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October, 2007


You are cordially invited to participate in a Seminar titled Chronology and Distinguishing Characteristics of the Indic Civilization', to be held in Dallas, TX (Oct 12-14th, 2007). Please find attached a Call r Papers detailing the issues, background, purpose, and deliverables for the seminar.

The objective of the seminar is to increase awareness of the importance of learning the accurate History of India. The seminar is a small step towards questioning the establishment, present new research, uncover new facts, and propagate the correct history to the public at large in general, and the classrooms in particular.

In addition to indologists and historians, the seminar is equally relevant to parents of school-going children, community and educational leaders, and public service professionals. Cultural self-esteem among impressionable young minds is a direct derivative of correctness of history taught in schools. Also the representation of the community in the media and in public space is a consequence of the same. Thus, there is a veritable need from all quarters, scholars and general public alike to come together and effect a joint program of correction and propagation of true history.

A paper submission is not necessarily required to participate in the session deliberations. You may choose to contribute ad-hoc to the process of corrections of history, and be part of the plan for propagation among students and general public including the media.

Conference attendance is highly recommended but not mandatory to be a valuable asset to the session deliberations. You can submit your paper which will be tabled at the session in absentia, and deliberated upon by the session participants.

If I can answer any of your questions, feel free to give me a call at 925-998-2529 (mobile). You can reach me via e-mail by replying to this communique.

Looking forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

Kosla Vepa, Ph.D.
Session Chair

Indic Studies Foundation Inc.


=============== attachment included as plain text ===========

Call for Papers and Participation In a Seminar on

"Chronology and Distinguishing Characteristics of the Indic Civilization"

Part of a seminar series on Distorted History: Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Presented by Indic Studies Foundation Inc.

The Issues

It is clear that much of what we learned in our school history books is suspect if not downright erroneous, starting from the chronology of ancient India to the postulation of an Aryan Invasion, the location of the ancient home of the Zoroastrian people, the dating of Chandra Gupta Maurya's reign, the dating of the Buddha himself, the origin of the Brahmi
script, the embellishment of the Caste system by the Colonial overlord, the dating of the impregnation of Indic culture in countries of South East Asia to name a few. More importantly, the Eurocentric approach to the narration of the fascinating story of Indian History taken by English authors is substantially at variance with the facts and the history as we
knew it prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the Indian subcontinent.

We will do our best to peel the layers of the onion, but it is too large a task to be undertaken by a handful of individuals, especially as the narration of this history is firmly in the grip of individuals with certain ideologies who are deeply ensconced in New Delhi and whose viewpoint is largely in conformance with the story as told by the British.
The underlying premise here is that the history of ancient India as taught today to our children is for the most part at variance with reality, and with the facts as we now understand them.

The Rationale - How to Remedy the Situation

Obviously we need to inform ourselves as to the truth of the matter, apply criteria such as logical consistency to assess the data as it is available and determine whether a particular event or that a substantial portion of the current chronology passes the tests. We invite individuals to contribute in various ways to such a project by participating in the seminar. We are particularly interested in the contributions to the exact sciences such as astronomy, mathematics and linguistics in ancient India, not only to assess the content of the contribution but to use this event to see if it can give us clues and markers which will help us decipher the occurrences of the past several millennia. For example in the many delightful problems that Indian mathematicians pose, such as In Lilavati by Bhaskara II, he may make reference to a currency or a social and legal practice that is particular to a specific era, that would tilt the evidence in the direction of that era. Another example may be the dating of Panini. If texts in classical Sanskrit started appearing at a certain date, then it stands to reason that Panini must have completed his monumental work on the Ashtadhyayi prior to this date. This explains why
amongst all the dates assigned by Western Indologists, the dating of Panini is one of the oldest. However reluctantly they may have done so, the conclusion that classical Sanskrit literature must have post dated Panini is inescapable, since he was the most famous one to codify the language and its grammar.

