Centre for India Studies opened at Stony Brook.

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at ucl.ac.uk
Thu Jun 12 10:09:29 UTC 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 00:51:33 -0400
From: "S.N. Sridhar" <ssridhar at ccmail.sunysb.edu>


600 Long Islanders cheered April 26, 1997 as India’s Consul General
Harsh Bhasin, inaugurated SUNY- Stony Brook’s Center for India Studies.
President Shirley Strum Kenny hailed the Center, first in the SUNY
system, an extraordinary accomplishment -- a tribute to the Indian
community’s dynamism and commitment.  

Campus Role Model:  In February 1995, 700 students petitioned President
Kenny for courses on India. Then the faculty, led by Professor S. N.
Sridhar, worked with them to design an India Studies Program and
developed new courses, often taught them as overloads, and even sent
payroll deductions. The vision and the team-work of this "Vanar Sena"
paid off  when a Major in South Asian Studies received campus approval
last year.  The India Studies initiative has come to be seen as a model
for others, says Provost Rollin Richmond.  Its success was a catalyst in
establishing a Program in Asian Studies as well.
Their Finest Hour : The Indian community pledged $100,000 to the India
Studies Program at a landmark Shanti Fund function last June. Preserving
and transmitting our cultural heritage, removing stereotypes, and
creating a better appreciation of India is a top priority for Indians
and that they are united, active, and generous in its support, says Dr
Azad Anand, who led the effort. Many felt that was our finest hour.

Mission: The Center’s mission is to promote a better understanding of
India by creating opportunities and resources. Its specific goals
include offering courses on India; reforming university curricula;
sponsoring research; endowing a rotating visiting professorship;
organizing study abroad programs; offering weekend courses for Indian
and other Americans; and helping schools, libraries, and museums in
their India outreach. Describing the Center’s intellectual mission,
Professor S.N. Sridhar, the Director, pointed out that the Center seeks
to promote a truly global vision. with resources on India’s rich
cultural and intellectual traditions available at Centers such this,
there is no excuse for myopically discussing ideas as if though
everything began in Greece and reached its apogee in the U.S.," he
declared. "The opening of the Center should signal the opening of
people’s minds toward India.  What is needed is no less than a paradigm
shift in scholarship."  

Accomplishments:  The Center has a library/reading room, multimedia lab,
research and publications unit, a development office, and an office for
visiting scholars, which have begun functioning with start-up funds from
the community and the university.  Students take turns staffing the
Center. "The experience affirms our identity and pride in our heritage,
fosters deep friendships, and teachess valuable community service
skills," says Seema Pradhan, a pre-med student. Starting from almost
nothing, about six India courses are now taught per semester, all
oversubscribed.  Seven courses are planned for this summer.

Projects: ANANYA is a volume on Indian civilization from Indus to INSAT,
with 40 chapters by U.R. Ananthamurthy, Irfan Habib, Robert Hardgrave,
Girish Karnad, M. N. Srinivas, and other authorities. Authoritative,
comprehensive, yet readable, it is edited by S.N. Sridhar and Nirmal
Mattoo, and designed to become a resource for Indian American homes,
school and public libraries, and India courses. The brochure, INDIA’S
PEACEFUL REVOLUTION, portrays pivotal moments of the Independence
revolution through dramatic images, quotations, and narratives.  Both
projects are sponsored by the Association of Indians in America.  

Contact and Support:  The Center is off to a good start, but needs to be
nurtured to maintain the momentum.  To mobilize funding, Dr Anand and
leading community members have founded a Stony Brook India Studies
Foundation.  We welcome your blessings, ideas and suggestions (as well
as tax-deductible contributions payable to the  Center for India
Studies/Stony Brook Foundation). For a beautiful brochure, write CIS,
E5350 Library, SUNYSB, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3386 Call (516) 632-9742;
fax 632-9731; email: indstudy at sunysb.edu   Website:

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list