A College Professor Remembers

Geeta Somjee

Geeta Somjee received her M.A. (Hons.) from Madras University, and Ph.D. from M. S. University of Baroda. She was a Visiting Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford for a number of years, the Wellesley College Centre for Research on Women, (U.S.A), Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver. She has done longitudinal field research in rural and urban India, and was engaged in comparative study of the involvement of women in expanding health services in Asian societies. Her published works include Narrowing the Gender Gap, Reaching Out to the Poor (with A.H. Somjee) and "Social Change in the Nursing Profession in India" in a volume entitled Anthropology and Nursing.

I am from Calicut, in Kerala and went to high school there. At that time, Calicut was indeed a small place, and most students used to go to either Madras or Trivandrum for their higher education. I went to Madras (now Chennai), where I got my Bachelor’s degree from Presidency College, and my M.A (Hons.) degree from Madras University in 1956.

My Memories of Dr. V. Kurien

A H Somjee

A.H. Somjee received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the London School of Economics. He is a charter member of the Simon Fraser University, Canada, where he is also an Emeritus Professor of Political Science. He has taught at the University of Baroda, the London School of Economics, University of Durham, and the National University of Singapore. He was also appointed as an Associate Fellow at the Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University, and was invited to Harvard University, several times, as a Visiting Scholar.

When I was a faculty member of the M.S. University of Baroda (now Vadodara), from 1956 to 1964, I had heard the name of Dr. V. Kurien from various colleagues and people in surrounding villages.

The man in charge of AMUL did seem to me to be worth meeting in Anand, which was then a small town, less than 30 miles from Baroda. I worked with my students in surrounding villages, one of which is Boriavi, hardly a few kilometres from Anand, but still I could not meet him, despite my great desire to do so.

In 1964, I left India to teach in Durham University in Britain, and in 1965, I joined Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. In Vancouver, I was very keen to find out how the villages of free India were shaping up. In 1968-69, I got an official opportunity to travel to India. I selected Anand for my study and landed there.

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