Major Meetings and Seminars
NATIONAL SEMINAR ON ANNAM BAHU KURVITA
The Centre, in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation of Delhi, organized a seminar at the Parliament House Annex on August 13, 1997, to deliberate upon the work of the Centre regarding the Indian discipline of growing and sharing food in abundance and on the current state of hunger and scarcity prevailing in the country. The seminar was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Agriculture, Sri Chaturanan Mishra, and was attended by high political leaders representing almost all major parties. Those who participated in the seminar included former prime ministers, Sri Chandra Sekhar and Sri Atal Behari Vajapayee; and Sri L. K. Advani, Sri Murli Manohar Joshi, Su Sri Uma Bharati, Sri G. K. Moopanar, Sri Jitendra Prasada, Sri Pranab Mukherji, Sri Nawal Kishore Sharma, Sri D. Raja, Sri Nitish Kumar and Sri Ajit Singh, besides many other parliamentarians, scholars and policy planners.
Held on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Indian independence, and in the benign presence of Sri Kaliyan Vanamamalai Jeeyar Swamiji of Nanguneri, the seminar focused attention on one of the most urgent problems facing the country today, and helped in evolving a consensus on the urgency of the problem.
The high leaders of Indian polity gathered in this seminar approached the issue with extraordinary seriousness and displayed a deep consensus, cutting across all political divides, that India needs to immediately solve the problem of hunger and scarcity of food. Several of the leaders expressed their willingness to undertake whatever effort that might be required of them to achieve this objective. And, it was felt that, having talked about this problem, we could not afford to ignore it any further.
Almost all the speeches made in this seminar are marked by unusual seriousness and candour; each one of them is worth reading.
The proceedings of the Seminar have been compiled and published.
(Read the Proceedings: Food for All)
Other Meetings on the Subject
Sri Jagadguru Ramanujacharya Sri Vasudevacharya organized a meeting on the discipline of abundance and sharing of food at the Sanskrita Mahavidyalaya at Kosalesa Sadan, Ayodhya on April 14, 1997. Besides Sri Vasudevacharyaji, the meeting was addressed by Sri Purushottamacharya of Sugriva Kila and Sri Madhavacharya and Sri Sridharacharya of Asharfi Bhavan. The meeting was held at the instance of Dr. Bajaj and Dr. Srinivas; they also attended the meeting and introduced the issue to the gathering.
Sri Nrityagopal Dasji Maharaj of Ayodhya also organized an evening pravachana on the issue on April 14, 1997; the meeting was addressed by Sri Narayanadas Bhaktimali of Buxar, amongst others.
Sri Ramabhadracharya of Chitrakut was informed about the issue of food and sharing by Dr. J. K. Bajaj on April 15; the Acharya talked about the issue in his pravachana.
In November 1997, the Centre in collaboration with Sri R. K. Mishra of the Observer Research Foundation organized another meeting on the subject at Gurgaon near Delhi in the presence of Jagadguru Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamiji and Sri Vijayendra Saraswati Swamiji of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. The meeting offered another opportunity for the political leaders of India to come together and deepen the consensus on the necessity of substantially improving the production and distribution of food in India that was arrived at the seminar of August 1997. Addressing the gathering, Jagadguru Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamiji called upon the nation to undertake the effort of eliminating hunger and scarcity from India collectively, in the spirit of a second Independence struggle.
The Tamil Version of the publication, Annam Bahu Kurvita was released by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peethadhipati Jagadguru Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamiji at Kanchipuram during the occasion of the fifth Aradhanam celebrations of Sri Mahaswamigal on December 15, 1998 at Kanchipuram. The Acharya gave a discourse on the importance of the recollecting the sanatana dharma of sharing and abundance in the present day India. Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peethacharya Jagadguru Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati Swamiji and Sri Thiruppanandal Adheenam Sri-la-Sri Kasivasi Muthukumar Swamiji also kindly graced the occasion.