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“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

October 16, 2017

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

Location of Hyndavi, Vijayawada

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada: Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti[1](hereinafter mentioned as BISS), Andhra Pradesh conducted two National Seminars on Ramayanam – Historicity and Maha Bharatam – Historicity in 2013 and 2015 in Ongole and Rajamundhry respectively.  In 2017, the BISS conducted a national seminar at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th on “Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam”. Now that “Historicity” was dropped might be noted. The venue was “Haindavi” Bhavan, Street besides Lotus Land Mark[2], Ramalingeswara Peta, Vijayawada-3. Actually, it is in Sector-5, and the location is known as “near Ice Factory”. Hyndavi building, Vijayawada - photo Rajesh PadmarOutstation delegates had some difficulty to reach the venue. Incidentally, the multi-storied building was built, completed and inaugurated last year[3]. Sri Siddheswarananda Bharati Swamy of Sri Siddheswari Peetham (Tamil Nadu) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) All India Organising Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale inaugurated the RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ at Ayodhya Nagar here on August 5th, 2016 (Thursday)[4]. RSS office inaugrated 05-08-2016 Vijayawada

The seminar hall has been equipped with Power point and other provisions. The organizers had made good arrangements – food, accommodation etc., for the delegates. Sri Koti Lakshmana Rao, secretary, BISS has been instrumental in bringing different researchers, scholars and others together.

Haindavi Bhawan -L-R view

Theme of the Seminar: Research Papers were received from scholars, Research Students and people who were interested in History of ancient India / Bharat and its culture, tradition, heritage and civilization. The organizers expressed in their circular specifically that the Samiti desired that the main focus of the presentations in the seminar should be on historical, geographical, political, social, and cultural as well as Dharmic and ethical perspectives. They suggested the following topics in the context:

1.       Viswa srushti

2.      Propositions on Dharma

3.      Astronomical perspectives

4.      Geographical references

5.      Rivers, Mountains, Forests

6.      Piligrimages

7.      Life style of forest dwellers, common people & kings (rulers)

8.     Status & significance of Women.

9.      Systems of Education

10.  Customs & Rituals

11.   Sculpture, Architecture & Fine Arts

12.  Kings, kingdoms, Royal dynasties,

13.  State craft & politics, Systems of State And Governance

14.  Sages, establishments and their influence

15.   Upakhyanas and their influence etc.,

16.  Other related topic also may be considered.

Bhagawata seminar banner on the gate

About 40 papers were presented on the topics suggested, but overlapping. Most of the papers delved upon the devotional, descriptive, narrative, legendary aspects and discourses of Bhagawatham. Perhaps, only one paper delved upon the historical perspective, which touched upon the “Archaeological Evidences for the existence of “Historical Krishna”. In the present-day context, as ideology has been working at the Universities, schools and all other academic institutions and forums, it could be answered and countered only by ideology and not by devotional discourses. Of course, it is required and may be mandatory also at earlier stages of curriculum, hitherto followed as “Moral period / class” provided till 1970s. The “Moral period” was removed and of course, the degradation of sacademics could be noted thereafter in different aspects.

Bhagawata seminar - breafast

Critical edition of Bhagawatam has to be brought out: Critical editions of Ramayana and Mahabharat have been prepared and published by the Baroda Oriental Rearch Institute and Bhandarkar Oriental Rearch Institute respectively[5]. Similarly, critical edition of Bhagawatapurana should be published, so that researchers, scholars and students could conduct their research in the historical perspective. Approaching Bhagawatam in Sanskrit and other regional languages show how the work had been so popular and common among the common people for 2000 years. Though, the narrative, legendary and mythical details vary, the core of the subject matter remains intact and specific. The study / process of manuscripts to determine the original or most authoritative form of a text, especially of a piece of literature and thus arriving at an acceptable version and publication of it is known as “critical edition”. In Literary criticism it is stressing close reading and detailed analysis of a particular text. In such determination of determining the original or most authoritative form of a text, all the available manuscripts are subjected to study. Notably, in “India”(pre-colonial, pre-Mohammedan) thousands and millions of manuscripts had been available, as they were nothing but just like present-day printed books. In spite of the taking away, looting and burning libraries of temples, mutts and Universities, still millions of manuscript are available in thousands of archives, libraries – prove the fact. Perhaps, no other literature of any nation, language or society has been existing in this manner. Therefore, the variance found in Indian literature has been unique, interpolations incidental (other than internal nature of Jains, Buddhists etc) and differences inadvertent. Thus, a critical edition can be prepared.

