Infinity Foundation India Activity Report: FY 2019 (1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019)

Infinity Foundation India was incorporated in Aug 2016 at Chennai with the aim to carry out activities conducive to the character of the Indian Nation and to the advancement of national integrity, education which will help build an Indian civilizational grand narrative. There are four tracks of activities:

  • Original R&D/book publishing on various topics on Indian civilization and culture
  • Swadeshi Indology Conference series: This conference is intended to take up the subject matters and produce more scholarship and publish more books. The idea is to build a Home Team of intellectuals of the highest standard.
  • E-learning: Through this track, IFI develops courses based on topics where it has research leadership.
  • Outreach. This includes popular level mass distribution, using media and social media.

Areas of research include:

  • Development of Indian Grand Narrative
  • History of Indian Science and Technology
  • Dharmic critique of 5 waves of Indology – Socialism/ Marxism, Postcolonial studies, Postmodernism, Subalternism, Neocolonialism
  • Digestion/ Appropriation, U-turn Theory and Western Universalism
  • Sanskrit Non-Translatables book proposals from various subject areas
    • Dance
    • Music
    • Arts
    • Yoga
    • Ayurveda
    • Linguistics

Swadeshi Indology Conference Series

The Swadeshi Indology (“SI”) Conference series has been envisioned to counter the 250-year-old narrative of Western Indology, the genre of Orientalism that focuses on India. As is well known, Western Indology helped formulate and legitimize the British colonial policies and played a very crucial role in the successful colonization and oppression of the Indian peoples. The Swadeshi Indology Conference Series and publications intend to analyze and respond to the well-orchestrated, systematic attack on:

  • the foundational elements (the Veda-s, Upanishad-s, Itihasa-s, and Puraṇa-s),
  • the living principles (the purushartha-s and the varṇashrama system),
  • the cultural manifestations (shastra-s, kavya-s, and kala-s) and
  • the sacredness of the still living articulations (art, temples, kumbha-mela, festivals, family and social-structures)

From 2016 till date, IFI has conducted 5 SI conferences on various issues pertaining to the advancement of national integrity, education and the building of an Indian civilizational narrative.

Karnāṭaka Śāstrīya Saṅgīta: Its Past, Present and Future

In the year FY2019 (1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019), the fifth Swadeshi Indology Conference titled “Karnāṭaka Śāstrīya Saṅgīta: Its Past, Present and Future” was organized by Infinity Foundation India in collaboration with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts – Regional Centre, Bengaluru. The day-long conference was held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru on Saturday, 30th March 2019.

Objective: Its objective was to reaffirm the Sanātana Dhārmic roots of the Karnatic music heritage and the centrality of bhakti therein, in the wake of the various disruptive narratives afoot aiming to delink its sacred aspect, and projecting it not only as a mere secular art but also delineating its sacredness as the very tool of oppression.

Details: The conference began with the Nāgasvara recital of Viduṣī Prabhavati and Vidvān Palanivel. It inaugurated with the lighting of the lamp by Paramapūjya Śrī Śrī Yadugiri Yatirāja Jīyar Swāmiji, Padma Bhushan awardee Dr. R. Nagaswamy, Mohandas Pai and Dr. Sumathi Krishnan. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education and a philanthropist, gave a rousing address regarding cultural appropriation and the multiple dimensions of attacks on our civilization. Some of the scholars and academicians who presented their papers:

  • Tyagaraja’s Philosophy and Rebuttal of Allegations – Dr. Korada Subrahmanyam
  • The Music of Muttusvami Dikshita – A window into his personality – Vid. Gayathri Girish
  • The Non-translatables of (South) Indian Music – Vid. K. Vrinda Acharya
  • Experimentation in Carnatic Music: How far is too far – Dr. Radha Bhaskar
  • Role of Patronage in Carnatic Music: Past, Present and Future – Sri Arvind Brahmakal

For more details please visit the SI-5 videos page.

Impact: The conference was a great success and attended by luminaries from the fields of Carnatic music as well as India studies. Some of the important details are given below:

  • 9 prominent scholars presented their research papers and essays
  • There were three session and 1 plenary discussion
  • Audience capacity of over 100 across various sessions
  • Best papers were chosen for publication in Infinity Foundation India’s own Swadeshi Indology journal under “Reclaiming Sanskrit series” and titled “Karnāṭaka Śāstrīya Saṅgīta: Its Past, Present and Future.

Lectures and Educational Videos

Infinity Foundation India was involved in organizing interviews and panel discussion where a wide range of social, economic and cultural issues were discussed.

Discussion with Mohan Bhagwat

In this very important series organized by Infinity Foundation India in New Delhi during July-August 2018, public intellectual Rajiv Malhotra and Mohan Bhagwat, the Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) discuss a range of issues of importance to Indian civilization including:

  • The role of RSS in bringing about national integration
  • The role of women (See Video)
  • How to engage with Muslim community for progress and development

Revival of Vipassana: Buddhist Meditation Technique

In this interesting educational tour of Dhamma Vipula Vipassana Meditation Center near Mumbai in April 2018 and subsequent discussion, prominent industrialist and philanthropist, Vallabh Bhanshali explains how this ancient Buddhist practice could be a universal remedy for universal ills, and how it is helping modern science in latest cutting edge research on neurosciences.