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Poet, Playwright & Professor, JNU
Dancer & Choreographer
Head, Manipal Centre for Eurpoean Studies
Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India
Art Historian & Professor, University of Delhi
Professor, Dept of History, University of Hyderabad
Convener, DSA History Endowment

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Date & Time

Friday Fri, 24 Sep 2021

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

In conjunction with the release of the book The Multivalence of an Epic, this programme features a historically informed discussion on the journey and localization of the Ramayana across land and seas. Ramayana’s manifold expressions from classical to folk, from temples & palaces to theaters and bylanes, and from ancient to modern times are discussed.


Segment TitleSpeakers
About Manipal Universal PressProf. Neeta Inamdar 
Prof. D S Achuta Rao History SeriesD A Prasanna
About Multivalence of an EpicProf. Parul Pandya Dhar, Editor
Book Release and addressAmbassador Nirupama Rao
Book DiscussionProf. H S Shiva Prakash, Prof. Suchandra Ghosh, Prof. Parul Pandya Dhar
RamanubhavaVideo montage on Ramayana by Natya STEM Dance Kampni, Madhu Nataraj


Presented by the Prof. D S Achuta Rao History Endowment and Manipal Universal Press



H S Shivaprakash

Poet, Playwright & Professor, JNU

Prof. H S Shivaprakash is a leading poet and playwright writing in Kannada. He is professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He heads the Cultural Centre at Berlin, known as the Tagore Centre, as Director run by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). He has seven anthologies of poems, twelve plays, and several other books to his credit. His works have been widely translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. His plays have been performed in Kannada, Hindi, Meitei, Rabha, Assamese, Bodo, Tamil and Malayalam. Shivaprakash is also a well-known authority on vachana literature, Bhakti movements of India, and Sufi and other mystic traditions

He is recipient of several prestigious awards: Kusumagraja Rashtriya Puraskar-2017; Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry: Malebidda Neladalli(1983), Suryajala (1995); Four Kannada Sahitya Akademi best book prizes; Sangeeth Natak Akademi Award (1997); Karnataka Rajyotsava Prashasti, 2005; Sahitya Akademi Award (2012)

Madhu Nataraj

Dancer & Choreographer

Award winning Choreographer, arts entrepreneur, curator and educator – Madhu dons many hats with grace and dynamism.

She is a collaborator and consultant with important design, cultural, philanthropic, corporate, and academic organizations. With over 300 choreographies to her credit, she has performed in over 36 countries.

Her firm belief in the cross illumination between various fields fuels her vision to inhabit the public domain through the expressive and transformative power of movement arts.

She trained in Kathak under the tutelage of her mother, the legendary Guru – Dr Maya Rao and with Guru Chitra Venugopal. Her ‘Taalim’ (training) from her mother lays special emphasis on the ‘Bhaav’ or ‘Abhinaya’ (Expressional motif) aspect, ‘Kathavaachak’ (Narrative content) and the poetry of the form.

She studied Contemporary dance in New York and founded  –The STEM (Space.Time.Energy.Movement) Dance Kampni- comprising verticals of training, performance, documentation and outreach.

To mention a few of her accolades, she is a recipient of the ‘Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ GOI, the FICCI FLO Women achievers award , “Karnataka Kalashree”- by the Govt of Karnataka and ‘India Today’ chose her as one among India’s 50 Young Achievers.

Madhu is part of the- Aspen Global Leadership Network & the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship.

During the COVID19 lockdown, Madhu curated India’s first Digital Dance Conference and created a fundraiser for Karnataka’s Folk performers.

Her Aspen venture- “MovEd” is a platform to empower lesser-privileged children in rural areas and urban slums.

Madhu also heads India’s premier dance education centre- The Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography- founded by Dr Maya Rao and Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay (Under the aegis of UNESCO)

The Adikavya through a dance experience (Ramanubhava) is created and choreographed by Madhu Nataraj and her Natya STEM Dance Kampni (NSDK) as tribute to Prof. D S Achuta Rao during centenary celebrations in 2017. A short 5 minute dance montage of the 100 minute original, is composed for this event.

Neeta Inamdar

Head, Manipal Centre for Eurpoean Studies

Prof Neeta Inamdar, who holds a Jean Monnet Chair has been a driving force of Manipal Centre for European Studies (MCES). She has led it since its inception in 2009 and has the credit of building it to what is today – a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. Though interested in various aspects of European economy, society and culture, she is more drawn towards education in Europe – both school and higher education as reflected in the projects led by her in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and Internationalization and Bologna project. With a hands-on experience in building international collaborations, she presently guides PhD students in the field of cross-border education and acts as a consultant to a few other universities in their internationalization efforts. She has co-edited two books; Contours of India-EU Engagements: Multiplicity of Experiences (2021) and Internationalization of Higher Education: The Dynamics of Educational Ecology(2019)

Prof. Inamdar also nurtured the Dvaita Philosophy Resource Centre and the Centre for Foreign Languages started in 2009 and 2010 until they emerged as independent departments in 2019.