Bhagawata seminar - hall where held

The hall where seminar was held.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience

Limited audience – LHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience.RHS

Limited audience – RHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Mohana, Balamukund, Koti, TVR

Inaguration of the seminar by lighting a lamp.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters

Scholars presenting papers.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters.more

Researchers presenting papers.

Demythologization in Indian context: In Indian historiographical context, much of “demythologization” is also required. Demythologization as a hermeneutic approach to religious texts seeks to separate cosmological and historic claims from philosophical, ethical and theological teachings. Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) introduced the term demythologization (in German: Entmythologisierung) in this context[6]. It is to provide an explanation of something, or to present something, in a way that removes any mystery surrounding it. Here, actually, history has been mythologized to reach all and common people with easy understanding. The following have been generally noted as feature of mythologization of different aspects and subjects of humanity:

  1. Deification of personalities raising them to Godhead and God.
  2. Attributing miracles, grand feats, great exploitation, controlling nature etc.
  3. Recording Natural disasters (floods, volcanic eruptions, earth-quakes, submergence of land mass and other land disturbances) in their own fashion of divine scourge, punishment of God and so on.
  4. Good would always prevail over Bad, evil, injustice etc.
  5. “Cakravarti-kshetra” i.e, a king ruling vast area with unlimited or traditional boundaries (Himalsyas in the north, Kanyakumari / ocean in the south, Eastern Ocean in the east and the western ocean in the west)[7].
  6. Concept of dwelling land, continent changing from island (Jambudwipam, Navalanthivu) to the above boundaries.
  7. Movement of asterisms, planets etc., and their attribution to great personalities and gods.
  8. Synchronization of rites, festivals and celebrations with days, weeks, 15-days, 30-days, year and so on (Lunar calendar).
  9. Attribution of cyclic periods, growth of plants and trees, flowers and fruits top a particular god or Goddess.
  10. Existence of personalities for many years – 100, 1,000 etc., denoting existence of such ashrams, mutt etc.

Bhagawata seminar - second day started with prayer

Second day seminar – starting with a prayer.

Bhagawata seminar - second day -audience

Methodology adopted and adapted by the Puranic writers – a way of historiography: They are nothing but Puranas and they were updated during the course of time many times. The updating is nothing but adding details upto the date of updating, thus, if one Purana was uptated in 1500 CE, it would contain details upto 1500 CE from the beginning. Revising, renewing and modernizing Puranas was considered as imortant in those days. All the above topics would havealso been updated depending upon the acumen of the updating experts. However, reading such revised editions of Puranas (in manuscript forms), the wesern researchers and European colonial history writers presumed that such and such Purana was written in 1500 CE instead of 300 BCE, 500 BCE or even 1000 BCE. The Jaina[8] and Buddhists[9] had resorted to update in their own fashion by including their affairs and thus, they could bee seen in the manuscripts of Ramayana and Mahabharat also. But, no historian would accept that the dates of Jainism and Buddhism could go back to those periods. Though, the date of Ramayana has been entangled with “Yuga” calculations, the date of Mahabharat has been fixed to c.3102 BCE[10].

© Vedaprakash

16-10-2017

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-1

The paper presenters were given certificates.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-2

This lady-researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati presented paper in Sanskrit.Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-3

This researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati also presented paper in Sanskrit.  His way of presentaion, expression and body language had been so articulative conveying mesage to the listeners.

[1] A society for collection of data for history writing for Bharat, that is India.

[2] This created confusion for auto drivers and they took the coming delegates in opposite direction and the reaching the venue.

[3] The Hindu, RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ inaugurated, Vijayawada, August, 05, 2016 00:00 IST; Updated. August, 05, 2016 06:06 IST

[4] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/RSS%E2%80%99s-regional-office-%E2%80%98Hyndavi%E2%80%99-inaugurated/article14552939.ece

[5] Critical edition is an authorized sort of version of Itihasa, after going through available thousands of manuscripts by hundreds of Pundits, scholars, historians etc., separating interpolated verses and arriving at acceptable version.

[6] Though, he used in the biblical context, in India, we can use in Indian context. For us, the Puranic writers have themselves have shown the methodology of mythologization and demythologization of history for the different groups of audience.

[7] D. C. Sircar pointed out in his book on epigraphy.

