New Delhi: A three-day World Indology Conference was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where he stated that terrorism impulses and mankind’s potential for hatred could be battled by Indology.
Indology falls into the subdivision of Asian Studies, and is the academic study of the language, literature, history and cultures, of the countries constituting the Indian subcontinent — India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal Pakistan, Bangladesh, and eastern Afghanistan.
“We are, today, witnessing events without precedent: when the world is struggling to deal with the worst impulses of intolerance and hatred that mankind has ever witnessed,” said the President. “At such a time, there can be no better recourse than to remind ourselves of the high values, written and unwritten sanskaras, duties and the way of life that is the essence of India,” he added.
The President said that the study of Indology had for many years “contributed to the understanding, propagation and promotion of the Indian knowledge system in countries far and wide.” He also remarked that any question that a human mind could come up with had a solution in Indology, and this is what contributed to its wide scope.
The first ‘Distinguished Indologist’ award was given by the President to Federal Republic of Germany Professor Emeritus Heinrich Freiherr Von Stietencron.
“Prof. Stietencron’s work has added quality and substance to Indological studies and will go a long way in encouraging future efforts in this direction. Indology is the pursuit of a major component of human knowledge; it is the understanding of the evolution of human civilization and a science for the diagnosis and mitigation of the complexities of human life,” said President Mukherjee.
“Ancient Indians had left no stream of human consciousness unexplored – whether it was deeply delving into religion and philosophy or cracking the medicinal secrets of food. They studied, in fascinating detail, and wrote very succinctly, incredibly profound treatises on medical science, state craft, law, social science, metallurgy, language, grammar and aesthetics,” he added.
Watch the entire video of the inauguration here.