It gives me great pleasure to be here this evening for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations
of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
I convey my greetings and good wishes to the Chairman and the Board of Governors,
Members of the Faculty, the students and the alumni of the Institute.
Over the last five decades, the Institute has very deservedly attained a position
of eminence in the realm of social sciences. This achievement owes much to the
scholarship, the devotion and the unremitting hard work of two generations of
social scientists, supported by the vision and the philanthropy of the Tatas.
The Institute is praise-worthy indeed, in having nurtured the growth of an atmosphere
uniquely conducive to academic pursuits: twice blessed, if I may say so, with a wide
range of facilities for educational instruction and research and a beautiful, sylvan,
campus (which, as has been mentioned, was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal
Our vast and complex social milieu, which has been evolving over many centuries,
has been imbued by a myriad societal influences and impulses—many of a positive
nature and some negative. There is an incessant inter-play of these factors which
have a constant bearing on the formation of social attitudes on a wide spectrum
of issues and on our national consciousness. For the evolution of appropriate
attitudes, the following injunction from the Rgveda has a startling relevance today.
Rgveda X. 191.11
"As the Divine Ones do act in unison from time immemorial, so do thou, human-
beings, act with unity, common inspiration and fellow-feeling".
The social process in India is a fascinating subject-matter for study and analysis:
particularly keeping in view the importance of our being able to fathom and under-
stand the process of social metamorphosis and transformation under way in our
country as we advance towards modernization. Social scientists, therefore, have a
vital role to play in making empirical analyses and assessments of various elements
of our social existence with a view to providing accurate insights into the social
dynamics of our country.

14 Shanker Dayal Sharma
Development of scientific temper, and what may be called the Greek or, better
still, the Upanishadic spirit of enquiry, is crucial to this task. Such intellectual
refinement and objectivity, if developed on an adequate scale, can give decisive
impetus to our movement towards an all round social renaissance in India. And it is in
this sphere that your Institute has excelled itself: your work is proving to be
tremendously relevant and full of purpose. Your approach, evidently, is happily in
consonance with what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has said: "We cannot lose ourselves
in aimless and romantic quests unconnected with life's problems, for destiny marches
on and does not wait for our leisure".
Only in May this year, I had the pleasure of attending the Convocation here and
had, in extenso, shared my thoughts with you in my Convocation Address.
I thank you for giving me this opportunity for expressing my greetings and
good wishes to you. In this world of challenges, ideas, aspirations, endeavour
and fulfilment, may the Tata Institute of Social Sciences lead the way and progress
from strength to strength in the months and years to come.
It is a special pleasure for all of us that the Prime Minister of India and Shrimati
Sonia Gandhi have most graciously consented to be present on this occasion. I
am as eager as you are to hear our Prime Minister.