The Topics

We request interested authors to:

1. Identify key distinguishing characteristics and dates of the Indic civilization

2. Indicate those areas of Indian history which are egregiously in error

3. Propose methodology and criteria to evaluate the accuracy of the current or future proposed narratives

4. Discuss the extent to which India borrowed astronomical concepts, such as the Nakshatra system of the precession of the equinoxes from Baylonian, Greek and Chinese sources

5. Discuss the possible connections between Panini's Linguistic efforts with the invention of the place value system

We encourage individuals to think out of the box and suggest related topics that fall under the overall rubric of the heading above.


The goal of the seminar is to increase awareness of the importance of learning the accurate History of India and to extricate ourselves from the present situation where we have relinquished control of our history to individuals who have little stake in India and hardly any accountability for any errors that they make.


Interested people can take part in the seminar that will be held at the Fifth Annual Human Empowerment Conference at Dallas, Texas on 13th October 2007. (Conference dates are 12th, 13th, 14th October 2007). Research papers can be either presented at the seminar or be submitted for publication in the quarterly journal 'The Hindu Renaissance' in absentia,
or both.

Time lines and Contacts:

Last date for submission of abstract: September 23rd, 2007
Last date for submission of full paper: October 10th, 2007
Date of conference: October 12th - 14th, 2007

Session Chair:

Kosla Vepa, Ph.D.
[ history DASH seminar AT heconf DOT com ]
Tel.: 925-998-2529


The following are expected from seminar participants:

a. an abstract or synopsis of your paper (with a title)

b. a brief bio-sketch with a front-facing digital picture

c. full paper (any length) (will be web-published)

d. PowerPoint presentation (optional) (needed if presenting in person at
the conference)

e. an abridged version of the paper (not more than 1,500 words) [abridged version of the paper will be published as an article in the quarterly print magazine "The Hindu Renaissance" - if the paper's length is close to 1,500 words, there is no need to submit the abridged version]

HEC 2007

Prospective participants are cordially invited to be present at the conference during Oct 12th-14th, 2007, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Physical presence is desirable, but not required to submit a paper. Those who cannot attend, and would like to be involved in this project, are kindly requested to send a brief statement of interest. Also welcome are feedback
and any suggestions for growth and development in this subject area.

About Human Empowerment

The purpose of HECs is to engage in ideonomy, i.e. study of ideas, or ideological development with the aim of addressing real life problems of real people. Writers/scholars/activists must keep the purpose of HECs in mind while writing their papers. HECs transcend political parties and organizations, hence ideological development must not be confused with any
"party ideology." Contrarianism and clash of ideas is a virtue in any worthwhile ideological development, however must be expressed in the most non- injurious way. HECs are not an academic exercise, but do desire the standards of submissions to be at par with academic standards.

Further information about the HEC2007 is available from:

Human Empowerment Conference 2007 Organizing Team

[ dallas2007 AT heconf DOT com ]

Shri Sashi Kejriwal
Dallas, TX
Tel. 972-333-5705

Shri Kalyan Viswanathan
Dallas, TX
Tel. 614-668-1668

Shri Hariharan Shivadas
Atlanta, GA
Tel. 770-369-2057

Shri Immaneni V. Rao
Dallas, TX
Tel. 214-284-6227

Shri Chandra Sivaguharaman
Dallas, TX
Tel. 914-482-4112

Shri Abhishek Sonthalia
Dallas, TX
Tel. 972-999-5897


Kosla Vepa
Indic studies Foundation



August  9,2007

The wonders of modern India

June 2,2007

A downloadable Hindu astronomical calendar

March 23,2007

Indology and Indologists, a study in motives and people

Part I Motives

Part I & II Motives and People

News Flash March 22,2007

Indian-American wins prestigious Abel Prize for mathematics


Press Trust of India

Washington, March 22, 2007

Indian-American mathematician Srinivasa SR Varadhan won the prestigious $850,000 Abel Prize for mathematics this year for his "fundamental contributions to probability theory", it was announced on Thursday.

