Book discussion on Dharma in Governance authored by Gunjan Pradhan Sinha
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VIF organized an online book discussion on Dharma in Governance: Towards a Welfare State (Aditya Prakashan, 2018) authored by Gunjan Pradhan Sinha on 21 May 2020. The panel included the author, Prof. Arvind Sharma (McGill University), Col. Pradeep K Gautam (USI), Prof. Shashi Prabha Kumar (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan) and Swami Narasimhananda (Ramakrishna Mission). The discussion was moderated by Dr. Arvind Gupta.

Ms. Sinha discussed the relevance of her work, especially in the context of the present world crisis. She emphasized that all actions must be guided by the premise of welfare and sustainability—elements that are in-built in the Indian concept of dharma. The book discusses some key concepts from the repository of Indian ideas that are relevant for the making of public policy today as well as instances where these ideas have been incorporated in the making of some public policies in contemporary India. The book touches upon the concepts of rajadharma and dandaniti from the Mahabharata, yogaksema from the Arthasastra, anekantavada from Jainism, upaya kausalya from Buddhism, and anasaktiyoga from Gandhi.

In his Special Remarks, Prof. Arvind Sharma highlighted the importance of having a welfare policy that can impact the farthest fringe of society. He also highlighted the highly empirical nature of dharma, where its definition is not god-given, but defined and re-defined by human beings in evolving and changing contexts. The other panelists also discussed various aspects of the book. The need to turn to Indian definitions and terms in our discourses was well emphasized in the course of the discussion.

Event Date 
May 21, 2020

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