Call For Papers : Conference on Hindu Thought On Ethics, Law & Justice

INDICA plans to organize a Hindu Thought on Ethics, Law and Justice conference at Hyderabad on May 27-28 (Fri-Sat), 2022. The primary objective of this conference is to foreground new insights related to ethics, law, and justice from 

1) Hindu primary sources in languages indigenous to the Indian subcontinent (like Sanskrit and Tamil, amongst others) or 

2) published secondary sources in English that have engaged with primary sources of Hinduism. 

Respondents can explore topics such as (but not limited to): 

  1. The evolution of ideas about law, justice, and ethics in Hindu texts
  2. Comparative study of law/justice/ethics across cultures, with a focus on Hindu sources
  3. Contributions of Hindu sources to global intellectual histories of law, justice, and ethics
  4. The relevance of western (so-called) 'modernity' to Hindu thought on law/justice/ethics
  5. Detrimental effects of universalizing Western notions of law, justice, and ethics
  6. Comparative study of aspects of contemporary jurisprudence and historical Hindu sources
  7. Solutions, if any, from ancient Hindu sources to current problems (if any) in jurisprudence
  8. Original critical engagement with published secondary sources related to law, ethics, and justice from Hindu sources

 

Respondents are encouraged to articulate clearly, in the course of their paper, what research questions the essay is looking to address, why those questions merit attention, and what, in their view, is new in their submission. As a result, the paper ought to specify the literature surveyed and how the paper contributes uniquely to it. We will prioritize articles with intriguing new insights and original research. 

We invite abstracts (with titles) of up to 500 words on or before the 25th of April 2022 at namaste@indica.org.in We will notify the authors of selected papers no later than the 30th of April 2022, and submission of entire articles will be due by the 20th of May 2022. 

INDICA will provide shared accommodation, arrange for local transfers in Hyderabad for participants not living in Hyderabad and reimburse domestic air tickets (economy class) for authors of selected articles. The option to present online will be available for scholars of selected papers who cannot travel. The conference will be conducted according to the prevailing COVID protocols and may be shifted to an online mode if required. 

Dr. Nagaraj Paturi, Senior Director of INDICA, and Megh Kalyanasundaram, Director of Special Projects at INDICA, are the curators for this conference. In addition to selected papers, we expect invited talks from experienced academics and practitioners.

Launch of “Center for Indic Studies in Law and Justice” with JPKR Foundation

We are pleased to announce the establishment of “Justice Pamidighantam Kodandaramayya Foundation – Indic Academy” - Centre for Indic Studies in Law and Justice (“CISLJ”).

Vedic thought, apart from guiding​ individuals towards spiritual enlightenment, developed knowledge systems that provide the foundation for social and political order. These knowledge systems encompass procedural and substantial justice and seamlessly integrate the individual, family, society and the State. In addition to Justice, Indian logic is a distinct discipline which provides methods of enquiry into ‘proof of fact’.  These Vedic Schools of thought coupled with Bauddha and Jaina variants have evolved a logic system called ‘navyanyaya’ that offer syllogistic methods of inquiry. These shaastras also explain the method of conducting an argument based in reason.

Colonialism superimposed the western systems of law and governance and that resulted in the Indian knowledge systems being confined to traditional centers of learning and they have been protecting them for generations. These knowledge systems survived the advent of new regimes, religions, cultures and languages in the Indian subcontinent.

The JPKR Foundation is of the view that these knowledge systems have the potential of establishing a society where individuals and institutions are grounded in ‘virtue jurisprudence’ as a constitutional value.

T​he mainstream of contemporary education – be it law, political science, sociology or public administration – remains indifferent and oblivious of these knowledge resources. The mission of the JPKR Foundation is to bring these knowledge systems into the mainstream of modern learning and utilize the knowledge resources for resolution of disputes.

