Research on narrative wall paintings of Ajanta by German expert Dieter Schlingloff has now been released in three volumes in English. The book "Ajanta: Handbook of paintings" first published in German in the year 2000 and comprising essence of research on the wall paintings, their literary sources and cultural background was launched here late last evening. Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh was present at the launch at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) here. The minister said, "My anguish is that there are more foreign scholars doing pathbreaking work on places like Ajanta than younger Indian scholars. I hope more and more Indian scholars will get involved." The minister said the contribution of IGNCA towards digitisation of important data would interest more number of Indian scholars to work on the country's culture and heritage. "It is a fact unfortunately some of the best work on Indian art and culture, history is done abroad and not in India that's a tragedy," said Ramesh. Through its 'Kalasamolacana' series, IGNCA has been engaged in publication of critical writings on different facets of art and aesthetics.
The series concentrates on works of eminent scholars. It also deals with revisions and thematically rearranged editions and translations of selected authors and their works. The three-volumes of the book, which has been launched presents over 40 years of Schlingloff's research on paintings and religious, literary and cultural background of ancient India. Schlingloff, formerly head of the department of Indology and Iranian studies at the University of Munich, Germany is a specialist in Buddhist Sanskrit literature, ancient Indian culture and art.