Address by Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, Honourable Vice President during Rajanaka Puraskar ceremony held at KTDC Samudra, Kovalam Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on March 8, 2024.

Kerala | March 8, 2024

My greetings to everyone present here.

Dr. R Ramanand, director and distinguished audience. It is a privilege for me and honour for me because we live in a society where the belief in our culture, the belief in our civilisational ethos, recognition of Scholars indicates depth of our Civilisation. This recognition is spinal strength of our Society and It helps us grow holistically.

What is more important is, that the recognition must be of scholarship of scholars in authentic manner.

It is very satisfying and gratifying to note that the two eminent scholars are being honoured today. It is indeed and honour to the society. It is honor to all of us. They are being honoured for the real good work they have done connecting north and east re- discovering our civilizational depth. I congratulate both the scholars for their service to humanity and particularly to the subject to which they are.

After you heard the Hon’ble governor, I thought to be little more relevant, I therefore, would be reading a part of supreme Court judgement that was render about 30 years ago on the railways of Sanskrit language but that they are judgement reflects on culture importance of culture. This is from the judgement of supreme Court.

“A professor of Cambridge University is deeply engrossed in his studies in his clam chamber. An agitated English soldier enters the study room and accuses the professor in not sharing the trauma of war which he and many others like him are facing while fighting Germans. The professor calmly asks the young soldier for whom he is fighting for. Quick conies the reply that it is to defend the country. The wise man wants to know what is that country to defend which he is prepared to shed his blood. The soldier replies it is the territory and its people. On further questioning the soldier says it is not only this but the culture of the country which he wants to defend. The professor quietly states that he is contributing to that culture. The soldier clams down and bows in respect to the professors and vows to defend with more vigour the cultural heritage of his country.”

Friends, this quote from supreme Court capture the sense what culture is. If a civilisation has to thrive, its culture has to thrive. A nation is known not by its boundaries or by infrastructure but by depth of its culture..

I am therefore so glad and happy to note that this incident this moment this occasion celebrates two of the great scholars extraordinary scholarship vetted to a particular course. My congratulations.

Friends, what aa coincident! three important events have taken place today:

1.     my greetings to all of you for Mahashivratri an important occasion.

2.     International women's day and look at the background. Just few months ago on kartavya path on 75th republic day what did we witness? We witnessed power of our women's, women lead development and On this great day, comes a soothing news, more soothing to be the Chairman of Rajyasabha. A position which I hold by virtue of being the Vice-President of the country.

Dr. Sudha Murthy, An illustrious woman dedicated to social progress and committed to development of vulnerable sections of society has been nominated to Rajya Sabha by President of India-herself a tribal woman. This marks that our country is changing for the better. This event, this nomination indicates we are on the right track.

3.     Friends I remember by the sublimity of  occasion – Kashmiri Shaiv tradition is being celebrated  in these holy Land of Adi Shankaracharya - a great unifier of spirit and idea of Bharat.

‘Rajanaka’ (राजनका) awards - ancient title symbolising the union of power and wisdom - honours scholars of Kashmir Shaivism and celebrates the enduring intellectual and spiritual unity of India.

The honour which have been bestowed today to Dr. Mark Dyczkowski and Dr. Navjivan Rastogi (Padma Shri recipient) for their dedication to Kashmir Shaivism. It is not an honour to them it is an honour to all of us that we are honouring them.

Congratulations to Abhinavagupta Institute of Advance Studies it is not easy friend to work in a field which is so difficult you have to work against challenges I am so happy to note that the institute has really engaged in reviving the age old linkage that was marked by Adi Shankaracharya’s journey to Kashmir,  by bringing Trika Darshan of Kashmir Shaivism back to Kerala.

It is not an easy task, I congratulate everyone associated with this Institute on this great accomplishment.

This eminent Institution promotes advance studies and research striving towards the revival of indigenous intellectual traditions and ancient knowledge systems, the crucial aspects of India's resurgence.

Friends, culture is most impactful unifying force not only for a country but for the entire world.

If we get involved in culture seriously all over the glow we will find peace and harmony culture is ultimate intellect culture is embellishment of a society that distinguishes itself from others. Culture is compassion culture is tolerance when a institute is engaged in this direction we can only comment them, they exemplify the need of our and their success is our success.

Friends, Our nation's 5000 years old civilisational ethos has always been infused with spiritual oneness, transcending diversities.

Not many people are aware, because the Constitution which boys and girls read in Law Colleges or the Constitution which Lawyers use in courts does not contain a very fundamental part of Indian Constitution, and that is 20 old miniatures.

If you look at the Constitution signed by the members of Constituent Assembly, You will find these miniatures reflecting our five thousand years old civilisational ethos. From Gurukul, Indus Valley Civilisation, Ramayana the scene in Part 3 of the Constitution-Fundamental Rights: It has Ram, Laxman and Sita coming back to Ayodhya.

If we go to Directive Principles of State Policy, we find Lord Krishna giving his discourse and advice to Arjun at Kurukshetra and so on.

Our ageless unity is reflected in our one of the often missed aspect of our Constitution.

The event in Kerala, with its 13 Kali temples still following Kashmir Shaivism, exemplifies the deep integration of India's spirit from Kashmir to the Kerala. It also underlines the age old intellectual interactions between Kashmir and Kerala.

It's vital to explore and rediscover our traditional knowledge systems, combating prejudices against them.

There are some people I will call them cynical. They are the perfect recipe for chaos. They raise questions and those questions have to be negated by us.

