Jammu, October 16(Scoop News)- Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, Prof M. P. S Ishar on Wednesday highlighted the relevance of Shakespeare’s alternative ideas of People’s Republic which broadly related to the principles of justice and equality besides a humane society based on high values.
Speaking at a three-day international seminar on ‘The Republic in Shakespeare’, organised by the Department of English, University of Jammu in collaboration with the Shakespeare Association of India in the campus this morning, the Vice Chancellor said the great writer of his times reinforced the idea of the Republic through romance, comedies and tragedies, quite differently from the one that informs histories.
Over 200 eminent scholars from India and abroad are participating in the international event.
The Vice Chancellor lauded the holding of such a seminar in the temple of city, hoping that this will provide an opportunity to the budding scholars to share the treasure of knowledge from eminent people around the world and across the country, who are participating in the three-day event. He said their research on Shakespearean ideology will further enrich the knowledge base of the young scholars and help them peep into the history pragmatically.
Prof Ishar expressed the hope that the brain storming sessions during the seminar will also provide the local scholars a wide canvass to express their views over the challenging subject.
In her welcome address, Prof. Satnam Kour, Head Department of English, University of Jammu gave an overview of the seminar and said ‘The Republic in Shakespeare’ gains significance as it deals with concrete social and political issues that determine the course of histories of societies and civilisation, cultures and common wealth. She said the subject of Republicanism has remained significant since time immemorial and is relevant in the present times when the quest for ‘a just Society’ is ardently being pursued.
Elaborating on the theme, Prof Kour said the fundamental concern of a Republic lies in the definition of the justices. Giving an overview on the work of Shakespeare, she said that in order to awaken the Globe’s audience to the concept of individual freedom, human dignity and social equality in a foxy-artful way, Shakespeare tried to lure them to the idea of Republicanism. The issue of Republic was umbilical to Shakespeare creative thought, which is quite evident by the fact that majority of this plays are histories which focus on the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, the privileged and the petitioning, the elected and the electors, she maintained.
Prof Kour said that Shakespeare had an extensive knowledge about the subject of Republic, which he had seen life in historical perspective steadily and as a whole.
Prof. Bhim Singh Dhiya, President The Shakespeare Association of India delivered the keynote address. He dwelt on various facets of the topic elaborately.
The theme of ‘The Republic in Shakespeare’is as open to exploration as any other, offering ample scope for making new emphases as well as for modifying the existing ones. Although apparently not the central preoccupation in Shakespeare, the subject of the Republic figures in majority of his plays, he added. Prof. Dahiya said, a clear indication of Shakespeares’s interest in the issue of the Republic is his setting of the opening scenes in public places in so many of his plays, with characters from the margins holding the stage. the opening scenes, for instance, of Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello and several other plays are located in the streets, or in the peripheral places where the common stock of people, other than the central figures or the ruling elite, are shown debating significant happenings in the state. As the plays proceed, the dynamics of the opposites- the ruling elite and the subject people-begins to unfold, with the issue o the Republic emerging, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly, as an engaging subject of each plot.
Prof. Dahiya further added that Shakespeare’s view of life, and of history, reveals itself, as Coleridge remarks, in the balance or reconcilement of opposite or discordant qualities: of sameness with difference; of the general with the concrete; the idea with the image; the individual with the representative; the sense of novelty and freshness with old and familiar objects; a more than usual state of emotion with more than usual order; judgment ever awake and steady self-possession with enthusiasm and feeling profound of vehement; and while it blends and harmonizes the natural and the artificial, still subordinates art to nature; manner to the matter, and our admiration of the poet to our sympathy with the poetry…, finally, good sense is the Body of poetic genius, Fancy its Drapery, Motion its life, and Imagination the soul that is every where, and in each, and forms all into one graceful and intelligent whole’.
On the occasion, Prof. Mohan Paul Singh Ishar, released the Souvenir related to the seminar while Prof. R.S White, University of Western Australia released a special number on Women and Shakespeare. In addition, Prof. Paul Budra released the International journal of Drama Studies.
Dr. Monika Sethi, Associate Professor, Department of English presented a formal vote of thanks.
The Seminar is being sponsored by the Directorate of Distance Education, University of Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Directorate of Industries and Commerce, J&K and Bhatia Sons.
The seminar will have detailed discussions on the works of Shakespeare. There are 30 Parallel and 7 Plenary Sessions. The resource persons who will be delivering lectures during these sessions include Dr. Carlina Sulzer, Vienna University, Dr. K. K. Rishi, Kurukshetra University, Prof. Anand Prakash, Delhi University, Prof. Tirthanklar Das Purkayatha, Vidya Sagar University, Prof. Raj. N. Bakshi, Lucknow University, Prof. A. K. Sharma, Central University, Jharkhand, Prof. Tejinder Kour, Punjabi University, Patiala, Prof. Seema Malik, M S U Udaipur, Prf. S. P. S. Dahiya, M D U Rohtak, Prof. Ram Niwas, Kurukshetra University, Prof. Samina Kahn, Aligarh Muslim University, Dr. Swati Ganguly, Vishwa Bharti University, West Bengal, Dr. Pankaj sharma, C D L University, D. Payal Nagpal and Dr. Hema Dahiya, Delhi University.
Among others present on the occasion were Prof Neelam Saraf, Dean Academic Affairs, Prof Manoj K Dhar, Registrar, Prof. Neelu Rohmetra, Rector Kathua Campus, Dr. D. L. Choudhary, Administrator, GZSAC, Heads of the Teaching Departments, Jai Kumar Sharma, Sp. Secretary to VC, faculty members, officers, scholars and students of the University.
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