World Sanskrit Conference
The World Sanskrit conference is an international conference organised at various locations globally. It has been held in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Delhi International Sanskrit Conference of 1972 is considered to be the first World Sanskrit Conference. So far it has been held in India four times (1972,1981,1997,2012).
According to the official web-site of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies (IASS), several Sanskrit scholars from major Indian universities perceived that the International Congress of Orientalists "did not allow sufficient scope for full discussion of Sanskrit and allied subjects". These scholars approached the Government of India, which arranged to convene the first International Sanskrit Conference at New Delhi in March 1972. The next year, at the 29th International Congress of Orientalists, Sanskrit scholars from all over the world got together to form the IASS. The main responsibility of the IASS was to organise World Sanskrit Conferences at various places around the world. The 1972 New Delhi conference was retrospectively recognised as the "First World Sanskrit Conference".
The sixteenth conference in Thailand in 2015 received unprecedented support from the Indian government. In what some have called a "display of soft power", India sent a group of 250 Sanskrit scholars, led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who gave the inaugural address in Sanskrit. The conference was also supported by and held in honor of Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, who has supported Sanskrit education, and had received a master's degree in Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University.
Dates and venues
- Torino, Italy, in June 1975.
- Paris, France, between 20–25 June 1977
- Weimar, German Democratic Republic, between 23–30 May 1979.
- Varanasi, India in 1981.
- Philadelphia, United States, in 1984.
- Leiden, Netherlands, in 1987.
- Vienna, Austria; 27 August–2 September 1990.
- Melbourne, Australia, in January 1994.
- Bangalore, India, in January 1997.
- Turin, Italy, in April 2000.
- Helsinki, Finland, in July 2003.
- Edinburgh, United Kingdom, in July 2006.
- Kyoto, Japan, from 1 to 6 September 2009.
- New Delhi, India from 5 to 10 January 2012.
- Bangkok, Thailand from 28 June to 2 July 2015.
- Vancouver, Canada, from July 9 to July 13, 2018.
Future venues and dates
Recent World Sanskrit Conferences have been sites of controversy.
- The 2015 conference in Bangkok was opened by Rajiv Malhotra, an author of popular books who does not hold a PhD in Indology or any related field. Malhotra has been accused of plagiarism and is well-known for his ad hominem attacks on Indologists.
- The 2018 conference in Vancouver featured a session titled "The Story of Our Sanskrit," where two female Sanskritists presented and a third female Sanskritist moderated. The session was plagued by sexist and casteist comments from an unruly audience. In an email sent to the INDOLOGY listserv, the lead conference organizer, Dr. Adheesh Sathaye, publicly apologized for the "hooliganistic behaviour of some members of the audience." Less than a week later, Dr. Sathaye retracted his apology via a note sent to the same listserv, thus prompting a debate about Hindutva influences within the discipline of Indology.
- The World Sanskrit Conference has uncomfortable links with the Indian government, and recent conferences have given speaking platforms to Indian government officials.
The proceedings of the WSC have been published as follows:
- Delhi (1972) Conference were published in four volumes (vols I-III.1, Ministry of Education and SocialWelfare, New Delhi,1975–80; vols III.2-IV, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Delhi, 1981),
- Weimar (1979) Conference in a volume entitled Sanskrit and World Culture (Akademie-Verlag, Berlin, 1986), those of the Varanasi Conference by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, in 1985.
- An IASS newsletter informs that the proceedings of the Leiden (1987) Conference in several volumes (Brill, Leiden, 1990–92); the Proceedings of the Helsinki (2003) and Edinburgh (2006) Conferences are in the process of publication by Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.
- The Proceedings of the World Sanskrit Conferences held at Turin (1975), Paris (1977), Philadelphia (1984), Vienna (1990), Melbourne (1994), Bangalore (1997), Turin (2000), Kyoto (2009) have been published in Indologica Taurinensia, which is the official organ of the I.A.S.S. The journal contents are freely downloadable .
- "INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SANSKRIT STUDIES (IASS)". New Delhi: IASS. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Chaudhury, Dipanjan Roy; Venugopal, Vasudha (24 June 2015). "Government to send 250 Sanskrit scholars to participate in World Sanskrit Conference in Thailand". The Economic Times. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- NNT (30 June 2015). "World Sanskrit Conference held in honor of Princess Maha Chakri". Battaya Mail. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- India. Ministry of Education and Social Welfare (1980). International Sanskrit Conference. The Ministry. p. iii. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- T.K. Venkatasubramanian (2010). Music as History in TamilNadu. Primus Books. p. 138. ISBN 978-93-80607-06-1. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Alex Wayman (1984). Buddhist Insight: Essays. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 417. ISBN 978-81-208-0675-7. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Satya Vrat Varma (1 January 1993). Nāyakanāyikāguṇālaṅkāra. Eastern Book Linkers. p. 13. ISBN 978-81-85133-53-9. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Wolfgang Morgenroth (1986). Sanskrit and world culture: proceedings of the Fourth World Sanskrit Conference of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies, Weimar, May 23-30, 1979. Akademie-Verlag. p. 3. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Utpala; Constantina Rhodes Bailly (1 June 1987). Shaiva Devotional Songs of Kashmir: A Translation and Study of Utpaladeva's Shivastotravali. SUNY Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-88706-492-0. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Teun Goudriaan (1992). Ritual and Speculation in Early Tantrism: Studies in Honour of André Padoux. SUNY Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7914-0898-8. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- C. C. Barfoot (2001). Aldous Huxley Between East and West. Rodopi. p. 196. ISBN 978-90-420-1347-6. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "World Sanskrit Conference". The Indian Express. 24 September 1990. p. 6.
- Werner Menski (1998). South Asians and the Dowry Problem. Trentham Books. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-85856-141-7. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Shankaragouda Hanamantagouda Patil (2002). Community Dominance and Political Modernisation: The Lingayats. Mittal Publications. p. 79. ISBN 978-81-7099-867-9. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Dawer BACK, John. "Shivamurthy Swami". London: SOAS, University of London. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Dominik Wujastyk (1 January 2009). Mathematics And Medicine In Sanskrit. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. p. 1. ISBN 978-81-208-3246-6. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Simon Brodbeck (19 September 2007). Gender and Narrative in the Mahābhārata. Routledge. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-415-41540-8. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Rajendra Singh (12 December 2009). Annual Review of South Asian Languages and Linguistics: 2009. Walter de Gruyter. p. 150. ISBN 978-3-11-022559-4. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "15th WORLD SANSKRIT CONFERENCE 5th to 10th January, 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Conference Academic Program from Sanskrit Studies Centre, Bangkok: 16th World Sanskrit Conference June 28 to July 2, 2015, Bangkok (Academic Program) (accessed 29 July 2015
- "The 17th World Sanskrit Conference". University of British Columbia.
- "South Asia Masala » Tigers and Goats A quick report on the World Sanskrit Conference, Bangkok 2015". asiapacific.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
- Nicholson, Andrew J. "'Upset about Rajiv Malhotra's plagiarism, even more upset about distortions of my work'". Scroll.in. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
- Vajpeyi, Ananya (2018-08-14). "How to move a mountain". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
- "World Sanskrit Conference shows that Sanskritic scholarship in India remains afraid of gender and caste - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
- "The INDOLOGY Archives". list.indology.info. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
- Brockington, John (2012). "NEWSLETTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SANSKRIT STUDIES" (PDF). New Delhi: IASS. p. 8. Retrieved 13 April 2012.