A prime honour for southern philosopher

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh honoured Balasubramanian, chairman of the Indian Philosophical Congress, in New Delhi recently. The conferment of the award has elated the academic community here, in the backdrop of humanities languishing for a long time in Indian universities.

“For the first time, the Prime Minister himself has come down to recognise the eminence and contributions of a philosopher from the southern part of the country,” said Prof Bhuvan Chandel, Member-Secretary, Centre for Studies in Civilisations, New Delhi, at a simple function held in the Madras University on Wednesday to felicitate Balasubramanian.
A scholar in Advaita philosophy, 82-year-old Balasubramanian, also former chairman of the ICPR, was instrumental in registering the ICPR as a member of the International ‘Federation of Members of Society of Philosophy’ which organises the ‘World Philosophy Congress’ every five years, Chandel noted.

Balasubramanian, who had earlier taught at the Annamalai, Madras and Pondicherry universities, had not only been representing India as the plenary session speaker in World Philosophy Congresses in the past in places like Moscow, Boston and Istanbul, but has also been representing the ‘oriental world’ in that prestigious forum, he said. His most recent visit was to China, in a bid to bring their philosophy closer to Indian philosophy, Chandel noted. Balasubramanian is also slated to chair the session in Indian Philosophy in the next World Philosophy Congress at Athens in 1913, he added.

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