Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, appointed as IIAS Chairman
Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the youngest grandson of founding father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi was today appointed the new chairman of the governing body of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla and President of its Society.
Housed in Rastrapati Nivas here, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) is functioning under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.
Rules and regulations of the IIAS Scoiety provide that the Government of India reconstitute the society and governing body of the institute for a term of three years.
Gopalkrishana Gandhi has held numerous important administrative posts and was appointed as the ambassador and high commissioner of India in several countries.
Gandhi joined the Indian Administrative Services in 1968 and served in the bureaucracy till 1992. On taking voluntary retirement in 1992, he became the Minister of Culture in the High Commission of India, UK and also the Director of the Nehru Centre, London.
He went onto being appointed High Commissioner of South Africa and Lesotho (1996), High Commissioner in Sri Lanka 2002, ambassador to Iceland and Norway. In December, 2004 he took over as the Governor of West Bengal.
Gandhi has authored one novel (Saranam – “Refuge” in English) and a play in verse (Dara Shukoh).
Other books authored by him include – “Gandhi and South Africa”, “Koi Acchha Sa Ladka” (translation into Hindustani of Vikram Seth’s novel ‘A Suitable Boy’), “Gandhi and Sri Lanka”, “Nehru and Sri Lanka”, “India House, Colombo – Portrait of a Residence”, “Gandhi Is Gone. Who Will Guide Us Now?” (edited), “A Frank Friendship/ Gandhi and Bengal: A Descriptive Chronology” (compiled and edited).
Rashtrpati Nivas, the imperial building, during colonial rule served as the summer residence of Viceroy’s and still is more popularly known as the Viceregal Lodge.
Lord and Lady Dufferin were the first imperial Viceroy’s to move into the building on 23 July 1888 and Lord Mountbatten was the last one.
It was at Vice Regal Lodge that Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s famous grandfather Mahatma Gandhi along with other nationalist leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel held parleys with the British rulers about attaining Independence for the nation.
The partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan that led to much bloodshed in 1947-48 and caused one of the largest forced human migrations in history was also scripted in this very building.
Part of President of India’s estate, it was President S. Radhakrishnan who contemplated the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and formally inaugurated it in the building in 1965.