Advisory Council

Our advisers come from diverse backgrounds and are lending their knowledge, time and expertise in helping towards two aspects of our mission: the 1) Committee on institutionalizing the memory of Partition which entails researching the most ethical, educational and effective approach for disseminating the oral histories of Partition, and 2) Oral History Program which entails the recording of witness oral histories.

Committee on institutionalizing the memory of Partition

Dr. Alka Pande

Dr. Alka Pande is an art historian who taught Indian Arts and Aesthetics at Panjab University for more than ten years. Under the aegis of the Charles Wallace India Trust, Dr. Pande conducted postdoctoral research in critical art theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has been felicitated with the various honours for distinguished contribution to art including the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government, the Australia-India Council Special Award, the L’Oreal Paris Femina Women under Design and the Amrita Sher-Gil Samman, to name a few. Currently, Dr. Pande is a consultant art advisor and curator of the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.

Dr. Andrew Whitehead

Professor Andrew Whitehead is a historian, lecturer and journalist. He is an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham and teaches American undergraduates in London for Global Education Oregon. He is also a visiting professor at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. Andrew Whitehead worked as a news journalist at the BBC for 35 years and was the Editor of BBC World Service News when he retired in 2015. He spent four years as the BBC India correspondent. He studied history at Oxford University and has a PhD by published work from the University of Warwick for his writing on the history of Kashmir. Andrew is the author of 'A Mission in Kashmir' - which used oral history and personal testimony to look again at events in Kashmir in 1947 - and 'The Lives Of Freda: the political, spiritual and personal journeys of Freda Bedi'. He has a longstanding association with of History Workshop Journal, a twice-yearly publication from Oxford University Press. His audio archive of more than 200 interviews with people who lived through Partition is held at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. His website and blog is at

Mr. Chintan Girish Modi

Chintan Girish Modi is a writer, educator and researcher based in Mumbai. He has an eclectic academic background that includes literature, sociology, anthropology, peacebuilding, queer affirmative counselling practice, and civil resistance. He also has an M.Phil. in English Language Education with a focus on writing pedagogy and learning through peer feedback. He has taught at Shishuvan, a private school in Mumbai where he was closely involved with executing their Democracy Curriculum and Mental Health Curriculum, and has been a language trainer with the Mumbai-based non-profit Muktangan that staffs and runs municipal schools. He has worked with the Hri Institute of Southasian Research and Exchange, the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, Seeds of Peace, Global Zero, and the Kabir Project at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. He has conducted peace education workshops focusing on India-Pakistan dialogue through an initiative called Friendships Across Borders: Aao Dosti Karein, which he launched in 2014. He also been part of cross-border academic and cultural exchanges led by Routes 2 Roots, Citizens Archive of Pakistan, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi, Lahore University of Management Sciences, and Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP). He has been awarded scholarships/fellowships by the Seagull Foundation, Initiatives of Change, SIT Graduate Institute, Kulturstudier, the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, among others. He writes for The Hindu, The Indian Express, ART India, Business Standard, Firstpost, and a variety of publications. He is also a fellow with the Prajnya Trust, developing resources to create safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students in educational institutions. His Twitter handle is @chintan_connect

Dr. Furrukh A Khan

Professor Furrukh Khan has been with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) since 2001. He has a PhD in Postcolonial Studies from University of Kent at Canterbury, where he taught for two years prior to coming to LUMS. He has also taught English as a Foreign Language in the UK during the summers. His research interests include the Partition of India, Postcolonial Literature, Shakespeare and Oral History. His publications have appeared among others in Index on Censorship, AngloFiles and The International Journal of Punjab Studies as well as a chapter in The Novels of Bapsi Sidhwa (Edited by R.K. Dhawan and Novy Kapadia) and in Gender, Conflict and Migration (Edited by Navnita Chadha Behera). Furrukh has also published a case study: Empowerment through Representation: Aurat Foundation's Initiative in Local Governance. Managing NGOs in Developing Countries (Volume Three: Gender Challenges). Edited by Dawood Ghaznavi and Bashir Ahmad Khan. Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2006. Professor Furrukh was selected as the South Asia Fellow by Social Science Research Council in 2003. He was hosted by The Center for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi as the ASIA Fellow, funded by a grant from the Asian Scholarship Foundation in 2006. He was selected as the British Academy/ESRC Visiting Fellow from South Asia and the Middle East and affiliated with the University of Manchester in 2007. Professor Furrukh has also directed Stories of the Broken Self, a documentary on the Pakistani women's narratives of the 1947 Partition.

Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla

Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla currently serves as Founder and Chairperson at The 1947 Partition Archive. Previously, she was an experimental condensed matter physicist and completed her tenure as a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley, in December 2012. She studied quantum confinement at interfaces that include oxide heterostructures and domain walls in multiferroics. After a 2008 visit to the oral testimony archives at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial she was inspired and began interviewing Partition survivors in 2010. In 2011 The 1947 Partition Archive was born. She has personally interviewed over 100 Partition survivors and rallied volunteers to join in building the grassroots foundations of this people-powered organisation. In 1947 her father's family migrated from Lahore to Amritsar on August 14.

Dr. Kavita Daiya

Dr. Kavita Daiya is Director of WGSS and Associate Professor of English; she is also Affiliated Faculty in the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, the Sustainability Program, and the Global Women’s Institute. A cultural critic, she is interested in how gender and sexuality have historically shaped the cultural imagination of nationalism, and of modern world migrations generated by geopolitical conflict, in South Asia and Asian America. Her feminist analysis of how literature and visual culture aesthetically present conflict, citizenship, and statelessness attends to how race, religion, and class intersect with gender and sexuality. Dr. Daiya’s research has been generously supported by the NEH, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and the George Washington University’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Global Women’s Institute. She is committed to creating, and promoting conversations across the Humanities and Social Sciences in inclusive, innovative, and collaborative ways that build on existing strengths and create relationships across departments and programs.

Mr. Harshul Asnani

Harshul Asnani is the President of the Global Technology Business at Tech Mahindra. Prior to this role, he led Tech Mahindra’s Communications business in North America.Prior to Tech Mahindra, Harshul has worked with technology products and consulting organizations like Wipro, HCL, Prodapt, Patni (now Capgemini) and Compaq (now HP) in various executive leadership roles which including P&L ownership, strategic alliances, and ecosystem development at a global level. As a long-term resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Harshul sits on several boards including the Board of the Bay Area Council, the Advisory Board of the University of Washington School of Business and a few startups. He is a TiE Silicon Valley Charter Member and member of Indiaspora. He is passionate about mentoring startups, creating high-performance teams, and helping customers with their digital transformation agendas. Harshul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Master’s in Business Administration and has also completed Management Development Program at Harvard Business School.

Dr. Natasha Raheja

Dr. Natasha Raheja is a Postdoctoral Associate of Anthropology at Cornell University. She is a visual anthropologist whose research engages themes of borders, migration, and citizenship in South Asia. Her current ethnographic film project visualises the everyday effects of state regimes of identification on Pakistani Hindu refugee-migrant bodies in India. This documentary is a companion to her book manuscript, From Minority to Majority: Pakistani Hindu Claims to Indian Citizenship, which examines the relationships between migration policy, state machinery, and modes of religious-national belonging in the context of India’s special visa and citizenship regimes for religious minorities from Pakistan. As part of her fieldwork, she has conducted collaborative documentary filmmaking workshops with Pakistani Hindu middle-school students to understand and amplify their perspectives on life in India. She has also conducted oral histories about Partition as part of the Sindhi Voices Project. Her scholarship has received generous support from the Fulbright Commission, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Institute for Indian Studies, the NYU Vice Provost’s office and several other endowments. Her films have screened at colleges and festivals internationally.

Dr. Priya Satia

Professor Priya Satia is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History at Stanford University, specializing in modern British and British empire history, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. Her award-winning books and articles have focused on British policing of the Middle East in the era of World War One, the invention of radio during the Boer War, the British Indian development of Iraq, state secrecy in mass-democratic Britain, the gun-making exploits of a Quaker family during the industrial revolution, the Partition of British India, the philosophy of history and more. Her work on aerial policing has also informed her analysis of American drone use in the Middle East. Her books include: Spies in Arabia (2008), Empire of Guns (2018), and Time's Monster: How History Makes History (forthcoming 2020).

Dr. Ravinder Barn

Professor Ravinder Barn is Professor of Social Policy in the Department of Law & Criminology. She is the author / editor of eight books and over 100 journal papers or book chapters. Ravinder writes on marginality and discrimination, principally on the topics of gender and violence, child and youth welfare, criminal justice, and the sociology of technology. Her research on child welfare and migrant groups is highly regarded nationally and internationally. Ravinder's empirical work on sexual violence and the judiciary in India, has been among the top 10 'most read' papers in the British Journal of Criminology. Ravinder is a mixed-methods researcher. Her academic base is inter-disciplinary and spans social policy, sociology, social work, and criminology. As Principal Investigator, she has successfully led on a number of externally funded research studies. Ravinder's empirical research has been funded by many organisations including the Economic and Social Research Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Social Tech Trust, Former Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), Canadian High Commission, Department of Health, Family Rights Group, and the European Union. In undertaking policy related research, Ravinder has worked in partnership with numerous statutory and non-statutory organisations including many local authorities across England, National Children's Bureau, First Key, Youth Justice Board, Council of Europe and the European Union. Ravinder's research is empirically and theoretically grounded and key findings are disseminated to a wide variety of potential beneficiaries ranging from academic researchers, central and local government, international organizations including the Council of Europe and the European Union, and third sector organizations.

