ESTABLISHMENT OF THINK TANK UNDER AKAL TAKHT
1. Renewal of cycle of Centuries & cataclysmic changes
When the cycle of centuries renews, sea change occurs due to the activities of the seers, prophets, scientists and explorers. At the turn of the fifteenth century, explorers like Coulombs and Vasco-da-Gama embarked on the voyage which ultimately led to exploitation and enslavement of other people while Guru Nanak travelled not only in India but also in Iraq. Afghanistan, Tibet, China and Sri Lanka to spiritually liberate the humanity and establish a cooperative society. Before the turn of sixteenth century, a unique scripture containing hymns of Ramanand from South, Jaidev, from East, Kabir and Ravidas from Central India, Farid and Guru Nanak from West, was compiled and enshrined at Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar, Similarly, remarkable cataclysm like Industrial, French , Russian Revolutions and creation of Khalsa occurred when other centuries renewed themselves. Similar changes are also expected in the beginning of 21st Century.
2. Establishment of think tank under the guidance of Akal Takhat Secretariat
At the threshold of 21st Century, humanity appears to be at cross roads, because, the moral values which were serving as beacon light have slowly crumbled and most of the people feel lost and confused in the whirlwind of materialism. To improve the prevalent situation, the Akal Takhat should establish a think tank of the original thinkers who could churn 'ocean of wisdom and knowledge' for discovering 'water of immortality' i:e. amrit, afresh for rejuvenating the mankind and guiding the humanity to prevent avoidable depredation of planet earth and to help the Secretariat at Amritsar (suggested in another article), to help the human beings to develop themselves, physically, intellectually, morally and spiritually for achieving largest happiness for the largest number of people.
3. New Orientation for thinkers, scholars
It is imperative, that, in the proposed think tank adequate facilities are provided for scholars and thinkers and original orientation is given to their learning with the aim of discovering and activating creative avenues whereby a living discourse with the world at large could become a reality for our people. For this, the first and the most important thing is ,that, the scholars should be enabled to re-educate themselves as to the true nature of our roots, and next to share their discovery of 'the roots' with the people in their own language both in order to enlighten them as well as to authenticate their own formulations. This requires an atmosphere of pure learning free from the rat-race of status, salaries, designations, or other academic clouts which have become the bane of our places of higher education today.
4. (a) Nature of Institute.
The Think Tank should be a new kind of research centre having no teachers and no classes, where world's greatest scientists could gather to do research, but there should be no laboratories, no machines, no apparatus for doing experiments. It should be sort of an 'Intellectual Shanti Niketan'- almost a refuge, to which scholars could repair for any length of time and have their worldly needs taken care of by others. The usual length of stay could be six months to one year. The thinkers and scholars could work on the projects of their own choice at their own grace and have no further responsibility or accountability to anyone excepting that at the end of their stay, a one page original contribution to the think tank would be required to be given.
4. Nature of facilities for thinkers & scholars
For ensuring, that, the scholars selected for generating ideas on above key area get suitable environment, the proposed Think Tank would be providing them most modern accommodation on the lines of the one given to the scholars of Princeton University. The accommodation for the line scholars, would be sufficient not only for themselves but also for their spouses. To keep the scholars in touch with nature, suitable landscaping will be done by maintaining a garden, so that, while studying the chosen discipline, they also remain in communication with nature or Ultimate Reality. Initially, accommodation could be provided for 20 scholars. Besides that it will be necessary to provide adequate accommodation in a Guest House in the campus. The scholars selected to do research and generate new ideas will be at liberty to employ another scholar who may help them in their area of work. All the expenses of scholars will be borne by the Think Tank.
While there will have to be a big reference library, the scholar could be given mini reference libraries at their of residence. In the mini reference library. scholars will be having specialized books needed for their research and generating new ideas. A similar assistance will be given to scholars working in the same field in other institutes.
5. Key Areas for thinkers
The immediate aim of the thinkers and scholars of Think Tank will be take up following key areas for studying, analysing, thinking and throwing up new ideas for alround growth and happiness of humanity in the 21st Century:
(i) Pure Learning
To begin with some thinkers and scholars would be required to dedicate themselves to generate new ideas or theories in the disciplines of their choice. To write these ideas/theories in simple, lucid style and in the language of the people will be direct contribution to the intellectual pool of the society. Engagement in this activity shall also act as the first step towards the generation of an atmosphere of pure learning in the Think Tank. This will also encourage human virtues like austerity, dignity and grace in persons directly o r indirectly related with the Tank.
