On Thursday, the 26 of May, Sir Mark Tully, formerly the BBC's longstanding correspondent in India, addressed an audience of 450 at an evening dinner organised by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
After a reception and a fine Indian meal, Lord Dholakia introduced Sir Mark in the presence of His Excellency the Indian High Commissioner, many of London's leading Indian businessmen, and other distinguished guests.
In his lecture, Mr. Tully highlighted the need for modern India to avoid the two extremes of fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist secularism. He argued that the Indian tradition has the intrinsic resources to find the 'middle way'--a healthy balance between religion and secularism in the contemporary world. An engaging question and answer session followed the talk.
The event, called 'The Middle Way: an Evening with Sir Mark Tully,' was meant to raise awareness of the activities and achievements of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Dr. Ravi Gupta, one of the Centre's first Ph.D. graduates, welcomed the guests and highlighted the achievements of the Centre. "The OCHS is the only Centre of its kind in the world. We benefit from the highest standards of academic excellence and provide all of Oxford University's teaching in Hinduism. With our network of scholars from around the world, we are able to share the Hindu tradition with the broadest possible audience."
Lord Dholakia requested the guests to get involved, "I have been a patron of the Centre since its inception, and I am very pleased with the high quality of its work. I encourage all of you to support the OCHS wholeheartedly."
Shaunaka Rishi Das, the Centre's director, thanked the speakers, guests and organisers for making the event a grand success. This was the first major event to be held at the new, state-of-the-art Advait Centre in Wembley.
The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies:
- is the only academic institution in the UK dedicated to studying the Hindu traditions in all their breadth and depth.
- works closely with Oxford University to ensure the highest standards of academic excellence in education, research and publishing.
- serves as a resource for scholars, media, and the business community to obtain reliable information on Hindu philosophy and culture.
- provides teaching in Hinduism for Oxford University and houses the only archive of Hinduism in Britain.
- offers the only Adult Education Certificate course in Hindu Studies that is currently being taught at five different locations around the country.
Sir Mark Tully
With several decades of experience reporting in India, Sir Mark Tully has been a major voice of Indian awareness in the British media. Born in Calcutta, he has delivered thought-provoking reports and incisive analyses of Indian politics and Indian events that have affected the world. An outspoken thinker in press and politics, he has fought to defend standards and to broaden sympathies throughout the media. Mark Tully is in a prime position to speak to the most urgent questions facing India today.