Call for Papers Birth Anniversary of Great Saints National

Call for Papers
Birth Anniversary of Great Saints
National Seminar on
Relevance of Buddha’s Pragmatic Approach:
Human Freedom, Social Justice and Equality in Contemporary India
The Dr. Ambedkar Chair in Social Work, NISWASS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, initiated by the
Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of
India, invites unpublished research papers from scholars on relevant topics related to Buddha
and Buddhism and its different aspects highlighting in particular human freedom, equality,
liberty, fraternity and social justice. Selected papers would be presented in the National
Conference on “Relevance of Buddha’s Pragmatic Approach: Human Freedom, Social
Justice and Equality in Contemporary India” in the month May 2015. Interested Scholars and
Knowledge seekers in the fields of Buddhism are requested to indicate their interest by
reserving place and by sending their papers to the convener and coordinators (email:
[email protected]) of the conference well within the stipulated time. The conference
expects to draw a gathering of 100-150 Scholars from all over the country.
Note: Registration & participation in this seminar is free of cost. Please find the concept note,
seminar themes and sub-themes.
Birth Anniversary of Great Saints
Seminar on
Relevance of Buddha’s Pragmatic Approach:
Human Freedom, Social Justice and Equality in Contemporary India
Revisiting Buddha and Buddhism
A virulent social reform movement had begun with the appearance of Buddha and Buddhism
in the sixth-fifth century BC. At the time of birth of Buddha, the society was divided into
various castes and sub-castes. This social division was reasonably responsible for creating
social inequalities, injustice and subordination in the Society. Varna system which was initially
an open system of stratification based on ‘guna’, character or quality became a closed system
during the latter-Vedic period, in the form of caste system where the membership is based on
birth but not ‘guna’. This misconstrued reinterpreted varna system perpetuated by the inegalitarian selfish elements is the basis of the social stratification of Indian society into four
parts, viz. (1) Brahman, (2) Kshtriyas, (3)Vaishyas and (4) Sudras. The hierarchical social order
of the then society was got reformed time and again but still Indian society is experiencing
inequalities, injustices and gender biases.
Buddha’s presence on the social horizons of his times heralded a new social order. His main
intention was to see that such a human society is established where a group of people do not
exploit a large section of people by calling themselves superior because of their birth. He
propounded to safeguard the rights of people to live in the society where the human freedoms
are appreciated and upheld with the permeation of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. The
heinous practice of human subjugation of the week by the stronger people had been altered
with his preaching that are evolved out of his incisive practices. Hence Buddha allowed people
of all castes to be ordained. He allowed even the lowest caste people to become bhikkhus and
Buddha never made distinction between people. Although he could not obliterate the caste
system and gender biases in his life time he believed that once this obnoxious caste system is
defused, people will not be deprived of their rights. Most of the social evils will disappear if
wealth is equally distributed, equal opportunities are given to all and the institution of personal
property is dispensed. Buddhist doctrine believes that physical punishment is not a sure cure of
social evils and malaise. Corruption and crime cannot be completely eliminated by punishing
criminals. It is true particular criminals will be punished and liquidated but there will be many
in which the seeds of crime will remain. The most effective way to get rid of such crimes is to
ensure that people have enough to live on. Buddha therefore, suggests that all sections of
society should be taken care of.
The Buddha and Buddhism have profound faith in an egalitarian society. Fundamental mantra
of Buddhism is that the nature born human being should avail human freedoms, equality and
liberty that lead to the genesis of a just and humane society. The Buddha was concerned and
regarded all human beings as born equal. The Buddha was not in favour of social hierarchy. He
has not made any distinction between people in the society.
According to Buddha all human beings are born in one of two biologically differentiated viz.
male and female but their activities distinct them from other social being. A person’s status is
high or low not by virtue of their birth in a particular caste but by virtue of person’s actions. A
man or woman may be economically poor, and may belong to any low caste but can realise the
higher spiritual stage. Their caste and profession and their physical condition were no obstacles
in the path of their Sadhana.
