The New India Foundation hosted the Girish Karnad Memorial Lecture 2021 in association with the Bangalore International Centre on 12 th March at 6.30 p.m. IST. This year, the prestigious lecture was delivered virtually by renowned journalist Edward Luce on US Politics: Why Here, and Where from Here?
One of the most respected commentators on US politics, Luce spoke about the recent US election, the unprecedented attention it got worldwide, the newly elected government, and Indo-US relations. The half-hour lecture dived deep into issues of prominence for India vis-à-vis US-India relations, and the impact of the newly elected US government and its policies on India.
According to Manish Sabharwal, Managing Trustee, NIF, “A key initiative from the New India Foundation, the Girish Karnad Memorial Lecture aims to generate conversations around subjects of contemporary interest, and has featured leading thinkers talking about some of the most pertinent and pressing issues of our time. We were delighted to host Ed Luce - one of the most accomplished and astute political commentators of our time - for this year's Lecture on an issue that many of us are interested in: the recent political developments in the USA and their possible impact. While Covid- related restrictions meant this year’s Lecture was not hosted physically, it was wonderful to see large audiences join us on the digital platform for this fascinating lecture.”
This was the fourteenth NIF Annual Lecture, which was renamed the ‘Girish Karnad Memorial Lecture’ in 2019 in honour of the late multi-lingual scholar and playwright. Delivered by a prolific scholar or expert, the NIF Annual Lecture is held, in association with a reputed public institution.
One of the leading and most prestigious events on the calendar, the New India Foundation Annual Lecture has facilitated debate on important social issues, with talks featuring renowned scholars and thinkers including Jean Dreze, Sunil Khilnani, Yogendra Yadav, Ela Bhatt, Professor André Béteille, Professor Raghuram Rajan, Professor Rahul Mehrotra, Lant Pritchett, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Dr Arvind Subramanian, Professor Esther Duflo, Professor Sunil Amrith, and Dr Sowmya Swaminanthan.
Currently the US national editor and columnist at the Financial Times, Edward Luce was FT's Washington Bureau chief, the South Asia bureau chief based in New Delhi, Capital Markets editor, and Philippines Correspondent. Luce was previously the speechwriter for the US Treasury Secretary, Lawrence H. Summers, in the Clinton administration.
He is the author of three highly acclaimed books, The Retreat of Western Liberalism (2017), Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent (2012), and In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India (2007). He appears regularly on CNN, NPR, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and the BBC.
Based in Bengaluru, the core activity of the New India Foundation is the New India Fellowships which have been awarded to scholars and writers for over a decade and a half now. Aimed at enabling and supporting high-quality research on an extraordinary range of topics on post-Independence India, the NIF Fellowships have resulted in the publication of an eclectic and vibrant collection of twenty-two books published by prestigious publishing houses.
Instituted in 2018, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize, for the best non-fiction book on modern/contemporary India, has further built on its mission of sponsoring high-quality research and writings on the world’s largest democracy.
Ramachandra Guha, Niraja Gopal Jayal, Nandan Nilekani, Srinath Raghavan and Manish Sabharwal are the Trustees of the New India Foundation.