I have been working with Barun Mitra of the Liberty Institute in Delhi to organize a celebratory event in Mumbai. Hyderabad and Delhi will be having celebratory events simultaneously with the one in Mumbai. Check out the Liberty Institute announcement for more details.
Here are the event details in Mumbai:
October 12, 2007
Andheri Link Road
Expect snacks, cake, a lively discussion, and an opportunity to meet Ayn Rand fans from across Mumbai.
UPDATE: Check out the Liberty Institute Web site for the announcement of the Mumbai event, including the program of events in Hyderabad and Delhi.
UPDATE: Professor Shehernaz from the Philosophy faculty at Wilson College may be speaking at the event on Ayn Rand’s philosophical influence on the Indian academia and culture in general.
UPDATE: View the Atlasphere announcement here. Also, sign-up for free on The Atlasphere to find fans and admirers of Ayn Rand around your local area. I noticed that their list of subscribers for India is quite substantial. In fact, the owner of the site–Joshua Zader–tells me that India is only second to the US in number of subscribers!
UPDATE: I’m working on screening a short 1974 video interview of Ayn Rand at the event. I should be getting the DVD by tomorrow.
UPDATE: Several members of the press are sending in inquiries! Therefore, I anticipate good media coverage. I am also in talks with some journalists who are fans of Ayn Rand and who have promised to make every effort to attend the event. I am beginning to have strong reasons to believe that there will be many more people attending than I had originally envisioned.
UPDATE: I have news that several other cities in India have come on board with their own celebratory events on this Anniversary: Bangalore, Calcutta, and may be even Patna. However, these cities will most likely have their events later next week, to have the time for preparations and such.
In any case, I am delighted to hear of it. I think India has beaten the United States with respect to the number of cities commemorating 50 years of Atlas Shrugged. I also believe there is a good reason for this. In my preparations for this event in Mumbai, I have become acquianted with so many Ayn Rand lovers from the older generation; i.e., people who have known, studied, and loved Ayn Rand’s works before the boom of the Internet and the phenomenon of blogging in India. Their access to Rand’s ideas were through more legitimate channels like actual audio/video recordings of her lectures and interviews, her books, and the newsletters. This is unlike the more recent crop of young Indian literates who for the most part rely on Internet searches and adulterated Wikipedia articles for their source of information.
For more on why Ayn Rand is respected more widely in India than in the United States, read this and this.
POST-EVENT UPDATE: In my assessment, the event I organized was a great success! I was pleased with the number of people who turned up (22 people signed the information sheet, although I believe some more may have been present), and more importantly, I was pleased to learn of their deep interest in Ayn Rand. I think all of them loved the Ayn Rand interview from 1974. There was a diverse mix of people–from a boy who said he was in high school to older men and women who’ve been Rand fans for several decades. In the audience, there was a filmmaker, an author, fashion designer, editor, marketing professionals, stock broker, etc.
I asked a lovely lady with stylish black-rimmed glasses–who had come with a little tiny girl–whether she had read Atlas Shrugged. This is how she responded: “I have read *all* of Rand’s books. … Twice!”
I had to love that!
Anyway, it’s way too late in the night, and I have been literally surviving on 10-minute power naps for the past 10 days. So, a substantial post-event update is forthcoming, but only after I rest to my heart’s content! In the meantime, all my blog readers that I met this evening, now I know who you are and that you’re lurking around here. Place your comments about what you thought about the evening, about Rand’s interview, our discussions, the organizing–anything.
Here’re a couple pictures from the event:Atlas Shrugged Anniversary; Event audience. I’ll upload the rest later.
MEDIA UPDATE: I have just been contacted by a reporter from the Telegraph. She is interested in writing up a story on our Mumbai event. I gave her some details and described the event to her. I also gave her the contact information of some who attended the event on Friday. She might contact you for quotes or opinions. [See the Telegraph article on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged celebrations. See my interview with the Telegraph reporter here.]
The Times of India has a short article on the Hyderabad event. The Pioneer ran an editorial on the Ayn Rand event in Delhi.