The growing consensus in public policy rejects the assumption that its formulation and analysis can be entirely uncommitted to, and removed from the interests, values, and cultures of the place.
Instead, it places culture at the core of public policy and its making. Culture shapes us as human beings, our eccentricities, attitudes and dispositions.
Such social and cultural information, expressed through behaviours and attitude, may augment or hinder policy implementation, depending on how compatible it is to the culture of the place. Institutions such as birth, marriage, family, rituals, child-rearing, education, and various legal and political organizations cannot be understood fully if our understanding of them is not rooted in the culture, from which all these emerge.
Prof. Balagandhara calls these cultural resources as ‘resources of socialization’, but we at Bṛhat, take these resources as instruments for our existence and survival.
Any public policy exercise must understand culture, and how it has been imprinted upon and expressed through stories, songs, rituals, poems, theories, hypotheses, and even daily seemingly useless talks.
At Bṛhat, our attempt is to explore and investigate how the culture comes into existence, its discourse and practices, and how then it gets seeped into policy formulations, to be reproduced and transmitted across generations. We conceptualize culture as everyday practice and policy as a cultural practice. It is in the interaction of everyday with the cultural practices, that we locate public policies and practices of it. We, at Bṛhat, attempt to re-discover and reimagine the configurations of learning that have sustained us for so long, and have provided us with spiritual and material comforts.
Through Bṛhat, we attempt to bring the public policy and popular culture closer to each other. For this, we seek to make knowledge interventions in areas of arts, music, documentaries, and films.
With a culturally and civilizationally rooted approach to public policy, we aim to produce knowledge that reflects and sympathizes with our experiences, and how these experiences can be molded, changed, formed, and transformed, for the betterment of our civilization, society, and community.
Such knowledge production is essential to transform cultural practices and challenge the ‘received wisdom’ around how Indian civilization and its matters have generally been approached and acted upon. From this standpoint, we delve into the nature and politics of knowledge. We believe that if our traditional configurations of learning are re-instituted and re-constituted, it will transform the way the public policies are formed, enacted, and implemented.