Dr. Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe, President, ICCR, New Delhi delivered 26th RKML
New Delhi: Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla organized 26th Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture today on 07 th December 2023 at India International Centre, New Delhi. Dr. Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe, President, Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi delivered the auspicious lecture on ‘India’s Soft Power Prowess: Challenges and Responsibilities’
The memorial lecture is a tribute to the eminent Philosopher, the second President of India who handed over the Rashtrapati Nivas to the Ministry of Education for housing the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Dr. Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe is one of the eminent personalities who delivered the Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture, the most important academic activities of the Institute.
The event commenced with lamp lighting. Professor Nageshwar Rao, Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU presented welcome address. Afterword Professor Shailendra Raj Mehta, Vice-Chairman, of the Institute and President and Director, MICA, Ahmedabad delivered his speech and Professor ShashiPrabha Kumar, Chairperson, of the Institute introduced the chief guest and threw light on the significance Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture and the important lectures delivered in the series.
Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said that Soft Power is a relatively new concept. Globally, today we speak about narratives and discourses as they are largely seen as forces shaping popular opinion. Like narratives, soft power is also a factor that both shapes as well as mirrors popular thinking, almost simultaneously. Centuries before India came to be known as India to the outer world, the influence of Indian culture had already spread across the seas. Many like noted American historian and philosopher Will Durant have candidly acknowledged the influence of India as place of origin of several spheres of knowledge. He added that the ‘ever ageing, never old’ characteristic of Indian culture makes it unique in many ways. Dr. Sahasrabuddhe threw light on the different aspects of India’s worldview. He said, the Unity inherent to our Diversity has enabled us not just to accommodate but also celebrate our all-pervasive diversity. He further elaborated that traditional Indian knowledge systems are crucial. These systems deeply rooted in philosophy, medicine, mathematics, and more, are often undervalued or misunderstood. Soft power is too important a subject to be left only to the Government alone to take care of. Shaping an enlightened popular understanding of the importance of soft power in the changing world has to be the topmost item on our agenda. To that end, people; Both from within the country and outside can contribute hugely in multiple ways.
On this event the fellows, special invitees, Delhi based former fellows and IUC Associates attended the lecture along with their students. Shri Meher Chand Negi, the Secretary of the Institute gave a vote of thanks. Professor Malti Mathur moderated the event. The event ended with National Anthem.
07 December 2023
New Delhi- The 26th Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture was organized by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla today on 7 December 2023 in the auditorium of India International Centre, New Delhi. This lecture was presented by Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, on the topic India’s Soft Power Skills: Challenges and Responsibilities.
The program started with the lighting of the lamp. After that, Professor Nageshwar Rao, Director of the Institute and Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, New Delhi, presented the welcome address. After his address, Vice President of the Institute and President and Director of MICA, Ahmedabad, Professor Shailendra Raj Mehta, presented his address. President of the institute, Professor Shashiprabha Kumar introduced the main speaker and informed about the outline of the program. He said that this Smriti Lecture Series was started in the year 1991 and till now many eminent scholars like Justice Leela Seth, Kapil Vatsyan, Professor DP Chattopadhyay, 14th His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Justice P. Narasimha have given lectures on various subjects, including Dr. The 26th lecture presented by Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on India’s Soft Power Skills: Challenges and Responsibilities holds special significance.
Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said in his lecture that soft power is a relatively new concept. Today we refer to the discussions taking place at the global level because they are largely seen as the power of public opinion. Like such discourses and narratives, soft power is also a factor that both shapes and reflects popular thinking. India has just started being known as India in the outside world, but the influence of Indian culture had already spread across the world centuries ago. Many scholars, such as the famous American historian and philosopher Will Durant, have clearly acknowledged the influence of India as the place of origin of many fields of knowledge.
He said that the characteristic of ‘Nityanutan Chirpuratan’ makes Indian culture unique in many ways. He also threw light on various aspects of India’s world view. He said, the unity inherent in our diversity has enabled us not only to accommodate but also to embrace our vast diversity. Ancient Indian knowledge systems are important but despite containing such deep knowledge in philosophy, medicine, mathematics etc., they are often given less importance or misunderstood. He said that in today’s perspective, soft power is a very important subject and in the changing global environment, its importance should be understood prominently and the challenges coming in this path should be faced unitedly.
Let us tell you that Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan had established the Indian Institute of Higher Studies in the year 1965 at his residence Rashtrapati Niwas in Shimla for higher research work. This memorial lecture is organized every year as a tribute to that great philosophical President. On this occasion, two half-yearly research magazines Himanjali Issue-27 and Chetna Issue-5 published in Hindi medium by the institute were also launched. This issue of Chetna Patrika has been edited by Professor Madhav Hada, a well-known Hindi scholar and former fellow of the institute, while the executive editor of Chetna Patrika is Professor Rajendra Badgujar, a fellow studying at the institute.
Secretary of the institute, Mehar Chand Negi thanked the keynote speaker, all the members present, media personnel and all the officers and employees who directly and indirectly cooperated in making the program successful. The stage was successfully conducted by the institute’s fellow Professor Malti Mathur and the program ended with the national anthem.