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The University of Southampton

Mountbatten Lecture to support Broadlands Archives

Published: 18 March 2010

Key figures in India’s history will be the subject of a special lecture to support the University of Southampton’s fundraising campaign for the Broadlands Archives.

Professor Sir Christopher Bayly will give the Mountbatten Lecture on Mountbatten, Nehru, Ambedkar and the Independence of India at the Turner Sims on the University’s Highfield campus on 30 March.

Professor Bayly, who is Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, will address the intellectual background, historical theories and politics of the ‘untouchable’ leader Ambedkar against the background of the policies of Mountbatten and Nehru.

“Ambedkar now deserves to stand alongside the last Viceroy and the first Prime Minister of independent India as a central figure in the making of modern Asia,” says Professor Bayly.

“Not only did he draft the Indian constitution, but he also hastened the rise of ‘caste politics', which is a defining feature of its contemporary democracy.”

The lecture has been commissioned by the University to support its national fundraising campaign to buy the Broadlands Archives and secure public access to this outstanding collection of historical documents in the UK.

The Archives unite a series of papers of immense significance for Britain, and particularly for an understanding of its government, and foreign and colonial relations. They have a special place in Hampshire, and at the University of Southampton, because of the strong local links with Lord Mountbatten and Lord Palmerston. Find out more at

The Mountbatten Lecture takes place on Tuesday 30 March at 6pm in the Turner Sims. A map is available at

Refreshments will be served in the lobby from 5.30pm. The lecture will be followed by an open invitation to visit the Special Collections Gallery at the University’s Hartley Library for a drinks reception and to view the exhibition ‘The Broadlands Archives’.

To reserve a place, go to

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