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Home Indian History & Culture The ties between Oxford and India

The ties between Oxford and India

The revered Oxford institution has been here for centuries . Widely celebrated for its world class educational facilities , breathtaking infrastructure and more importantly its maintenance traditional values . It bring together scholars and students from all over the world to study different subjects , this sets the university of oxford a class apart .

Ties between India and Oxford has been strong since the construction of the famed ‘Boden Chair’ for Sanskrit studies in 1832 . Indian presence was further distinguished by the advent of Sir Monier Williams, a well known Orientalist , who was born in India . A massive fan of the Indian culture , He studied ,compiled and documented various Sanskrit texts and wrote an English Sanskrit dictionary . He has always been a major admirer of the Indian culture and the traditional values they uphold . He became the professor of Sanskrit studies in 1860 and got knighted in 1876. Sir Monier Williams built “The Indian Institute” , getting funding from various princes from India, equivalent to 22,000 pounds and acquired the stamp of approval from Queen Victoria herself .

The Indian Institute is a red stoned building with three stories.  Erected with English renaissance architecture , the ground floor is filled with motifs of elephant, bull and other animals .The second floor consists of pictures of Indian warrior gods , depicted with finely chiselled structures.

The Indian institute originally contained a massive library , several lecture rooms and a museum . In 1927 the main library of oxford was shifted to its top floor , which is operational even now. When the library and museum were thus shifted away from the Indian Institute building, the government of India after independence, filed a formal protest on behalf of the families of the original donors, who felt that it was a breach of trust on the part of the University for moving away the library and the Indian artefacts, leaving nothing Indian in Indian Institute .
Many prominent Indians have held posts in oxford including former President, Sarvepalle Radhakrishnan, Noble laureate, Amarthya Sen, India’s chief scientific advisor, C.N.R. Rao, historians, S. Gopal, Thapan Roy Chowdhury and others . Infact former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an alumni of the institute .

link :http://m.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/the-indiaoxford-cultural-bond/article8188572.ece

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