Balvant K. Parekh Memorial Function and the Release of Anekaant: A Journal of Polysemic Thought

      The Parekhs with Sitanshu Mehta                                          Release of Anekaant

The Parekhs with guests

The Centre organized Balvant K. Parekh Memorial Function on 19th March 2013 at 4:00 pm for bringing alive the memories of Shri Parekh and releasing the first issue of Anekaant: A Journal of Polysemic Thought. Narendra K. Parekh, Kalpana B. Parekh, and Ajay B. Parekh, representing the Parekh family, writers, artists, academicians and students attended the meeting. The program began with lighting of the lamp and unveiling the picture of Balvantbhai. P. C. Kar, the Director of the Centre in his welcome address, shared the memories of his first meeting with Balvantbhai in Mumbai, and later interactions ranging from Heidegger to business plans, from routine facts of life to General Semantics. He also mentioned about an imaginary letter written by Balvantbhai when he was in his early twenties. The letter contained a speech that he would deliver on receiving an award on his success. The main ideas of the letter were that real success comes after many failures and sycophancy is not true encouragement. He used the same ideas in the acceptance speech for the 2011 Talbot Winchell Award presented to him by the Institute of General Semantics . Balvantbhai’s son, Ajay B. Parekh, daughter, Kalpana B. Parekh, Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Shirish Panchal, Raman Soni, Jayadev Shukla, Jayesh Bhogayata, Rajesh Pandya and Lajwanti Chatani also paid homage to Balvantbhai. In summing up, Narendra K. Parekh recollected about Shri Parekh’s vast interest in knowledge acquisition and dissemination. Balvantbhai was unique in many ways, remembered the younger brother – fair in business deals, an exceptional husband, father and brother, a philanthropist who did not donate for fame. Balvantbhai had the vision that a donation should enrich the donor with nobility and selfless contentment. His interest in knowledge was more humanitarian than academic. Gamtano Kariye Gulal, a compilation of articles, poetry, stories and anecdotes from different sources and disciplines which he published for many years exemplifies his untiring and noble efforts to generously distribute the wealth of knowledge. Through the Centre, its activities and publications that reach several people across India , he was sharing the benefits of knowledge – a truly enlightened use of capital for social good. Balvantbhai wanted that the Centre should publish a journal, scholarly, but not pedantic, simple yet not trivial. During a board meeting, Dr. Sitanshu Yashaschandra suggested the title, Anekaant: A Journal of Polysemic Thought and other board members accepted it. The title captures the richness, variety and endless inconclusivity of knowledge and also does justice to Balvantbhai’s humanitarian inclusive vision of tolerance, respect for diversity and openness to ideas. In his loving memory, the first issue of Anekaant: A Journal of Polysemic Thought was released by Narendra K. Parekh. Bini B.S., one of the editors of the Journal shared her experiences and inspirations during the making of Anekaant. Shipra Upadhyaya, Academic Fellow of the Centre proposed the vote of thanks. The function ended with a short film on Balvant K. Parekh.

Shreyasee DattaAcademic Fellow, Centre for Contemporary Theory