ADVISORY - Inventing India: Religion, race and inequity in India

OTTAWA, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Romilla Thapar, widely recognized as India's foremost historian, will be at Canada's International Development Research Centre on June 11 to discuss colonial interpretations of India's past, which have created an oversimplified history that has reinforced divisions of race, religion, and caste. In conversation with IDRC President David M. Malone, Dr. Thapar will relate this narrative to some of India's most pressing contemporary issues, including increasing wealth disparities, a growing middle class, the Dalit movement for affirmative action, and the rise of terrorism.

When: Friday, June 11, 2010, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: IDRC, W. David Hopper Room A, 150 Kent Street, 8th floor, Ottawa, ON

Romila Thapar is Professor Emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, where she was formerly Professor of Ancient Indian Histories. The US Library of Congress appointed Thapar the first Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South in 2004. She also served as Vice-President of UNESCO's International Commission for the Scientific and Cultural History of Humanity. She has published widely, including A History of India Volume One, Asoka and the Decline of the Maurya, Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations, and Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300.

Thapar's lecture is the sixth in the Speakers of Renown series, which will be held throughout 2010 to mark IDRC's 40th anniversary. Journalists and the public can follow the lecture on our live webcast at, or join in the conversation through Twitter and Facebook. Upcoming headliners include are South Africa's Trevor Manuel, who went from anti-apartheid activist to one of the forces that made that country's economy one of the most robust in Africa; and Margaret McMillan, historian and author of the award-winning Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World.

The event is open to the media. French and English simultaneous interpretation is available. Spaces are limited and journalists are encouraged to register by calling Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé at 613-696- 2343 or e-mailing at

For more information and the live webcast, visit

About IDRC

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For 40 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

SOURCE International Development Research Centre

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé, Senior Media Advisor, IDRC, (613) 696-2343,

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