CALL FOR PAPERS : Kumbh Conclave 2018-19 |Dharma .Culture. Development
Dates: 27-28-29 July 2018 (10 am to 5 pm) | Location: Senate Hall, University of Allahabad, Allahabad (UP)
IMPORTANT DATES –
Last Date of Abstract submission: 31st May 2018; Last Date of Full Paper submission: 30th June 2018
Sub Themes: Submission of papers
The India Think Council is a leading research initiative and policy analysis think tank working towards bringing together socially like-minded intellectuals. The council hosts various national and international seminars with a view to promote the ancient tradition of ideological development through dialogue, debate and discussions.
The members of the council are researchers, scholars and experts collectively involved in conducting quality research, data and fact analysis, financial and statistical reports. The council is engaged in independent social and policy research in association with its governance and policy research partnering institutions.
The organisation is strongly determined to become a stable and effective voice of the country through its ideological initiatives and programs. The Council aims to become a prominent institution of excellence in India for research, study and conversation on Economics, Politics, Society and Culture.
Over the years the membership of the organisation increased, accommodating highly skilled professionals, academicians, political and economic scholars and social thinkers who are working in different parts of the country today. The members and experts from the council regularly represent the organisation at international forums providing it a global recognition.
Through its numerous dialogues and initiatives such as the Governance Expedition, Bharat Darshan, CCPCG and Samutkarsh the India Think Council spread its arms amongst University students, graduates and researchers and provided a platform for these groups to involve in ideological assemblages. Renowned economists, parliamentarians, policy experts and business leaders joined the dialogue as guests to address the distinguished audience from various domains and practicing area. More than 5000 learned participants have attended (till late 2017) these intellectual sessions across the country.
A dynamic initiative in this direction is, first of its kind Kumbh Conclave 2018-19; focusing on the historical, political, social and economic aspects of the religious Mela and the celebration of the spiritual and epiphanic values of Kumbh in India through centuries.
India has from centuries been a nation of religious diversity and cultural homogeneity. The Indian culture is often defined as an amalgamation of several rituals and traditions that have developed over a history of more than a millennium.
The Kumbh Conclave 2018-19 is inspired by the majestic Kumbh celebration which is one such cultural heritage of India that encounters the spiritual conglomeration of tens of millions of devout pilgrims, religious scholars, philosophers and preachers. Since its inception (early in the first millennium CE or even before that) the Kumbh Mela has become the largest public gathering in the world which is recognised now as an intangible world heritage by the UNESCO.
The “pop up mega city” (Kumbh Mela) built on the broad sandy flats left by the receding rivers, is laid out on a grid which is constructed and deconstructed within a matter of weeks. Creating a huge encampment of tents (The city of tents) entailing multiple aspects of contemporary urbanism, city planning and management , engineering and spatial zoning (planning Mela city in zones and sectors ), land allocation, an electricity grid, water lines and sanitation system, food and water distribution plans, roads of chequered plate, pontoon bridges , drainage ,hospitals and vaccination centers, police and fire stations and public gathering space, markets and stall , special railway and bus arrangements.
Kumbh being the largest religious congregation on earth, it is the world's best place to experience a perfect example of public administration, city planning, social governance and civic management.
The Kumbh Conclave 2018 is similarly designed to enrich and enhance this culture of dialogue and debate amongst the scholars of modern India to discuss on the role of economics, politics, society and culture in good governance which is Dharma. It is a confluence of scholars at Triveni-Prayagraj to discuss the aforementioned aspects in the context of Dharma and righteousness.
It is structured to exhaustively deliberate on the ancient culture and tradition along with contemporary developments in the Indian society for religious celebrations, social harmony and humanity that is associated with such festivals. It also emphasizes on social inclusion and the message of peace. The Conclave will explore Dharma as a means of good governance from spiritual scholars and pragmatic solutions from the policy experts. It is also an opportunity for young intellectuals and students to discover and promote new ideas and visions contributing towards this cultural and ideological assimilation.
With this real intent and message of our rituals Dharma, Culture and Development, the conclave would focus on engaging and bringing together individuals from varied sections of the society for the scholarly nectar of immortality to enlighten their minds through ideological churning.
The Kumbh, the largest gathering of humanity on any occasion on the earth will witness nearly 10 crore pilgrims and visitors in 2019 (15th Jan to March 4th) from all over India and many corners of the world to take a dip at the Sangam – the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
The Kumbh at Prayag (Teerthraj Prayag, the holiest pilgrimage centre and a perfect place to have a soulful escape) is not merely a mythological and spiritual wonder, but indeed a rainbow of India’s cultural and spiritual ethos. For the millions of pilgrims and visitors, taking a dip in the Sangam is more than a mere bath, it is an expression of one’s faith in the great divine power.
Prayag (Triveni -Sangam) is the most revered place of Kumbh Mela among the 4 places including Ujjain, Nashik and Hardwar. This festival of Vedic age dates back to the presence of Gods and Demons on earth.
According to medieval Hindu theology, its origin is found in one of the most popular medieval puranas, the Bhagavata Purana. The Samudra manthan episode (Churning of the ocean of milk), is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana.
The account goes that the Devas had lost their strength by the curse of Durvasa Muni, and to regain it, they approached Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. They directed all the demigods to Lord Vishnu (full story on kumbh mela) and after praying to Lord Vishnu, he instructed them to churn the milk ocean, Ksheera Sagara (primordial ocean of milk) to receive amrita (the nectar of immortality). This required them to make a temporary agreement with their arch enemies, the Asuras, to work together with a promise of sharing the wealth equally thereafter. For the task of churning the milk ocean, the Mandara Mountain was used as the churning rod, and Vasuki, the king of serpents, became the rope for churning. They churned the ocean for 1000 years, where demons were holding Vasuki's head and Gods were holding its tail. Finally, after this entire churning process, Dhanwantari appeared with Kumbh (pitcher) in his palms.
However, when the Kumbha containing the nectar of immortality appeared, a fight ensued. To prevent the amrita (elixir of immortality) from demons, its safety was entrusted to Gods Brahaspati, Surya, Shani and Chandra. After learning the conspiracy of the Devtas (demigods), demons turned vicious and attacked them. Devtas knew that demons possessed more power and can easily defeat them. The Devtas ran away with the Kumbh to hide it away and they were chased by Asuras. For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the Devas and Asuras fought in the sky for the pot of amrita. It is believed that during the battle, the drops of amrita fell down from Kumbh at four places: Allahabad (Prayag), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. Since, 12 days of Gods are equivalent to 12 years for humans; the Kumbh Mela is celebrated once every 12 years in each of the four places - banks of river Godavari in Nasik, river Kshipra in Ujjain, river Ganges in Haridwar, and at the Sangam of Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati in Allahabad, where the drops are believed to have fallen. It is believed that the river turns itself into sanctity spots filled with primordial amrita at the historic moment of the Kumbh Mela.
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