Archive for the ‘workshop’ Category

The 10th National Conference of ABISY was held at Mysore from December 24th to 26th 2015 on “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to Modern” (2).

December 29, 2015

The 10th National Conference of ABISY was held at Mysore from December 24th to 26th 2015 on “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to Modern” (2).

1.Shri-Vajubhai-Rudabhai-Vala-Governor-of-Karnataka-inaugurated10th-National-Conference-on-Woman-in-Indian-Culture-through-the-Ages12.18 am (24-12-2015) Senate Hall, Mysuru: M. A. Jayashree sang an inagural song, read “Sankalpa” for the Conference and then, all stood up to sing Janaganamana!

The governors and VIPs arrived and the inagural ritual started.

Those who were on the Dias:

  1. Balamukund.
  2. Prof K. S. Rangappa, VC, University of Mysuru was the Chief Gust of Honour
  3. HE Vajubhai Vala Karnataka
  4. HE Mridula Sihna Goa
  5. Sri Suresh Joshi Bhayyaji, Sarkaryavah, RSS was the guest speaker.
  6. Satish Mittal.
  7. Tontadarya, ex-MLC

ABISY - inagural function Suresh Joshi Bhayyaji, Sarkaryavah, RSS was the guest speakerThe speech of Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi: 12.25 pm: The 10th national conference of the Akhil Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana began here on Thursday with RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi finding fault with the tradition of confining women to household work[1]. Talking in Hindi, he said, family system was the root of the country, that should be protected by ensuring education, health and safety of womenfolk. Delineating on the need to set right the history of the country, Joshi said, the samiti has taken up many works to introduce the core strength of the country to the people. “While Aryans were indigenous people of India, Britishers falsely propagated that they came from outside. The truth was established after researching deep into the issue. The origin of Sindhu-Saraswati River has been traced”, added Joshi[2]. Addressing the gathering at the inaugural of the conference titled ‘Woman in Indian culture through the ages’ by the yojana, Mr. Joshi said there was a need for women to emerge from the confines of their homes and assume roles in industry, education, politics and other spheres of life. If a country were to achieve progress economically, socially and geographically, there was a need to empower women, he said emphasising the importance of creating awareness on the issue. He also said women should populate not only the army, but also the air force and navy. While favouring bringing Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and various adivasis into the mainstream, who he said “may be weak, but not unwise”, Mr. Joshi said that issues relating to rural and tribal women, who comprise 70 per cent of women, should be brought on the agenda of the discussions. He called for the need to establish a just society on the basis of equality that is free from western influence. Mr. Joshi emphasised the need to present correct history. Research helped bust the myth that Aryans had invaded India before the Mughals and the British. That Aryans were not foreigners, but were locals, had been proved by scientific evidence, he claimed[3].

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha speaking at the ABISYs 10th national conference in Mysuru on Thursday 24-12-2015-PHOTO- M.A. SRIRAMWhat HE Mridula Sihna Goa spoke: 12.50 to 1.15 pm: HE Mridula Sihna Goa spoke in Hindi. Referring to the practice among a section of the women to avoid bearing children, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha described motherhood as nature’s best gift to a woman[4]. Speaking after inaugurating the national conference organised by the Akhila Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana here on Thursday, Ms. Sinha said that she still advises her daughter against forgetting to serve her husband his food even if she does not have the time to cook[5]. “But, never should a woman go hungry,” she said. Also, she went on to say that it was important for men to discuss women’s issues[6]…………the three-day meet should discuss the relevance of nature, culture and decency as they are inter-connected with each other. While nature remains intact after being created, the Indian culture is largely dependent on the nature.Describing motherhood as god’s gift to womenfolk, Sinha regretted that new-age women were avoiding motherhood, that was once protected and preserved, equally contributing to the welfare of the society[7].

6.Shri-Vajubhai-Rudabhai-Vala-Governor-of-Karnataka-inaugurated10th-National-Conference-on-Woman-in-Indian-Culture-through-the-AgesHE Vajubhai Vala spoken on the conference: 1.16 to 1.23 pm: HE Vajubhai Vala Karnataka spoke in Hindi. Governor Vajubhai Vala, who presided over the event, said that women, who play a strong role inside their houses, should display their strength even outside. Though he regretted the delay in the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks to set aside 33 per cent of the seats in Parliament and State Assemblies, Mr. Vala said that many women are now occupying powerful posts in the bureaucracy. ….Women nowadays have taken a lead in many fields, with 70 per cent women bagging top honours on the academic front[8]. Most importantly, it’s women who inculcate culture among children. Be it any women, men should ensure their safety and security[9].On the role of women in politics, Vala said, there are examples of women leaders occupying top posts like president and prime minister in India, while in western countries it is more common to see women leaders occupying key positions. Thus, the entire inagural session was carried on in Hindi. After lunch, the paper-reading session started in different rooms of the building situated next to library. The Kannda and Sanskrit sessions were arranged seperately, whereas, the Hindi and English papers were mixed together and the paper-presenters, particularly, those who presented in English could find difficult, as their papers were interpersed between many Hindi papers.