Dismissing our traditional knowledge as unscientific archaic superstition without its study is only a lazy prejudice that lacks knowledge, understanding of culture, born out of ignorance and not a desire to learn the right things. 

Such prejudice against Indian Knowledge Systems in certain sections of academic discourse, is contrary to the concept of modern scientific temper.

Friends, let me invite your attention to our constitution prescriptions. If you go to fundamental duties or we go to Directive Principles of State Policy, you will find there is prominence given to culture, our heritage and the need to preserve it. When we speak in our constitution equitable distribution of wealth, that for ages have been our cultural essence.

As a matter of fact it was nectar of our Civilization but I must share with you a great concern of the times and the concern is that we are living in a time when iconic status in granted to people on the bases which are baffling.  We don't question why they are called so and these iconic figures trade on ignorance of the people, monitising there ignorance to gain mileage.

Time has come when we must deeply analyse and this is a befitting occasion. No soul in 1.4 billion will have a second thought on the recognition we have been bestowed today. In recent times, we have seen that are civilian awards, the Padma awards after their given to the people who are not known in the society, there is one response, it has been given to the right people. Mr Rastogi is one such person.

I there for call up on you that we must question that those who have been given iconic status by media by event management and otherwise and who day in and day out try to set afloat narrators that seeks to run down are civilization, our constitutional institutions, they decry our growth we must neutralize them.

This Institute of Advanced Studies is doing the path breaking job and I am sure other Institutions will also come forward that in their domains of concerns we pick up people who merit it. The moment we honor those who need to be honoured will conclude we are honoring the society at large.

A Society gross on certain Premises, a society cannot grow when you have dense of corruption, a society cannot grow when you have privileged Pedigree, a society cannot grow when we are economically sliding down. A society can never grow when young impressionable minds lose hope and look at the scenario the country have today. There can't be a more upbeat mood in the country.

Our Young people, bright minds today can avail opportunities because our society today is governed by rule of law, level playing field, equality of law. There can be no democratic value and there can be no survival of culture if there is no equality before law there are no equal opportunities for all. Some people think they are more privileged as of right. They have right to opposition of power and opportunity, a government job or contract, then you have a culture where deserving are being deprived. That culture which was bane of Society for long is a matter of fast and therefore an ideal platform for a culture to grow.

The second important facet that is fundamental to the growth of our culture is this society free from corruption? All of you must have seen a time when nothing without greasing hands of some the middleman, the liaison agents. The power corridor were controlled by them, there was a tight control and now that is a matter of past.

Look at my third point we are on the path of progress, the countries on the Rise like never before, the rise is unstoppable. Thanks to the hard work of our people farmers those and industry and trade, government policy, visionary leadership that are already now third global purchasing power. In terms of global economy we are fifth. We are ahead of Canada UK and France.

Matter of time in 2-3 years we will be the third largest global economy ahead of Japan and Germany. I am saying so for this that this is the right time for her culture to really developed.

It was absolutely amazing satisfying experience to me that G20 when the Hon’ble Prime Minister received the foreign guest. Look at the backdrop the Konark temple, the entire world came to see it and when the heads of the states walk through the gallery, they witnessed our 5000 years old civilization and that is what has changed India.

Culture according to me, friends, is a very important facet of diplomacy. It is the most effective diplomatic weapon. I have seen it myself. When you go to some countries, the connect is generated by the cultural relationships you have had. So that is the aspect I have indicated.

Come to the next point I have indicated. Our recognition is not self a claimed. Accolades for our development, for our economic rise are emanating from world organisations. International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Economic Forum, what I mean to say, right now is the right time, so that we need to be deeply involved with our cultural ethos. Let us spare sometime to see that our cultural values flourish and blossom.

Look around the globe, not many countries can boost of Civilization depth of 500 years 1000 years or 2000 years but here is a country home to 1/6th of the humanity where the cultural depth is more than 5000 years.

The entire world rejoiced when we had consecration of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. We demonstrated two things. First, we believe in our cultural identity at the same time will believe in legal regime and that is why it has been the most acceptable development bringing an end to 5 centuries of pain.

When we look around what has happened in our country. Look at infrastructure growth rail Road connectivity, it has been transformed beyond imagination and when we come to other aspects our digital penetration  is one of the best in the world. Our platform like UPI are being adopted by other Nations but all these is in terms of infrastructure in terms of economy but human peace, peace of soul satisfaction, comes when you resonate with culture.

I am sure we will spare time to devote more on our culture and I know the depth of it. As governor state of West Bengal I headed Eastern Zone Cultural Centre and I can say I was so ignorant about it. In the process I have to deal with not only West Bengal but eat other states.

So I urge young minds I call up on corporates, I call upon Academia that while they must focus on matters of moment they must never ignore our cultural wealth. They must never ignore that our cultural wealth is not only to be preserved not only to be sustained, it has to grow and Blossom.

Friends, I am happy and delighted to be amidst all of you. I know Mr Nand Kumar ji for more than two decades. He is a very learned man. I have heard him always with attention. Every word he spoke today was so well prepared so thorough and full of depth. I have no doubt when such talented people are associated with the institute of this repute, the object of the institute is going to be optimally achieved.

My best wishes to all of you!

Once again greetings to all on Mahashivratri and to the women in particular!

International Women's Day, India is the epicentre of women led empowerment.

You cannot imagine what a milestone achievement it was in September 2023 when the one third reservation was given to women in Lok Sabha and state legislatures. So be prepared. I'll our culture will be safe hands because women will be more and more involved in policy making.

Thank you so much!

I am grateful for your time!