Ashadha Amavasya, Vik. Samvat 2072.Yugabda 5117


Ashadha Amavasya, Vik. Samvat 2072.Yugabda 5117: July 16, 2015




1. FESTIVALS: NASHIK KUMBH MELA KICKS OFF WITH FLAG HOISTING:  Simhastha Kumbh Mela, one of the largest congregation  kicked off on 7th July with the traditional ceremony of flags hoisting and thousands of people taking a holy dip in Kushawart and Ramkund in Godavari river in the two towns of Nasik and Trimbakeshwar.

Nashik-Trimbakeshwar hosts Kumbh Mela when the Sun and Jupiter come together in Leo ('Simha') zodiac sign in the month of Magha as per the Hindu calendar after every 12 years.

The flags of the event were hoisted in the morning in presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis in Nashik while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief guest for flag-hoisting in Trimbakeshwar.

The high-point of the gathering, 'Shahi Snan' (royal bath) has been scheduled for 'Parvani' days of August 29, September 13 and September 18 in Nashik. In Trimbakeshwar, the royal procession and bath would take place on August 29, September 13 and September 25.--goTop


2. SINDHU DARSHAN IS A FESTIVAL TO UNITE THE PEOPLE: INDRESH KUMAR: With the message of Save 'Girl Child, Save Tomorrow', the 19th Sindhu Darshan Yatra completed on 26th June in Leh. About 1,000 people from different parts of the country participated in the event.

A function was organized at the premises of Saraswati Vidya Niketan and Sindhu Bhavan in Leh to welcome the pilgrims on June 23. 

Addressing the gathering, patron of Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti and senior Sangh Pracharak Shri Indresh Kumar appealed to the people to save girl child and respect the women. He said the Yatra is a medium of uniting the people.

Sindhu Darshan festival began on June 24 by performing Sindhu Puja. The function was presided over by Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. Shri Tokdan Rinphche, former president of All Ladakh Gompa Association was the chief guest. --goTop


3. SHYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE WAS A STATESMAN: Rich tributes were paid to Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his birth anniversary on 6th July with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan leading the commemorations. "I bow to the great Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on his birth anniversary. He is remembered as a great leader with an invaluable contribution to the nation.", Modi said on twitter.

The Lok Sabha Speaker also paid floral tributes to Mookerjee at a ceremony in the Parliament's Central Hall. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Veteran BJP leaders LK Advani and other dignitaries also attended the function. BJP President Amit Shah paid tributes to Mookerjee at a function at the party headquarters attended by a number of other party leaders. The Jammu and Kasmir state unit of BJP organized an impressive function at Trikuta Nagar - Jammu, wherein statue of this great ideologue was unveiled by State President & MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, Dy. Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Singh and other senior leaders. --goTop


4. ANNUAL HINDU SPORTS DAY BY HSS HONGKONG:  Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh HongKong organized its annual sports day on 19th April. A total of 228 people attended the program. HSS HK is the only organization that has since the 1980s been conducting an annual sports day for Hindus. The event began with the individual events - the long jump and the 100 meters.

Games played included kabbadi, kho-kho, ring-o-stick, various lathi relays, mandal games, and various other Sangh games. A quiz on sports and our culture was conducted. The winners, both the kids and the parents, were handed the gold, silver and bronze medals. --goTop


5. DR. APJ ABDUL KALAM'S BOOK ON HH PRAMUKH SWAMI MAHARAJ RELEASED: A grand celebration and book release of Dr. Kalam's book "Transcendence" was held at Pramukh Sabhagruh, Akshardham Swaminarayan Mandir , New Delhi on 3rd July in the presence of over 500 dignitaries, well wishers and devotees. The event was graced by the Pujya Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji of Vijaywada, Hon. Shri L.K. Advani and Dr. S.S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya.

"Transcendence," beautifully describes Dr. Kalam's spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The book also includes the social and moral contributions of BAPS to society, the co-relation of science and spirituality and creative leadership. It contains the essence of the Upanishads, Gita and Puranas and other principles propagated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

Pujya Brahmavihari Swami in his speech gave glimpses of the mutual interactions between Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj during their 14 year association 2001-2014.  --goTop


6. BARRED FROM CIVIL SERVICES EARLIER OVER 'DISABILITY', IRA SINGHAL TOPS UPSC: Delhi's Ira Singhal became the first differently abled woman to top the civil services examination in which women took the top four positions.

