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Public Forum On India – India Seminar

Bijoy Misra
04/19/2018

My India expedition started in 1983, when I started participating with children with the then infant Shishu Bharati school in Burlington.  As I created curriculum for the children and recruited teachers, I realized the level of ignorance we had as parents, and I felt that we needed to think through the future of the immigrant community as we settle through in the new country.  Cultural nostalgia was our guiding motivation, but it was easy to observe that the children needed an analytic identity than indoctrination.  Children loved the warmth of the family, but the culture did appear alien.  The situation has not changed much in the last thirty years.

Another part that I sadly discovered was the education about India in the US.  The books and research are produced with a colonial slant projecting that India as an unstable country riddled with social and economic pressures.  The newspapers were posting unfortunate images of starvation and disorder, and they had more impact on the children than any impactful positive story one could create.  Through this mental turmoil, I started studying Sanskrit with more interest and tried to get an entry into the Indian scholarship through the original material.  While the scholarship appealed to me, it was enigmatic to reconcile with the disarray and insecurity in the present India.

That led us to our efforts with India Discovery Center, that we instituted in 2014 with the aim of studying India with relationship such that we can create an immigrant’s message for the future youth of South Asian descent.  Through the blessings of many, we divided India’s cultural history into eight “periods” and tried a systematic study to develop a grassroot scholarship in understanding our culture and its relationship to us in our thinking and view of the world.  We are half way in our journey with the fourth seminar called the “Golden Period” scheduled for April 28, Saturday at Bemis Hall in Lincoln.

While the Indus Civilization emphasized “industry and innovation”, the Vedic Period suggested “Language and Organization”, the evolution continued in the Classical Period 700BC to 200BC with “Literature and Conduct.”  We are still examining the material to create the characteristic message from the “Golden Period”.  The contributions are amazing.  When the world was steeped in conflicts and aggression, India developed a society of personal freedom, mutual respect and extraordinary creativity.  The creative contributions of the period have formed the foundation for the mankind.  They are only slightly modified in different applications through time.  The Classical Period both in Greece and India created knowledge, the Golden Period created society, faith and sophistication.

I take the privilege to invite you all to join us in witnessing this journey.  We are a stable community in the US to help create a definition through our examination rather than swayed by the local aberrations.  To critically evaluate and delineate a path forward, we are scheduling a Public Forum at 3 PM in the afternoon in our Seminar.  Our hope is that we can engage ourselves in projecting the cultural heritage for the future and determine a path of educating our youth and the public at large.

We arrange the seminar is six tracks: Geography and People, Art and Culture, Language and Literature, Philosophy and Religion, Science and Technology, and finally Economy and Politics.  Much of the material is empirical and they need multidisciplinary scientific rooting to be understood analytically.  We need to make sure that our future youth can take the lead in insightful studies on human language, expressions, music, nutrition, health, architecture, chemistry, cosmology and philosophy.  India led the creative scholarship two thousand years ago, our children could be poised for the lead again.

Please join us via a registration at http://www.indiadiscoverycenter.org.  Breakfast pastries, lunch and tea would be included.  It is an all-day event in studying India as immigrants.  Please feel free to write to me in case you have a message but would like to waive the registration.  

Our formal presenters are Hardeep Mann  hardeep885@yahoo.com, Krishnakali Dasgupta krishnakali.dasgupta@gmail.com, Prem Nagar premnagar@gmail.com, Satyendra Sharma satyendras@hotmail.com, Bijoy Misra misra.bijoy@gmail.com and Bhavani Vankineni  vaniv9@gmail.com.  You can write to any of these to learn more about our work.

Besides the presentations, we would be graced by a Church Choir, Sanskrit recitations and vocal rendering and several guest lectures.  The announcement flier is attached.



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