We all have heard of Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), Indian Institute of Management(IIM), but ever heard of Indian Institute of Philosophy(IIP)? I know you may not have. But surprise, this is one of the oldest philosophy related institutes in India, and this year it is celebrating its 100 years. Since 2004, during my days of studying Indology, I got dragged into world of philosophy more formally, as the course had few subjects on Indian systems of philosophy. Subsequently, I studied and read about various aspects of western philosophy, comparative aspects. Also attended many workshops and seminars dealing with various issues in this topic, mainly arranged by University of Pune’s Department of Philosophy and also Center of Advanced Studies in Sanskrit(CASS). In 2006, this department had announced sale of past issues quarterly magazine Paramarsh. I bought them and also learnt about IIP for the first time.
IIP is located at a place called Amalner, near Jalgaon in Maharashtra. It was founded by Shrimant Pratapseth in 1916. It is now called as Pratap P. G. Research Center of Philosophy. The website of this center says this, about its history: “Indian Institute of Philosophy was established in July 1916 at Amalner by Shriamnt Pratapseth an industrialist with pious motives and determination. It has a long span of distinctive activities in the sphere of Indian Philosophy. In about 50 years, this institute became a famous centre for learning and research in philosophy. The institute published a number of books on Indian Philosophy and Comparative studies in East-West Philosophy. The Scholars and fellows associated with this institution during this long period were originators of practically all philosophical movements in contemporary Indian thought; amongst them are Prof. G.R. Malkani, Prof. Rasbiharidas, Prof. K. C. Bhattacharaya, Prof. Bharatan Kumarappa, Prof. D.D. Wadekar, Prof. T.R.V. Murti, Prof. Dayakrishna, Prof. D.Y. Deshpande. Shri Sane Guruji, a great social reformer, literary figure and thinker of Maharashtra was at this institute for some time. In the long period of the institute, philosophical journals viz. ‘Philosophical Quarterly’ and ‘Tattwadnyan Mandir’, were well established as standard periodicals of the country. These journals soon became well-known in world’s philosophical thought. In June 1993, this institution was taken over by North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon (Maharashtra).”
In 1986, PQ author-subject index was published by Indian Council for Philosophical Research(ICPR), for the articles published during 1919-1966. In 1973, Department of Philosophy(Pune University) took over Philosophical Quarterly(PQ) and renamed it as Indian Philosophical Quarterly(IPQ). In 1999, during the golden jubilee of Pune University, and silver jubilee of IPQ itself, published author subject index IPQ. In 1979, Department of Philosophy(Pune University) revived and took over Marathi quarterly Tattwadnyan Mandir of IIP. In 2005, it published author-subject index of Paramarsh for period of 1979 till 2004, covering history of 25 years of that magazine. That index also had index of articles of Tattwadnyan Mandir since its inception ie. 1919 till 1952. In my opinion, these magazines are the most important contributions of IIP, among producing many stalwarts in the field of philosophy.
I wished to visit this place for long time, but I have still not managed to do so. Last year I happened to get introduced to professor of English at another college in Amalner, she helped to fetch me a copy of book written by Prof G R Malkani, who was long in-charge of the IIP. This book is about life sketch of founder of the IIP, Shrimant Pratapsheth, also early history of the institute itself. It is very old book, published in 1945. The life sketch of the founder by the author is quite candid. The book also traces how it had humble beginning, the ups and downs, during his leadership. In one of the days, I plan to visit them, and look around it, and their activities and publications, as part of centenary celebrations. This is India’s heritage and needs to be learnt about preserved, I believe.