ICCR Current Affairs
President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe as President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
He will succeed scholar and thinker Lokesh Chandra, who was appointed by the NDA government in October 2014 and has completed his three-year-term.
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is BJP’s national vice-president and is also a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra. He is vice-president of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini which is South Asia’s only training and research academy for elected representatives and voluntary social workers. He had headed BJP’s training cell for over a decade and at present was national in-charge of two departments of the party — Policy Research and Good Governance.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
The ICCR is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of External Affairs. It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister. It is involved in India’s external cultural relations, through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples.
Its mandate is to actively participate in formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations. It also seeks to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries. It also aims to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people; and to develop relations with nations.
The international conference on “Dara Shikoh: Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India” will be held on April 27 and 28. The conference will be organised by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR). The conference will see the participation of eminent scholars from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India. The objective of the conference is to highlight Dara Shikoh’s contributions to bring about spiritual homogenisation of Hinduism and Islam and his initiatives in building a cohesive social and cultural edifice in India.
Dara Sikoh was an intellectual, wise and a paragon of harmonious coexistence of various religions. He loved Muslims, Hindus, Sufis and Sikhs all alike. Dara Shikoh dedicated himself to create a bridge of Hindu-Muslim Unity and was so learned that translated 50 Upanishads from Sanskrit to Persian for the Muslim Scholars. This work is called Sirr-i-Akbar, the great mystery. Through his research, he reached a conclusion that a common spiritual basis existed between Hinduism and Islam. He wrote that a great deal of Quranic wisdom existed in Upanishads. He also documented the Quranic terms and their Sanskrit equivalents from Upanishads. He was invited to lay the foundation of the Golden Temple of Amritsar and he befriended with 7thGuru of Sikhs Guru Har Rai.