Professor Indra Nath Choudhuri

Was in Academics, Administration and Cultural diplomacy. Professor of Indian Studies and Comparative Literature.

Taught in Delhi University (1960-80), University of Bucharest (as an ICCR visiting Professor) (1973-75), and also as Professor at Uccha Siksha and Sodh Sansthan, DBHPS, Hyderabad (1981-83) and was visiting Professor in many other universities including Central University Hyderabad, and Central University of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad (now EFLU), Jadavpur University and JNU, Delhi.

ICCR First Tagore Chair at the Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK for a period of two years (2013-15) A distinguished Cultural Administrator of India was Secretary to Sahitya Akademi(13 years) and Minister (Culture), Indian High Commission, London and Director, The Nehru Centre, London (3 years). Was Member Secretary and Academic Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.(4 years)

Written books on Comparative Literature, Poetics and Aesthetics in Hindi, English and Bengali. Latest books: 1)"The Genesis of Imagination": Selected Essays on Literature. Theory, Religion and Culture, 2001 (Sterling) and 2) "Sparks Fly Upward: Three Essays on Aesthetics", 1999 (Temenos, London),3)Tulanatmak Sahitya Ki Bhumika, (2004) Tulanatmak Sahitya:Bharatiya Pariprekshya (2015, punar mudran),4) Hinduism: A way of Life and a Mode of Thought (English) 2012, (Niyogi Books), Nirala Kavya per Rabindranath Tagore ka prabhav, Vani Prakashan, 2016,

Two monographs, one on 'Babu Gulab Rai' in Hindi published by Sahitya Akademi 2011 and the other 'Medieval Indian Legacy : Linguistic and Literary' (English)) 2012 published by IGNCA.

Edited Books:

(1) Universally Loved: Reception of Tagore in North-East India (A joint initiative of University of Calcutta and Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata), 2012

(2)Tagore's Vision of Contemporary World (Proceedings of ICCR organized International Conference on Tagore), Har-Anand , 2015. The book was launched in the presence of the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the President House on 16th May 2016

3), 4), and 5) As Chief Editor of the Encyclopedia of Indian Literature (revised Version) of the Sahitya Akademi brought out 3 volumes covering alphabets from A to L which consists about 400 entries of Hindi Literature. Work on 4th Volume from alphabet M to P is going on.

6) Chief Editor of the Laghu Hindi Viswa Kosh of Kendriya Hindi Sansthan

More than 5o research papers which include about a dozen papers on Tagore. Specialization: Literature, Theory, Aesthetics, Dramaturgy, Religion, Cultural and Translation studies and Tagore Studies. Participated in a number of international seminars and conferences in India and abroad. Lately, participated in an extended and closed (only 21 participants from 10 countries) seminar for five weeks, Sep-Oct 2009 at the Centre for study of Culture and Philosophy, Washington on Sacred and the Secular: Conflictual or Complementary; Gave eight lectures as ICCR visiting speaker on Tagore in England, Spain, France and Germany, Oct 2011, Gave a paper in the plenary session of the pre-Congress Conference on 'Culture and Philosophy as ways of Life in times of Global Change' at Athens in August,2013,Chaired a session XX Congress in the International Comparative Literature Association in Paris, Sorbonne in July 2013and gave the presidential address on "Literary and Cultural Interrelationships between India, Its Neighboring Countries and the World"

Was Member, Board of Languages and Translation, IGNOU and also the Academic Council, Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University and Member, Executive Board, Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata.

Fellow of Temenos Akademi, UK and Chairman of the Millennium Trust, Kent, UK, was appointed Chairman only in September 2014).

Member of the 25 member council of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, Washington from 2013 Appointed President of Comparative Literature Association of India after the international conference of the association in Jaipur from 1st March to 4th March 2015 At present Secretary to Sasta Sahitya Mandal, a publishing organization founded by Mahatma Gandhi. Shri T.N.Chaturvedi, former Governor of Karnataka, is its present President.

Received many awards including the most prestigious Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Ministry of HRD Ganga Sharan Singh Award from the President of India in 2007 and also Delhi Hindi Academy award 2009.