With 62 per cent locomotor disability, 30-year-old Ira had cleared the examination in 2010 too and was allotted the Indian Revenue Service but she was stopped from joining because authorities cited her "inability to push, pull and lift". She moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which ruled in her favour and she was inducted as Assistant Commissioner in the Customs and Central Excise Service.

 "I am thrilled, excited and very, very happy. It is a dream come true," Ira said. "I want to become an IAS officer and work in the field of women and child welfare, development and empowerment. I want to contribute to the uplift of the differently abled, and make their lives easier. Differently abled people struggle, face difficulties everyday and have to go the extra mile to do anything on their own." --goTop


7. AMARNATH YATRA BEGINS AMID TIGHT SECURITY: The annual Amarnath pilgrimage began in Kashmir Valley on 2nd July morning amid tight security as 6,300 pilgrims began trekking to the holy cave ensconced in mountains of South Kashmir at a height of 12,800 feet above sea level. The yatra began from both treacherous but shorter Baltal route and longest traditional Pahalgam route. It takes around seven hours to reach the cave through Baltal while the traditional route through Pahalgam Valley takes two days for a pilgrim to reach the cave for a glimpse of the ice stalagmite, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva.

On the seventh day of the ongoing yatra 9,911 pilgrims offered prayers at the cave shrine. A total of 1, 04,918 pilgrims had darshan of the ice-Lingam in the first week of the yatra.  --goTop


8. ISRO SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES PSLV-C28 WITH 5 UK SATELLITES: Indian Space Research Organization's commercial launch capability reached a new high when it successfully launched 5 satellites for UK on 10th July.

Less than 20 minutes after the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C28) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, the rocket placed in the designated orbits three identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites, an auxiliary earth observation micro satellite (CBNT-1) and one technology demonstrator nanosatellite (De-OrbitSail), built by SSTL.

It was PSLV's 30th flight and 29th consecutive successful one. For the ninth time, ISRO used an XL version of the rocket with an additional strap-on. The heaviest commercial mission undertaken by the space agency underlines ISRO not only as a major player for space industries globally but also as a leading foreign exchange earner for the country.

This is the second launch by Isro in 2015 with the previous one being launch navigation satellite - IRNSS-1D in March. --goTop


9. PM MODI GIFTS KAZAKH PRESIDENT BOOKS RELATING TO RELIGIONS BORN IN BHARAT:  On 8th July , Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted Kazakhastan President Nursultan Nazarbayev a set of books relating to religions born in Bharat.

The Prime Minister shared the information via a series of tweets. "My gift to President Nazarbayev is a set of books relating to the religions born in India". "The set includes an English translation of Guru Granth Sahib, Bhadrabahu's Kalpasutra in Prakrit, Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita in Sanskrit." "A Persian translation of Valmiki's Ramayana in nastaliq script is also a part of the set."

"I must add- President Nazarbayev has held the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions every three years in Astana since 2003."

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Akorda Presidential Palace. The Prime Minister was on a tour to Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakastan and Russia.  --goTop


10.  WIPRO'S AZIM PREMJI GIVES 18% OF HIS STAKE IN COMPANY FOR CHARITY: This billionaire founder's latest share transfer will bring an additional Rs 530 crore into the Azim Premji Foundation's corpus this year.

"Over these years, I have irrevocably transferred a significant part of the shareholding in Wipro, amounting to 39% of the shares of Wipro, to a trust," said Premji in a letter to the shareholders.

The foundation will receive 18% of all dividend paid as funds. In 2014-15, the company paid a total dividend of Rs 2,962.2 crore, according to BSE data.

Premji who set up the Azim Premji Foundation in 2001 to focus on philanthropy and improve the country's school system, signed a giving pledge in 2013 along with philanthropists such as Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates among others.

The foundation works in eight states which together have more than 350,000 schools. --goTop


11. INDIGENOUSLY-BUILT AAKASH MISSILE INDUCTED IN INDIAN AIR FORCE:  The indigenously-developed supersonic surface-to-air missile "Aakash" was formally inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gwalior on 10th July.