Ms. Rita Kothari

Professor Rita Kothari is a multilingual scholar and translator and her work spans across different disciplines such as literature, cultural studies, anthropology, sociology and history. Her questions emerge from observations of regions and communities in the western part of the Indian subcontinent - Gujarat, Kutch and Sindh. Her ethnographic research on communities marginal through religion, caste, occupation, and gender focuses upon narratives of identity and raises questions of both linguistic and cultural translation. She is the author of Translating India: The Cultural Politics of English ( St.Jerome Publishing, UK, 2003), a seminal text on English translation from Indian languages into history. Her study of the Sindhi experience of Partition in The Burden of Refuge (Orient Blackswan, 2007) foregrounded the non-physical form of violence in Partition history, evident especially on the site of language.

Mr. Sameer Arshad Khatlani

Sameer Arshad Khatlani is a New Delhi-based author and journalist. He has been a Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times, India’s second-biggest English newspaper with a circulation of 10 million daily, since July 2018. Khatlani worked in a similar capacity with The Indian Express, India's most influential newspaper known for its investigative journalism, until June 2018. Born and raised in Kashmir, Khatlani began his career with the now-defunct Bangalore-based Vijay Times in 2005 as its national affairs correspondent. He joined Times of India, one of the world's largest selling broadsheets, in 2007. Over the next nine years, he was a part of the paper's national and international news gathering team as an Assistant Editor. Khatlani has reported from Iraq and Pakistan and covered elections and national disasters. He received a master’s degree in History from prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. Khatlani is a fellow with Hawaii-based American East-West Center, which was established by the US Congress in 1960 to promote better relations and understanding with Asian, and the Pacific countries through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Penguin published Khatlani’s first book The Other Side of the Divide: A Journey into the Heart of Pakistan in February 2020.

Dr. Sanjeev Jain

Dr. Sanjeev Jain is a clinician with research interests in the genetic basis of psychiatric and neurological disease. He heads the molecular genetics laboratory at the NIMHANS, which collaborates in several population and cohort studies, and provides genetic testing for some neuro-degenerative disorder. Dr. Jain has been involved with volunteer work with both governmental organisations, and NGO’s; and was a member of the committee for drafting the Mental Health Policy document for India. He has been researching the history of mental health services in India, from the colonial to the contemporary period, including the effects of the partition, and developments post-Independence . This work has helped understand the interface between science and medicine, and social responses to mental illness in India.

Dr. Shaili Jain, M.D.

Dr. Jain serves as Medical Director for Integrated Care and Section Chief for Outpatient Mental Health at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She is board certified in general psychiatry, with specialty expertise in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), primary and mental health integrated care, and women’s health psychiatry. She is a health services researcher, affiliated with the National Center for PTSD, who focuses on developing innovative ways to enhance the reach of mental healthcare in underserved populations with PTSD. Her work is widely accredited for elucidating the role of paraprofessionals and peers in the treatment of American veterans with PTSD. Dr. Jain is an internationally recognized leader in communicating to the public about trauma and PTSD. Her posts for her Psychology Today blog on PTSD, In the Aftermath of Trauma, have been viewed over 200,000 times. Her acclaimed debut non-fiction trade book, The Unspeakable Mind: Stories of Trauma and Healing from the Frontlines of PTSD Science (Harper, 2019), was nominated for a National Book Award, and her essays and commentaries on trauma and PTSD have been presented by the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, STAT, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, TEDx, public radio, and others.

Dr. Subarno Chattarji

Dr. Subarno Chattarji is Associate Professor in the Department of English, University of Delhi. He has also taught in Japan and Wales. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford. He was Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at La Salle University, Philadelphia (2004-2005), the recipient of a Kluge Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Library of Congress in 2006, and awarded an Academic Writing Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Italy (2017). He was a member of the core group for a British Academy Networking project with the Open University on ‘Globalization, identity politics, and social conflict’ coordinating member of ‘Prospects for English Studies: India and Britain compared,’ a two-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. His publications include: The Distant Shores of Freedom: Vietnamese American Memoirs and Fiction (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019); Reconsidering English Studies in Indian Higher Education (Co-author, Routledge, 2015); Tracking the media: interpretations of mass media discourses in India and Pakistan (Routledge, 2008); Memories of a Lost War: American poetic responses to the Vietnam War (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Ms. Urvashi Butalia

Ms. Urvashi Butalia is co founder of Kali for Women, India's first feminist publishing house, set up in 1984. In 2003, when Kali shut down, she set up Zubaan, also a feminist house, of which she is now Director. She is also an independent researcher and writer as well as a longstanding activist in the women's movement in India. Among her best known books is the award-winning oral history of the Partition of India, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India (winner of the Oral History Book Association Award and the Nikkei Asia Award). Since 1998 when the book was published, she has continued to work on Partition and is known as one of the leading writers on the subject She writes widely, in books, magazines, journals and newspapers on a range of issues related to gender and history. She has won several awards, including the French Chevalier des Lettres et des Artes, the German Goethe Medaille, the Nikkei Award and the Indian Padmashri. She lives and works in Delhi.

