Posts by saad

Mr. Raj Chengappa on “India and the Bomb: Myths and Reality”

Mr. Raj Chengappa’s lecture explores the topic
India and the Bomb: Myths and Reality.

Why did a nation born on the principle of non-violence, decide to build the most destructive weapon that humankind has invented? Why did India carry out its first nuclear explosion in 1974 and not soon after the 1964 Chinese test or before the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Why did India wait another 24 years before it carried a second round of tests in 1998? Did India and Pakistan come close to using nuclear weapons during the 1999 Kargil War? Is India’s Hydrogen Bomb a Dud? Will the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal compromise India’s strategic weapons? Will the Global Nuclear Zero movement succeed? These are some of the questions that shall be answered during the lecture.

Mr. Raj Chengappa is the Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune Group of Newspapers, North India’s number one newspaper. He was the Managing Editor of India Today between 2003 and 2010. He is also the founder editor of the Indian edition of Scientific American and India Today Aspire, a guide to education and careers. While at India Today he has written and anchored over 150 path-breaking cover stories on a large variety of subjects including international affairs, politics, defence, business, science, technology, environment, health and entertainment. He also pioneered India Today’s Best Colleges Survey, and is responsible for starting its internet edition and the digitisation of its library.

Mr. Chengappa has won prestigious Indian journalism awards including the Prem Bhatia Award for Political Analysis and Reporting in 1998, the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting in 1988 and the Karnataka Media Academy’s Outstanding Journalist Award in 2006. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University (1991), Stimson Fellow on International Security at Washington DC (1995) and Harry Brittain Fellow at Oxford University (1985).

He is also the author of the best selling book on India’s nuclear weapons titled Weapons of Peace: The Secret Story of India’s Quest to be a Nuclear Power. Released in 2000, the book is now in its fourth edition.

In his exemplary career as a journalist, he has covered the 2008-09 Sri Lankan civil war, the 2003 Iraq war, the 2001 Afghanistan war and the 1999 Kargil war. He was the first to interview Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the first to interview Nawaz Sharif in exile in Jeddah in 2004, in which he spoke bitterly about the Kargil War and Musharraf. He has authored award-winning exclusives on India’s nuclear tests in 1998 including the first pictures to be published of the bomb and the scientists in army uniforms. He has interviewed several world and regional leaders, some of whom include General Pervez Musharraf and Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Mrs Benazir Bhutto, Vladimir Putin, Hamid Karzai, Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa, Queen Rania of Jordan, John Kerry, former US Presidential candidate, Al Gore, former US Vice President and Ms Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State.

Mr. Chengappa has travelled widely covering major events including Ayatollah Khomeini’s funeral in 1988, the Earth Summit in 1992 at Rio, the Population Summit at Cairo in 1994, the landmark South African Elections in 1995, the UN Conference on Disarmament in 1995, the SAARC summit in Islamabad in 2004, the Afghanistan War in 2001, the Iraq War in 2003, the Indo-Pak Summit between 2001-2009, the Pakistan elections in 2008; the Sri Lankan war in 2009 and the Nuclear Summit in Washington DC in 2010. He also visited the SWAT District and the LoC in Pakistan in 2011 and accompanied the Prime Minister of India in Iran in 2012.

Raj Chengappa studied at Bishop Cotton Boys’ School. He graduated in Arts from Christ College and has a post-graduate Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Bangalore University.

He is married to Usha Chengappa, a yoga expert and painter. They have two children, Aditi and Aneesh.

2011: Dr.Dayalan Devanesen on Traditional Aboriginal Medicine and the use of Traditional Healers and Herbal Medicine

Dr. Dayalan Devanesen, Order of Australia [AM]

Dr Devanesen’s lecture will take us on an extraordinary journey that covers not only Aboriginal Health / Medicine but also Aboriginal Art. He will talk us through the development of values at Bishop Cottons to creative cross cultural health programs for tribal Aboriginal people in remote parts of the Northern Territory of Australia. He will discuss Traditional Aboriginal Medicine and the use of Traditional Healers and Herbal Medicine, share his experience in establishing Aboriginal Health Workers as well innovative culturally appropriate health programs such as the ‘Strong Women, Strong Babies, Strong Culture program, and the use of traditional art for health education.

Lecture Transcript

Cottonians Old and Present, Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel deeply honoured to be speaking here today. Read more →

2010: Dr. Ajit Varki on “Adventures in Anthropogeny: What Makes us Human?”

Dr. Ajit Varki, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, UC, San Diego

15th of January

The 6th General K.S. Thimayya Memorial Lecture was held on Saturday, the 15th of January, 2011 at the Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton Auditorium, Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, St. Mark’s Road, Bangalore – 560 001 at 11:00 am
The Keynote address was delivered to a packed audience by Dr. Ajit Varki, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego on “Adventures in Anthropogeny: What Makes us Human?” and Old Cottonian (1967, Pope) The Lecture was preceded by Tea at the school premises.
The Introductory Address was delivered by Mr. John Zachariah, Principal, Bishop Cotton Boys’ School. The Commandant’s Address was to be delivered by Lt. Gen. N. C. Marwah, AVSM, Colonel of the Kumaon & Naga, Regiments and Kumaon Scouts, who was unable to be present owing to his new posting to the Andaman Islands. His address was read out to the audience.
The audience comprised of eminent citizens of Bangalore, distinguished old Cottonians, former bureaucrats, senior officers from the armed forces – both serving and retired, students and faculty of the School and family members of General K.S. Thimayya and family members of Dr. Ajit Varki.
The Lecture saw the participation of several distinguished guests, like Dr. Dayalan Devanesan, Old Cottonian and Order of Australia, Mrs. Vatsala Watsa, Addl. Chief Secretary to the Government, Mrs. Jija Hari Singh, Former DGP, Karnataka, former key note speaker Mr. Philip Wollen, Old Cottonian and Order of Australia, patron of the Gen, Thimayya Trust, General Jetley and Mrs. Jetley and the Sub-Area Commander, Karnataka and Kerala, Major General Pradhan.