The missile, having a speed three times faster than that of sound, can hit eight targets at a time. In a function held at the Maharajpur Air Force Station Gwalior, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar handed over "Aakash" to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.

Aakash, which was already with the Bharatiya Army, has now been inducted in the Air Force. --goTop


12. WOMEN HAVE TREMENDOUS POWER TO LOOK AFTER THE ECONOMY: SHANTAKKA: "Women have tremendous power to look after the economy. They do it because they are imparted that kind of sanskar right from childhood. They have the habit of saving money and never support borrowing money for luxury items. They also know how to live with whatever money they have," said Rashtra Sevika Samiti Pramukh Sanchalika Shantakka, while addressing a seminar on 'Role of Women in Economy of the Nation' in Delhi on the eve of 110th birth anniversary of Samiti's founder Mausiji Kelkar. About 225 women from Delhi attended the workshop, organized by Medhavani Mandal.

Union Minister of State for Commerce Smt Nirmala Seetaraman spoke about the growing involvement of women in all sectors and Smt Asha Sharma, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Karyavahika of the Samiti, spoke about the multi dimensional personality of Vandaniya Mausiji Kelkar.  --goTop


13. ISRO'S GAGAN SATELLITE-BASED NAVIGATION SYSTEM:  Bharat launched its satellite-based air navigation services on 13th July , thereby joining a select league comprising the US, Europe Union (EU) and Japan which have similar systems.

The system - known as Gagan or global positioning system (GPS) aided geo-augmented navigation system - is intended to provide accurate navigation services over the Bay of Bengal, South East Asia, Bharatiya Ocean, Middle East, and African regions.

It is intended to serve as a low-cost substitute for instrument landing system (ILS) and provide very accurate route guidance for the aircraft to save time and fuel. --goTop


14. EVERYONE SHOULD JOIN SEWA ACTIVITY: SURESH CHANDRA: RSS Akhil Bharatiya Pracharak Pramukh Shri Suresh Chandra called upon the people to join any of the sewa activity in their vicinity. He was speaking at a function organised in Jodhpur on 27th June to dedicate three mobile sewa vehicles. Among the three vehicles dedicated on the occasion included one for Gou Sewa, especially to use as ambulance for transporting the injured cows. The second is for cremation of dead bodies and the third is for selling cow based products. Kshetra Pracharak Shri Durgadas, Prant Pracharak Shri Murlidhar and senior Pracharak Shri Hari Om were also present on the occasion. --goTop


15. CLEAN TECH INITIATIVE BY SEWA INTERNATIONAL: Sewa International started Clean Tech Initiative in 2012. It is a forum of volunteers having special interest in promoting and implementing clean tech energy solutions in remote and inaccessible areas where still the electricity through conventional modes has not reached. Under the initiative, the organization has done two most remarkable projects in Bharat whose success stories have motivated and given the surrounding population and other institutes the much needed confidence to adopt renewable energy. One is Rooftop Power Plant Krishna Devi Vanvasi Awasiya Vidyalaya  in Chitrakoot and the other is Solar Power at RIWATCH -  a community based research organization,  working at Roing in Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh. Another project is the Solar Mini-Grid Project in Darmi and Nawadih Villages in Rehala region of Jharkhand with 114 households in a population of 600 mostly depending on farming. --goTop


16. PRESIDENT OFFERS PRAYERS AT TIRUMALA TEMPLE: President Pranab Mukherjee has said that he has sought the blessings of Lord Venkateswara for the welfare of all human beings. "In fact, I feel energised every time I visit the holy place of Tirumala," he said after offering prayers at the Srivari Temple in Tirumala on 1st July. --goTop


17. GUJARAT'S AKODARA BECOMES BHARAT'S FIRST 'DIGITAL VILLAGE': Akodara, a small hamlet in North Gujarat, around 100 km from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hometown Vadnagar, has emerged as Bharat's first 'Digital Village'.

The villagers have RuPay debit card, which they use for various transactions in the village. For purchasing groceries, villagers don't need to carry cash with them. They can make payment through mobile banking. The mobile banking platform uses Gujarati as the medium of communication, which is user-friendly for the villagers.

