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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
Outlook.com

Vishakha N. Desai

The first Asian woman president of the Asia Society on its India agenda

Vishakha N. Desai
Vishakha N. Desai
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
How is the Asia Society celebrating its 50th anniversary?
Through a series of programmes in Asia and America besides opening a centre in India.

Why did it take 50 years to set up an India centre?
Our mission was to educate the US and the world about Asia, so we focused on programmes on India. And as the world evolved, we felt the need for a centre here.

What will the Asia Society focus on?
Broadly areas like culture, commerce, policy and education. We're holding our business conference in Mumbai. And also have programmes on HIV.

We're not seen a land of cows and snakes?
India was exotic and traditional. Now the West is keen on writers, contemporary art, Bollywood.

Cultural forms yet to be explored?
Cultural experiences rooted in the vernaculars that have not been translated.

And the uniqueness of Indian Islam?
The initiative on Islam in Asia will be launched.

How does one measure the impact of cultural diplomacy?
On a one-time basis, it's impossible. You have to develop...
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