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Last modified: Friday, June 22, 2007

Narendra Jadhav, Indian economist and noted author, to return to his alma mater, IU

Known to millions for his family's story of overcoming India's caste system

June 22, 2007

Narendra Jadhav

Narendra Jadhav

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Narendra Jadhav, an economist and educational leader in India, and the author of best-selling books about his family's experience overcoming India's caste system, will return next week to visit Indiana University. He earned a doctorate in economics at IU in 1986.

Jadhav, now vice chancellor of the University of Pune in Maharashtra, joined the Reserve Bank of India in 1977 and heads its Department of Economic Analysis and Policy today. He also advised the executive director of the International Monetary Fund from 1998 to 2002, and has published nearly 80 journal articles and books about monetary policy, public finance and international economics.

He is perhaps best known to millions of Indians, particularly many of its 165 million Dalits, for his book Outcaste -- Life and Triumphs of an Untouchable Family in India (Viking, 2003).


Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India was released in 2005

Outcaste was an expanded and a rewritten English version of Jadhav's book in the Marathi language, Amcha Baap Aan Amhi (Our Father and Us), published 10 years earlier. Both books are based on family stories and diaries written by his father. It concludes with an epilogue contributed by his then 16-year-old daughter, Apoorva, who was born in Indiana.

The book later was republished and given broader circulation by Simon & Schuster in 2005 under the title, Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India.

Amcha Baap Aan Amhi was nominated for an award from the Sahitya Academy, India's national literary academy. It also has been translated into French, German, Korean and Spanish, and has inspired a 52-part Hindi television series now under development. The book had 10 editions published in one year and once outsold Mahatma Gandhi's Story of My Experiments with Truth.

Beginning next June, official state textbooks in India will include a chapter by Jadhav about his family's experiences.

"I am coming to Indiana University to meet old friends and make new ones, and with a view to set the stage for mutually beneficial cooperation and consultation between Indiana University and the University of Pune," Jadhav said. "I also would like to take this opportunity to let some of my friends take a few photos on the pristine IU campus and talk to some friends for a feature film being made about me."

On Tuesday (June 26), Jadhav will tour the IU Bloomington campus and meet with Michael A. McRobbie, IU's president-elect; Sumit Ganguly, director of IU's India Studies Program; and Patrick O'Meara, dean for international programs. Vinay Dhumale, an Indian filmmaker who is directing a film about Jadhav's life, will accompany him.

"Dr. Jadhav is a leader in helping us understand the power of globalization and an inspirational figure to those who have read or heard the remarkable story of his family's struggle for justice and equality in India," McRobbie said. "We are pleased to welcome him back to Indiana University, and we look forward to engaging him in future opportunities for collaboration between IU and the University of Pune."

Jadhav, who was born in Mumbai in 1953, earned a doctorate in economics from IU in 1986. While at IU, he received the Best International Student Award and the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Economic Theory.

His other books include Monetary Economics for India (Macmillan, 1994) and his edited book Challenge to Indian Banking: Competition, Globalization and Financial Markets (Macmillan, 1996).

Established one year after India gained its independence in 1948, the University of Pune is one of the leading centers for research and teaching in the country. Its 40 departments cover a wide array of academic programs in the arts, science, commerce and languages. Jadhav was named vice chancellor this year.

Editors: A media availability with Dr. Jadhav has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday (June 26) in Bryan Hall 104. Contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or for more information.