The village, having WiFi connectivity, is situated at a distance of 90 km from Ahmedabad and comprises around 200 households with a total population of 1,100. Everyone above 18 years of age has a bank account. A digital display has been installed at a crossroads in which real-time prices of agro commodities of all major Gujarat mandies (agriculture produce markets) are displayed. Before selling their products, farmers of this tiny village make it a point to confirm prices of various mandies. The village has also its website - --goTop


18. BHARAT OVERTAKES USA AS 3RD LARGEST STEEL PRODUCER: Bharat has overtaken the US to become the world's third largest steel producer and is working towards achieving 300 million tonnes (MT) target in the next 10 years. Bharatiya steel industry is growing at a reasonably good pace and last year the growth in crude steel production in Bharat was more than 8 per cent. --goTop


19. TWENTY FIRST CENTURY COULD BE BHARAT'S CENTURY: IBM CHIEF: Ginni Rometty, president and chief executive of American technology giant IBM said the 21st century could be India's, given many "positive signposts" such as a strong gross domestic product growth, fourth-largest base of start-ups, and the country's current focus on digitization. Rometty was speaking at the IBM Think Forum, a flagship event of the company held in Bharat for the first time on 14th July.

"I am optimistic about the tomorrow and this is fact-based," she said, adding that the company would be proud to play a role in India's transformation. --goTop


20. HOMAGE TO A 'YODDHA PRACHARAK': As the news of passing away of Sohan Singhji spread, workers from Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana rushed to Keshav Kunj early in the morning to have his last darshan. He had breathed his last at 11.40 pm at Keshav Kunj on July 4. The last rites were performed by his nephew Dharmadev Yadav at Nigam Bodh Ghat.

RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat and Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi paid their tribute to Sohan Singhji. In a statement they said Sohan Singhji through his hard work and affectionate style inspired innumerable workers in Delhi and Rajasthan to take up Sangh work as their life mission. "His devoted life will act as a lighthouse for all the workers," they said.

Prominent among those who paid tribute at Keshav Kunj included Sardar Chiranjiv Singh from Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, Rashtra Sevika Samiti Pramukh Sanchalika Shantakka and others.  Prominent among those who paid tribute at Nigam Bodh Ghat were Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni, VHP patron Shri Ashok Singhal, Union Minister Dr Harshvardhan, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal and others.

Born at Harchana village of Bulandshahar in 1923, he became a Sangh Pracharak in 1943. He was prant pracharak for Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana and was also kshetra pracharak for Rajasthan and Akhil Bharatiya Dharma Jagaran Pramukh.  Since 2004 he was staying at Keshav Kunj.  --goTop


21. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Ravikumar ji will reach Bharat after his tour to East European countries, USA, Thailand and HongKong. Visitors: Shridhar Damle, Ajay Joshi, Sanjeev Gupta - USA; Harish Babu - Germany. --goTop


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The most important principle of environment is that you are not the only element. - Bhagwan Mahavira --goTop




Murali Balaji

One of the great joys of visiting India as an adult is how such visits make me appreciate my trips to the country when I was much younger.

I spent the summer of 1993 in India with my family, missing my friends in the Philadelphia area and feeling tortured by the constant bites of mosquitoes in monsoon-racked Mumbai and heat-soaked Trichy in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. I was also such a germaphobe that I constantly walked on my toes and washed my feet every 10 minutes (though walking on my toes might have helped me reach my 6-foot-2 height).

Despite my general discomfort with being in India, I enjoyed time with relatives my parents left behind decades earlier (and before I was born) and hearing from elders the oral histories of my family and the Tamil Smarta Hindu tradition in which we were raised. It helped me appreciate - at least a little bit - what sacrifices my folks, especially my father, made in leaving India.

My father's family, particularly my paternal grandfather, were devotees of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, one of the mutts that claims lineage from the great Hindu saint and reformer Adi Shankara. I accompanied my parents and several of my dad's relatives to Kanchipuram, about two hours drive from Chennai, Tamil Nadu's biggest city.

It was there, amidst the throngs of people trying to catch a glimpse of the beloved sage of Kanchi, Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, affectionately known as the Kanchi Periyava, we came in close proximity to a realized soul. The sage of Kanchi's followers were people from all walks of life, and within the space of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, beggars and financially comfortable NRI's (non-resident Indians) were equals. This blur of humanity simply wanted to catch a glimpse of the sage of Kanchi, who was nearing 100 years of age.

