HUA President’s Message – Prof. Ved Nanda passes away
President, Shri Kalyan Viswanathan's message on the sad demise of the Chairman of the Board, HUA, Padma Bhushan, Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda.
HUA President's Message
Chairman of the Board of HUA, Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda passes away.
Within a few hours, after I sent the New Year’s message on Monday, I heard the heartbreaking news of the passing away of the Chairman of the HUA Board, Padma Bhushan Sri Ved Nanda ji.
Nanda ji had a fall in his house on December 6th, 2023, and was unable to get up. He was quickly hospitalized and diagnosed with a spinal cord injury as a result of the fall. He underwent surgery, and subsequently went into rigorous physical rehab for a short time, but unfortunately had an adverse turn of events with internal bleeding, requiring another surgical procedure. On Dec 26th, 2023, we got a word that his family made the difficult decision to transition him into hospice care. We are told that he departed peacefully on Monday, January 01, 2024, in Denver, Colorado, at 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
Prof. Ved Nanda ji served as Chairman of the Board of the Hindu University of America from January 2019, for almost five years, and played a critical guiding role. I have personally known Prof. Nanda ji for well over a decade. I have seen him at events when I was a mere spectator in the audience when he was on the dais; I had interacted with him long before we became more intimately acquainted at the Hindu University of America. And then at HUA, I had the opportunity to work with him much more closely. His experience as a senior academic and administrator was invaluable in guiding me as well as the whole Board of Trustees of HUA over the past five years. He brought a sense of humor that easily smoothed over what seemed to be contentious issues, and was at all times a cheerleader and champion for the growth and development of Hindu University of America. At the same time, he kept an extremely full and busy calendar and was in constant demand from a wide variety of organizations and institutions.
Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda ji is seen here receiving the Padma Bhushan Award from the President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind, in the year 2018 in the field of literature and education.
Professor Ved Nanda ji was born in 1934, in Gujranwala, near Sialkot, British India (now in Pakistan). His family migrated to India following the partition in 1947. Growing up in the aftermath of this significant and traumatic historical event, Nanda ji developed an awareness of the complexities of international relations and the importance of diplomacy in maintaining global peace. His early experiences and exposure to the challenges of post-partition life likely influenced his later academic and professional pursuits in the field of international law. Professor Ved Nanda ji ’s distinguished career and contributions to the field of international law have made him a respected figure in academia and beyond. Throughout his life, he has worked tirelessly to promote understanding and cooperation among nations through his teaching, writing, and advocacy in the realm of international law. His contributions invited the following message from the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi ji.
Deeply saddened by the passing away of Professor Ved Prakash Nanda Ji, a distinguished academic whose contributions to the legal field are invaluable. His work highlights his strong commitment to legal education. He was also a prominent member of the Indian diaspora in USA and… pic.twitter.com/ihs19v1q5q— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 2, 2024
It is impossible to capture in a few short paragraphs, the multi-dimensional contributions of Prof. Ved Nanda as a Professor of Law, a Champion of Human rights around the world, an author who has left a legacy of over twenty-plus books and countless articles, and a champion of Hindu causes for more than six decades. Prof. Ved P. Nanda was a Distinguished University Professor and Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law at the University of Denver, where he founded the International Legal Studies Program in 1972 and later directed the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law.
During his academic career, he wrote books and chapters on diverse subjects such as Human Rights, Third World Development, Refugee Law and Policy, Laws about Trans-national Business Transactions, International Criminal Law, Climate Change and the Role of International Law and Institutions, Litigation of International Disputes in US Courts, Water needs of the Future, International Environmental Law and Policy, Nuclear Weapons and the World Court, Law in the War on International Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation and its Legality, Compassion in the four Dharmic Traditions, Hindu Law and Legal Theory, and so on. During his academic career, Prof. Ved Nanda was instrumental in graduating many students who went on to play distinguished roles in American society.
Here is a picture of one such student greeting him, Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Prof. Ved Nanda ji served as Vice Provost at the University of Denver from 1994-2008 and has held numerous official posts in international, regional, and national professional and civil society organizations. He has also received several awards including the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Community Peace Building. He had been the Sanghchalak (President) of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), in America for many years, and guided its growth and development.
In the coming weeks, I am sure that we will hear more and more about the distinguished life of service and contribution of Ma. Shri Veda Nanda ji, from a great many sources. In the meantime, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire family of Hindu University of America, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and invite all of us at HUA to remember him.