The 67-year-old professor of New York University's (NYU) Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences would receive the honour, viewed as equivalent of a Nobel prize, "in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviation", the award committee said.

The six million kronor award was created by the Norway government in 2002 to mark the 200th birth anniversary of great Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.

"Varadhan's work has great conceptual strength and ageless beauty. His ideas have been hugely influential and will continue to stimulate further research for a long time," said the citation from The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, according to a release from the NYU.

He is expected to receive the Abel Prize from King Harald V of Norway in Oslo on May 22.

Professor Varadhan was born in Chennai and received his B Sc honours degree and MA from Madras University. He did his PhD from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata before coming to Courant as a post-doctoral fellow in 1963.

He has spent his entire professional life there, serving two terms as its director (1980-1984 and 1992-94).,001600060001.htm





September  30,2006

Please support the initiative to institute  a  Telugu chair  at UC,Berkeley

November 20,2006

I have just returned from the HEC2006 meeting on the west coast. It was quite informative and afforded an opportunity to meet many of the individuals with whom I had interacted on the internet. I presented a paper on "The Indic Mathematical Traditions" . My basic purpose in framing the presentation was to point out the breadth and depth of the contributions of the  ancients and try to decipher who discovered what and when. As a corollary I pointed out that , the writings of the ancient Mathematicians and Astronomers provided several clues and data as to     the antiquity of their writings including astronomical data. It behooves us therefore to study these texts not only for their intrinsic value, but for the ancialliary date and pointers they reveal while developing their thesis.


September 7,2006

Book Review of the Vedic wedding , “Origins , traditions and practice” by Dr. A V Srinivasan, published by Periplus Line LLC, P.O.Box 56, East Glastonbury, CT 06025-0056,, ISBN-13: 978-0-9785443-0-0


On many an occasion, like other Americans of Indic origin I found myself in search of a text on the subject of Hindu weddings, which not only explained the various steps in the ceremony but gave the rationale in a clearly intelligible manner, for these steps in the marriage. I found the pickings slim especially when I was looking for a text which was tuned towards audiences in North America. But I am not the one to give up easily, I mentioned the fact that I was looking for such a text to Dr. A V Srinivasan who also happened to be the manager I reported to  several years ago when I was working for Pratt and Whitney. It turned out that he had just completed the manuscript for a book on the topic and to cut a long story short I offered to review it in my website.

Click here to read the review


August 2,2006

The origins of the  interest in linguistic studies in Europe, as we know, began with the discovery of  Sanskrit by Sir William Jones. What is less well known is the interest that it sparked in the United States in the study of Sanskrit. Famous names are associated with this effort including those of William Dwight Whitney (1827-1894);Edward Elbridge Salisbury (1814-1901);the late Norman Brown of the University of Pennsylvania among others. As early as the 1880s, the charter of universities such as Columbia, Pennsylvania, Chicago, California, Michigan and Minnesota stipulated that Sanskrit should be taught. It was a time when Yale, Harvard and Johns Hopkins already had viable Sanskrit programs by then. Francis Assisi, who is no unknown to those of us living in these parts for the last few decades , has penned a perceptive column chronicling this interest in Sanskrit in America


May 2,2006

I decided to follow up on a hunch and attend the annual gathering of the IISc Alumni association. For those not as familiar  with this acronym it stands for Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I had missed meeting with fellow alumni during the last few  years ,and the thought was that here was an opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances and meet with new ones.. Well, i did  not meet with any of my 'old classmates .Come to think of it , it would have been highly unlikely to meet somebody from the class  of '63. But  i did meet some interesting individuals . One was the incoming president of the association Mr. Ashok Sinha and the other was a very delightful young lady by the name of  Ms. Anita Mukherjee and her husband Animesh , who were manning the welcome desk. It turned out we had an interest in some common topics such as History, and I prevailed upon her to contribute an essay for the web site. The result is a very perceptive column on Thomas Babington  Macaulay.  Those keeping track of such matters will recall he is the author of the Indian Penal Code ( of which section 420 was immortalized thanks to Raj Kapoor's famous movie  Shree 420) which has had its own unique impact on the Indic psyche. But  more importantly Lord Macaulay will be remembered for his infamous 'Minute on Education' and the hubris with which  he regarded Indian traditions and literature and especially Cosmology. Yet, however racist  his remarks may appear, he  believed genuinely in the notion of the 'white mans burden' .