(ii) Encyclopaedia of Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Preparation of an encyclopaedia of principles, concepts and precepts of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and their relevance to the society of 21st Century.
(iii) Concept of spiritual socialism & Root formula for welfare of society
For ensuring alround economic development and for developing a panacea to eradicate the ills of humanity, concepts of 'Spiritual Socialism' will be required to be developed by some thinkers & economists. They will have to give practical suggestions in this regard so that, the concepts of meditation on the name of God' (Nam Japna), 'honest livelihood' (Dharam di Kirat Karna), and 'Sharing the fruits of honest labour with needy persons' (Vand Ke Chhakna) become a way of life in 21st Century. The root formula for the welfare would be 'good of all' (Sarbat da bhala), ' Fatherhood of God' and 'Universal brotherhood'. In such a society, there will be no distinction on the basis of caste, creed, colour, race or sex and as there will be no superior or inferior races, the exploitation of one section of the society by another section will be totally absent.
(iv) New economic Model development of the Country
As the human beings of the 21st Century, would be expected to live 'pure amidst impurities of the world' and they would be leading lives of house-holders without being materialist, economic development of the country will have to be made in such a fashion, that, it leads not only to optimum results but also helps the citizens to achieve self realisation or self actualisation. The thinkers of the Think Tank would be required to develop a new model of development for the country, which will help in vanishing the poverty, disease, unhappiness and usher in a veritable heaven on earth. The emphasis will be on generation of self employment and opportunities, so that, gross national product grows at accelerated rate. The role of Govt. will be of honest umpire.
(V) Role & status of Women in Society
The thinkers will be required to enunciate in a lucid language the role and status of women in 21st Century. The women are not only to be treated as equal to men but they are to be respected for their role in bringing up next generation in accordance with spiritual norms, so that, children could realise their optimum intellectual, physical, moral & spiritual capacity.
(vi) Investment in youth& children
A community or a country can advance only if due moral, spiritual and material investment is made in its youth and children. The thinkers will be required to give new ideas for their alround development in 21st Century, so that, later on they grow into responsible members/citizens of the society country.
(vii) Care of vulnerable sections of society
Children, women and senior citizens are vulnerable sections of the society. The scholars will be required to formulate a plan under which society not only looks after them but creates condition under which their potential is fully developed and utilised and leads to their happiness and satisfaction.
(viii) Interaction between Experience of age and energy & enthusiasm of youth
The scholars and thinkers will be required to indicate how experience of age and energy and enthusiasm of youth can be utilised for the betterment of society in 21st century.
(ix) Research on Music & Kirtan
The thinkers of the institute will be required to carry out studies and indicate, how Music and Kirtan are actually a highway for achieving truth and Godhood in the present age. The need and importance of studying classical ragas in which various hymns recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, are required to be sung, would be clarified by the thinkers. A further research will be carried out for developing master plan by utilising the media of television, audio and visual cassettes, wherein , not only the message of the hymns, would be conveyed to the public, but also, the need to learn classical ragas will be emphasised. Efforts will be made to train artists, who will not be merely professionals but will be believing in the high moral values reflected in the hymns sung by them in the Kirtan.
(x) Development of Techniques for dissemination of ideas developed in the institute among the people i.e. Extension work
New ways of holding seminars or great debates will be developed, so that, new ideas generated in Think Tank could be discussed there by inviting not only the scholars of the Think Tank, but also experts on the same discipline from all over the world. Thereafter, great debates will be held twice in a year and the period of great debates or seminars may vary from 7 to 10 days. After such great debates or brain storming sessions, the ideas which will be emerging after discussion, would be presented to the public, so that, they could lead fully useful, successful and happy lives. The scholars and thinkers of the Think Tank will be required to develop techniques by which the ideas generated could be disseminated among the public by successfully using print media, electronic media, debate and discourse media and platform media.
(xi) Translation of classics
The scholars of the Think Tank will be required to translate selected classics in modern language by using modern idiom, so that, messages contained in the classics, could be conveyed to the public at large. This activity of the Think Tank will be able to usher in renaissance. The new, positive and creative thoughts generated by the Think Tank would be like a small lamp trying to illuminate the dark word till the sun of 'Universal Brotherhood' & 'Fatherhood of God' rises in the East and spreads its rays of bliss in the hearts of humanity.