The Centre for Hindu Studies at Delhi University stands as a beacon of academic excellence, fostering a transformative environment for research in the field. Established with the vision to explore and understand the multifaceted dimensions of Hindutva, the institution has played a pivotal role in shaping the discourse surrounding Hindu studies. By promoting interdisciplinary research, encouraging critical thinking, and providing a platform for scholars to engage with diverse perspectives, the Centre has emerged as a hub for intellectual exploration and innovation. The inception of the Centre for Hindu Studies at Delhi University can be traced back to the recognition of the need for a dedicated institution that could delve into the complexities of Hindutva with scholarly rigour. Established to promote interdisciplinary research, the Centre has since evolved into a dynamic hub where scholars from diverse backgrounds converge to explore the multifaceted dimensions of Hindutva.
Hindu Studies courses
- Banaras Hindu University
- University of Delhi
- Nalanda University
- University of Mumbai
- Dev Sanskriti University
- Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts
- Bhishma School of Indic Studies
- Sri Sri University
Confronting Western Dominance
The Centre for Hindu Studies, stringently intended to ponder over the formal and well-established academic discipline that involves the exhaustive elucidation of ‘Hindu culture, religion, languages, literature, philosophical and historical excursion, arts, law and society’, which depicts the empathy with the distinct issues across the world. Through such academic endeavour, a group of academicians and scholars conduct stern studies over distinct and dynamic issues of ancient Indic civilisation, specifically Hindu Civilisation. The concerned studies of Hindutva reflect not only the historical and philosophical excursion but also conducts some sort of critical account to get the theoretical underpinnings of the themes and issues that have close relativity. Widely accepted, the scope of Hindu studies is not restrained merely to the study of Darsāna (or philosophical outlook), and religiosity, rather its realm is enriched in source, though ambitious and complex to understand.
Over the last 100 years, Hindus and the discourse of Bharat have been vehemently criticised and further demonised by groups of scholars and academicians to sustain the hegemony of Western dominance. The scope of Hindu studies also creates an opportunity to contest the context, which is challenging the originality of Hindu sacredness over academia since the millennium. Themes and issues, under Hindu studies, are sufficient to prove the originality of the Indic civilisation w.r.t Hindutva. Unfortunately, stances of anti-Hindutva are sustained because the realm of Hindu studies is pursued and further explored by non-Indians. Here non-Indians do not have any relatation to citizenship, rather those who were dealing, since long, with Hindu studies and were Indians only by their identity; not in their hearts. Quite unfortunately, in India, there is no such academic institution that allows one to learn the distinct themes of Hindutva (ism). While pursuing their academic goals, scholars of Hindu studies should draw upon multiple disciplines and their methodologies, including the ones associated with traditional Hindu knowledge systems (e.g. Darsānas, and Dharma Sāstras) as well as the tools used in anthropology, sociology, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and history. Finally, we would like to re-emphasise that a scholar of “Hindu Studies” shall not limit her intellectual enterprise to just studying Hindu philosophical texts and doctrines. Moreover, the Centre has a staunch commitment towards the theoretical and philosophical along with the empirical findings, which are sufficient to make civilisation, specifically Hindu culture, true and unbiased, which can be corrected only with the development of robust disciplines of scholarship in the distinct realm of Hindu study within Bharat, for Bharat, and by Bharat.
One of the distinctive features of the Centre of Hindu Studies is its commitment to an interdisciplinary approach. Recognising that Hindutva is not merely a religious tradition but a complex cultural, social, and philosophical phenomenon, the Centre encourages scholars to adopt a holistic perspective in their research endeavours. This interdisciplinary approach has led to a rich tapestry of studies that explore Hindutva in its historical, sociological, literary, and philosophical dimensions. The Centre for Hindu Studies has actively fostered collaboration with scholars and institutions worldwide, contributing to the globalisation of Hindu Studies. International conferences, workshops, and collaborative research projects have become integral to the Centre’s activities. This not only enhances the global visibility of Hindu Studies but also brings diverse perspectives to the research undertaken at the Centre, enriching the academic discourse.
Nurturing critical thinking
The Centre has played a crucial role in the publication and dissemination of cutting-edge research in the field of Hindu Studies. Through its academic journals, monographs, and research papers, the Centre ensures that the scholarly output reaches a wide audience. This commitment to sharing knowledge has not only elevated the profile of the Centre but has also contributed significantly to the advancement of Hindu Studies on a global scale. The transformative influence of the Centre extends beyond the realm of research and into pedagogy and curriculum development. As a pioneering institution in the field of Hindu Studies, the Centre has played a crucial role in shaping academic programmes that reflect the evolving nature of the discipline. Courses offered by the Centre incorporate cutting-edge research findings, ensuring that students are exposed to the latest developments in the field.
The Centre’s commitment to interdisciplinarity is reflected in its curriculum, which encourages students to engage with diverse methodologies and perspectives. This not only equips students with a well-rounded understanding of Hindutva but also nurtures critical thinking skills that are essential for navigating the complexities of the contemporary world. Recognising the importance of supporting emerging scholars, the Centre of Hindu Studies provides research grants and scholarships to encourage and facilitate high-quality research projects. This initiative has not only nurtured young talent but has also led to a proliferation of innovative research that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of Hindutva. The Centre actively engages with the wider community, organising outreach programme, lectures, and workshops that bridge the gap between academic research and public understanding. By fostering a dialogue between scholars and the community, the Centre contributes to a more nuanced and informed perception of Hindutva, dispelling misconceptions and promoting cultural understanding. The transformative impact of the Centre extends beyond the confines of the university, as it actively seeks global outreach and collaboration. Recognising the global relevance of Hindu Studies, the Centre has established partnerships with renowned academic institutions and scholars worldwide. This not only facilitates the exchange of ideas but also ensures that the research conducted at the Centre contributes to the global dialogue on Hindutva. International collaborations bring diverse perspectives and methodologies to the Centre, fostering a rich and dynamic research environment. Scholars from different cultural and academic backgrounds converge at the Centre, contributing to a global tapestry of knowledge and understanding. The cross-cultural fertilisation of ideas not only enhances the quality of research but also prepares scholars to navigate the complexities of a globalised world.
While the Centre for Hindu Studies has undoubtedly made significant strides in transforming the research field, challenges persist. Issues such as funding constraints, the need for greater inclusivity, and the evolving nature of Hindutva itself pose ongoing challenges. However, with a commitment to adaptability and a forward-looking approach, the centre is poised to address these challenges and continue its transformative impact on Hindu Studies research. Conclusively, the Centre of Hindu Studies at Delhi University stands as a testament to the transformative power of dedicated academic institutions in shaping the research landscape. Through its interdisciplinary approach, international collaborations, publication initiatives, support for emerging scholars, and community engagement efforts, the Centre has emerged as a driving force in the field of Hindu Studies. As it continues to evolve and meet the challenges of the future, the Centre for Hindu Studies will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of
research in this dynamic and multifaceted field.