I watched as people, including my family members, were overcome with emotion upon receiving the sage's blessings, and - even if I didn't completely comprehend what was happening - I felt like I was in a divine setting. To this day, my experience being in the presence of the Kanchi Maha Periyava is one of the few times I can remember feeling like I was being blessed by a divine soul.

The Kanchi Maha Periyava died less than a year later. Only recently have I fully grasped his legacy. The sage of Kanchi was one of the most proactive Hindu leaders of his time, becoming a unifying force across social and economic classes and embracing the role of being a social reformer - much like Adi Shankara did more than 1,000 years earlier. He was also active in the Indian independence movement and provided moral counsel to both Indian independence leaders, and later, to Indian soldiers during the Sino-Indian war. In some ways, the Kanchi seer was a religious social and political activist long before Pope Francis.

The sage of Kanchi connected people across generations and throughout the world, and yet his life remains largely unknown to non-Hindus (and even non-Tamil Hindus). Still, without the international following of contemporaries such as Paramahansa Yogananda, he showed how Hinduism could be a force for positive social change, and his message helped counter the advance of Christian missionary educators, particularly in southern India.

What makes me recall the Kanchi Periyava now is how he emphasized the idea that Hindus must live according to dharma - righteously and advancing their spiritual growth - while remaining humble. My father, a devotee of the Kanchi Periyava, reads the sage's daily inspiration, reflecting the aspirations of his followers to be better in their own lives.

As I bake in the heat of the Indian summer, remembering the sage of Kanchi's life brings back a different kind of warmth. Belatedly, I am indebted to him for the impact he's had on my family, and the spiritual knowledge he left the world. (Murali Balaji is Director of Education and Curriculum Reform, Hindu American Foundation 13/07/2015 --goTop



KG Suresh

The 16th World Sanskrit Conference, held in Bangkok and supported by the Union Government, was yet another feather in India's soft diplomacy cap, following the grand success of last month's International Yoga Day

Following the grand success of the International Yoga Day on June 21, another feather in India's soft diplomacy cap was the 16th World Sanskrit Conference held in Bangkok from June 28th to July 2. Supported by the Government of India, the conference witnessed participation of over 600 delegates from 60 countries. The five day meet was inaugurated by the Thai princess, a scholar and patron of Sanskrit language, Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and India's Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

Addressing the distinguished delegates, including scholars, teachers, Indologists and lovers of the ancient language in chaste Sanskrit, Ms Swaraj, emphasised that Sanskrit is not a mere language but a "world view." In fact, the motto of the international meet itself was "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (the universe is a family).

The hosting of the conference in Suvarnabhumi, Thailand, and the presence of a large number of scholars from across the world including a big chunk of westerners highlighted the significance of the Sanskrit language in understanding ancient India and its contributions as also its relevance in the present times.

It also indirectly served to reject attempts by some "secular" sections to project the language as 'dead' and a symbol of Hindutva as against its vibrancy and universality.

As Ms Swaraj aptly put it, "the language of Vedanta is Sanskrit. The language of Yoga is Sanskrit. The language of Ayurveda is Sanskrit. The language of Indian mathematics is Sanskrit. The language of Indian dramaturgy (natyashastra) is Sanskrit. The language of the Bhagavad Gita is Sanskrit. The language of ancient Indian architecture, sculpture, agriculture, chemistry, astronomy, veterinary sciences, economics, political science, and other fields of knowledge is Sanskrit."

Spread over 31 sessions, including 24 main sessions and seven auxiliary sessions, the conference delved deep into Sanskrit lore including 18 seats of knowledge, 64 arts, four Vedas, over 100 Upanishads, six ancillary Vedas (upavedas), six adjuncts of Vedas (vedangas), 18 epics, the 10 systems of philosophy, history (itihas), literature and dramaturgy.

Staging of the popular Thai Ramayana, a play in Sanskrit, the Sanskrit kavi sammelan (poetry session) and shastrarth (debate) were among the other highlights of the event. Interestingly, one heard the 'dead language' being spoken extempore by several foreign scholars.

