Dr. K.M. Munshi

Founder

Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi (d. 1971, also known by the title “Kulpati”, a Sanskrit word for the head-person of a lineage, usually “Chancellor” in English) was an Indian independence activist, politician, writer and educationist from Gujarat, India. A lawyer by profession, he later turned to literature and politics, and founded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1938. A prolific writer in Gujarati and English, he is considered one of Gujarat's greatest literary figures.

Sri Surendralal G. Mehta

President

Shri Surendralal G. Mehta’s association with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan dates back to the days of Dr. K. M. Munshi. The Chairman of Jardine Henderson Limited since 1988, he has been associated with the Indian Chamber of Commerce and also Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industries. A sportsman and well-informed follower of cricket and football, he was vice-president of The Bhavan for 36 years before being unanimously elected to the post of President in 2007.  

H.N. Dastur

Director General

H. N. Dastur is an alumna of The Bhavan’s post-graduate diploma course of Journalism and was the student editor of the school’s three magazines of journalism. His talent was noticed by Founder Dr. K.M. Munshi and S. Ramakrishnan (Executive Secretary and Director General at that time) offering the then 23-year-old the role of the first Public Relations Officer and Assistant Editor of The Bhavan’s Journal. He has been the Executive Secretary since 2006.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles

Honouree Life Member

Heir to the British throne, Prince Charles is an avid supporter of the arts. The Royal Highness has founded the charity ‘Children & the Arts’, which aims for healthier and happier children through the power of an inclusive and accessible arts sector. The Bhavan is honoured to have him as one of our Patrons.

Late Maneck Dalal OBE 

Founder Patron 

Maneck Dalal (d. 2017), born in Mumbai in 1918, arrived in the UK in 1937, with a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He pioneered international flights at Air India, before becoming Civil Aviation Attaché at the Indian High Commission in London. Having served as Chairman of The Bhavan between 1973 – 2011, he was ‘instrumental in making The Bhavan grow from a small room in Soho to the largest Indian cultural centre outside India.

H.E. The High Commissioner of India

Ex-Officio Patron

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, an Indian Foreign Service diplomat, is the incumbent High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom. Schooled at Chesham and at the St. Michael's High School, Patna, he earned a Bachelor in Arts in History degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi and a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Delhi.

The Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham

Ex-Officio Patron

Councillor Daryl Brown was elected to serve as Mayor at a meeting of the council on 23 May 2018. Previously she acted as deputy mayor to Michael Cartwright before his retirement. For her Mayoral year, she has chosen to support the Barons Court project, a charity dedicated to offering a range of practical services to people who are homeless or living with mental health issues. 

 

Lata Mangeshkar

Patron

Lata Mangeshkar (b. 1929) is a renowned classically trained playback singer for films, with a career spanning over 60 years. A life-long devotee of Indian classical music, culture and folk traditions, she is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having recorded some 30,000 songs in 20 different Indian languages. She was the first Indian to perform at The Royal Albert Hall in 1974. In 2001, she was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, for her contributions to the nation.

Lord Navnit Dholakia OBE

Patron

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and among the senior-most South Asian politicians in Britain, Navnit Dholakia (b. 1937), arrived in Britain to study at Brighton Technical College. He was awarded an OBE in 1994, was made a life peer as Baron Dholakia of Waltham Brooks in the County of West Sussex in 1997, followed by an appointment to the Privy Council in 2010. He is involved in a range of charities.

Lord Swraj Paul

Patron

Business magnate and philanthropist, Swraj Paul, was born in Punjab, India in 1931, obtained degrees in Engineering from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), USA and moved to the UK in 1966. Setting up one of the largest steel businesses, he was appointed a life peer in 1996. He sits in the House of Lords as an Independent as Baron Paul of Marylebone, City of Westminster. He was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Lords in 2008, and then appointed to the Privy Council in 2009. He has been awarded both the Padma Bhushan and the Bharat Gaurav by the Government of India.

Smt Sukanya Ravi Shankar

Patron

Sukanya Rajan, also known as Sukanya Ravi Shankar is the wife of late Pandit Ravi Shankar, KBE, and mother of Grammy Awards winner Anoushka Shankar. An accomplished musician herself, she started traveling across the world as a tanpura artist at a young age and is a beautiful vocalist as well.

Mr Joginder Sanger

Board Chairman

Joginder Sanger, the current Chairman of The Bhavan, London and several other cultural organisations, is considered on the UK’s top Hoteliers, owning hotels such as the Washington Mayfair Hotel and The Bentley Hotel. He is the Chairman of Mastcraft Group of companies. Mr Sanger was named “Asian of the Year” in 2011 and more recently awarded the Pride of India in May 2013.

Mr Shantoo Ruparell MBE

Legal Advisor

prominent solicitor with a law firm in Harrow, Middlesex, Mr Ruparell has always been to give back to the community, helping The Bhavan and ISKCON with legal advice. He also leads the Asian Foundation for Help, which was established in 1983.