The Old Students’ Association (OSA), Hindu College organized a panel discussion on the book Hindu College Delhi: A People’s Movement at the India International Centre, New Delhi on 20th of May.
The book is written by Dr Kavita A.Sharma, former Principal, Hindu College and currently Director, India International Centre, and W. D. Mathur, former Bureau Chief, The Indian Express. The book depicts the history of Hindu College and deals with its establishment as a nationalist institution in the post 1857 Walled City of Delhi. The book also talks about the college’s growth and evolution as one of the pre-eminent institutions of higher learning in Delhi University and the country.
The panel discussion on this book was chaired by Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, the founder director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. Among the panelists were Shri Yashovardhan Azad, Central Information Commissioner; Prof. Dinesh Singh, Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi; Justice Manmohan, Judge, Delhi High Court, Dr. Lalit Bhasin, noted legal luminary and President, OSA; Shri K C Mehra, Resident Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Group and Vice President, OSA; Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations; Shri M K Venu, noted journalist, writer and executive director, Amar Ujala Group and Prof. Aparna Basu, former Professor of History, University of Delhi and author of several books including one on the History of Delhi University.
In her opening remarks, Dr Kavita A.Sharma welcomed all the esteemed guests and shed light on the book. She also recalled how people from Hindu and Stephen’s College contributed towards the development of both the colleges. Justice Manmohan remarked, that before this book, there was no authentic document on the history of the college, in spite of it being a 100 year old institution.
Prof. Dinesh Singh called the book ‘a fascinating one’ and observed that the book complemented and supplemented his notions and perceptions about history of the college, university and India. Dr Kapila Vatsyayan in her remarks said that the book wonderfully captured the history of India and the college. She suggested that book could also be made a mandatory reading for all the students of the college and also stressed on the systemic changes in the funding and accountability and use of Western models of alumni funding.
Shri M K Venu delved into the history of India and recalled different educational traditions prevalent in various cities. Shri Yashovardhan Azad praised the book and recalled many incidents from his days and history of the college. He also talked about how Chandrashekhar Azad sought refuge in the hostel during the hard days of Indian independence.
Prof. Aparna Basu talked about the enormous amount of research which went into the book. She recalled the financial difficulties the college faced and how bhikhshuk mandali was formed to collect funds from the people.