Talk by Dr. Raj Vedam
Date: July 9, 2022
For the recording of Question & Answer session, click HERE.
As part of Sri Aurobindo Society’s ongoing celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and 75th year of India’s Independence, Renaissance Journal team has started a new series of talks and events titled – Reawakening Bhārata Shakti – Toward an Indian Renaissance.
In May 2022 the Renaissance team had organised a 10-day exhibition titled Bhārata Shakti at the Ashram Exhibition House in Pondicherry. The Exhibition was a grand success, and we received several requests to take the exhibition outside Pondicherry.
The series ‘Reawakening Bhārata Shakti – Toward an Indian Renaissance‘ aspires to deepen the work that was started in the exhibition through a variety of series of talks and events inspired by the themes which were briefly touched upon on in the exhibition.
The first event was held on Saturday, July 9, 2022. The Renaissance team invited Dr. Raj Vedam from Texas, USA to deliver a talk titled ‘The Unity of Bhāratiya Civilisation: Evidence and Issues’.
Dr. Beloo Mehra, Senior Academic Mentor at AuroBharati and Editor of Renaissance gave a brief introduction of the event series. She pointed out the emphasis Sri Aurobindo placed on a deeper cultural unity of India and shared a few thoughts from him related to this. She then introduced the guest speaker Dr. Raj Vedam and invited him for the talk.
[In] India at a very early time the spiritual and cultural unity was made complete and became the very stuff of the life of all this great surge of humanity between the Himalayas and the two seas. The peoples of ancient India were never so much distinct nations sharply divided from each other by a separate political and economic life as sub-peoples of a great spiritual and cultural nation itself ﬁrmly separated, physically, from other countries by the seas and the mountains and from other nations by its strong sense of difference, its peculiar common religion and culture.~ Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, 20:428-429
For the next one hour and fifteen minutes, Dr. Vedam patiently and diligently walked the audience through rich data representing a wide range of cultural and knowledge domains — music, architecture, astronomical knowledge traditions, evolution of script, languages, knowledge of medicine, mathematics, genetics and more — to illustrate how an underlying unity has been the key aspect of Indian civilisation. The evidence he presented proved well the hypothesis he started his talk with, namely, all evidence one finds from within the land-mass called Bharat, points to a deep cultural unity which has led the historical march of the Bhāratiya civilisation.
The extremely well illustrated talk by Dr. Vedam highlighted several key findings from various scholarly studies and presented valuable and rich data points for any interested researcher to take this work further. Towards the end of his talk, he pointed out some of the ‘etic’ frameworks that have been used to write Indian history which has resulted in deracinated generations of Indians. He emphasised the need to rewrite Indian history based on internal evidence and a framework that is grounded in indigenous ways of understanding identity and culture.
The audience found the whole talk highly engaging and enriching. A few audience members asked some highly relevant questions, which Dr. Vedam addressed patiently. To a question about what can be done to rewrite Indian history textbooks, Dr. Vedam replied that while the political dispensation in power must play an important role in this, it is also important that on ground level each Indian also makes an effort to learn about, as much as possible, the evidence-based history of our civilisation. Much misinformation and misinterpretation has badly distorted our sense of who we are as a people, this needs to be addressed through an intense decolonising of mind and getting rid of our customary mental prejudices about our past fed by the colonisers’ version of history.
The online event on Zoom was attended by 30 people, and several more joined the live stream through Sri Aurobindo Society’s Facebook page where it has already reached to more than 500 people in the last 2 days.
Here is some feedback received from the audience:
- An excellent, gripping and enlightening talk. Absolutely brilliant. A very well researched topic that completely demolishes the AIT and a separate Dravidian civilization theory. Raj ji’s talk provides much food for thought and motivates researchers to seek the truth. Thank you for this excellent presentation.
- Very enlightening and removing all distortions in Indian history
- Very enlightening, well illustrated talk. Congratulations! Thanks to Raj Vedam ji.
- Thank you for your lecture, which I have enjoyed. My congratulations!
- Thank you very much for your valuable presentation.
- Thank you Raj Vedam Sir! Hearing you has been so informative. You have covered a rainbow of topics to help subvert several false narratives such as AIT, uncultured/uneducated Indians, Aryan-Dravidian divide, Colonial and Marxist histories of India, etc. Dhanyawad! Indeed, the light of knowledge removes ignorance. People like you are our Kshatriyas. Keep rocking.
- Thank you very much for the nice session.
About the speaker:
Dr. Raj Vedam is Visiting Faculty at Hindu University of America, USA, and also at Arsha Seva Kendram, Coimbatore. He is the co-Founder of Indian History Awareness & Research and also serves on the India Advisory Council, Dharma Civilization Foundation.
Dr. Raj Vedam earned his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA. He has many years of multi-disciplinary work experience in diverse industries, and with several journal and conference papers and patents, he is an innovation leader.
Dr. Vedam believes that an evidence-based narrative of Indian history is urgently needed to correct the grievously distorted identity and history of the Indian civilization. With this aim, he has delivered over 150 talks in various cities in India and USA. He has been invited to share his research findings at some of the highly prestigious and popular platforms.
He has also conducted over a dozen teacher-training workshops. At Hindu University of America, Dr. Vedam offers two courses on Reconstructing Hindu History. He has also worked on reviewing and correcting school history textbooks in two states in India and in Texas.