Inauguration seminar September 2009

The Mahatma Gandhi Book Collection (part of the Karl Reinhold Haellquist Memorial Collection) was formally inaugurated by the Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, on Thursday 10 September 2009. On behalf of the Indian government, the Ambassador also took the opportunity to donate to Lund University and SASNET another 120 volumes of Mahatma Gandhi literature, either works written by Gandhi himself or books focusing on him. 

The function, including a puja ceremony by Ms. Bubu Munshi-Eklund, took place at Lund University’s Asia Library at Scheelevägen 15. A large number of Lund University professors and researchers, and also Indian students and guest researchers who have come to Lund University through the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window India lot 15, participated. Lund University was officially represented by the Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sven Strömqvist. The daily newspaper Sydsvenskan carried a report from the inauguration, and also Lund University magazine LUM in its issue No. 8/2009. See the newspaper reports. (as a pdf-file).

Book donationInger HaellquistMs. Inger Sondén Haellquist (photo to the left) was the guest of honour since she is the person who in 2004 donated the extensive private book collection of her late husband, Karl Reinhold Haellquist, to Lund University. This collection, consisting of nearly 7 000 volumes of South Asia related literature, was selected by Lund University researchers Neelambar Hatti and Jan Magnusson, and has since been catalogued by SASNET. A small part of the collection, primarily the Mahatma Gandhi collection, is exhibited in the Asia Library. More information about the Karl Reinhold Haellquist Memorial Collection.

After the inauguration ceremony, and the presentation of the new book donation by the Indian Ambassador, a 45 minutes documentary on the life of Mahatma Gandhi was shown. The film, entitled ”Mahatma – A Great Soul of the 20th Century”, has been jointly produced by the Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; and the Gandhi Films Foundation.

Not only the book collection was inaugurated. Also SASNET’s web site on the Mahatma Gandhi collection ( was officially launched. The web site has been prepared for SASNET by the librarian Erik Svanström.

Grand success for SASNET's seminar on the Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Today’s Society

Shetty Arnold
Balkrishna Shetty and David Arnold.

In connection to the inauguration of the book collection, SASNET held a seminar on the role of Mahatma Gandhi in today's society. The seminar became a major success and more than 120 people, Lund University professors, researchers and students but also many interested persons from outside the academic world, gathered for the seminar featuring David Arnold, Professor of Asian and Global History at the University of Warwick, UK, and the Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Mr. Balkrishna Shetty. The two-hour seminar was held on Thursday 10 September 2009, 19–21, at Lund University’s Centre for Languages and Literature (SOL-Centrum) and was moderated by SASNET’s Director, Dr. Anna Lindberg.

The Ambassador, Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, was the first speaker, and he gave a personal narrative on Mahatma Gandhi’s life, the important role he has played in history, and the basic values that he stands for, values that should still play an important role. 

Gandhi seminar

Prof. David Arnold came next. His presentation, entitled ”Gandhi: The Mahatma and the Machine”, differed in its specific focus on Mahatma Gandhi’s complicated relation to machines. Whereas Gandhi was well-known for his resentment against modern industrial inventions that robbed people of their employment, he was still very much dependent on the radio transmitters, microphones, and trains, in order to reach out to the masses with his message.

After the seminar, a rich vegetarian buffet dinner from Restaurant Govinda was served to all participants in the foyer of SOL-Centrum.

Full information about SASNET’s Gandhi seminar.