[8] Jains created 24-tirtankaras and made them existing in Ramayana and Mahabharat periods.

[9] Buddhists had created the concept of “Adi Buddha” existing in every yuga.

[10] This has traditional date but recorded in inscriptions and now proven by atronomical and planetary pisition software. Incidentally, this date has been associated with – starting of Kaliyuga, subnergence of Dwaraka, Niryana of Krishna, and other events.

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GST – Implementation from July 1, 2017 – How to tackle the reality of situation with the dealers with limited facilities?

June 11, 2017

GST – Implementation from July 1, 2017 – How to tackle the reality of situation with the dealers with limited facilities?

GST - Ideal, but what is implemented

The Government may have to be soft with the dealers, as they are bound to commit mistakes and violate provisions of GST Act and Rules[1]: In the implementation of GST covering crores of dealers of various transactions, many assumptions and presumptions have been made, as if, all would be sitting at computers and handling with their commercial dealings only on-line always. The Government has not perhaps, realized the digital gap existing between the big and small taxpayers under the GST regime.

  1. The powerful federal indirect tax body, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, would instruct field officers at the central and state levels to be lenient with traders for procedural lapses in the first year of implementation of the new indirect tax regime from 1 July, 2017[2].
  2. There is a confusion about the jurisdiction of the dealers and as well as the law-implementing officers. This confusion prevails between the Central and the State and also amomh themselves internally.
  3. In the first year they have to handhold them rather than penalize them for procedural infractions. Everyone in the council is sensitive about it. Major offences such as clearing of goods without invoices, however, is a different matter.
  4. The decision comes in the wake of apprehensions of the trade and business community about an anti-profiteering provision in the GST law intended to be a deterrent against not passing on the benefits of any reduced indirect tax liability to the ultimate consumer.
  5. The Confederation of All India Traders, a traders’ body with 60 million members, said in a representation to PM on 8 June, 2017 that a period of nine months beginning 1 July should be declared a transition period [up to 31-03-2018] during which traders will be given immunity from prosecution for procedural lapses.
  6. While businesses and large traders will be prepared for the GST roll-out with their IT systems, small traders, especially those in villages and remote areas, may take time to become part of the GST network on account of lack of awareness and infrastructure constraints.
  7. As everyone imagines, the internet connection and related issues are going to create many practical probles, coupled with frequent power cuts at rural and village areas.
  8. Another official in the government, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the last point of sale—trader to consumer—in villages has always been the weakest link in the state-level value-added tax system.
  9. Important issues – addressing concerns relating to tax rates brought up by the industry and finalizing how the anti-profiteering mechanism, “advance ruling” and search and arrests, etc. Advance ruling is a facility available for taxpayers to get an idea of what the tax liability on certain transactions will be in advance.

GST - SSI has to file 37 instead of 13 returns

SSI has to file 37 returns instead of 13; if they have units in more than one state, the returns increase accordingly[3]: A small­scale manufacturing company with operations in only one state will have to file a minimum of 37 returns instead of the current 13 once the goods and services tax (GST) goes live from July 1, 2017 increasing work for industry, accountants and banks, according to an IndiaSpend analysis. With the deadline for the GST less than a month away, finance professionals, banks and industry seem unprepared for the challenges of implementing the one nation­one tax idea, work towards which began 13 years ago. “The entire ecosystem needs to be changed to accept GST,” K. Raghu, former president, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, told IndiaSpend. “An ideal date for implementation would be September 1.” The Indian Banks Association has informed a parliamentary panel that their members were unprepared to implement the new indirect tax regime. “Everything will now be online and will need to be updated regularly. A business will have to file 37 returns in a year (three returns per month and one annual return) per state,” the Economic Times reported on June 5, 2017.

GSTN - portal in demand

Business in three states means, he has to file 3 x 37 = 111 returns per annum[4]: “If it does business from offices in more than one state, the number of returns will go up accordingly. A business with offices in three states will have to file 111 tax returns in a year.” With the government announcing GST for four tax rates ­­ 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent ­­ industry will face implementation challenges that include system upgrades, manpower training and understanding new taxes. Every transaction ­­ sale or purchase ­­ will now have to be recorded online to benefit from the tax paid earlier India is implementing a dual GST with the Centre and states together levying it on a common tax base. “The GST to be levied by the centre on intra­state supply of goods and/or services would be called the Central GST (CGST) and that to be levied by the states would be called the State GST (SGST),” according to the FAQs published by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the central body of indirect taxes. “Similarly, Integrated GST (IGST) will be levied and administered by centre on every inter­state supply of goods and services.” A dual GST adheres to the constitutional requirement of fiscal federalism, since both the Centre and states have the powers to levy and collect taxes. “The central GST and the state GST would be levied simultaneously on every transaction of supply of goods and services except the exempted goods and services, goods which are outside the purview of GST and the transactions which are below the prescribed threshold limits,” the CBEC FAQ noted.