Rationale of the Seminar
As Buddha’s teachings are replete with a rich repertoire of pragmatic approaches to ensure
human freedoms, elements of social justice and initiatives for equality, through this national
seminar, the National Institute of Social Work and Social Sciences radiating its teaching,
training, research and extension activities from Bhubaneswar and its Centre for Buddhist
Studies wishes to bring likeminded institutions and to a common platform to delve on the
following themes and sub-themes to capture and encapsulate the wisdom of Buddhism to
address the issues of human freedoms, social justice and equality in the evolution of a just and
humane society.
Themes of the Seminar
Buddha’s approach to social justice
Buddhist reflection on sovereignty
Synthesis of Buddhist in religion, philosophy and humanity
Relevance of Buddha in Pedagogical development
Buddha’s approach to status of women in society
Bhima Bhoi and socio-religious movement in Odisha
Sub-themes of the seminar
1. Buddha’s approach to Social Justice
 Historical evolution of Buddhism and its Fundamental Principles
 Meaning of Social Justice
 Buddhist literature
 Contribution of Buddhism towards Social Justice
2. Equality, freedom and Justice as reflected in the tripitak
 Pali tripitak
 Buddhas view on equality, freedom and Justice.
 Buddhism and humanism
 Meaning of equality freedom and Justice.
3. Relevance of Buddha’s teaching in the present day Society.
 Present Social Problem
 Utility of Buddha’s views on social issues.
4. Vinayapitak as the Role-Model for Modern-day Justice-System
5. Re-interpretation of Social. Justice in the other system of Buddhism like Mahayana
Targeted Participants
Institutions-centres of advanced learning, research, extension and practice- and individualsacademia, scholars, students engaged in the study of Buddhism are expected to deliberate on
the relevance of Buddha’s pragmatic approaches for human freedoms, social justice and
Expected Outcome
The seminar is expected to garnering knowledge of Buddhism on core domains impacting
human life in contemporary societies and the proceeding of the seminar are expected to be
extremely useful for us to resolve our complex social problem by delineating a roadmap of
Buddhist approaches to establish a harmonious society focusing on areas like:
Promoting peace and harmony in the Society.
Integrating all sections of Society.
Promoting national goodwill and relations.
Creating strong research oriented theoretical foundations in consonance with the recent
advances in the discipline of Buddhist studies.
5. Developing understanding about the ethical, Psychological, Philosophical, Historical,
Social, Political and other aspects of Buddhism.
6. Fostering and promoting basic human freedoms, social justice and equality in the
The National Institute of Social Work and Social Sciences (NISWASS) was established in the
Year 1971. NISWASS, a society registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860, Regd.
No. 18975/14 of 1986/87 against old Regd. No. 6245/201 of 1971/72. It is an evolution in itself
and has brought a sea change in all aspects of its operations from communication to research;
from projection to implementation. NISWASS operates its own communication branch that
strengthens understanding and improves goodwill between service providers and target
The 43 years lived history of NISWASS, also indicates that NISWASS is a product of an open
space and provides an open agenda for dialogues, discussions and interactions among all
individuals, groups and communities belonging to diverse classes and compositions, who have
been in the helm of its affairs, in its management structure and other leading roles in the
academia and in the administration. These pillars of NISWASS, who are also its stakeholders,
are liberal, secular and democratic iconoclasts, who have contributed to the Vision, Mission
and Values of NISWASS; negating ordinarily held notions of conservatism and casteism,
orthodoxy and obscurantism. We salute their conviction and commitment.
Dr. Ambedkar Chair was instituted at the National Institute of Social Work and Social Sciences
(NISWASS) in 1994 by the Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment, Government of India. Dr. Ambedkar Chair in Social Work encapsulates its
various schemes and programmes in the Department of Social Work in NISWASS. It supports
academic research, documentation and publications.
Dr. Ambedkar Chair also implements the philosophies and democratic emancipations of
Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Class and Minorities. In the acceptance
speech of first Dr. Ambedkar National Award (1993), Dr. R.K. Nayak, the FounderCoordinator of NISWASS, proclaimed, ‘The award... has sensitized NISWASS to the great
responsibility it bears, of translating the wishes of Dr. Ambedkar into action (A Day to
Remember 13 May 1995.p12.)’.