The accessibility of the classical knowledge resources to legal practice and academia has proved difficult primarily due to the lack of awareness of existence of these knowledge resources.  A large number of shaastrascomposed in Sanskrit remain inaccessible to a majority of the population familiar with English and other languages. Language barrier is a major concern. Further, much of the traditional knowledge is embedded in regional languages like Telugu,Odiya, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Assamese and Bengali to name a few. There are no equivalent words in English for many concepts in our knowledge systems. Hence there is a need to develop necessary vocabulary to translate these concepts in an easy to comprehend language. Intense research and development must be undertaken by institutionalizing the same. There is also a need to coordinate the efforts of individuals and institutions who have made similar efforts and to bring them all under a common platform for mutual benefit.

The JPKR Foundation is conscious of the aforementioned challenges in​ undertaking this initiative. There is a need to identify such resources and make the knowledge universally accessibile. A need is felt for establishing a Centre for Indic Studies in Law and Justice for integrating these knowledge systems into a structured pedagogy for professional courses.

Indic Academy is a pioneering educational institution for Indic Knowledge Systems. IA seeks to bring about a global renaissance of Indic civilizational thought. IA pursues a multi-dimensional strategy and simultaneously seeks to preserve, protect and promote our intellectual, cultural and spiritual heritage by planning its activities across near, medium and long-term horizons.  Its thought centers and platforms enable upcoming intellectuals discover and express their potential through its research fellowships, publications, courses and events. IA is also building an ecosystem through its connect, collaborate and create strategy; it is nurturing city based and domain specific networks, actively seeking collaborations for infrastructure, knowledge, finance or customers and lastly but more importantly has developed a comprehensive grant program targeted at students, intellectuals, scholars and institutions for learning, creating and showcasing Indic knowledge systems through events, books, films and digital platforms.

JPKR Foundation and Indic Academy have now come together to establish the “Justice Pamidighantam Kodandaramayya Foundation – Indic Academy” - Centre for Indic Studies in Law and Justice. The purpose of CISLJ is to :

  • be a leading hub for research in legal jurisprudence on its own and through partnerships with other Universities & Institutions
  • be the developer of modern techniques for real-time practitioners of all professions
  • be a center for teacher training by designing and delivering courses to train academics
  • offer programs directly to students by establishing and managing Centers for Indic Studies in Law and Justice at various Universities as well as online courses
  • organise workshops, seminars and conferences
  • build a global ecosystem of institutions and intellectuals committed to Shastras, Law and Justice

Commenting on the Center,

Mr. P.S. Narasimha, Senior Counsel Supreme Court of India and Trustee, JPKR Foundation said, “While  serving as a bridge or a channel between the knowledge resources, the centre will aim at creating a new world order based on true Fraternity. I thank Sri. Hari Kiran ji for fostering this partnership and congratulate everyone associated with this endeavour”.

Mr. Hari Kiran Founder said, “We are pleased to partner with JPKR Foundation in establishing our fourth Thought Center. The need for such Center is not merely to enhance the appreciation of the Indic culture and traditions amongst the legal fraternity for better outcomes in matters relating to our culture, but also to use the Indic thought to advance theory and practice of Law and Justice in our country . We are honoured to name the Center in memory of Justice P.Kodadandaramayya, a legal luminary who embodies the Indic spirit in thought, word and deed. We are grateful to P.Narasimha Garu for giving us this opportunity and look forward to building this Center.”

Write to us at namaste@indica.org.in if you wish to work at the Center or be associated with its purpose.

Note on the image : We are deeply inspired by the mother and child sculpture by Sri Chintamoni Kar at the Supreme Court. It portrays Mother India in the form of the figure of a lady. The lady is sheltering the young Republic of India represented by the symbol of a child, who is upholding the laws of land symbolically shown in the form of an open book. On the book, a balance is shown, which represents dispensation of equal justice to all. We have adopted this concept to a Jamini Roy painting of a mother and child and replaced the toy in the original painting with the image of our Shaastras, artistically symbolising the efforts at our Center.

We are a not for profit and no copyright infringement is intended.