GST opposed or supported

Meghalaya, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal – have not passed GST[5]: While 24 states have passed state GST acts, seven have not ­ as yet. They are: Meghalaya, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal. While the location of the supplier and the customer within the country is immaterial for the purpose of CGST, SGST would be charged only when the supplier and the customer are within the state. An illustration from the FAQ published by the government: Suppose the CGST rate is 10 per cent and the SGST is 10 per cent. When a wholesale steel dealer in Uttar Pradesh supplies bars and rods to a construction company within the state for, say, Rs 100, the dealer would charge CGST of Rs 10 and SGST of Rs 10, in addition to the basic price of the goods. The wholesaler would be required to deposit the CGST into a central government account and the SGST into the account of the state government. “Of course, he need not actually pay Rs 20 (Rs 10 + Rs 10) in cash, as he would be entitled to set­off this liability against CGST or SGST paid on his purchases (say, inputs),” said the FAQ This is where implementation challenges arise, as former ICWAI president Raghu explained. Every invoice from buyers and sellers must be entered in the GST system correctly to ensure that benefits accrue down the chain. “We have a system today across a majority of small units where an accountant comes (in) once a month, makes vouchers and inputs details for taxes,” said Raghu. “That will have to end now because we are moving to an online, almost real­time system that will need a lot of manpower.” The finance industry is ready by training its professionals, said Raghu, who predicted many job opportunities over the next 5­6 years. But, as he added, it would take at least 12 to 18 months for the system to “settle down”. “I do see a lot of CAs and other finance professionals being trained for indirect taxes in the coming years,” he said.

GST - Ideal, but what is implemented-NDA-UPA

Industry and Banks are not ready for GST implementation[6]: India’s industry and its banking system will have to change systems, train personnel and accept the extra workload for the new taxation system. The banking system has clearly said it is not yet ready. Industry is ambivalent. “Nearly 50 per cent of Indian businesses are not aware of the changes that GST will usher in,” Bharat Goenka, Managing Director, Tally Solutions, was quoted as saying in the Economic Times on June 5. Tally accounting software is widely used by Indian companies. The company is waiting for the GST rules to be finalised, so that it can roll out its GST software for Indian companies. A senior official of Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), requesting anonymity because the launch date was close, said GST was “now a fact”, and industry was trying to adapt. FICCI has been conducting awareness sessions among industry verticals to help understand the new structure, he added The industrial sector, especially the services sector, is waiting for more clarity on tax rates, processes and the time frame for the systems to settle down. “What we still don’t know is which tax slab we fall in,” a marine service provider operating in Goa told IndiaSpend, on condition of anonymity. “While it is good that the taxation system will be streamlined and we will not have to deal with multiple tax payments like excise, service tax and value added tax, we still don’t know how much time it will take for everybody to be on board.” (In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data­driven, non­profit, public interest journalism platform. The views expressed are those of IndiaSpend. Feedback at respond@indiaspend.org).

© Vedaprakash

11-06-2017

GST ready for launch - 03_08_2016_001_060

[1] Livemint.com, Govt may be lenient with traders on procedural lapses in GST’s first year, Last Modified: Sat, Jun 10 2017. 12 51 AM IST.

[2] http://www.livemint.com/Politics/PMFLgTOxEezhEPIt9FEqgL/Govt-may-be-lenient-with-traders-on-procedural-lapses-in-GST.html

[3] http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/businessman-or-professional-you-may-need-to-fill-37-forms-to-be-gst-compliant/story-DI8IOTQi5qS0c20PkDoTNO.html

[4] http://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/business/business-news/37-returns-instead-of-13-one-of-the-many-challenges-threatening-gst-rollout/articleshow/59085127.cms

[5] http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/37-returns-instead-of-13-one-of-the-many-challenges-threatening-gst-rollout/articleshow/59082648.cms

[6] Economics Times, 37 returns instead of 13: One of the many challenges threatening GST rollout, BY IANS | JUN 10, 2017, 02.33 PM IST.