In remembrance of Professor Asha Pande
29 October, 2018 by Chris Collins | 0 comments
IFTR announces with sadness the death of longtime federation member and former member of IFTR's Executive Committee Asha Pande. Professor Pande was among the group of Indian theatre scholars who established the Indian Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) as a spin-off from IFTR's 2003 conference in Jaipur, and at the time her death was serving as ISTR President. Prof. Vibha Sharma of the Indian Society for Theatre Research kindly supplies the following obituary.
With a heavy heart, I, on behalf of the Indian Society for Theatre Research (ISTR), extend my heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of ISTR’s President, Professor Asha Pande. She had been ill and hospitalised with complications, to which she succumbed after multiple organ failure on 4 October 2018.
Prof. Pande had a long and continuous association with IFTR since 2003, when that year’s IFTR annual meeting was held in Jaipur. She not only participated in the 2003 conference but also helped Prof. Ravi Chaturvedi (that year’s conference host) in organising the big event. This was the beginning of her productive IFTR association, which went on to positively impact the theatre studies in India. In the Jaipur conference, Prof. Pande was also a major force behind the inception of ISTR and indeed was one of its founding members. She held the post of Vice President of ISTR before becoming its President. Prof. Pande had been member of IFTR and served as an elected member to the Federation’s Executive Committee for one term. Prof. Pande was closely connected to IFTR’s Feminist Research and Processus de Création Working Groups. While working in all these different roles and capacities, Prof. Pande emerged as a receptive scholar with an eagerness to interact and negotiate with her fellow scholars.
Prof. Pande was a fine human being who exuded large-heartedness and amiability in her work. By the time she got associated with IFTR and founded ISTR, she was already an established scholar of French literature/ language and theatre studies in India, yet her eagerness to evolve as a scholar contributed to her disseminating theatre studies culture in India through her unequivocal support for and highly constructive participation in ISTR’s activities. She was specifically involved in the study of regional performance cultures located in and around Rajasthan.
Prof. Pande is fondly remembered by her colleagues in IFTR and ISTR as a cheerful person as well as an eager scholar who embodied modesty and gentleness. Her students always had a friend, philosopher and guide in her. After attaining superannuation from her job as a professor in French in 2014 at the Department of European Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies in Rajasthan University, she became even more active and responsive towards her scholarly commitments and engagements.
In Prof. Pande’s death, the Indian theatre studies community has lost a committed activist and a very dependable friend. We will always keep her memories alive by remaining committed to her way of doing things, that is: be amiable and be constructive, always.
Vibha Sharma, PhD
Indian Society for Theatre Researh