Annual Report of Center for Indic Studies in Law & Justice (20-21)

Centre for Indic Studies in Law and Justice (“CISLJ”) a collaboration of Indic Academy (“IA”) and Justice Pamidighantam Kodandaramayya Foundation (“JPKR”) was launched in October 2020. The purpose and object of CISLJ is to make Indic knowledge systems (“IKS”) relevant in the field of contemporary law and practice. Colonialism superimposed the western systems of law and governance resulting in IKS being confined to traditional centres of learning. While these knowledge systems survived the advent of new regimes, religions, cultures, and languages in the Indian subcontinent, the mainstream of contemporary education – be it law, political science, sociology, or public administration – remained indifferent and oblivious of these knowledge resources. CISLJ took upon itself to contribute in the field of law and provide a comparative between the IKS and the contemporary concepts of Law as they exist.

With this view, CISLJ was established with the following aims and objectives:

  • to be a leading hub of research in legal jurisprudence on its own and through partnership with other Universities & Institutions
  •  to be a developer of modern techniques for real-time practitioners
  • designing and delivering courses to train academics;
  • offer programs directly to students by establishing and managing Centres for Indic Studies in Law and Justice at various Universities as well as online courses;
  •  to build a global ecosystem of institutions and intellectuals committed to Shastras, Law, and Justice;

The annual report of CISLJ for the year 20-21  is given below :

The first project undertaken by CISLJ is the comparative study on the The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (the “Act”). The project proposed to undertake the comparative study of the jurisprudence, concepts, ideas and definitions as available in the Act and its equivalents in the IKS. Accordingly, CISLJ enrolled lawyers interested in this project and thereafter initiated preliminary discussions on important principles of shastric knowledge in nyayadarshana, vaisheshika darshana, mimansha and other shastra’s. It was interesting to see that the lawyers evinced great interest in these knowledge systems and were surprised to note that comparatives exist and that in some cases, the comparatives in the IKS were far more advanced and detailed than the contemporary systems. At the same time there were certain concepts that had no equivalent in IKS. The initial discussions made certain that a comparative study can indeed be done on any topic/ subject, but at the same time, these discussions also revealed the limitation which the lawyers felt in terms of the language barrier and finding the relevant sources of IKS.

In view of the experience gained with the exposition of lawyers to IKS it became inevitable to find other solutions for undertaking the project. The Centre thereafter experimented with a new approach and started deliberations/ discussions with shastric scholars directly. In the process of interacting with some of the shastric scholars, portions of the Evidence Act were discussed in detail and surprisingly the reaction of the shastric scholars was so refreshing and encouraging that the Centre decided to do it the other way round i.e. instead of Lawyers being trained in IKS, Shastric scholars would be introduced to the Act and made to undertake its study in detail. Having decided to proceed with the project in this manner, the Centre found it necessary to create a structure for administering the project.

The Centre then engaged with Prof. Shrinivasa Varkhedi, Vice-Chancellor of Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Ramtek (“KKSU”).  Sh. Varkhedi found this to be an extra ordinary experiment and promised his full co-operation in the project undertaken by CISLJ. Simultaneously, the CISLJ also spoke to Prof. (Dr.) Vijender Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Maharashtra National Law University Nagpur (“MNLU, Nagpur”) who also showed similar interest and promised his full co-operation. As a matter of fact , there is already an existing collaboration between these two Universities. Finally CISLJ in collaboration with these Universities prepared a vision document to undertake the comparative study of the Evidence Act. The project was named as “The Indian Evidence Act: A comparative study in Indic jurisprudence”.

Prof. Madhusudan Penna from BPVKCIS was appointed as Director of the project along with Dr. Himanshu Pandey MNLU, Nagpur and Dr. Sai Susarla MIT School of Vedic Sciences as Additional Directors on behalf of CISLJ. Sh. Raghvendra Srivatsa, Advocate Supreme Court, K. Parameswar, Advocate Supreme Court, Ila Deshpande, Asst. Prof. MNLU, Nagpur, Sh. Srinivas Jammadamalaka, Sh. Suryanarayana Jammadamalaka, V. C. Shukla, Soumitra Gokhale and Shiva Shastry  were invited to be the members of the Executive Committee.

