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King Charles confers honorary MBE on Bhavan UK chief

King Charles confers honorary MBE on Bhavan UK chief

Dr M.N. Nandakumara is the well-known Executive Director of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, UK Centre, who has now been recognised for his years of work in the field of Indian arts and culture with an honorary MBE by King Charles III.

The MBE recognises his “services to the teaching, performance and accessibility of Indian classical arts in the UK”. Dr Nandakumara, or Nandaji as he is popularly known, is a scholar of Sanskrit language, literature and philosophy and is respected within the diaspora communities for his knowledge of the Vedas and Indian scriptures.

"Our Nandaji is known for his wisdom, knowledge, humility and lifelong service to the Bhavan. We can think of nobody more worthy than Nandaji to have received this honour," said Subhanu Saxena, Chairman of the Bhavan.

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Hailing from the village of Mattur in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, Dr Nandakumara has been associated with the Bhavan and its diverse range of activities for nearly 40 years. This year, he is overseeing a series of special commemorative events as the Indian cultural hub in the heart of London marks its 50th anniversary. The Bhavan UK was established in London in 1972 and moved to its current premises in West Kensington in 1978. The centre’s core activities are the teaching and promotion of classical Indian arts, Yoga, languages and culture. It prides itself as the only organisation in the UK that provides such a wide variety of traditional Indian cultural activities under one roof.

The Bhavan is unique in the UK for holding classes in over 23 different subjects, which allows for great cross-fertilisation across the art forms. Every week around 800 students walk through the Bhavan’s doors.

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Dr Nandakumara’s honour is among select group of honorary British awards for foreign nationals announced by the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) last week and also includes an honorary MBE for Mridula Chakraborty for “charitable services to the Asian community in Scotland”.

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