The Vasant Vyakhyanmala (Spring Lecture Series) 2011 kicked off yesterday with an inaugural address by economist & Padma Vibhushan Dr. Vijay Kelkar. Dr. Kelkar spoke about “Rising India: The growth Dynamics” . I first heard & blogged about Vasant Vyakhyanmala in 2010, however the event as such is a remarkable 137 year old one. It was founded by Justice Ranade in 1875 and is being regularly held since!
I came acrsos VV in 2010 only because since last year or so I started reading the Marathi newspapers regularly. The superficial nature and the disconnect of the English press with what’s happening on the ground in Pune has come as a shock since.
Anyway, I am told that in its heyday, just before the independence of India, the event was attended by 1000s and every major leader of that time has spoken at Vasant Vyakhyanmala. VV has kind of faded since, maybe cause post-independence there’s no major topic that people want to hear about; and perhaps also cause our leaders today are pygmies as compared to those pre-independence.
So these days, while the event continues to have a good lineup of talks, it is mostly attended by senior citizens, people who clap & appreciate a talk but are not very well placed to actually do much with the knowledge & information. So we have some of the best minds speaking at VV but there’s hardly anyone in the audience who can make much use of the talk. Now isn’t that a shame!
So this year I & a few like minded people are making an extra effort to take VV to the youth, via a Vasant Vyakhyanmala page on Facebook & Vasant Vyakhyanmala Id on Twitter. At both places you will get regular updates on what’s happening at the event & the lecture for the day. Both ids are not “official” as yet.
This VV ‘reach out’, is in a way a test of faith for me. I personally do not think that (as claimed by many) the youth today are only interested in partying, drinking & frivolous matters. I believe that the reason these things are on the rise is cause the youth today do not have any icons to emulate and have little good & engaging content available in social life. However they do have a ton of rubbish & temptations easily accessible and promoted via various marketing channels.
I believe that given good content in an enjoyable setting, the youth will come. VV also needs to be made a cool place to be & to talk about, a la TED, but that’s the next step.
VV 2011 definitely has loads of good content. Let’s see if we see some youth turnout at 2011.
Please find the detailed schedule of lectures below. I will continue to add to the translated English list below.
The timing for all talks is 6.30 to 7.30 pm, the venue is the Tilak Smarak on Tilak Road >> Map . The pass for the entire series costs Rs. 100 while a daily pass costs just Rs. 5!
- 21 April
Dr. Vijay kelkar – India Rising, The Growth Dynamics
- 22 April
Dr. Ajit Ranade – Election Reforms & Strengthening of Parliamentary Democracy
- 23 April
S.K.Kulkarni – Visionary Journalist Jayantrao Tilak & Today’s Journalism
- 24 April
Dr. Vinod Marathe – Easy remedies for complex diseases
- 25 April
Dr. Dilip Ranjekar – Role of Education in a civilized & humane society
- 26 April
Dr. Anil Gandhi – The Family Doctor – An Institution
- 27 April
Pune Mayor Rajpal & Pune Politicos – Issues Facing Pune city
- 28 April
Pandurang Balkawde – The Battle Of Panipat