The Committee looked for scholars to participate in the project. These scholars were to be the backbone who would play a vital role in the successful completion of the project. The project identified the following scholars:

  1. Sri. Sudarshan S. P  is a scholar in the disciplines of Vyaakarna and Nyaaya, as well as an expert in the field of Mechanical Engineering.
  2. Sri. Shrinidhi S. Pyati  is a scholar of Nyaaya and Vedanta, having studied under the tutelage of H.H. Shri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji.
  3. Sri Dr. C. Hariharan is a scholar of Mimamsa, Krishna Yajurveda and Manuscriptology, as well as Purana-Itihasa
  4. Sri. K. Ranganathan  is a scholar of Nyaya, PurvaMimamsa and Vishishtadvaita Vedanta, having studied under the tutelage of reputed scholar Sri K.E. Devanathan.
  5. Sri. Srinivas Jammadamalaka is a scholar of Nyaaya, Krishna Yajurveda, Vyaakarna, Advaita Vedanta, having completed the Maha-Pareekshain Nyaaya.
  6. Dr. Dhananjaya Rao  is a scholar and an expert in the areas of Nyaya, Vedanta, Vyakarana and Dharmashastra. He is the Director, Vedic-Vedantic studies and research institute, New Delhi.
  7. Sri. Suryanarayana Jammadamalaka  traditional education covers Krishna Yajurveda Samhita, Vyakaranam and Advaita Vedanta. He has successfully completed the Maha Pariksha in Tarka Shastra (Nyaya).
  8. Sr.Pt.Rajeswar Deshmukh is a young traditional scholar in the areas of Sanskrit sahitya, Puranas, Vedanga and Nyaya.Heis currently teaching Nyaya shaastra as well as pursuing further studies in Nyaya and AdvaitaVedanta.
  9. Sri. L Sowjanyakumar  is a Shastra Adhyapaka in Sri Jagadguru Veda Kavya Vidya Bhavanam, Chennai. He is an expert in fields of Mimamsa and Krishna Yajurveda.

With a vibrant and scholarly team constituted, the project was formally inaugurated on 23.12.2020 in the auspicious and august presence of Prof. Srinivas Varkehdi, VC, KKSU; Prof. Dr. Vijendra Kumar, VC, MNLU, Nagpur, Padmashali Chamu Krishna Sastry. 

The project commenced with a series of lectures/ discussions on the Indian Evidence Act conducted between 28.12.2020 to 05.01.2021.  Below is the list of all the sessions conducted:

Introduction to the Evidence Act by Sh. P.S. Narasimha, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court

Introduction to Relevancy of facts by Sh. Raghavendra Srivatsa, Advocate, Supreme Court

Structure of Evidence Act- Witness & Proof by Sh. K. Parameswar, Advocate, Supreme Court

Fact in Issue by Sh. K. Parameswar, Advocate, Supreme Court

 Burden of Proof (Sec. 101-114A) and on presumption by Dr. Himanshu Pandey, MNLU, Nagpur

Burden of Proof by Dr. Himanshu Pandey, MNLU, Nagpur

About Witnesses by Sh. B.R. Phatak, Advocate 

About Witnesses by Sh. B.R. Phatak, Advocate 

Once all the scholars were introduced to the subject and nuances of the Indian Evidence Act, they were divided into the following four groups to do the comparative analysis on the issues/ topics assigned to them.

GROUP I 

Group I consisted of J. Suryanarayana. Dr. L. Sowjanyakumar, Shri Raghavendra Srivatsa and Shri. Rajeshwar Deshmukh. This Group was assigned to undertake a comparative study on the following subjects/ issues:

  • Preliminary (S. 1-3)
  • Interpretation Clause – “Court”, “Fact”, “Relevant”, “Fact in issue”
  • Relevancy of Facts – (S. 5-55)
  • Facts which need not be proved (S. 56-58)

The following are the links to their discussions :

17.1.2021     Presentation by Shri J Suryanarayan and Dr. L Sowjanya Kumar on “Preliminary, Interpretation Clause, Facts, Relevancy, etc.”