Dr. Vazira Zamindar

Professor Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar is a historian of modern South Asia and works on twentieth century histories of decolonization, displacement, war, non-violence, and the visual archive. Her influential book, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories included oral histories with families that became divided between Karachi and Delhi and showed how central refugees were to shaping citizenship and minorities, borders and nations in the aftermath of 1947. The book’s stories have inspired many dramatic adaptations. She is associate professor at Brown University, and has been involved in a number of projects since, including the Sawyer Seminar on Displacement and Modernity, Art History from the South and the Decolonial Collective on Migration of Objects and People.

Oral History Program advisors in alphabetical order

Ms. Maryam Eskandri

Maryam Eskandari is Educator, Entrepreneur, and CEO and Founder of MIIM Designs a multidisciplinary design studio that is in the vanguard of creating sacred spaces that reflect contemporary needs through environmentally sustainable materials. She is a graduate of the Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture Fellow at Harvard and MIT. Prior to MIIM Designs, Eskandari was the Director for the American Institute of Architect Associates and DLR Group where she led the design team to several award winning projects, including the Christine and Steven F. Udvar-HazyLibrary and Learning Center at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Phoenix College Fine Arts and Eric Fischer Gallery. Currently, Eskandari is working on projects in New York City, Accra, New Delhi and San Francisco. She is also a 2015 Rothschild Fellow at Cambridge University Judge Business School. She serves on the Board of Directors of Harvard’s Alumni Association, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation and is an Ambassador to HRH Reema Bint Bandar’s 10ksa Breast Cancer Awareness in the Middle East.

Ms. Gita Dang

Gita is a business leader with three decades of corporate experience. Gita, Founder Director, Talent Advisory Services has successfully placed senior executives in the C-suite for a wide range of companies including CARE India, Charities Aid Foundation, Omidyar Network, Acumen Fund, Impact Investors Council, Matrix Partners, Gap Inc., ADP, Gap Inc., and Cisco Systems. She has also worked as an external consultant for a number of organizations, including, Community Business, Diversity Best Practices and Northern Trust Bank. Gita has a strong interest in development and entrepreneurship and serves on the Board of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Delhi NCR. She is also working very closely with University of Chicago and corporates for inclusive employability for special needs. She also serves on the governing council of Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD). Gita has also has co-authored English language text books and workbooks for primary schools, including “Meeting Early Challenges: Special Steps for A Special Child” with Meena Cariappa. Gita has received a Master’s Degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.


Dr. Janmeja Singh

Dr. Janmeja Singh is a clinical psychologist and organizational consultant. He was a Visiting Professor/Lecturer in Psychology at the University of California in Berkeley from 1991 through 2009. He is the President Emeritus and Chief Psychologist at the Portia Bell Hume Behavioral Health and Training Center, Concord, CA. He also served as the Dean of the Rosebridge Graduate School of Integrative Psychology for ten years and as the Assistant Director of The Center For Training In Community Psychiatry and Mental Health Administration at Berkeley for fourteen years. For two years he worked in a State Hospital and for 16 years in the Community Mental Health Programs.

Dr. Trishanjit Kaur, PhD

Dr. Trishanjit Kaur is serving as Professor & Dean of the Faculty of Education and Information Science at Punjabi University in Patiala. She has contributed nearly 100 papers including research articles in peer reviewed journals, conference papers, book chapters, book reviews, and more. She also serves on the editorial boards of numerous prestigious international peer reviewed LIS journals. Dr. Kaur is a life member of several national level associations of Library and Information Science. She has served as General Secretary of the Indian Association of Teachers of Library and Information Science (IATLIS). She has been a member of the Canadian Library Association and the American Library Association (ALA). She has also served for two terms (2007-09) on the International Relations Committee (IRC) Sub-committee Near East and South Asia of American Library Association. She has participated and presented papers at various conferences held in India, USA, Canada, Thailand, and Finland. Her paper “Strategies of Preserving Memories of Refugee Women in India: A Case Study of Punjab” for the 78 IFLA Satellite Meeting, Tampere (Finland) from 8-10 August 2012 was highly appreciated and ignited her interest in The 1947 Partition Archive. She is a Punjab based adviser to the Story Scholars Program.

Previous Advisers

We are immensely grateful to those who have taken the time to advise us throughout our inception.  The following advisers have completed their Board of Advisers terms: