The Silver Jubilee Anniversary of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study Shimla was celebrated in 1991. Thereafter, it was decided to organise an annual lecture on this pattern named after Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the main guiding force behind the establishment of the IIAS.
The Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture is, perhaps, the most important annual academic event of the Institute. The Lecture was instituted to honour the memory of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. It is also a mark of our gratitude to him for his gift of Rashtrapati Nivas to the Institute. Every year, an eminent scholar—from India and abroad—is invited to deliver the lecture on a topic of his choice.
The inaugural function started with a lecture by Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya on the topic, “On the Alleged Unity of Religions". Many eminent scholars have delivered the flagship lecture for the Institute like Professor Andre Beteille, Simon Blackburn, Ramchandra Guha, Justice Leila Seth, Kapila Vatsyayan, Bibek Debroy, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

24th RKML - 2019

Topic: Universal Ethics


Life should be one that is well-lived and well-spent. Adding years to our life without making it meaningful will not add any value to our lives and living. In Buddhism, we also believe that each one of has the ‘Buddha nature’ inherent in us. This implies that every individual is inherently good and compassionate-just like Buddha. The goal is to awaken this consciousness within oneself. The first step towards achieving this goal of ‘Buddha’ nature is the acceptance of reality. One can only achieve one’s true potential if one understands reality and is not swayed by false notions. Here, we can also take help from Quantum Physics. Even Quantum physicists say that there is a huge difference between appearances and reality. And only those who are able to look beyond the veil of such false appearances are ultimately able to realize their true potential. It is therefore, rightly said, that most our destructive emotions of hate, vengeance, anger and abuse are based on such beguiling appearances. It is these appearances of a sugar-coated truth that mislead men from following the path of righteousness and compassion.

Brief Bio of the speaker:  His Holiness and Nobel Laureate, the 14th Dalai Lama

He is the spiritual leader of Tibet. At the age of two, the child, then named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems. Since the mid-1980s, His Holiness has engaged in a dialogue with modern scientists, mainly in the fields of psychology, neurobiology, quantum physics, and cosmology. This has led to a historic collaboration between Buddhist monks and world-renowned scientists in trying to help individuals achieve peace of mind. It has also resulted in the addition of modern science to the traditional curriculum of Tibetan monastic institutions re-established in exile. HH is the author of a number of books. Some of them are Our Only Home – A Climate Appeal to the World, Inner World, The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, A Call for Revolution, Happiness, Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, The Wisdom of Compassion, and The Heart of Meditation to name a few. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. In 2019, The Emory University launched a global Social, Emotional and Ethical (SEE) learning curriculum based on ethics and basic human values, in collaboration with The Dalai Lama Trust.

23rd RKML - 2018

Topic : The Dharma of Translation: Sanskrit Classics in Contemporary Times

Sanskrit, directly or indirectly, has influenced all the so-called vernacular languages that we speak. The degree may vary and, by no means is it my suggestion that this is a one-way flow. There have naturally been two-way flows but all the languages that we speak have a link with Sanskrit. In fact, Sanskrit was the link language.
With many languages and dialects abounding in India, Sanskrit was a language used for communicating among different parts of the country. There is a famous kāvya by Sriharsha, circa 12th century CE, named Naishadha Charita. Naishadha refers to the king of the Nishadhas, in this particular case, Nala. Some of you may be aware of the Nala- Damayanti story which figures in several of our texts. Here, in Naishadha Charita we have Sriharsha’s portrayal of Damayanti’s svayamvara where several kings have come from various parts of the country to seek Damayanti’s hand in marriage. Sriharsha tells us, vU;ksU;Hkk”kkuocks/kHkhrs% laL—f=ekfHkZO;ogkjoRlqA fnXH;% lesrs”kq u`is”kq rs”kq lkSoxZoxksZ u tuSjfpfguAA “All of these kings who have assembled from different parts of the country have a problem in communicating with each other because they all speak individual languages. Therefore, they converse with each other in Sanskrit”. As for using Sanskrit as a language to bridge different parts of the country, the 12th century wasn’t very different from the 19th. Let me relate three anecdotes about Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902). Swami Vivekananda conversed with the Maharaja of Travancore and with the Maharaja of Mysore in Sanskrit. He had a disciple named Sharatchandra Chakravarty and he kept a diary in Bengali, which has since been translated into English. Shri Ramakrishna had a householder disciple named Nag Mahashaya (1846-99). On one occasion, in 1897, when Sharatchandra Chakravarty was present, another disciple, who frequently visited Nag Mahashaya, came to meet Swami Vivekananda and mentioned him. Swami Vivekananda responded to this disciple in Sanskrit and said o;a rRokUos”kku~ e/kqdj gRok: Roa [kyq —rh. This was a reference to Nag Mahashaya’s great spiritual success. Translated, it means, “O bee! we have been destroyed in our pursuit of the truth. You alone are successful.” What is interesting about this, is to discover from where this little bit of Sanskrit comes from. It comes from Kalidasa’s Abhijnanashakuntalam, where Dushyanta sees a bee hovering around Shakuntala’s lips and says this. Now note. Here is someone, a Hindu monk who is supposed to know about Vedanta and know about the Upanishads but what is he quoting from? He is quoting from sāhitya, from literature. This is the kind of felicity that we used to have with Sanskrit and it is a felicity that is increasingly dying out. It is dying out almost entirely because of the terrible way Sanskrit is taught. Not just in institutions of higher education but beginning with the schools.

Brief Bio of the speaker : Shri Bibek Debroy
He is an Indian economist and has also been a Visiting Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for South Asian Studies in National University of Singapore. Since its conception, Debroy has been a member of NITI Aayog, (or National Institution for Transforming India Aayog) the think tank of the Indian Government. He has authored several books, papers and popular articles, and has been the Consulting Editor of several Indian financial newspapers. He has also been a member of the National Manufacturing Competitive Council. He was also Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, Consultant to the Department of Economic Affairs of Finance Ministry (Government of India) In 2015, he was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India. He was also awarded D. Litt. (Honoris Causa) by KIIT University in 2015 and D. Phil. (Honoris Causa) by Amity University in 2016. Debroy has authored over 110 books in the field of Economics, Polity, Indology and Sanskrit. Debroy translated the unabridged version of Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, into English, becoming only the third person ever to achieve the feat. Debroy’s translation of the Mahabharata was published in a series of 10 volumes amounting to 2.25 million words. He has also translated the Bhagavad Gita, the Harivamsa, the Vedas and the Valmiki Ramayana (in three volumes). He has translated the Bhagavata Purana (in three volumes) and the Markandeya Purana (one volume). Along with Manmatha Nath Dutt, he is only the second person to have translated both the Mahabharata and the Valmiki Ramayana, in unabridged form, into English. He has featured in the 2019 Limca Book of Records as a “most prolific translator”.

22nd RKML – 2017

Topic : Weaving India’s MAHAKATHA (Grand Narrative) for the 21st Century

Just as an individual or an organization has a name, character, a calling card, in short, an identity by which s/he/it is known, similarly a collective entity also has some characteristics that define it in very fundamental ways. Businesses use the term “brand” to refer to such a narrative that represents who they are. Political parties identify themselves in terms of distinct ideology or a manifesto. Families have their histories of forefathers, cherish their heirlooms, and pass on memories captured in pictures and videos. Such self-defining narratives tend to combine hard facts with wishful thinking, exaggeration and even outright fantasy. Narratives are useful for securing a group’s sense of cohesiveness and purpose.
In a similar manner, the narrative of a nation is the overall story of its people: who they are, where they came from, what their thoughts are, what their philosophy and way of life is, what makes them one people, what was their past story and what is their future trajectory, what were their contributions to the world, and so on. Like all self-developed narratives, the narrative of a nation’s collective identity is made up of a selective use of genuine facts, many exaggerations as well as outright fabrications.It is a self-image consisting of facts and fiction that has been passed down from generation to generation. The term “grand narrative” has often been used to discuss the narratives that a given people have of themselves.

It is an interesting fact that strong and powerful countries invariably have a robust grand narrative which is extremely positive in the way the country is projected. This encompasses the histories and accomplishments of all its people and serves to instill great pride for their shared heritage. Stories of valor and bravery, of conquests and founding fathers, of the beauty of their language, their culture – all this and more make up the grand narrative. There is pride in the geography, even a sense of sacredness of the geography as the site where extraordinary events happened in the hoary past. Countries invest heavily to inculcate patriotism, respect and pride for their national symbols such as flags, national anthem, dress and other symbolism.

Brief Bio of the speaker: Shri Rajiv Malhotra

Rajiv Malhotra is a researcher, writer, speaker and public intellectual on current affairs as they relate to civilizations, cross-cultural encounters, religion and science. He was trained initially as a Physicist, and then as a Computer Scientist specializing in AI in the 1970s. After a successful corporate career in the US, he became an entrepreneur and founded and ran several IT companies in 20 countries. Since the early 1990s, as the founder of his non-profit Infinity Foundation (Princeton, USA), he has been researching civilizations and their engagement with technology from a historical, social sciences and mind sciences perspective. He has authored several best-selling books. Infinity Foundation has also published a 14-volume series on the History of Indian Science & Technology. His forthcoming book on AI is titled, “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power: 5 Battlegrounds”, in which India is the case study to analyze the impact of AI in a variety of domains. He has authored many game-changing publications such as Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, – Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Fault lines, Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity, The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive or Liberating, Dead or Alive?, Academic Hinduphobia: A Critique of Wendy Doniger’s Erotic School of Indology, Sanskrit Non-Translatable: The Importance of Sanskritizing English to name a few.

21st RKML – 2015

Topic: A Working Woman

But who is a working woman? She has been defined variously and succinctly as a ‘woman who works for wages’; another definition is ‘one who labours.’ This last would include all women, as they are all involved in housework and, or, looking after children and the family, which is known as domestic work. Strangely enough, when you are not paid for domestic work, you are not considered a working woman, in common parlance. But if a maid or cook or nanny or housekeeper does domestic work and is paid either in cash or in-kind she is thought of as a working woman. What if you do regular unpaid voluntary work outside the house–are you a working woman? Today most people would agree that you 2 20th Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture are. So it would appear it is not dependent on wages. So does it mean that going to work outside the house makes you a working woman; but today many people work from the house on computers and so do women artists, writers, etc. So it would appear that it is also not dependent on working inside the home.

Brief Bio of the speaker: Justice Leila Seth
Leila Seth was an Indian judge who served as the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court and became the first woman to become Chief Justice of a state High Court, Himachal Pradesh High Court, on 5 August 1991. She sat on a number of inquiry commissions, including one into the death of ‘Biscuit Baron’ Rajan Pillai, and was also a part of the three-member bench of the Justice Verma Committee that was established to overhaul India’s rape laws in the aftermath of the infamous 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. She was a member of the 15th Law Commission of India from 1997 to 2000 and was responsible for the amendments to the Hindu Succession Act that gave equal rights to daughters in the joint family property. The former Judge herself penned down three books. Starting with On Balance, her autobiography in 2003, she went on to write We, The Children of India in 2010, a book explaining the constitution to the country’s children. This was followed by Talking of Justice: People’s Rights in Modern India, in 2014.

20th RKML – 2014

Topic: Gandhi and Banaras

By my calculations—and my source here is the detailed chronology of his life prepared by Chandubhai Dalal—Gandhi came to Banaras on fourteen separate occasions. The visits were all short, often lasting just a day or two, and oriented towards a particular public event or function. The first time Gandhi came to Banaras, however, was merely as a tourist. This was in 1902, when he was relatively unknown. He was then briefly back in India from South Africa. As a devout Hindu, Gandhi naturally wanted to visit the most celebrated of the city’s shrines, the Kashi Viswanath temple. He was unimpressed by what he saw. ‘The swarming flies and the noise made by the shopkeepers and pilgrims were perfectly insufferable’, he wrote, adding: ‘Where one expected an atmosphere of meditation and communion, it was conspicuous by its absence’. When Gandhi finally reached the temple, he ‘was greeted at the entrance by a stinking mass of rotten flowers’. The marble floor had been ‘broken by some devotee innocent of aesthetic taste, who had set it with rupees serving as an excellent receptacle for dirt’. He walked all over the shrine, ‘search[ing] for God but fail[ing] to find him’ in the dirt and the filth. Gandhi’s next, and most famous, visit to Banaras occurred in February 1916. He had been invited to the founding ceremonies of the Banaras Hindu University, whose prime movers were Annie Besant and the Allahabad scholar Madan Mohan Malaviya. The creation of a centre of modern education in an ancient town had originally been Mrs Besant’s idea. Malaviya was instrumental in raising the money and in supervising the construction of an impressive campus. Among the patrons were influential Maharajas. They would be in Ramachandra Guha 3 attendance at the ceremony, which was to be inaugurated by the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge.

Brief bio of the speaker:Dr Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bengaluru. His books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002), which was chosen by The Guardian as one of the ten best books on cricket ever written. India after Gandhi (Macmillan/Ecco Press, 2007; revised edition, 2017) was chosen as a book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and as a book of the decade in the Times of London and The Hindu. Ramachandra Guha’s most recent work is a two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi. The first volume, Gandhi Before India (Knopf, 2014), was chosen as a notable book of the year by the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. The second volume, Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World (Knopf, 2018, was chosen as a notable book of the year by the New York Times and The Economist. His awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society prize, the Malcolm Adideshiah Award for excellence in social science research, the Ramnath Goenka Prize for excellence in journalism, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Fukuoka Prize for contributions to Asian studies.

19th RKML – 2014

Topic: Feminist Concepts in time and Space Perspectives from India

My attempt here will be to offer an alternate mode of engagement with what is perceived as the problem of the third world’s theoretical dependency on the first . Considerable concern and debate has quite rightly focused on the fact that relationships of power and inequality from colonial times to the present have not only taken material form. Indeed, the role that knowledges of the ‘East’ played in making possible the very durability of western colonialism has been a foundational tenet at least since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978), and should not require rehearsal here. Other dimensions of relationships of dependency have Mary E. John 3 been explored through conceptions of ‘travelling theories’ from the first to the third world and of ‘travelling theorists’ who move in the opposite direction.1 Let me therefore venture to say that, allowing full play to the working out of power across unequal contexts, I nonetheless find many of the ideas that seem to undergird discussions on dependency theory, indigenous theory or Southern theory, to be fundamentally flawed. Certainly the following interrelated assumptions are misleading if not false: firstly, that a given theory is necessarily most true at its point of origin; secondly, that there is a problem when a theory or a concept is mobile (after all isn’t that the very definition of a theory or a concept, namely that they enjoy some degree of generalisability in order to qualify in the first place?); and, thirdly, that when theories are to be found in unequally structured terrain they must simply and only be alien impositions if not handmaidens of dominance. As the rest of my presentation hopes to suggest if not demonstrate, we need to think more about intersecting conceptual histories that work simultaneously as much as sequentially; and where we do not assume that ‘western’ theories are only true in their ‘western locations’ and have to be somehow adapted at some later point to a non-western context, where they always suffer a lack of fit. I am interested rather in what happens when a given theory or conceptual vocabulary is put to use in a particular context, without valorising origin over destination. There has been far too much obsession, for instance, with the Westernness of theory as though this fact alone made it suspect, rather than paying attention to the entangled contexts and complex relations that in fact characterise all theoretical endeavours. Concepts may well have multiple contexts of origin, and complex careers of use and transformation. Especially given power laden relationships between places and peoples, it is the capacity of concepts to provide not just 18th Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecture meaning and but also insight that should be our focus, rather than their ostensible purity in relation to a singular original source. This seems more useful for the periods of explicit theoretical production and consumption in relation to ‘women’ and feminism, namely the last two centuries in particular, intersected as they have been by colonial, postcolonial, neoliberal and various other globalisations.

Brief Bio of the speaker: Professor Mary E. John
Professor Mary E John has been working in the fields of women’s studies and feminist politics for many years. She was Director of CWDS from 2006-2012, and before that was Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Women’s Studies Programme at JNU, New Delhi from 2001-2006. Some of her works include Women in the Worlds of Labour: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Perspectives Orient Blackswan forthcoming, Planning Families, Planning Gender: Addressing the Adverse Sex Ratio in selected districts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, with support from ActionAid India and IDRC, Canada, Books for Change, 2008. (co-authored with Ravinder Kaur, Rajni Palriwala, Saraswati Raju and Alpana Sagar.) Translated into Hindi and Punjabi 2010 and Women’s Studies in India: A Reader, New Delhi: Penguin, 2008.

18th RKML – 2012

Topic: Growing up as Writer in a Regional Indian Language

Brief bio of speaker: Professor U.R. Ananthamurthy
Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy was an Indian contemporary writer and critic in the Kannada language. He was born in Thirtahalli Taluk and is considered as one of the pioneers of the Navya movement. He was the sixth writer to be honored with the Jnanpith Award for the Kannada language, the highest literary honour conferred in India. In 1998, he received the Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India. He was the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam. He served as the Chairman of National Book Trust India for the year 1992. In 1993 he was elected as the president of Sahitya Academy. He served twice as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India. In 2012 he was appointed the first Chancellor of Central University of Karnataka.
Ananthamurthy’s works have been translated into several Indian and European languages and have been awarded with important literary prizes. His main works include “Prashne”, “Aakasha Mattu Bekku”, Samskara, Bhava, Bharathipura, and Avasthe. He has written numerous short stories as well. Several of his novels and short fictions have been made into movies. Most of Ananthamurthy’s literary works deal with psychological aspects of people in different situations, times and circumstances. His writings supposedly analyse aspects ranging from challenges and changes faced by Brahmin families of Karnataka to bureaucrats dealing with politics influencing their work. Most of his novels are on reaction of individuals to situations that are unusual and artificial.

17th RKML – 2012

Topic: Cosmic Perspectives on Human Existence

To set up the scenario, let us start with a brief description of the universe in terms of the teachings and ideas of Aristotle which had man as the most important part of creation, residing at the centre of the cosmos. Aristotle had a whole range of ideas on nature, which influenced the intellectuals of the succeeding generations for no less than twenty centuries, and the human ego worked itself into an uncompromising frame where only the geocentric view was acceptable. Thus Copernicus and Galileo had to suffer for proposing the alternative heliocentric theory. The crux of the matter was: does the Sun go round the Earth as Aristotle believed or does the Earth go round the Sun?
Of course if the universe consisted of only the Earth and the Sun, the above question is undecidable. However, we have a backdrop of distant stars and against this background we can pose the above question. It is interesting to know that as early as the third century BC a Greek thinker, Aristarchus of Samos had argued that the Earth goes round the Sun in one year. So within six months we would move the farthest distance away from where we are today. Thus if we observe a star today and six months later we should notice the maximum change of its direction. By what angle? Here he overestimated the effect because his estimates of stellar distances were much lower than actual. The observing techniques in those times were very primitive and so even the enhanced expectation was not seen. This led to a firmer belief in the geocentric theory.

Brief bio of the speaker: Professor Jayant V. Narlikar
Professor Narlikar is internationally known for his work in cosmology, for championing models alternative to the popularly believed big bang model. In 1988 the University Grants Commission invited him to set up the proposed Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) as its Founder Director. He was President of the Cosmology Commission of the International Astronomical Union from 1994 to 1997. His work has been on the frontiers of gravity and Mach’s Principle, quantum cosmology and action at distance physics. He has also worked on problems related to quasars, black holes, etc. He has received several national and international awards and honorary doctorates. He is a Bhatnagar awardee, as well as recipient of the M.P. Birla award, the Prix Janssen of the French Astronomical Society and an Associate of the Royal Astronomical Society of London. He is Fellow of the three national science academies as well as of the Third World Academy of Sciences. Narlikar was decorated Padma Bhushan in 1965, at the young age of 26. In 2004 he was awarded Padmavibhushan. In 2011, the Government of the State of Maharashtra honoured him with the State’s highest civilian award of Maharashtra Bhushan. In 2014, the Sahitya Akademi, the premiere literary body in India, selected his autobiography for its highest prize in regional language (Marathi) writing.

16th RKML – 2010

Topic: Environment and Development

Brief bio of speaker: Smt. Meira Kumar
Meira Kumar is an Indian politician and former diplomat. A member of the Indian National Congress, she was the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment from 2004 to 2009, the Minister of Water Resources for a brief period in 2009, and the 15th Speaker of Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014. Kumar became just the second woman to be nominated for president of India by a major political bloc when she secured the United Progressive Alliance’s nomination in 2017. As speaker, Kumar launched several initiatives within the Lok Sabha, including one in 2011 designed to reduce the amount of paper used in the house. Under its provisions, all Lok Sabha members were issued tablet computers. It is thought that this resulted in a 30 percent reduction in paper usage in that chamber. Kumar also lent her support to the growing nationwide movement opposing violence against women in the country.

15th RKML – 2010

Topic: Knowledge: Fluid Cultures, Frozen Structures

I am somewhat hesitant to address this audience not only because we are situated in the India International Centre, but also because many present here are long-standing friends. Some of them belong to my generation. We have been participators and witnesses to the transition from a colonial to an independent India. We are also inheritors of the vision and aspirations of those who played a seminal role in the shaping of the nation-state.
In what words do I pay tribute to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, universally acknowledged as a universal man, a philosopher-statesman, who brought dignity and lustre wherever he was? As I sit in the Rajya Sabha, I cannot help remembering each day, almost every day, how with a lifting of the pencil he would silence any attempt at disruption. Shri Jawaharlal Nehru’s tribute to him on the occasion of his demitting the office of Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, is an eloquent testimony. He had said: ‘You treated us like school children and we obeyed!’

Brief bio of the speaker: Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan
Kapila Vatsyayan was a leading scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture, and art history. She served as a Member of Parliament and bureaucrat in India, and also served as the founding director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. She was formerly a member of parliament and also served as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Education, where she was responsible for the establishment of a large number of national institutions of higher education.She served as the founding director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. She was former President of India International Centre (IIC) and an IIC Life Trustee and the Chairperson of the IIC International Research Division. In 1970, Vatsyayan received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s national academy for music, dance and drama; this was followed by the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour in the fine arts conferred by Lalit Kala Akademi, India’s national academy for fine arts in 1995. In 2011, the Government of India bestowed upon her the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour. Vatsyayan authored many books, including The Square and the Circle of Indian Arts (1997), Bharata: The Natya Sastra (1996), and Matralaksanam (1988).

14th RKML – 2009

Topic: The Intellectual and Society: Role and Responsibility

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was unquestionably one of the great Indians of the twentieth century. As a philosopher he interpreted Indian thought to the world in what has been called the ‘battle of consciousness.’ The Republic bestowed on him the highest offices of the State and he in turn added lustre to them. A constitutional head of state in a modern democracy cannot, with justice, lay claim to Plato’s ideal of a ‘perfect guardian’; despite it, the philosopher in Radhakrishnan did inject a deeper perspective, draw attention to values and help the system, as he put it, ‘do the right thing’. Inaugurating this very Institute in 1965, he cautioned against the deification of error and becoming ‘prisoners of the status quo’.1
Three centuries earlier another man of philosophy, Baruch Spinoza, had prescribed for himself a rule of communication: ‘to speak in a manner intelligible to the multitude, and to comply with every general custom that does not hinder the attainment of our purpose.’2 Radhakrishnan would have readily endorsed this. Less reverential is Bertrand Russell’s observation3 that philosophers are for the most part constitutionally timid, dislike the unexpected and therefore invent systems which make the future calculable!

Brief Bio of the speaker: Shri M. Hamid Ansari
Mohammad Hamid Ansari, is an Indian diplomat, politician, educator, and writer who served as vice president of India (2007–17). Upon his retirement from the foreign service, Ansari was named to academic positions, including vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (2000–02) and visiting professor at two New Delhi schools—Jawaharlal Nehru University (1999–2000) and Jamia Millia Islamia (2003–05). He also worked for a private think tank and served on several government commissions and committees. He is the author of Travelling Through Conflict: Essays on the Politics of West Asia (2008) and the editor of Iran Today: Twenty Five Years After the Islamic Revolution (2005).

13th RKML – 2007

Topic: 11th Plan and Inclusive Growth

Today there are several problems that the country is facing and one is the decline of professional ethics. All public institutions in the country without exception with only difference of degrees, generally people claim, argue and complain that profession ethics is not adhered to. It is in this context this lecture has been planned in the light of what the 11th Five Year Plan seeks to achieve towards faster and more inclusive growth.
Now India never suffered from the scarcity of ideas. Prof. Dantwala was my Professor. I was fortunate enough to be his student and while writing Preface to one book Heritage that India never suffered from the famine of ideas. It suffered largely from non-implementation of the good ideas. There is growing realization that during the last sixty years of Independence and nearly five and half decades of planned economic development, undoubtedly, we have achieve many things in diverse fields of national life including satisfactory rate of academic growth. But there is growing realization in all corners including the Planning Commission and notably in the whole value framework of Hon. Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji that sufficient needs to be done in order to make this growth inclusive. If we achieve 9% growth, which is the objective of the 11th Five Year plan, this year’s first quarter growth is 9.3% and the 11th Five Year Plan we are hoping would be ending with 10% rate of growth, but that is one necessary condition for the broader objectives of removal of poverty, reduction in inequalities and reduction in poverty, creating more employment. The sufficient conditions is that we should be able to implement the innovative plans and programmes, the policies and the strategies so that growth becomes really relevant.

Brief bio of the speaker: Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Mr. Ahluwalia is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Stern School of Management, NYU. He served as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of the Government of India from 2004 to 2014. A key figure in India’s economic reforms from the early 1980s onwards, he has held several important positions including Special Secretary to the Indian Prime Minister (1988–90); Commerce Secretary (1990–91); Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (1991–93); and Finance Secretary, Ministry of Finance (1993–98). From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Ahluwalia worked as Director of the Independent Evaluation Office, International Monetary Fund. His published works include “Reforming the Global Financial Architecture”, Economic Paper No. 41, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, 2000; “State Level Performance Under Economic Reforms in India”, in Economic Policy Reforms and the Indian Economy, edited by Anne O. Krueger (University of Chicago Press, 2002); “Economic Reforms in India since 1991”; “Has Gradualism Worked?”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, August 2002; “Infrastructure Development in India’s Reforms”, in India Economic Reforms and Development: Essays for Manmohan Singh, edited by Isher Judge Ahluwalia, and IMD Little (OUP, New Delhi, 1998); and “India’s Economic Reforms: An Appraisal”, in India in the Era of Economic Reforms, edited by Jeffery Sachs and Nirupam Bajpai (Oxford, 1999).

12th RKML – 2006

Topic: Retuning the Role of Science and Education: Inventing a Better Future for all

Brief bio of speaker:Prof. Goverdhan Mehta
Prof Mehta is an internationally acclaimed researcher with wide ranging research interests in organic chemistry and specializes in the design of complex molecules that blends art and architecture and has published more than 450 original research papers in international Journals of high repute. Prof. Mehta served as the Director of the Indian Institute of Science from 1998 to 2005 and as Vice Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad from 1994 to 1998, two of India’s prestigious academic institutions. He has held faculty positions at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, University of Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore from 1970 to 2005 and invited to visiting Chairs in over a dozen countries. Professor Mehta was the Srinivas Ramanujam Research Professor of the Indian National Science Academy (1992-1997) and CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow (2005-2010). He is a recipient of over forty national and international awards that include the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, G.D. Birla Award for Excellence in Science, Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, Trieste Science Prize from TWAS (Trieste, Italy), Humboldt Research Prize from Germany, Medals from the Indian Chemical Society, Indian National Science Academy and Indian Science Congress Association. He has been honored with ‘Padma Shri’ by the Government of India, and the ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’ by the President of the Republic of France. Prof. Mehta is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has been President of the Indian
National Science Academy (1999-2001), Co-Chair of Inter Academy Council (2000-2005) and President of International Council for Science (2005-2008) and is actively associated with a large number of national and international organizations.

11th RKML – 2003

Topic: Human Rights, Philosophy and Constitution of India

In the long history of human civilization, the centuries have recorded, from time to time, changes so radical that their momentum and consequences have given a decisive turn to the future course of human events. Some of those changes have been swift in the making. The recent discoveries of science and technology have burst upon the world with dramatic suddenness, and their impact has taken the human race through a quantum leap far beyond its most sanguine expectations. Other changes have been slow in conceptualizing, but they have matured steadily with a sureness and inevitability that has made their ultimate realization merely a matter of time. Among these has been the human rights movement.
The human rights movement has reached a stage where the world can justifiably feel a measure of confidence in its achievements. What started out as the vague principles of an uncertain philosophy has evolved into a definitive ethos of universally accepted standards, providing the moral foundation as well as an ethical infrastructure for a new world. For long years, the movement travelled through a continuum, gathering support from the intellectuals of successive generations and gradually translating philosophical theory into legal, political, and economic reality. During the last forty-five years it has so completely dominated the imagination of the world community and so effectively altered political attitudes, social perspectives, and economic programmes, and so impressive has been the momentum of change in some of international law’s most fundamental concepts that we can truly say that we are in the midst of a Human Rights revolution.

Brief bio of the speaker: Justice R.S. Pathak
He started his career as a lawyer and practiced in Constitutional Law, Income – tax, Sales -tax and other Taxation laws, Civil Law, Company Law and Industrial Disputes cases. He was appointed as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court on 18th March 1972. On 20th February 1978 he was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India. He took over as the 18th Chief Justice of India on 21st December 1986. He relinquished the office of the Chief Justice of India on 18.6.1989 on being appointed as a Judge of International Court of Justice at Hague. He was a distinguished legal luminary who held important posts both at home and abroad. Justice Pathak played a crucial role in running the Tribune Trust as a member initially, before taking over as its President in 2002. He was also the Chairman of the National Committee for the Promotion of Economic and Social Welfare besides being the President of the Centre for Research on Environment, Ecology and Development. He also had the distinction of being Member, Board of Advisers, Foundation for International Environment Law and Development, London, and the Chairman of the Nehru Trust for Indian Collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He was elected Chairman of
the World Congress on Law and Medicine in 1985 and was the Member of the International Panel of Chief Justices on Genetic Technology in Seoul in 1987. He remained the president of the Indian Law Institute from 1986 to 1989. He is remembered for a number of judgments in the field of tax laws and constitutional law.

10th RKML – 2003

Topic: Paradigms of Disintegration and Harmony

During the past two centuries rapid advancement of science and technology has played a very crucial role in transforming human society. Since the beginning of the twentieth century researches in the domain of atomic and sub-atomic word, nuclear power, space, lasers, superconductivity, biotechnology and genetic engineering, medicine, cybernetics, information and communication technology etc. have been successfully used for producing mind boggling affluence and unprecedented levels of consumption.
But, despite all this success story, n the last decade of the twentieth century and in the beginning of the twenty-first century human society finds itself engulfed in a multidimensional crisis. It is a crisis which encompasses all aspects of human life-social, political, techno-economic, cultural and spiritual. All nations whether rich or poor are troubled nations and are undergoing serious stresses and strains. Mankind is witnessing an unprecedented fragmentation of society and atomization of family; tremendous rise in crime, violence, widespread terrorism and religious bigotry; rising trend natural environment and consequent climatic changes; increasing economic disparities between nations and between groups within a society and numerous other psychological disturbances the tragedy is further heightened by the fact that with all the scientific discoveries and technological advancement and sophisticated tools of analysis at hand the modern expert is unable to resolve the divergent components of the complex of world problems. This is the predicament which has engulfed mankind today.