3.Shri-Vajubhai-Rudabhai-Vala-Governor-of-Karnataka-inaugurated10th-National-Conference-on-Woman-in-Indian-Culture-through-the-Ages25-12-2015 (Friday): Paper reading session. Most of the papers were in Hindi and the delegates who did not know Hindi could not understand what was presented. They felt they missed important information, data and information that might have been contained in such presentation. And many papers were in the form of “articles” and not of the nature of “reseach paper”. The emphasis made the title and the sub-themes made the presenters to repeat, duplicate and even rehash the same points, aspects and subject matter. Of course, the “cut and paste” methodology was also noted and pointed out by the organizers themselves.

2.30 to 4.40 pm: General Body Meeting of ABISY.

5.00 to 7.40 pm: Visit to Mysuru palace lightning.

ABISY 10th National Conference inagurated by Mysuru-Goa Governors-Deccan Herald26-12-2015 (Saturday): Paper reading session continued with the same conditions pointed out above. Had the papers been scrutinized properly, such things could not have been occurred. The corrections, modifications and rewriting could have been intimated so that the quality of paper presentation could have been maintained. Such exercise would be useful and educative for budding researchers in paper preparation and presentation. Women paper presenters had not addressed the issues, problems faced by the Indian women. Some women appeared to have felt that “they are happy” and therefore, other “women are also happy”.  Most of the woman paper presenters had not been aware of the current issues dealt with in India in different spheres and thus, papers had been of “glorification of the past” nature. Even in the globalization context also, though only few papers were presented, they had been in a dilemma as to whether to point out the positive aspects or the negative aspects that affect the Indian society.

ABISY - paper presentation, discussion going onWhy papers deviated much away from the theme taken for the conference: The hospitality had been excellent, but, unfortunately, the academic proceedings had been marred by some inherent factors. The subject matter of the whole proceedings was to concentrate on women-issues focussing on the current relating to ancient moral values. The first circular declared that the central subject proposed was “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to present” adding that research papers were also invited on the following topics such as –

  1. Historiography
  2. History in the Puranas
  3. Vaavasi (Tribal) history
  4. District history
  5. Miscellaneous (Archaeology, inscriptions, numismatics, art and architectue, spread of Indian culture abroad etc)

But, the Second circular still enlarged the topics deviating from the women and women-issues givilng the list as follows:

  1. Origin of Indian culture and women
  2. Women in Saraswati-Sidhu civilization.
  3. Women in epic-age
  4. Women in Puranas
  5. Women in Jaina-Buddhist period.
  6. Women in Mauryan and post-Mauryan period.
  7. Women in Gupta and post-Gupta period
  8. Women depicted in indian art / performing art, paintings, wooden, terracota, stone and metallic art / folklore, music, dance etc.
  9. Women in folk tradition and culture
  10. Women in medieval age.
  11. Role of women in freedom struggle
  12. Globalization and Indian women

Other general topics are also as follow:

  1. Historiography
  2. History in the Puranas
  3. Vaavasi (Tribal) history
  4. Regional history

Other Academic subjects:

Archaeology, Epigraphy, numismatics, art and architectue, Indian culture.

The final circular dated 16-10-2015 repeated the above. Thus, the circulars deviated from the theme of the conference, with the diverged subjects and digressing from the idea of the subject matter conceived. Accordingly, the paper-presenters, particularly, the majority of the casual-types had taken full liberty to take any subject and came with “hurried-haste-rehassed” stuff that was criticized by the organizers and the sectional presidents. As they seperated Sanskrit and Kannda paper presentation, Hindi paper presentation or the English paper presentation could have been held seperately. As most of the paper presenters did not follow any “style-sheet” and research methodology, they can be taught about. Incidentally, as ABISY and BISSs have been working on “history writing and re-writing”, they should conduct some workshop for their “paper-presenters” as to how to prepare a reasearch paper. They should be asked to attend IHC, SIHC etc., to listen to historians, interact with others and get experience.

