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The first couple of Objectivism in India: Tara and Govind Malkani
Liberty Institute, India Monday, October 5, 2009

Barun Mitra
Govind Malkani, 77, passed away in Bombay (Mumbai), on September 26, 2009. Together with Tara Malkani, they had hosted the Ayn Rand Club of Bombay for over three decades. Many of us had an opportunity to develop our understanding of objectivism, at this club. This is an acknowledgment of the intellectual debt to the Malkanis, writes Barun Mitra.

Tara and Govind Malkani were the first couple of objectivism in India. The Malkanis were beacons for objectivism in India, for almost four decades. Last week, on September 26, Govind Malkani, 77, passed away in Bombay. Almost ten years ago to the date, in Sept. 2000, Tara Malkani had died at the age of 73. In the late 1960s, and the 70s, the Malkanis were almost regulars at the annual Ford Hall Forum lecture by Ayn Rand in Boston. She was also a regular contributor to the Ayn Rand Institute in the US. Anyone from India, who wrote to the ARI, or its predecessor in the US, would get referred to Tara Malkani.

Together the Malkanis hosted the Ayn Rand Club in Bombay for over thirty years. Over the years, they had collected almost every book, cassettes or video tapes by or on Ayn Rand, and objectivism. And every weekend, a few friends and an occasional new comer would gather at their apartment in central Bombay, to read, to listen and to talk about the world of Ayn Rand, and cherish it. One can barely describe the sense of elation that one felt amidst all the material in the Malkani collection, which was impossible to find anywhere else in India, in those days.

I came to know the Malkanis in the mid 1980s. And for a few years in the late 1980s, she lent out the tapes from her collection, lectures of Ayn Rand, and others, for us and others to listen in over six cities across India. Many friendships were established at these clubs have continued till today.

One of the first topics that I remember discussing with Govind in those days, was the relationship between the mind, music and mathematics! We exchanged quite a few letters on that issue, those were the days before emails.

Just a few months ago, I was talking to Govind over the phone about our latest initiative - AynRand in India, at <www.AynRand.in>  Although Govind had by then lost much of his eyesight, and so could no longer read, he was still as keen to know about this latest initiative in India.

Every now and then, another long time friend of the Malkanis, Savitri, would visit Govind, and read him the latest material from ARI that had come by mail.

Over the past twenty years, almost every time I had an opportunity to travel to Bombay, I made it a point to visit the Malkanis. It was inspiring to experience their undiminished enthusiasm and interest in ideas of Ayn Rand. An hour spent in their drawing room would recharge my batteries like nothing else.

I am really privileged to have known Tara and Govind Malkani of the Ayn Rand Club of Bombay.


Postscript: If you had known Tara and Govind Malkani, or had known about them, please do share your memories and thougths on our blog Ayn Rand - India.

This article was published in the Liberty Institute on Monday, October 5, 2009.
Author : Mr Mitra is the director of Liberty Institute, an independent think tank in New Delhi.
Tags- Find more articles on - Ayn Rand India | Ayn Rand Mumbai | Govind Malkani | Objectivism India | Tara Govind | Tara Malkani

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