Asia links in spotlight

Edinburgh will hold a series of events to showcase the University’s links with India and South Asia.

Photo of Gopalkrishna Gandhi

India and South Asia Week, from 29 September to 5 October will celebrate life and culture from across the region.

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, a distinguished scholar and statesman, will deliver the inaugural India Day lecture. The talk India Yesterday, India Today will be held on 2 October, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.

Dr Gandhi has held a number of senior posts including High Commissioner of India to South Africa; Director of Nehru Centre, London, and Governor of West Bengal.

India being not just a nation but a civilisation, India Day has to be about more than a country and its people. And its celebration has to be about more than a paean to its glory. It has to be a searching of India's soul to see why its yesterdays, flawed as they are, seem to have a moral dimension that today is looking for.

Mr Gopalkrishna Gandhi


In this short film, the former president of India, along with several key University figures explain why working in partnership with India is so important for Edinburgh.

India Institute

India is one of the University’s key priorities for international engagement, underlined by the India Institute and the India Liaison Office in Mumbai which encourages research collaborations, academic exchanges and extends the University’s relationship with India.

The India Institute's inaugural conference in May 2014 brought together academics and researchers from India and Edinburgh and resulted in the establishing of an India Day.

Monday 29 September – Friday 4 October

The week of celebrations begin on Monday 29 September at 6.30pm in George Square Theatre. The opening event is a vibrant dance and music performance by the Edinburgh Bhangra Crew and a Qawwali group led by the renowned singer Farooq Khan.

Other events include an exhibition of photos by one of Scotland's leading multicultural documentary and travel photographers, Hermann Rodrigues. His Broon Scots photo exhibition celebrates the integration into wider society of Asian ethnic groups who have migrated to Scotland.

The University library’s Centre for Research Collections will also display some of its rare manuscripts from the Indian subcontinent.

On Tuesday 30 September a student-led Open Mike event will take place at 56 North, Chapel Street, from 8pm, featuring the musical and poetic talents of Edinburgh’s students

On Wednesday 1 October Lord Meghnad Desai MP, recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, will deliver a lecture. His talk India in South Asia: the unfinished agenda, will take place in the Business School Auditorium at 6pm, followed by a reception.

Edinburgh’s annual Namaste party will be held on Thursday 2 October in the Playfair Library. It will provide an opportunity for new students from India and South Asia to meet fellow students and staff.

A Bollywood night takes place Friday 3 October and the week’s celebrations conclude with the Muslim festival, Bakri-Eid, the following day. It is traditionally celebrated with special prayers, greetings and gifts, and a grand biryani dinner.

Events are organised by the Centre for South Asian Studies, the India Institute, the South Asian Students Association and the University’s International Office.