Brief bio of the speaker: Professor Murli Manohar Joshi
Murli Manohar Joshi is a veteran politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). During the Emergency period in India, Joshi was in jail from 26 June 1975 until the Lok Sabha elections in 1977. He is one of the founding members of the party. A three-term MP from Allahabad before he was defeated in the Lok Sabha elections of May 2004, Joshi won election to the 15th Lok Sabha from Varanasi as a BJP candidate. He later contested from Kanpur and won from the constituency by a margin of 223,000 votes. That year, Modi-led BJP put Murli Manohar Joshi and L K Advani in the ‘Margdarshak Mandal.’
He was formerly a professor of Physics in Allahabad University. He was one of the key leader of the BJP. Joshi later became the Union Human Resources Development minister in the National Democratic Alliance government. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award, in 2017 by the Government of India.

9th RKML – 2003

Topic: Kabir Ke Sadhna Ka Mool Swaroop: Nirgun Bhakti

Brief bio of speaker: Professor Vishnukant Shastri
He was a professor of Hindi, Calcutta University & Former Governor of Himachal Pradesh. He was a Member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1977. He went on to become one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980 and a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1992. He was appointed Governor of Himachal Pradesh. He was also the former Governor of Uttar Pradesh. His publications included ‘Kavi Nirala Ki Kavya Vedna Tatha Anya Nibandh’ ‘Kuch Chandan Ki Kuch Kapur Ki’ ‘Chintan Mudra’ ‘Anuchintan’ (literary criticism) ‘Tulsi Ke Hiye Heyri’ (essay on Tulsidas) His translations include ‘Upma Kalidasasya’ (Bangla to Hindi), ‘Sankalp-Santras-Sankalp’ (Poetic translation of Fiery poems of Bangla Desh) and ‘Mahatma Gandhi Ka Samaj Darshan’ (English to Hindi). His awards include Acharya Ramchandra Shukla Puruskar by U.P. Government on his book ‘Kuch Chandan Ki Kuch Kapur Ki ‘ in 1972-73, U.P. Government’s State Literary Award on his book ‘Bangla Desh Ke Sandarbh Mein’ in 1974-75 , Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Samman and Rajrishi Tandon Hindi Sevi Samman to name a few.

8th RKML – 2000

Topic: Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge

Abstract: What is the nature of Consciousness? What we understand by Science? How are they related? These are the three basic questions I propose to discuss in the presentation.There is a special reason for choosing the central theme of the relation between Science and Consciousness on the occasion of Radhakrishnan memorial lecture at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Radhakrishnan was a leading philosopher of his time, deeply familiar with the main issues of Indian thought and religion, and has written extensively in English language having the western audience, modern age, and scientific questions in view. Most of his influential works of lasting value were written between the two World Wars when Relativistic Physics, Quantum Mechanics and, under their dominating influence, Scientific Philosophy had their hey days. One’s presentation of one’s view is determined, among other things, by the assumed target group, its basic questions and problems, cultural settings, and historical context.
At the outset I must say that I do not propose to give an exposition of Radhakrishnan’s thought which is available elsewhere and from the pen of numerous competent scholars, Indian and Euro-American.1 Instead, what I intend to do is this. Bearing Radhakrishnan’s philosophical, religious and scientific concerns in the back of my mind I would primarily present the modern philosopher’s perception of the substantially similar issues in the course of subsequent development of related thoughts.

Brief bio of the speaker: Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya
He had been conferred a D. Litt. (Honoris Causa) by Banaras Hindu University and a few other universities in India and abroad. He was also a National Distinguished Professor at Andhra University, Waltair. Prof. Chattopadhyaya researched, studied and taught at various Universities of India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. He was the founder Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990). He was also the Project Director and General Editor of the multi-disciplinary 78 Volumes Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC), and Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations and since 2000-2009 also the Chairman of Indian Philosophical Congress. Prof. Chattopadhyaya, with his wide knowledge of philosophy, political theory, economics, history, and science was one of the propounders of interdisciplinary studies in the country. Some of his publications include Individuals and Societies (1967), Individuals and Worlds (1976), Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988), Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990), Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991), Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997), Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000), and Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002). Besides, he had published nearly 300 research papers, discussions and book reviews in various Journals, anthologies and encyclopedias. He was also the Editor of a reputed National periodical SANDHAN the Journal of Centre for Studies in Civilizations, New Delhi. Lokāyata is considered Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya’s magnum opus, a pioneering exploration of the history of materialist thought in ancient India. This work not only established his reputation but subsequently provided a rationale for the need to re-position the schools of Indian philosophical thought in terms of their internal diversity, the range of philosophical problems addressed and the ‘family resemblances’ between the schools.

7th RKML – 1998

Topic: Science, Technological Development and the Human Condition

Brief bio of speaker:Professor M.G.K. Menon

Former Director, General CSIR, New Delhi. He joined TIFR in 1955 “essentially because of Bhabha” and the association lasted nearly five decades. M.G.K. Menon was the chairman of ISRO in 1972. He was a member of the Planning Commission (1982–1989), Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister (1986–1989) and Vice-President, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) (1989–1990). He was elected as a member of parliament (Rajya Sabha) during 1990–96. He was the President of Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta (1990- 2016). Prof. Menon took his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, UK in 1953, He has a large number of honorary doctorates from universities in India and abroad. Prof. Menon was Fellow of all the three Science Academies in India; and was President of each one of them. Prof. Menon has done Scientific Work in Cosmic Rays, Particle Physics and was distinguished for investigations in the field of cosmic ray studies and in particular on the high-energy inter-actions of elementary particles.

6th RKML – 1997

Topic: The Place of Tradition in Sociological Enquiry

Tradition enters into sociological enquiry in two distinct though related ways. The first concerns the nature of tradition as a set of beliefs and practices, and their various forms in different places and at different times. The second concerns the tradition of sociological enquiry itself, its unity and diversity, and its roots in one or another general cultural or national tradition. Given the fact that there are several cultural and national traditions, is it possible or even desirable to have one single body of sociological concepts and methods to be applied to the interpretation and explanation of the entire range of social phenomena the world over? Thus, the topic I have chosen relates to the content as well as the method of sociological enquiry.
Of the two, it seems to me that the issue of method is the more difficult and the more contentious one. It is also an issue that is in some sense inescapable in the discipline of sociology. For, unlike economics and some other disciplines, sociology is, along with history, closely concerned with the understanding and interpretation of tradition. But, unlike history, sociology is comparative by deliberate choice; it cannot confine its attention to any single tradition as a unique and self-contained system, but must examine the similarities and differences among traditions. It is therefore important to ask how far the sociological method can detach itself from given historical and cultural traditions so as to examine all traditions in an objective and unbiased way.