Valedictory function: The valedictory funstion was held at the A.V. Hall without any lack lusture and the same speakers again dwelt upon the same issues in the same manner. Again, the entire ritual was in Hindi. Instead of getting opinion from the delegates about the academic conduct of the conference, it was wound up in a much routine manner. When a particular person was speaking “over-enthusiastically”, the audience started clapping several times. Instead of getting the hint, he continued to talk with spirit provoking them to clap again. There was no indication as to when the 11th National Conference would be held after three years in 2018.

© Vedaprakash

29-12-2015

[1] Laiq A. Khan, Don’t restrict women to household word, The Hindu, Mysuru, December 25, 2015, Updated: December 25, 2015 05:46 IST

[2] http://www.deccanherald.com/content/519415/men-should-empower-women-says8200governor.html

[3] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dont-restrict-women-to-household-work/article8028161.ece

[4] http://newsnirantara.in/?p=6305

[5] Star of Mysore online, Goa Guv opens Women’s Meet, December 25, 2015; http://www.starofmysore.com/searchinfo.asp?search1=45313&search2=newsheadlines

[6] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dont-restrict-women-to-household-work/article8028161.ece

[7] http://www.deccanherald.com/content/519415/men-should-empower-women-says8200governor.html

[8] Deccan Herald, Men should empower women, saysGovernor, Mysuru: Dec 25, 2015, DHNS.

[9] http://www.deccanherald.com/content/519415/men-should-empower-women-says8200governor.html

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The 6th Vedic workshop held at Kozhokode, Kerala India from 7th to 10th 2014

January 14, 2014

The 6th Vedic workshop held at Kozhokode, Kerala India from 7th to 10th 2014

Bhaskaran Nayar. T. P. Mahadevan

Bhaskaran Nayar. T. P. Mahadevan

The sixth international Vedic workshop [hereinafter mentioned as SIVW for brevity] was held in Kozhiokode from January 7 to 10 2014 and there have been a lot of publicity in the Indian media and internet by the interested and involved carried on. Ironically, in facebook[1], twitter[2] and blogs[3] also there have been entries, but when I asked for or tried to get more details they could not give. Incidentally, there has been some opposition to the workshop, as I could note from the internet search[4]. As I could not attend it, because of the clashing of dates with the international conference on Mahabharata [mentioned as ICMB] in Tirupati from 7th to 11th 2014. In fact, I was eager to note how the non-Indians could have acted and interacted in the proceedings of the Vedic workshop. So I just started enquiring and gathering details about it. During the ICMB itself, I was discussing about SIVW with the hundreds of Sanskrit Pundits, professors and scholars came there to present papers. Particularly, I interacted with the research students from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapeeth, Tirupati who registered with the ICMB more than 170. Very few knew about it, but they did not want to attend for many reasons. When enquired, they gave the following:

  1. The delegate fees was very high, perhaps half of the salary they receive in teaching Sanskrit in schools and other places.
  2. They cannot get leave, as they have already in their jobs.
  3. Even if they forego salary cut etc., their Masters / Gurus / Employers did not encourage.
  4. They are not familiar with the Vedic studies, as they have chosen different topics for their M.Phil, Ph.D research and dissertation.

Of 100, only few – two   from Chennai, one from AP and another from Pondicherry know him[5]. Ironically none of the Sanskrit Pundits, scholars and professors responded that they do not know him even after showing his photograph!

Elizabeth Tucker, Cezary Galewich

Elizabeth Tucker, Cezary Galewich

Non-Indian or Foreign domination in the 6th Vedic Workshop conducted in India: This observation is made for the purpose of Vedas, Vedic studies and Vedic research carried on in India and outside. When Max Mueller translated Vedas without seeing or coning to India, and other translators also did, reservations were expressed about their quality of translations. In spite of such doubts expressed and mistakes pointed out, their printed books were, are and being printed, sold and filled in the libraries of Universities, colleges and even in Sanskrit schools. When critical editions have been published for Ramayana and Mahabharata, none has done for Vedas. About the dates of Vedas also none has fixed conclusively, yet different dates are followed for research and historical purposes. Under such circumstances only, this aspects is noted and discussed. The Doctors / Professors who chaired the sessions have been as follows as per their programme:

Vedic workshop - old photo

Vedic workshop – old photo

  1. Masato Fujii,
  2. Michael Witzel,
  3. M. G. S. Narayanan
  4. Alexander Lubotsky
  5. Didhiti Biswas,
  6. Mislav Ježić,
  7. Patrick Olivelle,
  8. Joanna Jurewicz,
  9. Cezary Galewicz,
  10. S. A. S. Sarma,
  11. Michael Witzel ,
  12. Kiyotaka Yoshimizu,
  13. Joel Brereton,
  14. C. M. Neelakantan,
  15. Jarrod Whitaker.
  16. Renate Sohnen-Thieme,
  17. S. S. Bahulkar,
  18. P. Bhaskaran Nayar
Micheal Witzel, F B J Kupier, Fredrik Kortlandt

