Honours and awards: Parthasarathy International Cultural Academy, Madras, India

The Parthasarathy Cultural Academy was founded in the year 1968 by the late Professor Ramaswamy Ramanujam of the University of Madras, with the aims of establishing world peace and developing brotherhood in mankind, protecting basic human rights, identifying and properly honouring the eminent personalities who serve mankind and liberating people from poverty.

Since the death of Prof. Ramanujam, the activities of the Academy have continued under his daughter Dr R. Mangai Begum.

PICA presentation ceremony in Madras

To implement these services, special educational activities were started. These included awareness camps, group discussions of service-minded people, debates and various cultural activities that could bring service institutions together, each of which were organized all over India. PCA organised several processions, fastings and protests to protect human rights and get justice for the affected people/community. Programmes were organised to liberate the people from blind faith. Steps were taken to uplift the people from below the poverty line, to create equality between rich and poor and to develop the economic status of the poor.

PCA has strived throughout to establish peace and harmony in society. It has worked to bring the feelings of oneness between religions and different faiths. Prof. Ramaswamy was a strong believer in the creed, ‘There is only one caste, i.e. humanity and one religion that is One God”. The sincere services of PCA attracted the attention of educationalists, industrialists and eminent personalities from Tamil Nadu as well as elsewhere in India to involve themselves with PCA activities. This helped PCA to extend its services to solve the problems of the common public, to promote educational activities, to encourage self employment, to protect human rights, to guide and counsel the people in need and much more. These programs created an awakening among the people and brought the Founder, Prof. Ramanujam, to attention all over the world. In consequence he received several honorary doctorates and chivalric awards.

International Service Organisations and Voluntary Organisations came forward to recognize Parthasarathy Cultural Academy as an International Service Organization. Reflecting this international focus, Parthasarathy Cultural Academy changed its name to Parthasarathy International Cultural Academy in 1980. Parthasarathy Cultural Academy has honoured dignitaries by awarding them their highest award of ‘Ratna’. It also acts as a publishing imprint and has published several devotional and spiritual works of its founder.

In 2002, I was nominated by the Academy’s Delegate for Europe, Dr Helmut Bräundle-Falkensee, for the award of an Honorary Visiting Professorship.