The Ayodhya debate was unnecessary a talk by Shri. Koenraad Elst

The Ayodhya debate was unnecessary: Koenraad Elst The talk ‘Ayodhya Verdict : How the History will judge it?’ was delivered by Shri Koenraad Elst, the noted indologist and historian, at Vivekananda International Foundation on 14th December 2010 as part of its monthly talk series Vimarsha. The function was presided by Shri. K.N. Bhat, the eminent lawyer who represented the Ram Lala Virajman, (the deity at Ayodhya temple), in the Ayodhya title suit in Allahabad High court.

Education As A Fudamental Right And Means To Nation Building: A talk by Mr. Sushil Tripathi, former Secretary Education

Mr. Sushil Tripathi, former Secretary Education spoke on the subject of “Education as a Fundamental Right and Means to Nation Building”, at the VIF Auditorium on 28 September 2010. Introducing the speaker and the subject, the Director, Mr. Doval said the real power of a nation today is measured in terms of knowledge. Education bridges the gap between being and becoming. Today, the country is seized with the idea of giving a new impetus to education.

Vimarsha on : Importance of Governance in India’s Future with Dr. Mahesh N Buch

The eminent and highly respected Civil Servant, Dr. Mahesh N Buch gave a very spirited talk on the Importance of Governance in India’s Future, at the VIF Auditorium on 30 Aug 10. He highlighted the role of decisive leaders like Margaret Thatcher who displayed the will to govern. He lamented that in India, slogans have replaced programmes. He spoke of his extensive stints as an Administrator in the tribal Bastar regions and highlighted the painful lack of delivery and development.

CIVILISATIONAL IMPERATIVES & INDIA'S NATION BUILDING a talk with Mr Jagmohan, the fiesty former governor of J&K

Mr Jagmohan, the fiesty former governor of J&K gave an impassioned talk on Civilisational Imperatives and India's Nation Building at the VIF on 29 July,2010. He defined civilisation as the manifestation of the intellectual, cultural, social and moral attainments of a community. He then evaluated India's civilisational developement in these terms. Very pertinently he asked- the freedom struggle had thrown up a large number of stalwarts and great leaders. Why have we failed to produce great thinkers and reformers in the post- independence era? He dilated upon his own efforts for reforming the Vaishno Devi Shrine which today attracts over 80 lakh pilgrims a year (up from just 5 lakhs in 1990) and to encourage research on the Saraswati River and Vedic civilisation. He spoke of the need to revisit the core of Hinduism - that life is all divinity and we are aspects of that divinity. There is a need to go back to the Vedic/Upanishadic roots of Hinduism today and purge it of subsequent malpractices/distorted customs.

Strategic and Tactical Response to Left Extremism: Problems & Possibilities

“We should not fall into the false perception that the Maoists today have deviated from the original ideology of Mao and have become hoodlums and extortionists, but should realise that they have moved closer to the original thought and strategy of capturing a nation’s power through violence” said Vishwaranjan, DGP of the most highly Naxal affected state of India – Chhattisgarh. He was speaking at a discussion ‘Strategic and Tactical Response to Left Extremism: Problems & Possibilities’, at VIF on May 29, 2010. He said that the strategy used in Andhra Pradesh to contain Naxalism may not be effective now in other states as the Maoists strategy has advanced from guerrilla warfare to mobile warfare. Praveen Swami,Lt.Gen JFR Jacob,R.K.Khandelwal were the other speakers.

Developing National Consensus on Critical Issues a talk with Mr Manish Tewari & Dr. Chandan Mitra

A very interesting and thought provoking session on "How to develop National Consensus on Critical National Issues" was held on 10 May 2010 at the VIF.The two speakers were Mr Manish Tewari, the articulate Member of Parliament from the Indian National Congress (Party spokesperson) and Dr. Chandan Mitra, former Member of the Rajya Sabha , Editor and Managing Director Pioneer and member of National Executive of BJP. Mr Mitra highlighted the need for consensus building in three primary areas - National Security, Foreign Policy and Macro-Economic Issues. He felt that the structure of Indian politics had become bipolar. The two main national parties must devise mechanisms for consensus building in these key areas. Ideological differences however would remain. Manish Tewari of the Congress presented the contra argument. He felt that the essence of democracy was plurality of opinion. It went beyond listening to a dogged majority but allowed space for a creative minority. That said, he felt there is a congruence on major national issues even though we may quibble on issues of tactics/ execution.

Climate Change Negotiations : The Challenge for Indian Diplomacy a talk by Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary

Shri Ajit Doval, Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation, Ambassador Satish Chandra, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I am honoured that the Foundation has invited me to speak at its monthly lecture and give me an opportunity to interact with a very distinguished audience. Let me also congratulate the Foundation on the initiative it has taken to promote a broad-ranging and informed civil society discourse on a range of issues that impact on India’s national interest

No place is better than India for Muslims : Maulana Mahmood Madani

Maulana Mahmood Madani, leader of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, and member of the Rajya Sabha, said that there is no better place than India for the Muslims. He was delivering a talk on “Terrorism: Response of Indian Ulema” on February 21, 2010 at VIF.

China: Dimensions of Threats to India: Dr. Subramanian Swamy

The former Union Minister and China scholar, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, delivered a talk at the Vivekananda International Foundation on the topic ‘China: Dimension of Threats to India’. He highlighted five dimensions of potential military threats from China and discussed the vulnerabilities of China.

The Rise of Indian Military Power & Evolution of an Indian Strategic Culture a book by Major Gen G D Bakshi

‘The Rise of Indian Military Power & Evolution of an Indian Strategic Culture’ a book by Major Gen G D Bakshi was launched by General Shankar Roychowdhury at the VIF auditorium on December 17, 2009. The book does a detailed examination of the India’s defence strategy and its evolution throughout the history of India.

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