The Harappans were expert craftsmen.
They made beads of carnelian, agate, amethyst, turquoise,
lapis lazuli, etc. ; they manufactured bangles out of
shells, glazed faience and terracotta ; they carved ivory
and worked shells into ornaments, bowls and ladles ; they
cast copper (which they mined themselves in Baluchistan
and Rajasthan) and bronze for weapons, all types of tools,
domestic objects and statues (such as the famous dancing
girl) ; they also worked silver and gold with great
skill, specially for ornaments.
Born in 1956 at Honfleur (France) into a Jewish family recently
emigrated from Morocco, from the age of fifteen Michel Danino
was drawn to India, some of her great yogis, and soon to Sri
Aurobindo and Mother and their view of evolution which gives
a new meaning to our existence on this earth. In 1977, dissatisfied
after four years of higher scientific studies, he left France
for India, where he has since been living.
Michel Danino participated in the English translation and
publication of Mother’s Agenda (13 volumes,
Mother’s record of her yoga in the depths of the body consciousness)
and several books by Satprem (Mother’s confidant and recipient
of Mother’s Agenda). Michel Danino also edited, among
other titles, India’s Rebirth (a selection from
Sri Aurobindo’s works about India, available
online ; first published in 1993, now in its 3rd edition,
translated into nine Indian languages) and India the
Mother (a selection from Mother’s words, 1998).
Studying India’s culture and ancient history in the light
of both Sri Aurobindo’s pioneering work and archaeological
research, in 1996 Michel Danino authored The Invasion
That Never Was, a brief study of the Aryan invasion
theory. Intended primarily for the educated non-specialist
Indian public, the book has also been well received in scholarly
circles. A second, extensively revised and enlarged edition
was brought out in 2000; a third is scheduled for late 2003.
Over the last few years, Michel Danino has given lectures
at various official, academic and cultural forums on issues
confronting Indian culture and civilization in today’s world ;
some of them have been published under the titles Sri
Aurobindo and Indian Civilization (1999), The
Indian Mind Then and Now (2000), Is Indian Culture
Obsolete ? (2000), and Kali Yuga or the Age
of Confusion (2001). Delving into the roots of Indian
civilization, Michel Danino has argued that its essential
values remain indispensable in today’s India — and in fact
for all humanity in this critical phase of global deculturization
and dehumanization. Many of those lectures and a few new ones
are available on this homepage.
Michel Danino’s other fields of activity include Nature conservation;
his action for the preservation of an important pocket of
native tropical rainforest in the Nilgiris led to the creation
of Tamil Nadu’s first “watchdog” committee in which concerned
citizens actively collaborated with both the Forest Department
and local villagers in conservation work, also involving local
teachers and hundreds of students.
In 2001, Michel Danino convened the International
Forum for India's Heritage (IFIH) with over 160 eminent
founder members, whose mission is to promote the essential
values of India's heritage in every field of life.