After reading Anita Mukherjee' article linked below in the "Whats new"section feel free to read or reread my essay on The South Asia File and the verbatim quotes in the appendix . One is left speechless when he says with evident passion and sincerity

"Propter vitam vivendi perdere causas," ["To lose the reason for living, for the sake of staying alive"] is a despicable policy both in individuals and in states. In the present case, such a policy would be not only despicable, but absurd. The mere extent of empire is not necessarily an advantage. To many governments it has been cumbersome; to some it has been fatal. It will be allowed by every statesman of our time that the prosperity of a community is made up of the prosperity of those who compose the community, and that it is the most childish ambition to covet dominion which adds to no man's comfort or security. To the great trading nation, to the great  manufacturing nation, no progress which any portion of the human race can make in knowledge, in taste for the conveniences of life, or in the wealth by which those conveniences are produced, can be matter of indifference. It is scarcely possible to calculate the benefits which we might derive from the diffusion of European civilization among the vast population of the East. It would be, on the most selfish view of the case, far better for us that the people of India were well governed and independent of us, than ill governed and subject to us; that they were ruled by their own kings, but wearing our broadcloth, and working with our cutlery, than that they were performing their salams to English collectors and English magistrates, but were too ignorant to value, or too poor to buy, English manufactures. To trade with civilized men is infinitely more profitable than to govern savages."

Lofty sentiments indeed, but perhaps incongruous when juxtaposed against the reality of regular famines that overcame India within decades of  his pronouncements

As Jawahar Lal Nehru, Independent India's first Prime Minster remarked (and I paraphrase)  in his Discovery of India it is not usual to see such single minded devotion to Britain coupled with the   certainty of their conviction that they were specially endowed with the higher destiny of saving the souls of the Indics from their own excesses, but the British seemed particularly well endowed in this department.

In any event kudos to Anita for publicizing the lesser known pronouncements attributed  to his lordship. Bravo, Anita for your well articulated column.


May 13,2006

I am reproducing former President Bill Clinton's forward to Madeleine Albrights latest literary endeavor  The Mighty and the Almighty. The reason i do so is the offending paragraph (in bold) where he blames Hindu militants  for the murder of the Sikhs in Chattisinghpura in Kashmir during the eve of his visit to India. Either he has a memory worse than mine or he is dissembling or what would be more appropriate fabricating a lie of immense proportions.I will have more to say on this matter later,as it is getting late in the night.

It suffices to say i am outraged and if you are outraged like me please do write to his office asking for a retraction.

My letter to President Bill Clinton

"During the time she was secretary of state, the world learned what I already knew: Madeleine Albright is unafraid to take on hard issues or to speak her mind. In The Mighty and the Almighty, she writes with uncommon frankness and good sense about America’s international role, religion, ethics, and the current divided and anxious state of the world. To my knowledge, no former secretary of state has written anything similar. It is an unexpected book, drafted against the advice of friends who worried that these topics could not be discussed without stepping on toes. In my experience, the only way to avoid stepping on toes is to stand still. Madeleine Albright is the embodiment of forward movement.

After our initial conversation about this project, I called Madeleine to discuss it further, not knowing at the time where she was. It turned out that she was in Gdánsk, Poland, commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Solidarity, the democracy movement hat ended the cold war and brought freedom to Central and East Europe. When I rang, Madeleine was standing in a crowd that included the former Czech president Václav Havel and the current presidents of Ukraine and Poland. She passed the phone around, and I had an unforeseen but welcome chance to catch up with some old friends. Meanwhile, Madeleine placed a bouquet of flowers as a memorial to Solidarity and attended a threehour open-air mass in celebration of freedom. I had caught her at a moment and in a place where God and democracy were together at center stage. One theme of this book, and a source of continuing controversy in public life, concerns the relationship between the two.

