President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday inaugurated an international conference on “Bharat Bodh” (Idea of Bharat), organised by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal. According to a Rashtriya Bhavan communique, he complimented IGNOU and the Mandal for organising the conference that brought together intellectuals, academicians and researchers to unravel various aspects of the “Bharat Bodh”.
Mukherjee also expressed happiness that these two collaborators have brought their respective areas of expertise and scholarship to this important three day conference.”The synergy and dynamism of these institutions should channelise the exploration of thousands of years of our journey as a civilisation and people,” the communique quoted Mukherjee as saying.
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“Deep insights would be gained into the idea of statecraft, governance, individual-society relations, structures, purposes and methodology of education, organic relationships with nature, and correlation between spiritual and material life,” he said.He added that Bharat has always been recognised “as the storehouse of knowledge and discovery – knowledge which liberates, and discovery which fathoms the deepest thoughts of humanity and co-existence. As the origin and repository of philosophical and spiritual values, rivers of wisdom flow through the collective consciousness of our great people”.
Quoting American author Mark Twain, the President said: “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
Calling the quote indeed true, Mukherjee said: “India is a land of great traditions, history and discoveries. Its people have lived in this great civilisation giving rise to a unique trait of oneness overcoming the apparent contradictions, thriving on a composite culture and yet alive to the identities of its sub-parts.”
Noting that India is a land of huge diversity, he said: “Yet all its people are living under one system, one flag and one Constitution. All of us are proud to be Indians and we celebrate this diversity.” He hoped that the deliberations at the conference would enrich perceptions regarding the country.