By Srinivas Sirnoorkar
With the formal inauguration of the UGC-assisted Centre for Studies in Vijnaneshwara’s Mitakashara and Human Rights in Gulbarga University in the second week, the focus has now shifted to the kind of research activities the Centre would embark upon on Mitakshara—a fundamental legal treatise written by the celebrated 12th-century jurist Vijnaneshwara and which is responsible for the growth of modern Indian jurisprudence.
The opening of the Centre has been regarded as a major development in the history of the country’s legal academics and research and as the most befitting tribute in the memory of Vijnaneshwara, who hailed from Gulbarga.
With the Mitakshara School controlling the Indian way of life for over nine centuries, the relevance of the same in the 21st century is also being widely debated. The fact that the Supreme Court even today looks at Mitakashara to wriggle out of any delicate matters on Hindu Personal Law and complexities thereon, speaks volumes for the system evolved in the medieval period.
The relevance of Mitakshara to the modern world was underlined by the speakers, including Chief Justice of India, R.C. Lahoti, Supreme Court Justice, Sri Krishna and other legal luminaries at the one-day national seminar on Mitakshara. The departments of law, Sanskrit, sociology and economics have worked out a number of research activities and programmes to be undertaken by the Vijnaneshwara Centre. The Centre was set up through the sustained efforts of former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana, Dr M. Rama Jois, and Vice-Chancellor V.B. Coutinho, hailing from the Law Faculty.
Although the university had submitted a proposal for seeking assistance to the tune of Rs 75 lakh, the UGC has sanctioned Rs 20 lakh only. “We wish to develop the Centre into a law school of international standard in the Jnana Ganga campus, by seeking assistance from various quarters,” said Law Faculty Dean, Dr J.S. Patil. The Law Department seeks to take up study and research projects on matters related to stridhana (property rights of women), relevance of joint Hindu family, coparceners and coparcenary property, succession, partition, adoption, divorce, Mitakshara and changing social scenario.
The Sanskrit Department has proposed to take up the study of Mitakshara and to translate it into English, Indian and foreign languages, prepare course material, for it besides propagating and popularising Mitakshara.