The Tenth-Annual Uka and Nalini Solanki Foundation Lecture Welcomes Guest Speaker William Dalrymple

March 21, 2012

The Tenth-Annual Uka and Nalini Solanki Foundation Lecture took place on Thursday, March 1, 2012, at the Pointe in the Walter Pyramid. This year’s guest speaker was William Dalrymple who discussed The Return of a King: Shah Shuja, the Great Game and the First Anglo-Afghan War, 1839-42.

William Dalrymple was born in Scotland, but he has lived in and out of Delhi for the past 25 years. Dalrymple is the author of seven books about India and the Islamic world, all of which have won major literary awards. His book, City of Djinns, won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award as well as the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Prize. White Mughals won the Wolfson Prize for History and the SAC Scottish Book of the Year Prize. The Last Mughal won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Crossword Vodafone Award for Non-Fiction, and Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India won the Asia House Literary Award. Dalrymple is currently working on a history of the First Anglo-Afghan War and a major show of Mughal art for the Asia Society in New York. He has also written and presented a number of prize-winning radio and TV documentaries, including The Long Search (Stanford St. Martin Prize) and Indian Journeys (Grierson Award at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts). He is one of the founders and a co-director of the annual Jaipur Literary Festival. Additionally, he has honorary doctorates of letters from the universities of St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Lucknow.

The Yadunandan Center for India Studies was inaugurated in 2005, by a generous donation from the Uka and Nalini Solanki Foundation. The center is named after Nalini Solanki’s great-great grandfather, an early advocate of education in northern India. The endowment from the Solanki family also helped establish the Uka and Nalini Solanki Lecture Series: an annual event that brings a well-known scholar in the field of India studies to the CSULB campus.

The Uka and Nalini Solanki Foundation’s donation to the College of Liberal Arts at California State University, Long Beach seeks to bring greater recognition to India studies by establishing a regional center. In addition, Mr. Solanki is the founding president of the Indian Council for the Advancement of Education in India, as well as the founder, president, and patron donor of the Sardar Patel Award at UCLA.

L-R: Harish Solanki, Pratima Solanki, Uka Solanki, William Dalrymple, Tenth-Annual Uka and Nalini Solanki Guest Lecturer, Kavita Solanki Huerta, and Nalini Solanki