Ironically, in many graduate and post graduate courses in India itself, Sanskrit is not taught through Sanskrit, and candidates often write their examinations in languages other than Sanskrit. Similarly, it has been observed that Sanskrit scholars pay more attention to the subjects in Sanskrit rather than the language.

Sanskrit can prosper only if it is made the medium for teaching and learning the language. Sanskrit and Sanskrit alone should be the language of communication in Sanskrit educational institutions and Sanskrit departments as also Sanskrit conferences. In schools, Sanskrit is seen as a subject which fetches maximum marks as it can be learnt by rot. It is important that the teaching of Sanskrit be made much more attractive for prospective students.

Apart from the Union and State Governments and NGOs such as Samskrita Bharati, which are doing a yeoman's service to the language, promotion of Sanskrit should be taken up by corporates as part of their CSR activities. Linking Sanskrit with modern subjects, developing literature on contemporary issues, conducting a scientific study of the available texts and carrying out more functional research in Sanskrit are among the measures that can be taken up on a priority basis to get the language its due place under the sun. These philanthropists can also contribute to the health and well being of crumbling ved pathshalas imparting the centuries old oral and written traditions, particularly in States such as Kerala.

The country's national news channels  Doordarshan News has recently introduced Vaartavali, a 30-minute-long weekly news magazine, which has become very popular with its viewers. Apart from news, the programme includes interviews with celebrities, teaching of Sanskrit words, coverage of cultural events and even snippets from Bollywood movies. Doordarshan has been running Vaarta an early morning news bulletin for five minutes for some time now and the same is expected to be extended by another five minutes. One only hopes that the public broadcaster introduces a bulletin of the same duration later in the evening, encapsulating the developments of the day.

Apart from growing interest in the language and its text the world over, the spread of Yoga, Ayurveda and Indian classical dances have also contributed to the global enthusiasm towards Sanskrit. Recent decisions by the Narendra Modi Government to grant a $20,000 International Sanskrit Award to any scholar making significant contribution to the language, the institution of fellowships for foreign scholars for conducting research in India in Sanskrit language or literature and the provision of opportunities for new learners to pursue graduate or postgraduate courses or research in India are all expected to give a major boost to the promotion of the language internationally. Reflecting the National Democratic Alliance regime's commitment to the promotion of the language, Ms Swaraj at the conference also announced creation of a post of Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry exclusively to further Sanskrit.

The modern character of the ancient language can be gauged from the fact that it has been found highly effective in developing software for language recognition, translations, cyber security and other aspects of artificial intelligence. As the repository of ancient knowledge, Sanskrit has the potential to provide solutions to many of the contemporary problems.

It would be most appropriate if scholars from organisations representing modern science and technology such as Indian Council for Medical Research, Indian Institutes of Science and Indian Institutes of Technology work together with their Sanskrit counterparts to carry out inter-disciplinary research and come out with the panacea for the manifold problems confronting mankind.

In sharp contrast to the controversies back home, in Buddhist Thailand, one was pleasantly delighted to find Hindu deities such as Vishnu (Wsnu), Ganesh and Brahma being worshipped with equal reverence. At yoga sessions across Thailand, people chant aum, perform the surya namaskar and Ramayana, study Indian classical dances and savour Indian cuisines without any civilisational conflicts whatsoever.

One of the most prominent tableaux at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport is that of the saagar manthan or churning of the ocean from Hindu mythology. Guru Buddhhacharan, a Chinese born Thai scholar of Vedas is planning to open a 100 Vedic schools in the South East Asian country and the nation's Princess Maha Chakri herself developed interest in Sanskrit studies since she was very young. She obtained her Master of Arts degree in oriental epigraphy from Silpakorn University and Master of Arts in Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University. The Princess has supported further education in Sanskrit by granting scholarships for university students to study the language abroad, many of whom have become lecturers at Silpakorn University, whose Sanskrit Study Centre jointly organised the World Conference. As the world increasingly looks at India as the vishwa guru, learning valuable lessons from its rich past, it is high time we, Indians, close our ranks and reflect our collective identity and unity overcoming petty partisan politics. As our ancestors exhorted, "Sanghacchadhvam, samvadadhvam, Samvomanamsi janatam" (Let us move together, speak in one voice, think alike and understand one another). -- (The author is a senior journalist based in New Delhi, The Pioneer 13 July 2015)  --goTop