Dr. Sahasrabuddhe confers ICCR Award to Dr. Vishwa P. Adluri and Rajiv Malhotra


President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations compliments the winners for enriching the field of Indology

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New York, NY

President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe undertook a two-day visit to New York from 28-29 June 2022. On 28 June 2022, President ICCR conferred the ICCR Distinguished Indologist Award for 2019 to Dr. Vishwa P. Adluri and for 2020 to Shri 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.

In his special address, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe congratulated the awardees and paid compliments to them for enriching the field of Indology. Speaking on the discipline, he said that the 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 emphasized that we need ‘’New Indology’, which connects India’s past, present and future with the spirit of nitya nootan, chira puratan. He concluded his address by reminding that the field of Indology is not just for scholars and academicians, but for all Indians and India lovers.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Vishwa P. Adluri thanked his mentors, colleagues, and students. He expressed confidence that the field of Indology has a bright future and that the 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, Shri Rajiv Malhotra, the recipient for 2020, underlined that study of India must be undertaken with Indian Drishti, or from the Indian point-of-view. Shri Malhotra is a trained physicist and computer scientist who had a successful career in corporate America at the highest levels. In the mid-1990s, he decided 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.

The event began with a welcome address by Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, where he spoke about how the discipline of Indology developed in the United States. His address was followed by a Kathak recital by Ms. Pallavi Degwekar on the Shiva Panchakshara Stotra. The ceremony saw participation from members of media community, academia including students, diaspora, cultural organizations, and American thought leaders.

Earlier, President ICCR Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe visited the Ramakrishna Vivekananda Center, and met Swami Yuktatmananda, the Minister, and Spiritual Leader of the Center. President ICCR, in his meeting, discussed how to take India’s spiritual and cultural traditions to a wider audience. Later, President ICCR met Mr. Max Hollein, Director of the Metropolitan Museum. Current ongoing joint projects and idea for possible future cooperation were discussed. On 29 June 2022, 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 Consulate General of India for promotion of 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 by President ICCR Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe. Through the Mallakhamb application – or app – basics of the traditional Indian sport can be learnt. President ICCR, during these meetings, appreciated the contribution of the organizations and scholars towards promotion of Indian culture and languages in the United States and encouraged them to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav with great fervor.

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