ISLAMABAD, Feb 28 (APP):Indus River Valley Institute (IRVI) has started debunking colonial history of the subcontinent that is home to the world’s unique culture, traditions, heritage, arts and linguistics through exposure visits and architecture exploration.
The IRVI has adopted a unique stratagem to transform a mundane activity into an exciting learning experience through travelling to archaic heritage sites, map reading, drawing, sitting in natural environment without any chair and layers with bare feet to redevelop a connection with the ancient buildings not merely a structure of stones and bricks rather the heritage of their ancestors lost after the advent of British colonial rule. The Institute has kicked off exposure visits and activities in the federal capital where public, experts, students, academia, media and history lovers have given an overwhelming response to the initiative.
Founder, IRVI, Zain Mustafa told APP on Wednesday that there was no clear definition to the term “Cultural Diversity of Pakistan” because no one ever dared to dig out the history beyond Mughals and British. The region of the subcontinent where Pakistan existed today was one of the most diverse, culturally rich area as it was the custodian of Indus Valley and Mehrgarh Civilizations that existed along the mighty Indus River and there only purpose was to guard the waters, he added.
Over the past 4,000-5,000 years, numerous dynasties emerged and wiped out from the scene with the region tasting colours of different languages, arts, customs and science that shaped this area into a different region with every passing century, Zain Mustafa said.
The IRVI Founder regretted that unfortunately, the 7,000 years old cultural diversity has been submerged and suppressed by various historians to paint a bleak picture of the region and its people as inferior and culturally illiterate people.
The Institute is Pakistan’s first culture, heritage and identity think tank to reclaim the lost roots to our ancestors who passed through the Indus River Valley or settled there over millennia.
Mustafa added that the technique to decolonise and debunk myths of shared and overlapping histories bringing them onto one united, holistic platform from the regional stories of the Silk Road, The Indus river watershed & delta, The China connection & KKH, Kabul, Afghanistan & Peshawar, Persia; Darius the Great, Greeks, Kalash & Alexander the Great, Mohammad bin Qasim, the Arabs and Thatta, Central Asia & the Mughals, Southern Russia & the Indo Scythians, The Indus valley civilization, Mesopotamia and Egypt, Gandhara and Buddhism into India, Sikhism and Ranjit Singh.
He added that the vision of IRVI was of a self-sustaining institution to further the discourse that was started by him through his journey tracing and revealing Pakistan’s broader 7,000-year-old cultural identity and its inter-connectivity to the Silk Road in conjunction with the Indus River valley bioregion.
“We nurture dialogues and conversations between Pakistan’s provincial archaeological & cultural departments in association with similar intellectual environments of other relevant countries. From China to Portugal, Russia to Africa all their colonial & lost histories will be re-bridged with Pakistan as the pivotal junction between them as it always was. This national repository of material generated by the think tank will leave a legacy for our future generations to learn from and build on”.
Zain Mustafa informed that his Think Tank develops material based on research and documentation (created and curated), publication (print reports, blogs & Youtube virtual video tours), heritage site Community engagement & training/Skill development of guides, quarterly Webinars & Annual International conferences and educational on-site pop-up classrooms (present Edutours).
He mentioned that his target audience was historians, anthropologists, earth architects and artists, archaeologists, contemporary crafts designers, writers on above content, film makers, performing artists, heritage architecture conservation experts, govt & Pvt sector above, policy & strategy writers, students of any related programs or heritage enthusiasts, organic farmers or builders with earth (Biotecture), folk music documentation experts, culinary artists and revival food chefs, contemporary designers working with the traditional arts and craftsman and organizations working with heritage & traditional arts.