Guru-Shishya Tradition of India Vs. the Fake Baba Phenomenon

The second edition of the Tamil Nadu Young Thinkers Meet (TNYTM) was organized by Tamil Nadu Young Thinkers Forum (TNYTF) in association with India Foundation and Indic Academy at Puducherry on 7th and 8th October 2017. Over 50 participants from various parts of Tamil Nadu came together for a candid exchange of ideas on a wide spectrum of topics such as the importance of Tamil culture, the need for academic rigour, foreign policy, understanding social exploitation & integration, spirituality and development, the role of media in enabling quality public discourse, and the significance of Jammu and Kashmir to the rest of India.

The speakers included Dr. Kiran Bedi, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry; Shri Ila Ganesan, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; Prof. Makarand R. Paranjape, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Prof. P. Puneeth, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Dr. David Frawley, Author and Columnist; Shri Hari Kiran V, Founder, Indic Academy; Shri Abhijeet Iyer Mitra, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies; Shri Anand Ranganathan, Consulting Editor and Columnist, News Laundry; Ms. Aarti Tikoo Singh, Senior Assistant Editor, Times of India and Shri Ma Venkatesan, Author and Historian. Rohini Manohar of Chennai Yoga Studio conducted a calming yoga session. As a part of the guest talk series, Prof Madhusudhanan Kalaichelvan, Associate Professor at the Mohammed Sathak AJ Academy of Architecture spoke on the need to enhance public participation to conserve temples. Dr. Rohini Rau spoke on how much India has enabled her to pursue her goals as a doctor cum sailor.

The participants at the Meet were young thinkers between the ages of 25 and 40 years, from varied professional backgrounds such as IT, social studies, law, sports, education, media, cybersecurity, medicine, social entrepreneurship, government etc. There was also representation from socio-spiritual organizations and grass-root leaders from the subaltern communities in Tamil Nadu. It was a gathering of young minds engaging on thought-provoking topics of relevance not just to Tamil Nadu but to the entire nation. The Meet enabled participants to develop a holistic perspective to understand these topics. The group had the opportunity to not only listen to experts and practitioners from the field but also to interact with them via open, healthy and forthright discussions.

(This article is carried in the print edition of November-December 2017 issue of India Foundation Journal.)

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