The Dr. Ambedkar Chair in Social Work in NISWASS, and with the support from Dr.
Ambedkar Foundation, it has grown step by step in this last two decades. It has engaged
expertise, multi-disciplinary expertise of academia on Dr. Ambedkar Philosophy and Thoughts.
The Chair until now organized number of annual lectures, seminar and conferences where
highly praised professors from national and international universities and institutions delivered
their lectures on Dr. Ambedkar thoughts.
Keeping the background view of NISWASS and Dr. Ambedkar Chair in Social Work, with
support from Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, the Institute is organizing a national seminar as part of
celebration of Birth Anniversary of great saint, Lord Buddha. In this birth anniversary seminar
of Lord Buddha, it will be expected to comprehend the Relevance of Buddha’s Pragmatic
Approaches to Human Freedom, Social Justice and Equality in contemporary India. The papers
and presentations on themes and sub-themes will help to find out the importance of Buddha’s
thoughts and philosophy along with Dr. Ambedkar ideas of equality, freedom and liberty.
We propose to bring out an edited volume of the selected papers presented in the seminar.
In association with
Dr. Ambedkar Found, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Government of India, 15 Janpath
New Delhi-110001
The National Seminar will be held
May 2015
Venue: Dr. Ambedkar Hall, NISWASS
NISWASS will arrange local hospitality for the invited delegates.
Travel Support
NISWASS will reimburse travel cost (AC 2 tier for professor and AC 3 tier for Associate,
Assistant, Senior research Scholar, Ph.D. Scholars).
Submission of Abstract: February 20, 2015
(Abstract in MS word 300 words)
Submission of full paper: March 25, 2015
(Full paper in MS word 6000-8000 words)
We request you to kindly send abstract and full paper at
[email protected]
Organised by
Dr. Ambedkar Chair in Social Work
NISWASS, 3, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar-751023
Seminar Convener
Dr. Sashmi Nayak
Professor (in-charge), Dr. Ambedkar Chair in Social Work
Dr. Praveen Kumar
Associate Professor
Centre for Buddhist Studies, NISWASS
Dr. Birendra Suna
Research Officer
Dr. Ambedkar Chair in Social Work, NISWASS
Advisory Committee
Dr. Radhakant Nayak
Founder, NISWASS
Shri Narayan Chandra Das
Director, Establishment, NISWASS
Professor K. Raju, HOD, Social Work, NISWASS
Dr. Nabor Soreng, Principal, NISWASS
Mr. S.R. Mohanty
Director of Finance, NISWASS
Organising Committee
Dr. Sashmi Nayak
Dr. P. Yoshodhara
Dr. Praveen Kumar
Dr. Birendra Suna
Dr. Proggya Ghatak
Ms.Pushpita Das
Ms.Dipti Ray
Ms. Bijayalaxmi Sahoo
Ms. Sashmita Mohanty
Site Seeing
Buddhists Monasteries and Sites touring ( Dhauli, Khandagiri, Lalit Giri, Ratna Giri, Udya
Giri, Langudi).
How to reach NISWASS?
Bhubaneswar Railway Station to NISWASS (Approximately 5 Km, convenience three
wheelers and taxi)
Bhubaneswar Airport to NISWASS (Approximately 8 Km, convenience, three wheelers,
Cabs and City bus)
Baranmunda Inter State Bus-stand (Approximately 5 Km Convenience three wheelers)
Registration Form
Birth Anniversary of Great Saints
Seminar on
Relevance of Buddha’s Pragmatic Approach:
Human Freedom, Social Justice and Equality in Contemporary India
Dr. Ambedkar Hall,
NISWASS, 3, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar-751023
1. Name:.................................................................. (in capital)
2. Designation:....................................................
3. Organisation:........................................................
4. Contact address:..............................................
5. Phone number:.............................
6. Email Id:........................................................
7. Category (Please Mark)
Professor/Associate Prof./Assistant Prof.
Research Scholars/Student
Registration form can be emailed to
[email protected]
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