Prof. Inamdar is credited with building Manipal Universal Press (MUP) a publishing house of Manipal Academy of Higher Education.. She is presently the Chief Editor of MUP which has established itself as an important publisher with more than 200 publications across disciplines

Nirupama Menon Rao

Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India

Nirupama Rao is a former Indian Foreign Service officer. She retired as Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, the senior most position in the Foreign Service, being the second woman to occupy the post (2009-2011). She was the first woman spokesperson (2001-02) of the Indian foreign office. She served as India’s first woman High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Sri Lanka (2004-2006) and to the People’s Republic of China (2006-2009). She was Ambassador of India to the United States from 2011 to 2013. In retirement she has been a Senior Visiting Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute at Brown University where she has taught an undergraduate seniors course on “India in the World” and George Ball Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Ambassador Rao was a Fellow at the India-China Institute of The New School, New York in 2016 and a Public Policy Fellow at The Wilson Center, Washington D.C. in 2017. She is now a Global Fellow of The Wilson Center. She was a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow from 2015-2016 and a Practitioner-in-Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy in 2017. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a Councillor on the World Refugee and MigrationCouncil. She has an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (2012) from Pondicherry University. . She is a staunch believer in the power of social media as an advocacy platform for policy and currently has over 1.3 million followers on Twitter. In 2016, she received the Vanitha Ratna Award from the Government of Kerala. She also received the Fellowship of Peace Award of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Center in Washington D.C in 2018.

Ambassador Rao is a Founder-Trustee with her husband, Sudhakar, of The South Asian Symphony Foundation a not-for-profit Trust which is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding in South Asia through the creation of a South Asian Symphony Orchestra.

Her book ‘The Fractured Himalaya: India Tibet China, 1949 to 1962’, will be published shortly by Penguin Random House.

Parul Pandya Dhar

Art Historian & Professor, University of Delhi

Prof. Parul Pandya Dhar is an art historian and Professor in the Department of History, University of Delhi. After graduating from the University of Delhi and the Kalakshetra foundation, Chennai, she earned her masters and doctoral degrees in History of Art from the National Museum Institute New Delhi. She was awarded the Humboldt post-doctoral research fellowship to read Indian art history at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her writings focus on the history of Indian and Southeast Asian art, Indian art historiography, and connected histories of premodern Asian cultures.

Prof. Dhar has authored The Torana in Indian and Southeast Asian Architecture(2010), edited Indian Art History: Changing Perspectives (2011), co-edited Temple Architecture and Imagery of South and Southeast Asia (2016), Asian Encounters: Exploring Connected Histories (2014)and Cultural Interface of India and Asia(2004), besides contributing to several research articles. She is currently writing on issues related to art and mobility, visuality and memory, and epic encounters across the Indian Ocean

Suchandra Ghosh

Professor, Dept of History, University of Hyderabad

Suchandra Ghosh is presently Professor in the department of History, University of Hyderabad. She was formerly Professor in the department of Ancient Indian History & Culture, University of Calcutta. Her present areas of research are: Politico-Cultural History of North-West India, Early India’s linkages with Early Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean Buddhist and Trade Network and the history of Everyday Life.
She is a recipient of several fellowships including the Director de Etudes Associe fellowship from Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’homme, Paris (2018). She was awarded the Savitri Chandra Shobha Memorial Prize of Indian History Congress, for the book From the Oxus to the Indus: A Political and Cultural Study in 2017. She acted as Sectional President, Ancient India section for the 80th session of Indian History Congress (2019). She was visiting Professor in Paris (MSHS, 2015), Centre for Historical Studies, JNU (2019) and Department of History, Jadavpur University (2019).

She is one of the editors of Revisiting Early India, Essays in Memory of D.C. Sircar,(2013) Inscriptions and Agrarian Issues in Indian History, Essays in Memory of D.C. Sircar (2017), Subversive Sovereigns Across the Seas, Indian Ocean Ports –of-Trade From Early Historic Times to Late Colonialism (2017) Early Indian History and Beyond: Essays in honour of B.D. Chattopadhyaya (2019), Cross Cultural Networking in the Eastern Indian Ocean Realm,C.100-1800 CE(2019). She is the Area Editor(South Asia) of The Encyclopedia of Ancient History: Asia and Africa, Wiley Blackwell.

D A Prasanna

Convener, DSA History Endowment

D A Prasanna is the Convener of the DSA History Endowment established to perpetuate the academic and research values that historian Prof. D S Achuta Rao stood for. He has organized international history seminars, authored or edited four history books and manages DSA History Channel on YouTube.

He has served in an executive capacity as CEO, MD, and Chairman in Wipro, GE and Manipal Group. He serves on the Boards of Skanray Technologies (a med-tech leader), Nikisa Healthcare (dementia care), RayIoT (e-baby care), Doctor C (e-diagnostics), Govin Capital PTE and Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers. He has served as Chairman of the Government of Karnataka Vision Group on ‘Compete with China’ in Electronics.

He has an interest in public health, education and art. His interest in public health led to setting up the Prasanna School of Public Health in Manipal and a dementia village in Bangalore. He has served as Chancellor of NIE University.

He is married to Rajani, an art historian, and they established the Hebbar Gallery and Art Center in Manipal.