Our annual report for the academic year 2019 – 2020 is now out. You can read it on this page or download it here.
This year a pandemic has swept the world and has swept us off our feet. My heart goes out to the families of those we have lost.
At such a time Hindu Studies – with its profound approaches to happiness, suffering, life, and death – is more important than ever. Research into the texts and traditions that give us yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and mantra is now more relevant. We will need these tools to survive our difficulties, to recover ourselves, and to nourish better global thinking.
The OCHS has worked with the University of Oxford for twenty-three years. For fourteen of these we held the title of Recognised Independent Centre. The University is retiring this designation for all the bodies that held it. This marks a new maturation of our identity – in Oxford and globally – and a new formalisation of the relationship between Oxford and the OCHS. On the surface, all will look very similar, but a more collegial and cooperative arrangement with the University will permeate all our activities.
Among other developments this year, we are proud to note that one of our outreach projects, the Bhumi Project, has matured and will now act independently as Bhumi Global.
Our academics rose to the challenge of lockdown with merit and continue to teach students at all levels using web-based communication. And our Continuing Education Department shone with its online courses seeing a doubling of enrolments.
Even in these difficult days, our students and staff continue to explore topics from Hindu responses to environmentalism, contemporary Indian politics, feminism in Hindu texts, and study of classical texts.
I hope you will join me in thanking our scholars and staff for their dedication in making all the things in this report possible despite the challenges.
On behalf of all of us at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, I wish you a safe year ahead and one blessed with a peaceful heart, good thoughts, and the love of friends.
Shaunaka Rishi Das