Date: 01/09/2014

After 800 years Nalanda University reopens.

The news of reopening of Nalanda University after a gap of 800 years may not make world headlines. Yet the significance is historic, speaks well of our resilience and sagacity .
Our civilization and culture broadly known as Hindu is the only major surviving entity in that category from ages unknown, whereas Greek, Egypt, and others of equal antiquity survive only in museums. Even the remnant is still under constant attack is known well and there are evil forces both with in India and outside to wipe out what remains.
All this is reality but not seize mentality which we never suffered from as a civilization. As such even during most darkest periods of history, India continued to produce brightest stars in several areas to advance civilization.
Despite what has happened and what is happening now, who is triumphing over evil ?
Reopening of Nalanda University provides the answer.
In a boxing match falling down is common. Those who fall down are not considered lost but only those who cannot get up and fight again. Time and again India got up and fought back, as such India's history is series of victories over last thousands of years.
And this resurgence is still causing heart ache to the very forces that are still active in the world, that burnt famous Nalanda University and is magnificent library. By rebuilding and reopening India is making a statement, loss is not forever, triumph we will . Hence rightly the motto , Satyameva Jayethe for India.
Nalanda was razed to the ground by handful of Moslem raiders led by Bhaktiyar Khilzi , 800 years back. Tens of thousands of students from all over civilized world then were students . And there were learned professors and its school halls and library were repositories of known knowledge, wisdom of man kind then. India had links, connections with all SE nations and beyond who worshiped India for her spiritual wisdom, material knowledge and noble conduct. Thus without a single soldier being sent to conquer, India won hearts and minds of people of China, S E Asia, Japan , Central Asia and so on.
As they say of course all these are during 'jahilia'. When Khilzi destroyed Nalanda he not only ruined a place of learning but also severed all the hoary connections India had with all the neighboring countries.
Now finally after a gap of 68 years even after independence, these lost links are being reestablished. It may take some time to regain previous eminence for Nalanda, nevertheless a good beginning is made . Significance of reopening of Nalanda is comparable for restoration , renovation and reopening of Somanath temple.
P S: Seventy years may be a significant number. It took 70 years for even mighty Soviet Union to unravel and collapse. Acolytes of arsonists of Nalanda, wresting an Islamic state out of India's sacred land are also nearing 70 years. Let us see if the state of Pakistan will live to see the 71 year .
For sure, Nalanda will be there much better restored and functioning than at present along with Indian or Hindu renaissance making all round progress in all worthy human endeavors, enlightening the world once again. Perhaps Taxsila University too could be restored in near future.
Nalanda University reopens after 800 years
Nalanda University reopens after 800 yearsA view of International Convention Centre in Rajgir, Bihar, where classes and activities of Nalanda University will run. (TOI photo by KM Sharma)RELATED
Nalanda University to begin classes with 15 pupils, 11 teachers1,000 foreign students keen to join Nalanda universityBudget neglects Bihar, chief minister saysWon’t allow anti-India acts from our soil, Bangladesh saysTokyo Declaration for India — Japan Special Strategic and Global Part...PATNA: Nalanda University in Bihar's Rajgir district started its first academic session on Monday, nearly 800 years after the ancient education institution was destroyed. Students attended four sessions on the first day, 9am to 1.30pm.
"The students had a chance to explore the neighbourhood during their three-day orientation programme earlier," vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal told TOI. The first batch of the university is being called the 'Nalanda Pioneers'.
Congratulatory messages poured in. Nobel laureate and NU chancellor Amartya Sen was the first to call and wish the students. Members of NU governing body, Wang Bangwei, Wang Gungwu, NK Singh, George Yeo and Anil Wadhwa, too, sent laudatory wishes to the students and faculty members. "Congratulations. Indeed a moment of great satisfaction," Singh's message read.
Gopa Sabharwal, vice-chancellor, Nalanda University, inspecting the conference hall for Nalanda University at International Convention Centre, in Rajgir. (TOI photo by KM Sharma)
At present, NU has two schools of the seven schools planned: ecology and environment studies and historical studies. The university has 15 students and 11 faculty members and is still in the process of admissions. Besides professors from foreign nations, two students are from Bhutan and Japan.
NU School of Ecology and Environment Studies associate professor Somnath Bandyopadhyay told TOI, "A combined class was held on Monday morning for the students where they were told about our focus on interdisciplinary learning."
Nalanda University faculties memebers and non-teaching staffs at the International Covention Centre, in Rajgir. (TOI photo by KM Sharma)
He added the focus at NU was on learning, not just teaching. "The students are a major resource for the institution and are bringing their experiences along with them and we will work together for the benefit of mankind."
"The two-year master's programme is a semester system and credit-based programme which has a foundation course, core courses and an essential research project," Bandopadhyay said. The master's degree programme will also include field visits and internships.
Camp office of Nalanda University. (TOI photo by KM Sharma)
Classes will be held at Rajgir's signature building, the International Convention Centre, until a makeshift campus for classrooms, offices and semi-furnished faculty residences near the Rajgir bus stand is ready. Students and faculty members are staying at a government hotel next to the convention centre.
The 455-acre NU campus is yet to see any construction work as the university administration is in the process of getting municipal clearances.