March 30, 2018
SAI Director Tarun Khanna has just accepted a third term, for another three years, starting on July, 1, 2018. “I am grateful for the incredible support that I have received over the past (nearly eight!) years, and the vote of confidence. Our team in Cambridge and in-region is as strong as it has ever been. SAI has recently reinforced our on-the-ground presence in South Asia with a robust presence in New Delhi. I look forward to continuing this important and exhilarating work."
Neel Ghose (HBS' 19) is a co-founder of the Robin Hood Army, a startup that redistributes food within communities in need. " The team for the RHA is formed by largely young professionals and students who do this in their free time. Our Robins come from extremely diverse backgrounds. The common threads between everyone on the team are passion, a deep commitment to make their community a better place, and a strong bias for action."
If you are from South Asia, the Middle East or Africa, the first in your family to attend college and either an undergraduate or a very recent grad, you might be eligible for an amazing, fully-funded opportunity — the Second Annual Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program. Apply now!
In their recent documentary, Soz: A Ballad of Maladies, Tushar Madav and Sarvnik Kaur highlight how artists and musicians are protesting media-perpetuated stereotypes and government oppression in Kashmir. " Kashmir is one of the most troubled regions in South Asia today – its geographical location makes it a strategic geopolitical territory. The political belligerence of three nationalities consumes Kashmir, leaving no scope for a people’s own voice or history to surface."
Gita Gopinath,   John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics at Harvard University, is currently conducting research on how a trade war and reversal in growth rate would affect India: "This is a problem we have been talking up for three to four years. People talked about the non-performing assets and it has not gone away and if anything, it is getting worse and if you are hearing about more fraud cases, this is obviously a deeper problem in governance and the way the banks are functioning in these markets. "
David Reich , professor at Harvard Medical School, has continuously studied the genetic trends and developments among the South Asian population. He has also focused on prehistoric DNA and how migration has affected mutations. “The discovery of Denisovan DNA was a landmark in my thinking about ancient DNA. It can reveal things about the past that are completely unexpected, that are not dreamed of in our philosophy,” he says. Reich will talk about his work at SAI on April 23rd.
Saira Bano Orakzai , a research fellow at Harvard, discusses the importance of bringing peace to the Pashtun territory and the impacts of restoring dignity to the people. "The Pashtun Tahafuz movement is asking for the implementation and extension of Article 14 of the constitution to restore dignity of Pashtuns in the conflict zones. The need has never been so urgent for the people in leadership positions to lead with dignity and to be aware of the volatility of experiencing an assault of self-worth of individuals."
Thursday, April 5, New Delhi

Professor Tarun Khanna , SAI Faculty Director, will speak about SAI's commitment to studying all aspects of South Asia, alongside its productive partnerships with major Indian institutions in the arts, social entrepreneurship, and life sciences. He will be joined by Shri Jayant Sinha , a member of Indian Parliament, a former Minister of State for Finance, and the Hon. Minster of State for Civil Aviation.
Sunday, April 1, 1 PM, Harvard Quadrangle
Want to throw colored powder in your friends' faces? Take Instagram-worthy pictures? Celebrate the idea of unity amidst diversity? Join Harvard Dharma, SASA, India Caucus of HKS, HISG, and SAI for a Holi celebration!
Monday, April 2, 12:15 PM, CGIS South S020
Join this panel as this year's fellows discuss their various research projects and the state of media coverage in South Asia. Topics will include the evolution of democracy and journalism; collecting stories of lives and culture; the intersection of Islam, democracy, and human rights; and visual storytelling.
Tuesday, April 3, 12-2 PM, 61 Kirkland, Room 202
The panel will discuss conceptions of “citizenship” in India as related to caste and indigeneity. The discussion will be an opportunity to explore the ways that citizenship and belonging have been constructed through exclusion and marginalization based on social, political, and ethnic lines.
Wednesday, April 4, 4-5 PM, Asia Center Lounge
The SAI Spring Art Exhibition features 2D and 3D art and artifacts inspired by Harvard students who traveled to South Asia sponsored by Harvard SAI travel grants. Some highlights include children’s picture books written in the Indigenous languages of Chittagong Hill Tracts, photographs of fallen mosques in Myanmar and candid photos of workers at a laundry device in Mumbai.
Thursday, April 5, 4-5:30 PM, CGIS South S010
In this talk , Murad Khan Mumtaz will discuss 16th and early-17th century album and manuscript paintings made for Muslim patrons where the Nāth yogi appears as an emblem and surrogate for the Islamic spiritual path of taṣawwuf (Sufism), an archetype for the mystical traveler (sālik) and a figure of spiritual longing."
Friday, March 30, 12:15-2 PM, CGIS South S020
Wednesday, April 4, 6 PM, CGIS South S250
Thursday, April 5, 12-1 PM, Hauser 102
Sonali Dhingra , a PhD candidate for History of Art and Architecture, describes her journey through Odisha and the evolution of art. " The language program segued seamlessly into my field-work year and after a successful completion of the program, I visited several living temples, small villages and archaeological sites in rural Odisha, where knowing Odia is a definite asset. Medieval Odiya literature is indispensable for tracing the lives of the images and architectural spaces that I am studying for my dissertation project."