Received Rashtra Dharma Puraskar of 21,000 from Shri Ananda Mishra Abhay, Lucknow, 2011

Academic Contribution of Professor Choudhuri in the last two years 2013-2015 as First Tagore Chair in Edinburgh Napier University:

Lectures :

1. First Public Lecture chaired by the Vice Chancellor at Craiglockheart Campus of Edinburgh Napier University on 18th October 2013 on "Tagore and Gandhi: Their intellectual conflicts and Companionship"

2. Second Public Lecture again chaired by the Vice Chancellor at Merchiston Campus of Edinburgh Napier University on 24 April 2014 on " The Conflict between the other Asia and the New Asia: Rabindranath Tagore, Liann Qichao and Kakuzo (Tenshin) Okakura and Politics of Friendship"

3. Bhagvad Gita: Mystic Union with Truth, 19 March 2013, Royal Asiatic Society, London, organized by the Temenos Academy

4. XX Congress in the International Comparative Literature Association in Paris, Sorbonne in July 2013and gave the presidential address on "Literary and Cultural Interrelationships between India, Its Neighboring Countries and theWorld"

5. Gave a paper on " Seeing self, seeing as Self (atman) and seeing Self as Ultimate Consciousness (Brahman)" in the plenary session of the pre-Congress Conference on 'Culture and Philosophy as ways of Life in times of Global Change' at Athens in August,2013,

6. Lecture on the centenary of Motilal Nehru, March 2013, The Nehru Centre, London

7) Gave the Inaugural speech on Gandhi and the convergence among the three great poets of distinction from geo-cultural spheres: Rabindranath Tagore(India), Pablo Naruda (Chile), and Aime Cesaire (France, Martinique) on 2nd October, which was incidentally the 144 birth date of Mahatma Gandhi at York John University, York. The Deputy Vice-chancellor Professor David Maugham Brown chaired the session.

8) Lecture at the Royal Asiatic Society, London on "Bhaktiyoga: A Mystical Union with the Lord" on 13 November 2013 organized by Temenos Academy

9) Spoke on issues like religion, secularism, development debates by Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati, corruption and present socio and political issues and correlated it with Vivekanada's idea of India and its development and what Tagore, Gandhi and Aurobindo thought of him on 14th November 2013 at The Tagore Centre, London

10) Spoke at a seminar at Stuttgart University, Germany on "Tagore as a Transnational Writer" in December 2013

11) On invitation from India gave lectures

   (i) At English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad on 27 December 2013 on “Tagore and Gandhi and the issues of secularism and religion.” And also

   (ii) At the UNESCO Workshop at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata on 2nd and 4th January 2014 on “ East West Dialogue and Cultural Fusion” and “Tagore and Gandhi: An Interface"

12. At the 2014 Middle East Festival Forum on Inner Power, Transformation and Leadership at Edinburgh participated in a discussion forum on “ What is Inner Power and how do we use it” on 22nd March 2014

13) Gave a lecture on “Upanishads: The Oneness between the Limitless Infinite and the Finite” at the Royal Asiatic Society, London on 16 October 2014

14) Gave the keynote address on “The formation of Tagore’s spirituality and the evidence of it in his artistic endeavours” at a conference jointly convened by the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies at Edinburgh Napier University and the Edinburgh International Centre for Peace and Spirituality on 8th November 2014

Details of Publications by Professor Choudhuri during the period:

1) “Swami Vivekananda’s Concept of Nation, Nationality and Nationalism”, in the book “Understanding Vivekananda”, published by RMIC, Calcutta, September, 2013

2) “The Other and the Self: Tagore’s Concept of Universalism”, in the book Tagore At Home in the World, edited by Sanjukta Dasgupta and Chinmoy Guha, SAGE, 2013

3) “Harmony of Religions and Fundamentalism”, in the book “Reflections on Harmony of Religions”, published by RMIC, Calcutta, March 2014

4) ‘The Concept of India Literature’ in the book ‘Rethinking the Cultural Unity of India’ Ed by Professor Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, published by RMIC, Calcutta, January 2015

5) Literature as an instrument of Soft Power Diplomacy and The Idea of Indian Literature, ICCR