Brief bio of speaker: Professor Andre Beteille
André Béteille is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Delhi and one of the leading social theorists in India today. Based in the Delhi School of Economics at the University of Delhi, Professor Béteille has also taught in Oxford, Cambridge, Chicago and the LSE. He is renowned for his studies of caste, inequality and social stratification in India. One may also add that in 1992 in recognition of his high scholarly contributions to the field of sociology he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy – a distinction that rarely comes to an Indian and that too to a sociologist. In 2005, in recognition of his work in the field of sociology and his distinguished service to the nation, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India. His books include Caste Class and Power: Changing Patterns of Stratification in a Tanjore Village (1965), Castes: Old and New: Essays in Social Structure and Social Stratification (1969), Inequality and Social Change (1972), Studies in Agrarian Social Structure (1974), Inequality among Men (1977), The Backward Classes and the New Social Order (1981), The Idea of Natural Inequality and other Essays (1983), Essays in Comparative Sociology (1987), Society and Politics in India: Essays in a Comparative Perspective (1991), Antinomies of Society: Essays on Ideologies and Institutions (2000), Sociology: Essays on Approach and Method (2002), Equality and Universality: Essays in Social and Political Theory (2003), Marxism and Class Analysis (2007).

5th RKML – 1996

Topic: How Philosophy Makes the Stoic Sage Tranquil: A Lesson for our Times

As you know, I am a scholar of Greek Philosophy, so I am counting on learning from you about Indian Philosophy. My mother used to visit Radhakrishnan in his rooms in Oxford but I never had the privilege of meeting him. I did have the privilege of knowing as a friend Bimal Matilal, who was his indirect successor in that Chair in Oxford, and indeed it was through the generosity of Bimal Matilal and his widow Karabi Matilal that a lectureship in Indian Philosophy was created in King’s College, London.
Radhakrishnan and Matilal tried to explain Indian philosophy to the West by different means. Radhakrishnan espoused the absolute idealism which had been very central to English philosophy at the turn of the century. Bimal Matilal, however, was an exponent of analytic philosophy and he was trying to show how much Indian Philosophy has in common with modern Western analytic philosophy. There are many people in this room who are carrying on that tradition. But I think it is important to ask ourselves, ‘How wide is Western analytic philosophy?’, because it has sometimes been given a very narrow definition. I will take just one example from a very excellent philosopher, Professor Bernard Williams. He has recently said that rigorous philosophy is not something which could ever help people with their emotions. Philosophy is not meant to do that; it is meant to be rigorous. He has applied this point in particular to the Greek philosophers I am going to talk about, the Stoics. He says it is extraordinary that there should have been an age in which people believed that rigorous analytic philosophy could help you to cope with your emotions.1 I disagree with that and the Stoics disagree with that. What I am going to argue to-day is that the Ancient Greek Stoics were extremely rigorous in analytic philosophy. They offered an analysis of what the emotions are. I believe that analysis was more rigorous than any modern analysis of emotion in Western philosophy, and yet their motive for giving an analysis of emotion was that you should learn how to cope with your own emotions. Seneca, one of the ancient Stoics says that it would be quite pointless to analyse exactly what anger is, unless the analysis helps you to cope with anger.2 I believe that rigorous analysis of what the emotions are should indeed help you to cope with your own emotions. If I am right this expands the area for comparison between Indian philosophy and Western analytic philosophy, because on the conception that Williams has expressed, Western analytic philosophy will be a comparatively narrow thing, so only some portion of Indian philosophy will be comparable. But I do not believe that over the centuries Western analytic philosophy has been so narrow, and if not, the possibilities of comparison are much wider.

Brief bio of speaker: Professor R.R.K. Sorabji
Sir Richard Rustom Kharsedji Sorabji, CBE, FBA (born 8 November 1934) is a British historian of ancient Western philosophy, and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at King’s College London. Sorabji was President of the Aristotelian Society from 1985 to 1986 and founded the international Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project in 1987. He became a fellow of the British Academy in 1989. He founded the King’s College Centre for Philosophical Studies between 1989 and 1991. He was Director of the Institute of Classical Studies from 1991 to 1996 and British Academy Research Professor at Oxford from 1996 to
1999. Sorabji was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1999 for his services to ancient philosophy, and knighted in the 2014. His publications include Aristotle on Memory (1972) , Articles on Aristotle, with J. Barnes and M. Schofield, Vol. 1: Science, Vol. 2: Ethics and Politics, Vol. 3: Metaphysics, Vol. 4: Psychology and Aesthetics (1975–79) , Necessity, Cause and Blame (1980) , Time, Creation and the Continuum (1983), Ed. Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science (1987; enlarged ed. 2, 2008), Matter, Space and Motion (1988).

4th RKML – 1995

Topic: Social, Coordination, Egoism and Nature

Anyone undertaking a lecture bearing this honourable name must feel a great burden upon him or her. It is not for me to remind you of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s distinction not only as a philosopher, but as an historian and a statesman. Nor, unhappily, is it for me to continue the work to which he so laudably devoted so much time: the reconciliation of strands in Indian and in Western thought, for that takes an immersion in each culture that I cannot pretend to imitate. What I wish to do instead is to take up a particular theme: the relationship of the spiritual to the ethical life of people, and their relationship in turn to the social bonds that make up political society. In doing so I hope to say something not only of philosophical interest, but also to anyone concerned about the problems of justice in a pluralist, and secular society.
It is of course commonplace to contrast the spirituality of former times or different places with the ‘crass materialism’ of the consumer societies that we live in, and of which western societies form the most spectacular examples. But while crass materialism is, obviously, crass, the legacies of the West and East include more that is of value. One of the things they include is the liberal ideal of toleration and impartiality, eventually embodied in the constitutional neutrality of the state between different religious conceptions of the good. The founders of Indies constitution who made India a secular state were surely influenced by this typically Enlightenment ideal. A just constitution, in a recent formula, is made of principles which could not reasonably be rejected ‘by parties who, in addition to their own personal aims, were moved by a desire to find principles that others similarly motivated could also accept.’2 The formula models an ideal of impartiality in terms of the possibility of a rational contract. Impartiality of course does not mean, as Bernard Williams sometimes seems to represent it, failing to give proper priority to one’s own personal projects, or failing to make close links with one’s immediate family, or failing to find their safety or their benefits of more importance than those of others. On the contrary, it is precisely to regulate such natural partialities that the sphere of justice exists. Impartiality merely means delineating an area within which personal concerns are situated—a respect for the property of others, the contracts made with them, the rights they can legitimately claim against legal and private violence, theft, and deception. Constitutionally, any principle of state favouring a partisan conception of what is worth aiming for is to be ruled out. So, for example, principles favouring the adherents of just one religion amongst many could reasonably be accepted by adherents of the others, and would therefore fail the test. This is what is meant by saying that liberalism is neutral between different conceptions of the good.

