Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ president visits New York, confers awards

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The President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, PhD, undertook a two-day visit to New York from June 28-29, 2022. Photo: Twitter @Indiainnewyork

The President  of  the  Indian  Council  for  Cultural  Relations  (ICCR)  Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, PhD, undertook a two-day visit to New York from June 28-29, 2022.

On June 28, he conferred the ICCR Distinguished Indologist Award for 2019 on Vishwa P. Adluri, PhD, and for 2020 on Rajiv Malhotra at the Consulate General of India in New York.

The  ICCR Distinguished Indologist Award was set up in 2015 by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to recognize and honor scholarly works on India undertaken abroad, one that illuminates her civilizational wealth and knowledge. The Awards for 2019 and 2020 were declared but could not be conferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Dr. Sahasrabuddhe praised the awardees for enriching the field of Indology. Indian tradition does not see development and environment; or  individualism and  collectivism  as  binaries  and  can  strike  a balance which ensures everyone’s welfare, Dr. Sahasrabuddhe said, emphasizing that we need, “New Indology’, which connects India’s past, present and future with the spirit of nitya nootan, chira puratan. The field of Indology is not just for scholars and academicians, but for all Indians and India lovers, he said.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Vishwa P. Adluri thanked his mentors, colleagues, and students and predicted a bright future for Indology where upcoming young scholars are full of promise and shall take the discipline to newer heights.

Dr. Vishwa P. Adluri, the recipient for 2019, is an accomplished scholar with three PhDs, a lifetime of distinguished service to the profession, and publications that have changed the field of Indology.

In his acceptance remarks, Dr. Malhotra, the recipient for 2020, underlined that study of India must be undertaken with Indian Drishti, or from the Indian point-of-view. A physicist and computer scientist with a successful career in corporate America, he decided in the mid-1990s, to quit and dedicate his time to the study of Indian thought. He has written eight popular yet scholarly books on the state of Indology worldwide.

India’s Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, spoke in his welcome address about how the discipline of Indology developed in the United States. His address was followed by a Kathak recital by Pallavi Degwekar on the Shiva Panchakshara Stotra. The audience included members of the academia including students, diaspora, cultural organizations, and American thought leaders, apart from media.

During his visit, Dr. Sahasrabuddhe visited the Ramakrishna- Vivekananda Center, and met Swami Yuktatmananda, the Minister, and Spiritual Leader of the Center. They discussed how to take India’s spiritual and cultural traditions to a wider audience. Later, President ICCR met Max Hollein, director of the Metropolitan Museum. Current ongoing joint projects and idea for possible future cooperation were discussed.

On June 29, President ICCR met officials from the Deccan Heritage Foundation and commended their work, especially in  the  field  of  restoration and  conservation of  Indian heritage. The meeting was followed by two roundtables at the Consulate. The first roundtable was with scholars of Indian languages and focused on promoting India’s linguistic traditions abroad. The second roundtable was with organizations that work with the Indian Consulte to promote Indian art and culture. During the meeting, a mobile application by the Mallakhamb Federation of USA – a New Jersey based organization that works for the promotion of the sport of Mallakhamb – was launched.

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