Preserving the History of the Independence Struggle of Colonial India at Yale University

April 16, 2006

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marilyn Wilkes (203) 432-3413

Preserving the History of the Independence Struggle of Colonial India at Yale University

February 16, 2006.  New Haven – The South Asian Studies Council (SASC) of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies (YCIAS) and the South Asian Independence Movement (SAIM) Project have agreed to collaborate to establish and preserve a library collection of materials relating to the independence struggle in colonial India. Today there are seven states that conventionally comprise South Asia:  Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  Of these, only Bangladesh, India and Pakistan constituted former British India and this project will relate most directly to the independence movement in these states. Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, even if not part of British India, were part of the British Empire in South Asia, and therefore, will be included in this collection.  

This project contributes to efforts by the university to enrich the academic study of South Asia at Yale and also seeks to expand the larger ties of the university with colleagues in the region. Professor Phyllis Granoff, Lex Hixon Professor of World Religions, and Chair, South Asian Studies Council, has established a committee to provide academic oversight for the project. The committee is chaired by Mridu Rai, Assistant Professor, Department of History. The members are Nayan Chanda, Director of Publications, Yale Center for Study of Globalization; Rich Richie, Curator, South and Southeast Asian Collections, Sterling Memorial Library; and Dr. Pravin N. Bhatt, Secretary, South Asian Studies Council.

The current SAIM project committee members are Dr. Barin Desai (India), A.G. Abbasi (Pakistan), Rahima Chaudhury (Bangladesh), and Nihal DeLanerrole (Sri Lanka). SAIM and the Council will also call on a group of advisors for the project including Raj Mohan Gandhi (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne), D.R. SarDesai (University of California, Los Angeles), Ela Bhatt (Self Employed Women’s Association), Devvrut Pathak (Gujrat Vidyapith) and Shashi Tharoor (United Nations) among others.

The Yale University library has a collection of books and relevant materials related to the independence movement.  Books and other materials will be added on the basis of the recommendations of the advisors and the faculty committee. Additionally, the SAIM project committee plans to build an archive of oral history, based on interviews with persons who were either active participants in, or witnesses to, the events of the independence movement.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Barin Desai, SAIM Project, Phone  908-350-3340

Dr. Pravin N. Bhatt, Secretary, SASC-Yale, Phone  203-281-6208  

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Contact Information:
Marilyn Wilkes
Yale Center for International and Area Studies
(203) 432-3413