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BML Munjal University, in association with Oxford University Press, celebrates the legacy of psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar

New Delhi, 10 May 2024: The School of Liberal Studies (SoLS), BML Munjal University (BMU), in association with Oxford University Press (OUP), organized a day-long event today at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, to celebrate the work and legacy of Professor Sudhir Kakar, the father of Indian psychoanalysis, who passed away in April this year. 


The event, Celebrating Sudhir Kakar: Remembrances and Reflectionswas hosted across four insightful sessions. Session one, led by Honey Oberoi Vahali, honored Sudhir Kakar’s personal legacy and psychoanalytic practice, exploring his approach to human suffering and healing. Session two, chaired by renowned psychoanalyst Ashis Nandy, delved into Kakar’s writings, pondering their psychological, literary, and cultural significance. Session three, led by Rachana Johri, introduced the 4 volumes of selected writings of Sudhir Kakar, elucidating the editorial perspectives. Session four, chaired by Aleeka Kumar, discussed advancing Sudhir Kakar’s ‘Global Psychoanalysis’ legacy through the Kakar Centre for Psychoanalysis and Culture in collaboration with SoLS, BMU.


The book discussion on Professor Kakar’s upcoming title, “The Mind in the World: Selected Writings by Sudhir Kakar,” published by OUP, was attended by the volume editors: Jhuma Basak, Manasi Kumar, Dinesh Sharma, and Daniel Meckel, from various parts of the world. The session was moderated by Rachana Johri, a distinguished visiting professor at SoLS, BMU. It offered the audience a glimpse into how each volume, studying the work of the celebrated author and thinker, was collated and structured.


Sumanta Datta, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India, said, “The passing of Prof Sudhir Kakar, India’s distinguished cultural psychologist has left a void not only at Oxford University Press, but also in intellectual and literary circles. He was one of India’s foremost writers and his nuanced research on post-Independence Indian psyche will inspire generations to come, enriching global perspectives on the intricacies of cultural identity. The remembrance event for professor Kakar, is a befitting celebration of a mastermind who helped interpret Indian society in a way not attempted before.”

Vice Chancellor of BML Munjal University, Prof. Shyam Menon, added, “Sudhir Kakar – Remembrance and Reflection is a significant historic event for BMU, particularly for the School of Liberal Studies. BMU is determined that Prof Kakar’s commitment and determination of engaged scholarship and a culturalized vision of psychoanalysis will continue to guide SoLS’ vision and programmes.” 


Dr. Katharina Poggendorf-Kakar, wife of Sudhir Kakar, expressed, “This exercise to remember Sudhir not only brings to the forefront who he was as a thinker and scholar, but also who he was as a person. It hopefully will inspire many to build the Center for Psychoanalysis and Culture he dreamed of, to establish India’s and other cultures’ contributions in the field of psychoanalysis and culture and beyond.”


The event was a deep dive into the mind of one of the foremost intellectuals of India who leaves behind authoritative work at the intersection of religion, politics, culture and psychology.


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