Trendsetting Academic Events During Sanskrit Week Celebrations At MNLU Nagpur
LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
8 Aug 2023 8:24 AM GMT
The Centre for Shaastric Studies and Research in Law (CSSRL) at Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur (MNLU-Nagpur) commenced the celebration of Sanskrit Week on the propitious day of Shraavan Poornima, which is globally acclaimed as the World Sanskrit Day. This week-long event will comprise a diverse range of engaging activities through its varied platforms of JusManthan like JusManthan Manchah, JusManthan Anveshanam – A Symposium of Research Posters, JusManthan Vaadah – A National Level Bilingual IKS Based Debate Competition along with our first ever CSSRL Podcast and an exclusive collection of CSSRL Merchandise on the theme Karmanyevaadhikaraste (Your karma is your only right) available for visitors to explore. MNLU-Nagpur through its CSSRL is the awardee of an IKS Research Project awarded by the Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) Division at AICTE of the Ministry of Education, Government of India. All activities of CSSRL are conducted under the patronage of theVice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Vijender Kumar.
The Sanskrit week began with the JusManthan Manchah, a platform that enables academic conversation between the students and a distinguished expert by creating a relatively informal environment in consonance with its value statement – ‘Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya’ - May we be led from Darkness to Light. Distinguished expert for the second Edition of JusManthan Manchah was Prof. (Dr.) T. V. Subbarao, Professor-Emeritus, VIPS Delhi. Prof. (Dr.) Himanshu Pandey - senior professor of law at MNLU-Nagpur and Principal Investigator of IKS Research Project welcomed and felicitated Prof. (Dr.) Rao. Dr. Ila Sudame, Centre Coordinator, CSSRL and IKS Research Project Associate gave the Manchah Parichay. CSSRL Sahachari Arya Mishra, CSSRL Sadasya Tushti Sontakke, CSSRL Sadasya Srijan Tripathi and CSSRL Sahachari Mandar Latpate conducted the JusManthan Manchah interaction on a variety of themes like west-centrism of education system, integrating Indic methodologies with the modern research, uniform civil code (UCC), ideals of feminism in IKS, rebranding and patenting of IKS by the west and possible role of Traditional Knowledge Act in preventing monetisation of the traditional knowledge both in India and abroad, and his vision for future of the nation and expectations from the present generation. Towards the end of the academic dialogue, Prof. Rao emphasised that, “Knowledge is not power unless it is accompanied by wisdom.” The JusManthan Manchah concluded on a positive note with some thought-provoking questions for the students to delve upon. Prof. Dr. Rao through his insights on a variety of subjects illuminated the consciousness of the students and flagged off the Sanskrit week.
The following days of the Sanskrit week at MNLU Nagpur saw a captivating and informative array of events. The day was packed with a number of events to engage students in Sanskrit based activities in the most trending ways. With the idea of ‘Aano Bhadraha Kratavo Yantu Vishwatah’ – let noble thoughts come from all directions, CSSRL successfully conducted a Capacity Building Programme on ‘Sanskrit Based Legal Studies: A Way Forward for Modern Legal Education.’ The program aimed to explore the rich heritage of Nyaayshastra and its significance in modern legal education. By delving into ancient Indian legal systems and Sanskrit texts, the initiative sought to bridge the gap between traditional knowledge and contemporary legal practices. The occasion was graced by esteemed Chief Guest and Key Note Speaker, Prof. (Dr.) Hareram Tripathi, Vice-Chancellor, Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Ramtek and; Guest of Honour Prof. (Dr.) Madhusudan Penna. Prof. (Dr.) Himanshu Pandey delivered the welcome address and Dr. Ila Sudame proposed the formal vote of thanks. Their gracious presence contributed to an unforgettable and enriching experience for all attendees. The Capacity building program was followed by the thought-provoking street play set by CSSRL Sahachari Sahil Joshi and CSSRL Sahachari Mandar Latpate on the importance of Nyaayshastra for Legal Studies and Misconceptions Surrounding IKS. While addressing the misconceptions surrounding Indic Knowledge Systems (IKS) also highlighted their potential to enrich modern legal thinking.
CSSRL also launched a new platform of JusManthan – JusManthan Anveshanam which is a research poster symposium on Indigenous Perspectives on Law: Sanskrit as a Source of Legal Wisdom. The platform aimed to meet the purpose of research i.e. knowledge should be transmitted to the common man for which it came up with the idea of presenting research in the form of creative and visually appealing posters. Participants presented their research on how Sanskrit serves as a source of legal wisdom, shedding light on its unique contributions to legal systems across history and potential applications in the modern legal scape. The day also marked the semi-finals of JusManthan Vaadah, a prestigious National Level IKS Based Bilingual Debate Competition, on the motion - "Sanskrit Creates a Conducive Environment for Advancing the Concept of Gender Fluidity." The competition provided a dynamic platform for young legal minds to engage in lively debates and foster critical thinking while exploring the potential of Sanskrit in addressing contemporary socio-legal concepts. The results of the semi-finals were declared the same day and four out of the eight teams made it to the finals to be held on August 5th, 2023.
The final day of the Sanskrit week began with the highly anticipated CSSRL Podcast with Ms. Ami Ganatra, celebrated author of ‘Mahabharat Unravelled’ and ‘Ramayana Unravelled’. The podcast began with the curiosity of the students as to what made her shift from being a management professional to a full-time author on IKS to an engaging discussion on Dharma, Ramayan, Mahabharat, and debunking myths. The podcast unravelled the unseen side of the itihasa. Following the CSSRL Podcast was the Final Round of the Rashtra Stariya JusManthan Vaadah which was graced by the presence of our esteemed judges Dr. Ruta Dharmadhikari, Dr. Kalyani Kale, and Ms. Ami Ganatra, all women excelling in their fields of English, Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge respectively. Prof. (Dr.) Himanshu Pandey felicitated and welcomed them and initiated the debate following his welcome address. The motion for the final round was “Sanskrit Based Indic Jurisprudence will Enable Fostering Ideals of Secularism in the Truest Sense.” Most speakers optimally utilizing the opportunity of the bilingual nature of the debate chose to deliver their arguments in Hindi. The finals not only saw heated interjection rounds but also witnessed the presence of mind of our wise participants to attract the audience’s attention by rebutting through shero-shayari and humorous yet academically sound rebuttals. The Best Team Award for was bagged by Institute of Law Nirma University, comprising of Shubhankar Bhandari and Yash Trivedi. The Best Team Runnerup was of Vivekananda Education Society’s Law School, Mumbai, comprising of Lavanya and Shivam Yadav. The award for the Best Vaadin (Speaker for the Motion) was Shubhankar Bhandari while the Best Prati-Vaadin (Speaker Against the Motion) was Lavanya. Shubhankar Bhandari also bagged the Best Interjector award and was in a way highest achiever of the day. The teams received glimmering trophies and cash prizes worth Rs. 20,000.
As the Sanskrit Week celebrations came to a close, CSSRL made the academic world marvel about the beauty and richness of this ancient language. Bidding farewell to these celebrations, students carried the spirit of Sanskrit with them in their hearts and minds. Most significantly, they made a commitment to continue to explore its vastness, draw inspiration from its timeless wisdom, and strive to integrate its teachings into their daily lives. Jayatu Sanskritam! Jayatu Bharatam!