24.01.2020 Presentation by J Suryanarayan on “Facts, Relevancy etc.

01.03.2021   Presentation by J Suryanarayana and S. Parthasarathy on “:Fact and Relevant”.

07.03.2021    Presentation by Shri J Suryanarayan and Shri Rajeshwar Deshmukh on “Facts and Relevancy”.                      

GROUP II

Group II consisted of J Srinivas and Dr. C. Hariharan. This Group was assigned to undertake a comparative study on the following subjects/ issues:

  • Interpretation Clause- “Document”, “Evidence”, “Proved”, “Disproved”, “Not Proved” and “Conclusive Proof”.
  • Oral Evidence- S. 59,60
  • Documentary Evidence- S. 61-78
  • Exclusion of oral by Documentary Evidence- S. 91-100
  • Improper Admission or Rejection of Evidence- S. 167

The following are the links to their discussions:

01.02.2021   Presentation by J. Srinivas on “Conclusion Proof”.

22.03.2021   Presentation on “Proved, Not Proved Disproved and Conclusive Proof” by Shri J Shrinivas and Prof. C. Hariharan

GROUP III

Group III consisted of K. Parameswar, K. Ranganathan, S. Parthasarathy. This Group was assigned to undertake a comparative study of the following subjects/ issues:

  • Interpretation Clause – “May Presume”, “Shall Presume”
  • Burden of Proof- S. 101-114A
  • Presumption- S. 79-90A, 111A, 113A, 113B,114,114A
  • Estoppel- S. 115-117

The following are the links to their discussions :

14.03.2021  Presentation by Shri Sudarshan Parthasarathy and Shri Ranganathan Krishnan on “Presumptions”

GROUP IV

Group IV consisted of Dr. Dhananjaya Rao, Dr. Shrinidhi Pyati, V.C. Shukla, Advocate Supreme Court and Shiva Sastry as Sanskrit scholar and a law student. This Group was assigned to undertake a comparative study of the following subjects/ issues:

  • Witnesses- S. 116-134

The following are the links to their discussion

08.02.2021   Presentation by Dr. Shinidhi Pyati on Witness

28.03.2021   Presentation on “Witnesses” by Shri Shrinidhi Pyati and Dr. Dhanjayacharya

The groups have since submitted their draft reports for further discussion and deliberation. A comprehensive report will soon be finalised. 

Simultaneously CISLJ is building a library to enable the Shastric scholars to do their comparative study. Various books on Indian Evidence Act as well as the Shastric texts on Nyaya, Tarka, Mimamsa, Vaisheshika and Dharmashastras are being made available to the scholars. The objective of CISLJ is to build and make available a large library for research and development.

Lectures were also conducted from time to time by renowned scholar. Interaction with these scholars, for example Dean of Sanskrit Studies JNU Sri Shukla on Vyavahara/Dharmashastras was extremely fruitful and helped scholars immensely.

Commenting on the progress made by CISLJ, P S Narasimha, Founder CISLJ said , “This is an extraordinary venture. This is for the first time that traditional scholars in IKS, belonging to the various fields have studied the Indian Evidence Act with its western jurisprudential basis and compared it with their own knowledge pool. This is actually a Indian perspective of the Evidence Act. This kind of a study was never undertaken till date. The comparative study will benefit not only the scholars but will make available to the legal fraternity and academicia the principles, the  concepts and ideas in IKS that will be useful for day to day practice of law. This will benefit the adjudicatory systems in India and around the world. “

Encourage by the success in its first project - Project Evidence, CISLJ will soon initiate similar endeavours for undertaking a comparative study on the following topics:

    • Drafting and conveyance
    • Interpretation of statutes 
    • Methods of argumentation
    • Reasoning and its structure

P.S. Narasimha, Founder CISLJ