IOJ ►Launch of the Catalogue of the Jain Manuscripts of The British Library - IOJ Press Release

Published: 16.05.2007
Updated: 24.01.2015

Buckingham Palace was the prestigious venue for the launch of the Catalogue of the Jain Manuscripts of The British Library which took place on Tuesday, 15th May, 2007 in the graceful presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

On arrival, His Royal Highness was received by the Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Jainology, Mr Nemu Chandaria, OBE. Mr Chandaria then presented some dignitaries and Trustees of the Institute to His Royal Highness in the Picture Gallery of the Palace.

His Royal Highness was accompanied by the group to the Ballroom where 300 people had already been seated.


The event was graced by local and overseas representatives of the Jain community and included delegates from India, Singapore, Oman, USA, Canada, Kenya, UAE as well as many Jain organisations in the United Kingdom and representatives of the Interfaith community.

HE High Commissioner of India, Mr Kamalesh Sharma, the Chief Editor of the Catalogue, Prof. Nalini Balbir and Mr Ronald Milne, Director of Scholarship and Collections, The British Library, shared the main table with HRH as well as the officers of the Institute.

Mrs Arshna Sanghrajka, as compere, started the programme by inviting Samanijis Prasanna Pragya and Manan Pragya to recite Namokkar Mantra and Jain prayers.


Mr Nemu Chandaria welcomed His Royal Highness, all dignitaries and the audience to the programme, highlighting the past events which had established an excellent rapport between the Institute and His Royal Highness. He hoped that a similar function will also be held in a couple of years when the Catalogues of the Wellcome Trust and the Bodleian Library would also be published.

Prof. Nalini Balbir then described the Catalogue in summary presenting the circumstances under which the collection had been built. She paid tribute to all concerned for the publication of the Catalogue and for hosting this event.

A copy of the Catalogue was presented to His Royal Highness who unwrapped it and formally declared it as launched.

His Royal Highness in his address recalled how he had initiated the formation the Alliance for Religions & Conservation in Assisi during the 25th anniversary celebration of WWF of which he was the President. He recalled how Jains had also presented their Declaration on Nature to him at the Palace and been given the recognition as the 8th major faith of the world.


He congratulated all those involved in the preparation and publication of the Manuscript Catalogue. He also expressed a wish that the catalogues would encourage studies by the scholars and improve the understanding of the Jain philosophy worldwide.


Mr Ratilal Chandaria, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology, presented a silver memento of the occasion to His Royal Highness. His Highness then presented mementoes to Mr Graham Shaw, Mr Michael O’Keefe, Mr Jonathan Jackson and Mr Burkhard Quessel all of The British Library and Prof. Nalini Balbir They had all made significant contributions to the publication of the Catalogue.


Dr Harshad Sanghrajka, Hon. Secretary of the Institute presented a vote of thanks before the departure of His Royal Highness.


All other guests had an opportunity to meet and greet and savour in the majestic atmosphere of the ballroom.

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          1. Burkhard Quessel
          2. Harshad Sanghrajka
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          6. Nalini Balbir
          7. Pragya
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