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06 Sep 2010

Nehru Center (London)

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), an autonomous organisation affiliated to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, runs 34 other cultural centres besides London, including in Berlin, Moscow, Johannesburg, Cairo and Colombo. These centres function as part of the diplomatic missions of the Government of India of those countries with the objective of serving as windows into the composite culture of India.

In 1989-90, the year of the birth centenary year of Jawaharlal Nehru, the need was voiced for a centre in London which would help address the cultural aspirations of the Indian community and facilitate a sustained dialogue between Indian and British cultures. The Nehru Centre commenced its work in July 1992, with a programme to mark the centenary of the election of Dadabhai Naoroji to the House of Commons – the first entry of an Asian to that body. During the last 18 years the Centre has been home to a variety of cultural activities. This includes eminent Indian artists visiting the United Kingdom as also are a number of eminent artists and institutions from Britain.

The Nehru Centre (TNC) acts as the cultural wing of The High Commission of India in UK. Established in 1992, it is regarded by ICCR as its flagship cultural centre abroad, and has, over the years, emerged as a premier institution engaged in India’s cultural interface with UK. The Centre organises a wide range of cultural events on its premises, showcasing Indian music, dance and theatre, besides a range of activities aimed at strengthening and deepening the intellectual dialogue between the two countries, including exhibitions, lectures, illustrated talks, book launches, film screenings, workshops, seminars and round tables.

The Centre serves as a platform for Indian culture in the broadest sense, focussing on the role played both by British and Indian artists in promoting greater mutual cultural understanding. It has launched several books by both Indian and British authors and promoted the participation of British authors in Indian literary festivals. The Centre also serves as a catalyst and facilitator in promoting interaction among cultural bodies in the two countries, as well as in building strategic partnership and collaborations with important cultural institutions in UK with the end objective of promoting Indian culture in this country.

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