Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

SAI - News

Research Magazine Ruperto Carola features articles by Hans Harder and Christiane Brosius
The research magazine of Heidelberg University, Ruperto Carola, features two articles on South Asia in its latest issue. Both articles are available online though in German only. The first article by Hans Harder, head of the department for Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures (Modern Indology), deals with Satire in Asia during Colonial Time. The second article by Christiane Brosius, who holds the chair for Visual and Media Anthropology, introduces romantic love in the era of globalization.
New releases in the SAI 2010

In 2010 numerous publications have emerged from the work of the employees of the South Asia Institute. At this point a small choice:

Welcome to two Guests: Prashant Negi and Tanka Subba

A hearty welcome to two scholars from India who are at SAI during the winter term on a Baden-Wuerttemberg Fellowship: Tanka B. Subba is Professor of Anthropology at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India and Prashant Negi is Assistant Professor at the Dr. K./R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit & Minorities Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

Everybody is most welcome to visit, contact and exchange ideas: Prashant Negi (Room 416, Tel.:54-8943, e-mail: and Tanka B. Subba (Room 511, Tel.: 54-8938 e-mail:

Report on the Use of Donations for Pakistan Flood Victims by the SAI and further Action

The recent monsoon weather brought heavy rainfall in the end of July 2010 to various parts of Pakistan, resulting in devastating flash floods in most parts of rivers Kabul, Swat and Indus basin. These were the worst floods in the history of the region. At the beginning of August, after discussing various options for the flood relief activities, the South Asia Institute (SAI), University of Heidelberg, launched the campaign for the donations to help the flood victims of Pakistan. The donations were handled by the non-profit organization Assocation of Friends and Patrons of the SAI. Numerous individuals and organizations - among them Dr. Eckart Würzner, Lord Mayor of the City of Heidelberg and Mr. Mohammad Rafique, President Deutsch-Pakistanische Gesellschaft, Karlsruhe - supported the campaign actively.  

At this time, Professor Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, Allama Iqbal Professor at South Asia Institute University of Heidelberg was on his way to Pakistan on a private visit. He decided to get himself fully involved in the relief activities and promised to spend the money on the purchase of essential food items and then to distribute it personally. Thus Prof. Shah was entrusted to bring the donations to Pakistan. Upon arrival in Pakistan Prof. Shah collected information through various sources and it was revealed that people in the far flung areas of Pashtoonkhwa were in dire need of food, therefore Prof. Shah selected Malakand Division for this purpose. Hereafter the Provincial Disaster Management authorities and other relevant officials including the Provincial Information Minister were consulted. They were requested to prepare the lists of the affected families in the area which they did accordingly.

On Sunday 5th September 2010 the truck headed early in the morning for Batkhela (Swat). The following five villages, on the downstream of river Swat from Batkhela were selected for the distribution of food: Totakan, Matkani, Hissar Kaley, Qalangey and Ziarat Hissar Baba. At about 11 am the food distribution started and it went till late evening. Some parcels were also distributed among the flood victims of Smaso Sar, another village in Batkhela. The following items of food were included in one parcel: Flour (20 kilos); Sugar (5 kilos); Rice (5 kilos); Daal (lentils) (5 kilos); Ghee (cooking oil) (5 kilos); and Tea (1 kilo). Each parcel was thus weighing 41 kilos and was meant for a family of eight persons. A total of 750 (seven hundred and fifty) parcels were arranged for the flood victims so that an estimated 6000 people benefitted from this package.

After this first successful action the SAI plans further activities: Up to now the northern province of Gilgit-Baltistan has not benefitted from help. The whole area, including Gilgit, the city of approximately 70.000 inhabitants, has been cut off electricity for an entire month while roads (among them the Karakorum Highway) have been blocked for almost two months. Under the coordination of the Nanga Parbat Foundation and Prof. Marcus Nüsser, who has just returned from the region, the SAI wants to support the setting-up of clean water supply in this region. In addition to this immediate help project the SAI engages in a long-term support project. The SAI is in touch with local authorities as to find a suitable location to built up a school. For both projects further donations are necessary and highly welcome. If you want to support this initiative please send your donation to
Vereinigung der Förderer des Südasien-Instituts e.V.
Keyword: Fluthilfe Pakistan
Sparkasse Heidelberg
BLZ 672 500 20
Konto-Nr. 1300695
For a donation receipt please write to or

SAI at Frankfurt Book Fair
Events organized by the South Asia Institute (SAI), Heidelberg University at the Frankfurt International Book Fair 2010

Weltempfang - Centre for Politics, Literature and Translation       Salon (Hall 5.0, E953)

Friday, October 8th, 11.30h - 12.30h:

An East-West Encounter: The Relevance Today of the Poet and Philosopher Muhammad Iqbal (German/English/Urdu/Persian)
Introduction and Readings
Gita Dharampal-Frick
Professor of South Asian History at SAI, Heidelberg University
Christina Oesterheld
Lecturere in Urdu at SAI, Heidelberg University
Ali Usman Qasmi
Historian and Newton Fellow at the Royal Holloway College University of London
Qazi Adul Rehman Abid
Historian at the Bahauddin Zakaria University, Multan, Pakistan, and 2010/2011 fellow at the SAI, Heidelberg University Heidelberg
Nadia Butt
Lecturer in English and American Literature, University of Gießen

Sunday, October 10th, 13.00h - 14.00h:
Literary Encounter with Geetanjali Shree (German/English/Hindi)
Introduction and Reading
Felix Otter (Introduction)
Assistent to the Chair of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures, SAI, Heidelberg University
Geetanjali Shree
Historian, Social Scientist, Writer, New Delhi
Birgitta Assheuer
Dubbing and Radio Voice (among others for ARD, ZDF, 3SAT, arte and ORF)

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