The lineage of persons of Indian origin is set to grow as legendary painter Pablo Picasso, master filmmaker Charlei Chaplin, iconic singer Elvis Presley are among artistes whose Indian links will be discussed in a seminar by Indian Council of Cultural Research (ICCR) in collaboration with Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad-Bharat.
The three-day conference that begins Friday will be inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. MoS (Culture) Mahesh Sharma will address the valedictory session of the seminar which will see participants from 12 countries.
The ICCR says these personalities “belong to the Roma community”, said to be “descendants of groups in India like Dom, Banjara, Gujjar, Sansi, Chauhan, Sikligar, Dhangar and other nomadic groups from northwest India.” The 20-million strong Roma community is spread across more than 30 countries, covering West Asia, Europe, America and Australia.
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“The purpose of this seminar is to create awareness about Indian origins of Roma community. Origins of eminent personalities like Picasso, Presley and Chaplin would be discussed,” ICCR Director General C Rajasekhar said.
“The conference is also a reflection of India’s age-old outlook, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” he added.
This is the first time ICCR is holding a conference on Romas.