“The core of democracy,” wrote Walt Whitman, “is the religious element. All the religions, old and new, are there.” I expect we have all come across people who would embrace the first of Whitman’s sentences while ignoring the second, rendering both without meaning. At their best, religion and democracy each respect the equality and value of every human being: all of us stamped with the Creator’s image, each endowed with certain inalienable rights. These doctrines sit next to one another comfortably; they are unifying and inclusive. Problems arise when we try to place our own interpretation ahead of Whitman’s, arguing that those sharing our particular understanding of the universe are more worthy than others. To have faith is to believe in the existence of absolute truth. It is quite another thing to assert that imperfect human beings can be in full possession of this truth, or that we have a political ideology that is fully true and allows us to penalize, coerce, or abuse those who believe differently.

The Constitution of the United States created something truly new: a system of government in which the highest trust is placed not in the top officials, who are hemmed in by an ingenious system of checks and balances, but in the people as a whole. Among the limitations our founders placed on those in government was that they could not establish an official state religion, or abridge the right of anyone to worship freely. The founders understood from history that the concentration of political and religious authority in the same hands could be toxic.

We know, of course, that the power of faith is often exploited by those seeking to enhance their own power at the expense of others. In the Balkans, Slobodan Milosevic talked much about defending Christian Europe, but his real interest was in using religion and extreme divisiveness to fortify his hold on power. Osama bin Laden poses as a defender of Islam, but his willingness to murder innocents, including other Muslims, is not a fair reading of the Quran and is disloyal to the tenets of that faith. In the wrong hands, religion becomes a lever used to pry one group of people away from another not because of some profound spiritual insight, but because it helps whoever is doing the prying.

Does this mean that policy-makers should try to keep religion walled off from public life? As Madeleine Albright argues, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Not only shouldn’t we do that; we couldn’t succeed if we tried. Religious convictions, if they are convictions, can’t be pulled on and off like a pair of boots. We walk with them wherever we go, the skeptics and atheists side by side with the devout. A president or secretary of state must make decisions with regard both to his or her own religious convictions and to the impact of those decisions on people of different faiths. However, as Madeleine points out, assessing that impact is no easy task.

During my visit to India in 2000, some Hindu militants decided to vent their outrage by murdering thirty-eight Sikhs in cold blood. If I hadn’t made the trip, the victims would probably still be alive. If I hadn’t made the trip because I feared what religious extremists might do, I couldn’t have done my job as president of the United States. The nature of America is such that many people define themselves—or a part of themselves—in relation to it, for or against. This is part of the reality in which our leaders must operate.

When radical imams try to subvert the thinking of alienated, disaffected young people, not all of whom are poor or lacking in education, by offering a supposed quick trip to paradise in return for the believers’ willingness to kill civilians by blowing themselves up, how should we respond? We can try to kill and capture them, but we can’t get them all. We can try to persuade them to abandon violence, but if our arguments have no basis in their own experience, we can’t fully succeed. Our best chance is to work cooperatively with those in the Muslim world who are trying to reach the same minds as the radicals by preaching a more complete Islam, not a distorted, jagged shard.

I truly believe that this can be done, not by diluting spiritual beliefs but by probing their depths. The three Abrahamic faiths have more similarities than differences. Each calls for reverence, charity, humility, and love. None is fully revealed. The challenge for our leaders is to use what we have in common as a basis for defeating the most extreme elements and draining support for terror. Once people acknowledge their common humanity, it becomes more difficult for them to demonize and destroy each other. It is far easier to find principled compromise with one of “us” than with one of “them.” Our religious convictions can help us erase the age-old dividing line. No job is more important, but as this book by Madeleine Albright makes clear, it is a job that—four and a half years after 9/11—we have barely begun.

New York, February 2006


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