Brief bio of speaker: Professor Simon Blackburn
Simon Blackburn FBA is an English academic philosopher known for his work in metaethics, where he defends quasi-realism, and in the philosophy of language; more recently, he has gained a large general audience from his efforts to popularise philosophy. He is well regarded as a proponent of a distinctive approach to ethics and a defender of neo-Humean views on a variety of topics. During his long career, he has taught at Oxford University, Cambridge University, and University of North Carolina, He retired as the professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge in 2011, but remains a distinguished research professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, teaching every fall semester. He is also a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a member of the professoriate of New College of the Humanities. He was previously a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford and has also taught full-time at the University of North Carolina as an Edna J. Koury Professor. He is a former president of the Aristotelian Society, having served the 2009–2010 term. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2002 and a Foreign Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2008. His major works include Reason and Prediction (1973), Spreading the Word (1984) – a text, Being Good (2001), Lust (2004), Mirror, Mirror (2014).

3rd RKML – 1994

Topic: Education in Health Sciences: Relevance and Excellence

Radhakrishnan was a pluri-potent personality, in which were interwoven the strands of history and philosophy, religion and culture, education and ethics, statesmanship and scholarship, and above all, profound humanism of a sublime dimension.
It is indeed rare in the history of our civilization that symbolic representation of Plato’s vision of philosopher-kings has been transcribed into real life. Although Marcus Aurelius in the West, and Rajarishi Maharaja Janak in the East, could well be the embodiments of Plato’s vision—they were king-philosophers, not philosopher-kings. In contrast, Radhakrishnan was a philosopher par excellence who on his election as the President of India in 1962 brought to fulfillment the cherished hope and the intuitive prophecy of Plato.
There have been two earlier occasions when, directly or indirectly, I was subjected to the profound impact of the personality of Dr. Radhakrishnan. The first was on the 4th February, 1963 when Dr. Radhakrishnan delivered the address at the First Convocation of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences when I received my doctorate in medicine having graduated five years earlier from Medical College, Amritsar. Emphasizing the responsibilities enjoined on those who received their degrees at the First Convocation, Dr. Radhakrishnan highlighted the primacy of health and the responsibilities of the Institution towards its achievement. He said: Health is a prime necessity. People who are lacking in health are enslaved by diseases and other consequent factors. We, therefore, should do our utmost to promote the health of our people. We are doing our best and yet we have a very long distance to travel; and an institution like this, which specializes in quality, will certainly help to spread the advantages of medical sciences and surgery in this country.

Brief bio of speaker: Professor J.S. Bajaj
Dr Jasbir Singh Bajaj was an eminent Indian physician, diabetologist, medical educationist, orator par excellence, a visionary and health policy planner. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, for his outstanding contribution to the medical sciences and research, and his efforts to improve the healthcare delivery system. Professor Bajaj was the first scientist from outside Europe and the USA to be elected as the President of International Diabetes Federation (1985-88) and on completion of his 3-year term as President, he was elected as Honorary President (for life) of the Federation in 1988. Earlier he was decorated with the Padma Shri in 1981 and the Padma Bhushan in 1982. He was a member (health) of the Planning Commission with the rank of Minister of state in 1991–98. He joined the AIIMS faculty in 1966 and in 1979 was appointed professor and head of medicine. He was appointed honorary physician to the President of India during 1977-1982 and again from 1987 to 1992. He specialized in endocrinology and was honoured by the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. He was a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London as well as of Edinburgh.

2nd RKML – 1993

Topic: Primary, Secondary and University Education: A Broad Critical Review

Brief bio of speaker: Professor K.N. Raj
He was the former Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi, Delhi. He was an Indian economist. He played an important role in India’s planned development, drafting sections of India’s first Five Year Plan, specifically the introductory chapter when he was only 26 years old. He was a veteran economist in the Planning Commission. He worked out a plan to raise India’s rate of savings in the post-Second World War period when the country was in need of foreign aid. He computed India’s Balance of Payments for the first time for the Reserve Bank of India. Raj was an advisor to several prime ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru to P.V. Narasimha Rao. Dr. Raj was a Keynesian economist. He studied the application of Keynesian monetary theory in Indian context.

1st RKML – 1991

Topic: On the Alleged Unity of Religions

Abstract:Is religion, rightly understood, unique? Or, it is by its very nature diverse? These questions are being debated and discussed endlessly and inconclusively. As a matter of fact or,sociologically speaking, that there are many religions like Hinduism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, can hardly be denied. But, as a matter of principle, one is free to assert, as it has been asserted, that all religions are only apparently diverse but really or essentially same. The former, that is, relativistic view of religion, has been defended, among others, by anthropologists like Evans=Pritchard, sociologists like Max Weber and philosophers like Troeltsch. The latter view, that is, the essential unity of religions, has also its numerous proponents like Hegel, Schleiermacher, Tagore, Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan. According to the pluralists like Ernst Troeltsch, the earthly experience of the Diving Life is not One but Many. In contrast, the monists like Radhkrishnan are of the view that the difference between religious monism and religious pluralism rest on the difference, but not sharp division, between ‘God as He is’ and God as He seems to us.

Brief bio of the speaker: Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya
He had been conferred a D. Litt. (Honoris Causa) by Banaras Hindu University and a few other Universities in India and abroad. He was also a National Distinguished Professor at Andhra University, Waltair. Prof. Chattopadhyaya researched, studied and taught at various Universities of India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. He was the founder Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990). He was also the Project Director and General Editor of the multi-disciplinary 78 Volumes Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC), and Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations and since 2000-2009 also the Chairman of Indian Philosophical Congress. Prof. Chattopadhyaya, with his wide knowledge of philosophy, political theory, economics, history, and science was one of the propounders of interdisciplinary studies in the country. Some of his publications include Individuals and Societies (1967), Individuals and Worlds (1976), Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988), Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990), Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991), Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997), Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000), and Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002). Besides, he had published nearly 300 research papers, discussions and book reviews in various Journals, anthologies and encyclopedias. He was also the Editor of a reputed National periodical SANDHAN the Journal of Centre for Studies in Civilizations, New Delhi.