Official website of The Asiatic Society of Mumbai - Public Interface

Public Interface

The Society's location in the Town Hall, its history of learning combined with public service, and its own current orientation ensure that the Society functions as an active forum for public participation.

In addition to specialized lectures, several of the Society's lectures and seminars are on topics that interest the informed layperson. They are attended by a cross-section of the city's public. The annual Gulestan Billimoria seminar focuses on young people and attracts a large number of college and university students each year. The Society collaborates on a number of events like exhibitions, book releases and discussions with a wide range of institutions. For instance, in recent years, the Society has co-organized events along with British Council, Alliance Francaise, Japan Foundation, University of Mumbai, Mani Bhavan, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Cama Oriental Institute, Prince of Wales Museum, to name a few. It has also collaborated with publishers and book shops like Oxford University Press, Popular Prakashan, Promilla Publishers, Strand and Danai in organizing book releases and book discussions. These collaborative events bring in people from all walks of life. Even for somewhat arcane subjects, there are sometimes big audiences, as for instance the time when Jacques Derrida delivered a lecture in the overflowing Durbar Hall in 1997, to which even people from nearby cities like Pune and Baroda had come to listen.

Visiting dignitaries often consider a trip to the city incomplete without a visit to the Asiatic Society of Bombay. The historical associations of the Society bring to it an enormous fund of goodwill from the public at large. To give one instance, the 125th Board meeting of the Mumbai Port Trust was a special and memorable meeting held, at their request, in the Durbar Hall of the Asiatic Society on July 3, 1997. The first meeting had been held at the same venue on June 26, 1873