IIAS to re-publish Suu Kyi’s book on nationalism

Aung San Suu Kyi’s relationship with India was always a happy one and her time at the Indian Institute of Advance Studies in Shimla one of the most memorable.

Written by Anubhuti Vishnoi | Published: May 28, 2012 12:22 am

Aung San Suu Kyi’s relationship with India was always a happy one and her time at the Indian Institute of Advance Studies in Shimla one of the most memorable. The institute — where she and her husband were Fellows — now wants to commemorate its association with her by re-publishing the work she had put together while at the IIAS.

Suu Kyi had penned a manuscript — a comparative study on nationalism in India and Burma under colonial rule — which was published as a book but it ran out of print soon. There are hardly any copies of the book available in the market now,with most of the available copies at libraries abroad. The IIAS will re-publish the book with a new foreword by her,and has already approached her for this through the Indian Embassy in Myanmar.

The re-publishing attempt comes at a time when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in Myanmar and will meet the pro-democracy leader.

The book titled Burma and India — some aspects of intellectual life under colonialism — was published last in 1990 by Delhi-based Allied Publishers,in collaboration with the IIAS.

“This is a slim but very valuable book. We have been keen on re-publishing it as it had run out of print years back and was then sort of forgotten. It is a historical text in itself and even when it was first published there weren’t too many copies of it available. We are now trying to get her to write a new foreword to the book and have conveyed across our request to her. I have also spoken to the Indian Ambassador in Myanmar to help with the request. We hope she will soon write the foreword,so we can re-publish the manuscript. We also wanted to honour her but Oxford has beaten us to it. We would however,like to honour her anyway,” said Prof Peter R D’Souza,Director IIAS,Shimla.

Oxford University will confer her with an honorary doctorate on June 20.

Incidentally,her husband Dr Michael Aris,a scholar of Tibetan culture,had also penned a manuscript while at the IIAS. While the institute is yet to take a final call on publishing his works,it is also under consideration,D’Souza said.

Suu Kyi first came to India when her mother Khin Kyi was appointed Ambassador to India in 1960. She studied at Delhi’s Convent of Jesus and Mary and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College. After a BA Degree from Oxford,she came to IIAS as a visiting scholar from the Centre for South-East Asian Studies,University of Kyto,Japan,and spent two years here — February 1987 to February 1989. Her husband and two sons Alexander Aris and Kim accompanied her here. She has often described the time spent here as the happiest as her family was together. In July 1989,she was placed under house arrest and was released intermittently only to be restricted to house arrest again. She was released under immense international pressure in November 2010.

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