and abroad. About 1000 events are conducted yearly.

Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth
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