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Dr Malini Ranganathan, a French National of Indian origin, settled in France for the past 35 years, has been conferred the prestigious PBSA Award by the Hon President of India, H.E. Shri Ram Nath Kovind on the 23rd of Jan 2019 in Varanasi, for dual domains: “Academics & Arts”. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the Highest Distinction given by the President of India to a NRI and only 15 persons per year are selected worldwide. On this occasion, she was invited by Hon Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  and Hon Minister of External Affairs, Smt Sushma Swaraj, as a State guest 24th the Khumb mela  at Prayagraj and for 26th January Republic Day Parade in Delhi. She is the 1st lady to be honoured from France. 


A Global Academic & Cultural Indian Ambassador

Dr. Malini Ranganathan, an internationally known Kathak dance exponent, has performed extensively in India and all over the USA, Canada and Europe, particularly in France where she is settled from 1983. She is officially recognized by the Indian Ministry of Culture, performing for more than 35 years under the aegis of the Embassy of India, Paris, the ICCR, NARTAKI, as well as by the French Ministry of Culture and CID-UNESCO & the Who’s Who Directory. In 2016, entire cultural festival “NAMASTE FRANCE” was conceived and curated by her in Nantes.

Equally accomplished in Hindustani and Carnatic music (with Nattuvangam under her mother Smt Leela Gopalan), Textile designing (from Sir J.J.School of Arts, Mumbai), Sports and Yoga (Convenor of International Yoga Day Celebrations, Nantes, France, 2018), Malini straddles many worlds simultaneously. A symbol of national integration, she is one of the rare Tamilians to have mastered Kathak dance, initially under Guru Damayanti Joshi (Lucknow Gharana), later under the doyenne, Padmashree Guru Roshan Kumari (Jaipur Gharana) in Kathak and learnt Odissi under Guru Mahadev Raut.

Director- Teacher-Choreographer of eminence in Kathak, Dr Malini has trained 150 French students. She has also featured in ‘Nouvelles de l’Inde’ No°421 and No°428; Namasté France Album, Embassy of India, Paris. She was a Worldwide performer at prestigious festivals like ‘France in India’, Mumbai, Chennai, ‘L’année de l’Inde en France’, Paris (Champs-Elysées), Montpellier, ‘India Year’, New York (Madison square), San Francisco, Stockholm, London & Geneva, Sotheby’s and was also the Artistic Director of the Festival d’été,1996 for Nantes City Council.

Fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil and a linguist by interest, Dr Malini pursued her higher studies in France, obtaining both M. Phil and Ph.D degrees from the European University, in French qualifying as a Researcher-Professor in Humanities & Educational Science to MBA students. Her specialization in didactics of Cross Cultural Context is a unique and pioneering contribution to the field. She has several International scientific publications to her credit, both in English and in French, besides paper presentations at International conferences across the world.

While her vision towards global recognition for Indian dance is driven by her passion for performance, her mission to share the benefits of the art is driven by her passion for teaching. A true Pravasi Bharatiya who resides globally in the hearts of her students and admirers, she is at home in the world, flying internationally, all the while grounded in Indian art & culture.

In an interview at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Varanasi, Dr Malini Ranganathan said “This award which I accept with great humility reinforces the responsibility of carrying forward the glorious legacy of Bharat, not only with its unbroken tradition over centuries but with a renewed vigour. Whether in India or abroad, it is our Indian identity and culture that helps us strike the right balance between being Indian at heart & living as global citizens. My parent’s (Late Leela & K.R Gopalan) message had always highlighted the importance of assimilating with whichever country we live in, guided by respect for local customs & protocol, simultaneously orienting them with our unique Indian culture. I thank them & my sisters immensely for their guidance as well as my husband & children for their support”.



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