Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist Asha Jadeja has launched a unique program through her family foundation — Motwani Jadeja Foundation — called the Rajeev Circle History Scholars (RCS) Program.
Announcing the program, Asha Jadeja said, “In the decades after Independence, Indian historiography has suffered from several drawbacks, many rooted in ‘history written by victors,’ colonial narratives that have warped the portrayal of actual events to fit a grandiosity of a dying imperialism. There is an urgent need for serious scholarship that revisits these aspects of our past in a modern, contemporary context. And the Motwani Jadeja Foundation is proud to announce the Rajeev Circle History Scholars (RCS) Program to support scholars in this area.”
The RCS program is led by author and historian Dr. Vikram Sampath. Dr. Sampath is a Bangalore-based historian and author of six acclaimed books. He has a doctorate in history and music from The University of Queensland, Australia and was a Senior Research Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. He is also an Aspen Global Leadership Fellow and an Eisenhower Global Fellow 2021. An engineer/mathematician from BITS-Pilani and an MBA in Finance from S. P. Jain, Mumbai, Dr. Sampath is also a trained Carnatic vocalist. He has established the Archive of Indian Music, India’s first digital sound archive for vintage recordings, and is the founder/director of the Bangalore Literature Festival, Indic Thoughts Festival and “ARTH — A Culture Fest.”
The Rajeev Circle History Scholars (RCS) Program aims to foster scholarship and produce knowledge in the field of Indian historiography that is Indic in its outlook rather than the hitherto colonial or ideologically driven narrative and is shorn of empty jingoism, one that is based firmly on the yardsticks of truthful representation and scientific research methodology and adheres to stringent standards of evidence/data gathering, hypothesis testing, critical thinking and critical analysis.
The program seeks to publish high-quality, well-researched and accessible popular books on Indian history each year through the grant of a coveted Fellowship awarded to eligible scholars.
The scholars who will be supported by the RCS program are Prof. V.N. Prabhakar (RCS Senior Fellow), Dr. Ankur Kakkar, Dr. Sreejit Datta, Aravindan Neelakandan, Aneesh Gokhale and Aabhas Maldahiyar (RCS Fellows). More details on the program and the scholars can be found at rcsch.world.
The themes on which the Rajeev Circle History Scholars are selected are Ancient Indian History, Medieval Indian History, Modern Indian History, Indian Freedom Struggle and Traditional Indian Knowledge Systems — in the fields of Indian Sciences, Mathematics, Alchemy/Metallurgy, Ayurveda, Temple Architecture, Textiles, Rituals, Indian Languages and Literature, Performing & Visual Arts and Classical Languages of India, etc., to name a few.
The Rajeev Circle History Scholars (RCS) Program has been constituted in memory of Asha’s late husband Rajeev Motwani. A professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, Motwani was also the author of Google algorithms and advisor to the company. Rajeev and Asha have invested in over 200 technology startups in Silicon Valley.
The Motwani Foundation has been running another program as a tribute to him called the Rajeev Circle Fellowships (RCF), which is an evolving network of entrepreneurs bound by a synergistic set of activities, vision, philosophy and aspirations.
Programs like the Rajeev Circle History Scholars (RCS) and Rajeev Circle Fellowships (RCF) are an ongoing effort by Asha Jadeja and the Motwani Jadeja Foundation to contribute toward the growth of intellectual and entrepreneurial capital of India to augment India’s future through positive action for greater and exponential impact. More details on the Motwani Jadeja Foundation can be found at mjf.world.