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British Parliament releases 300 year old transcript on Acharya Ramanuja

The transcript was present in the British library since 1942

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British MP Bob Blackman and Dr Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad with Ragasudha Vinjamuri, the writer of the transcript launching the book at the British Parliament. Photo courtesy: Asian lite

By Shubhi Mangla

London: The British Parliament has released a 300 year old text based on the life of Acharya Ramanuja, an Indian saint who lived back in the 11th century, which was transcribed by Ragasudha Vinjamuri.

An event was organized by the Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence to celebrate the 999th birth anniversary of the saint. The Telugu transcript was released during the event at the Committee Room of the British Parliament.

The event was hosted by Bob Blackman MP and attended by members of 20 different spiritual, cultural and community organizations.

According to Asian Lite, the transcript had been present in the British Library since 1942 on 70 palm leaf folios, among which some where lightly readable and others were damaged to some extent.

Also Read: German scholar to translate Rabindranath to mark his anniversary

The event was also saw speeches by honorable personalities. Dr M. Nanda Kumara, Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Pandit Madhava Turumella, Secretary of National Council for Hindu Temples UK, Satish Sharma, Minister for Coordination from High Commission of India, A.S Rajan and twice Padma Bhushan and Sahitya Academy awardee writer Dr Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad were invited as speakers, who highlighted the religious philosophies and contributions of the great saint.

 

Acharya Ramanuja embracing Lord Varadaraj Source: Wikimedia Commons
Acharya Ramanuja embracing Lord Varadaraj
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ragasudha Vinjakumari discussed the various Indian scholars and historians who helped her in her work. She said that the transcription of the text and filling up missing details took her three years. Former MP of Indian Parliament, Laxmi Prasad, appreciated Bob Blackman MP and Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence for hosting the event.

Ragasudha’s efforts for spreading awareness about old texts were highlighted by Secretary of National Council for Hindu Temples UK, Satish Sharma. He also spoke about Ramanuja’s teachings in the modern day context and the importance of the Hindu philosopher.

The event was also attended by Lord and Lady Dholakia who complimented the work. An Annamacharya Kirtana on Ramanujachaya was performed by singer Sirisha Jammi. Sushil Rapatawar and Sakshi Vishwesh introduced the speakers to the audience.

With inputs from theindiandiaspora.com

Shubhi Mangla is an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism and Mass Communication in New Delhi. Twitter @ shubhi_mangla

 

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UK decides to lift ban on pro-Khalistan Sikh group ISYF

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UK
Image source: aol.com

Britain: Set to lift a 15-year-old ban on a pro-Khalistan militant group after a debate, the House of Commons in Britain concluded that “sufficient evidence” does not currently exist to link it to terrorism.

The International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), established in the 1980s in militancy-wracked Punjab, was involved in “assassinations, bombings and kidnappings, mainly directed against Indian officials and interests”, the British Parliament heard this week.

However, the debate entitled ‘Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism’ on Tuesday night concluded that “there is not sufficient evidence to support a reasonable belief” that the ISYF is currently concerned with terrorism.

It therefore approved the draft Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2016, which was laid before the House of Commons on February 22 and will be formally passed on Friday.

“The decision to de-proscribe the ISYF was taken after extensive consideration and in the light of a full assessment of all the available information,” UK minister for security John Hayes told the Commons.

He was questioned by Labour’s shadow home secretary Andy Burnham whether the ban had been maintained since 2001 “because of pressure from the Indian government”, something Hayes denied “without equivocation, hesitation or obfuscation”.

Labour’s longest serving Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz welcomed the government’s decision, saying, “At every meeting that I have attended to do with the Sikh community, members of the community ask about the issue and feel that they have been discriminated against.

“There are 450,000 Sikhs living in the United Kingdom, and about 150 gurdwaras in the UK. Even though it is one organisation, because it has the word ‘Sikh’ in its name, it affects other parts of the diaspora,” he said.

He also called for a review of the ban in place against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The ban on the ISYF in the UK came in force in March 2001, which led to the organisation being banned in India in December that year and in Canada in July 2003.

The Sikh Federation (UK) had applied for the ban to be lifted last year, followed by a legal challenge against UK home secretary Theresa May for refusing to lift the ban.

The Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC) had sought further reasons for May’s refusal to lift the ban but the UK government decided instead not to further contest the ban and moved the order for parliamentary approval on February 22 this year.

Sikh Federation chair Bhai Amrik Singh said “The Home Secretary has shown courage in making this decision despite the inevitable pressure from the Indian authorities and so close after the attacks in Paris (last November). However, this also shows there was no case against the ISYF that would stand up to legal scrutiny”.

Britain’s decision to lift the ban will be formally notified to the UN and the European Council once agreed in Parliament at the end of the week.

(The article was first published in ddpunjabstarnews.com)