Micheal Witzel, F B J Kupier, Fredrik Kortlandt

Of the 18, only 6 have been Indians, i.e, 33% and 67% been non-Indians. So, in India, I have to take that even in subjects on Vedas, 2/3rds scholars had to be from outside India and dominate the show. However, the chantings, rites, rituals, rites etc., have to be done by Indians and the non-Indians would go on photographing, videographing, commenting, criticizing and even recommending that such and such rituals should have been performed like this and not like that.

Demonstration of Veda chanting in progress at 6th international workshop on the Vedas at Iringal Artand Crafts Village, Vadakara, on Wednesday 08-01-2014

Demonstration of Veda chanting in progress at 6th international workshop on the Vedas at Iringal Artand Crafts Village, Vadakara, on Wednesday 08-01-2014 (Coutesy – The Hindu)

Experimental “Yagnas” conducted for research: In fact, traditional Vedic scholars say that chantings, rites, rituals, rites etc., can be performed only for the purpose and not for demonstration, fun or observation, as being done in laboratories. No doubt, scholars like Frits Staal could have recorded “The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar”. Yagnas are conducted in different parts of India, even in homes depening upon the exigencies, but they are not publicized. Nowdays, just for publicity, some sort of “Yagnas for Peace” are conducted. In Kerala, the conduct of different Yagnas have been reported and attracted by the foreigners. At every time, the “sacrifice of animal” had become a controversial issue[6]. Doing Yoga by persons and getting benefits is different from doing Yoga by somebody and that is watched by others either directly or through film or on TV. Such seeing cannot bring any benefit. Here, in the case of “Conduct of Yagnas” for experimental purposes and shooting them, carrying to aboard and screen them as proof, this is the way Yagnas are conducted in India or were conducted 5000 years ago.

map-Simplified plan of the sacrificial area.with abbre.details

map-Simplified plan of the sacrificial area.with abbre.details

Reenacted, demonstrated and imitated Vedic representations could be taken as original, authentic and accurate: Here, in 6th Vedic workshop, Brahmins were asked to chant Vedas and recorded by the foreign researchers. Ironically, the Brahmins were questioned by Brahmins only or act as interpreters, while the foreign delegates were watching, photographing, and videographing. When mantras are meant for chanting at a particular time, place and purpose and they are done for the purpose demonstration, exhibition and display, how the real effect could be produced is not known. In Tamilnadu, the DK-fellows were imitating some of the rituals to show that they could also do without believing God, religion etc. Later, under the guise of Rationalist Society etc., some people started doing such rites. Thus, now for the purpose of International Workshop, such reenactments are carried on. Therefore, the reality is not there, but only, some sort of dramatic performance is taken as real.

Map used by the priests to lay out the sacrificial area -Barsi 2001

Map used by the priests to lay out the sacrificial area -Barsi 2001

Vedic chanting at odd hours: Nowadays, Yoga has become some sort of international business. Even non-Hindus started claiming that it is not Hindu. Thus, we have many Yoga-experts, teachers and gurus of US, Europe and even Arabia. The poor Christian and Muslim authorities many times have to take contradicting stands about their respective believing clergy turning into heathen or kafiri mode. Of course, in Tamilnadu, ot the land of “Dravidas/Dravidians”, Karunanidhi has already accepted and started doing Yoga, that too, from a “Aryan” master! So here also, Vedic job-workers have started doing their work on request or contract basis. Amazing and wonderful programme has been chalked out to accommodate them to chant according their tune.

For example, there were programs like this[7]:

Sl.No

Time

Program

4 08.45 – 09.1508-01-2014 Assembling in the Veda chanting hall 
5 09.15 – 10.15 Rgveda chanting session – Kerala tradition
8 11.30 – 12.30 Sāmaveda chanting session – Kerala tradition 
9 12.30 – 01.30 Yajurveda chanting session – Kerala tradition
11 02.30 – 03.00 Sāmaveda chanting session – Tamil tradition in Kerala
22 03.45 – 04.1509-01-2014 Akshara Sloka demonstration (only Sanskrit and Manipravaala slokas)

How these chanting would demonstrate the reality of chanting, the chanters and the listened within half-an-hour before lunch, after lunch and at odd hours.

(To be concluded)


[6] Frits Staal, The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar, Motilal Banarasidas, New Delhi, 2001, Vol,II,  pp.464-468.