Dwivedi to give overview of democracy in India

Courtesy photo: Chandradhar Dwivedi

BROOKINGS – India native Chandradhar Dwivedi, distinguished professor emeritus of pharmacy at South Dakota State University, will speak on democracy in India at a July 18 gathering on campus.

Dwivedi’s talk at 7 p.m. in the new Founders Recital Hall in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center is sponsored by the South Dakota World Affairs Council, which seeks to stimulate interest in and promote discussion of international relations, global cultures and U.S. foreign policy but takes no stand on current issues.

Admission is free.

Dwivedi’s talk comes on the heels of May’s elections in which Narendra Modi’s BJP party increased its majority in Parliament. The party is characterized by its Hindu nationalist movement and Modi became the only Indian prime minister to be elected with an increase in total percentage of votes and to have a full majority in Parliament in the multiparty Indian system.

However, the party’s rise worries minorities and intellectuals in the secular country, said Dwivedi, who was born in India in 1948 and came to the United States in 1973.

He said, “It is my hope that senior leaders from different parties will organize sufficient opposition to this right-wing party. We don’t know what will happen, but I will give my view.” Dwivedi noted that India underwent suspension of civil liberties under Indira Gandhi in 1975-77 but re-emerged as a more democratic country.

Dwivedi is an Overseas Citizen of India, meaning he has all privileges of citizenship, except he cannot vote or run for office.

Dwivedi was honored with the Rashtriya Gaurav (National Glory) Award at a formal ceremony in New Delhi in 2018.

The award was presented by the India International Friendship Society, which is a private organization that aims to strengthen ties between India and its expatriate community. The award honors Dwivedi’s professional accomplishments, which are renowned within the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions and his profession.

He taught at SDSU from 1987 to 2013 and is credited with building a formidable pharmaceutical sciences department at what was strictly a teaching college when he arrived. Dwivedi served as head of the department from 2003 to 2013 while continuing to teach. He was also an active researcher and mentored undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members.

Dwivedi, a 31-year resident of Brookings, moved to Sioux Falls in 2018 and also is a Hindu priest and former chair of the South Dakota World Affairs Council (2014).

He has organized cultural activities related to India and Hinduism at the state level, established and served as adviser of the India Association at South Dakota State University and was member of the board of trustees for Hindu Temple of Sioux Land Sioux Falls (2009-2018).

For more information on the South Dakota World Affairs Council, contact current chair Bob Burns at [email protected]

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