Lecture Transcript

While theories abound concerning the origin of humans, none has yet scientifically explained our emergence as the dominant species on the planet. Read more →

2009: G.K.Pillai on “India’s Internal Security: Challenges & Responses”


31 OCTOBER 2009

The 5th General K. S. Thimayya Memorial Lecture was held on Saturday, October 31, 2009 at the Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton Auditorium, Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bangalore at 11:00 a.m. and was delivered by Gopal K. Pillai, IAS, Union Home Secretary on “India’s Internal Security: Challenges & Responses”.
G. K. Pillai is a 1972-batch Kerala cadre IAS officer, who concurrently serves as the Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice, has earlier held plum postings as the Commerce Secretary, the Director General for Foreign Trade, Chairman of the Board of Approval for SEZs & EOUs and India’s Chief Negotiator at the WTO. He was appointed Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India in June 2009. One of three brothers to have studied at BCBS, Mr. Pillai passed out from Cottons in 1964 and went to Pope House.
A packed audience of senior officers from the Services, IAS, IFS, IPS and other walks of public life, Old and present Cottonians, Principals and staff were privy to an extraordinary and exhaustive presentation on unknown facets of India’s internal security and its underlying dynamics. The first-hand account of Mr Pillai’s experiences in the North-East, particularly in Manipur, made for an anthropologist’s delight! The wide canvas of information that was on offer was fully churned during the interactive session that followed, with a wide array of comments and questions that were masterfully (and candidly) fielded by the speaker. Fellowship followed over lunch at the Bangalore Club.
Earlier, Mr. S. M. Acharya, IAS (Retd.) formerly Secretary, Department of ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence and Old Cottonian, introduced Mr Pillai with vignettes of his memories of the speaker, having known him not only in School but indeed through the Service. Colonel John Ellis (Retd.), Principal of BCBS delivered a warm and uplifting Welcome Address. Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Military Secretary and Colonel of the Kumaon and Naga Regiments was meant to deliver the Introductory Remarks, but was sadly constrained to cancel his visit at the eleventh hour owing to his brother’s severe illness. However, the text of his finely-crafted speech was read out to the guests and is available here.

Colonel John Ellis, Principal of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bangalore, Family members of late General K.S. Thimayya, Patrons, former Speakers, Trustees, Cottonians, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen. Read more →

2008: Philip Wollen on “Peace, Ethics, Occam’s Razor and India’s Gift of Ahimsa”

Philip Wollen

December 13th, 2008

The 4th General K. S. Thimayya Memorial Lecture was held on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at the Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton Auditorium, Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, St. Mark’s Road, Bangalore 560 001 at 11:00 a.m. for an address by Philip Wollen, OAM on “Peace, Ethics, Occam’s Razor* – and India’s Gift of Ahimsa”.
Phil is a global animal-rights crusader, humanitarian activist, philanthropist and motivational speaker, all in one. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005 ‘For service to international humanitarian relief and to animal welfare, particularly through the establishment of the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust’. He is the winner of The Australian Humanitarian Award 2006 and was Australian of the Year (Victoria), 2007. Phil passed out from Cotton’s in 1967 (Pope House) as a third-generation Cottonian.
Phil’s extraordinary and emotional plea for Ahimsa left many teary-eyed and the standing ovation that he received from a 1000+ audience bore testimony to the content and impact of the speech, and indeed the life of Philip Wollen. An exhilarating mix of senior officers from the Armed Forces (with over 25 Generals, Air Marshals and Admirals including two of our Patrons – Air Marshal ‘Mally’ Wollen and Lt. General S.K. Jetley), academia, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, artists and wild-life activists made for a truly memorable event, and reflected itself in the stimulating Q&A session that followed. The participation of the senior school boys and girls was a fillip (no pun intended) to the endeavour, and for many of them the lecture was a life-changing experience. One learns of many students and guests having turned vegetarian after Phil’s speech.
Ashok Mandanna, classmate and boxing-rival from School, made a witty and poignant introduction of Phil. Colonel John Ellis (Retd.), Principal of BCBS delivered the Welcome Address, while Brigadier R.M. Mittal, SM, Commandant, MEG & Centre, Bangalore made the Introductory Remarks. Fellowship followed over beers and lunch at the Bangalore Club.
Nec Dextrorsum Nec Sinistrorsum
* Occam’s Razor is the theory credited to William of Occam (or Ockham, circa 1285-1349) which prefers the simplest formulation for the most complex of issues. It is also known as the Law of Parsimony.

Lecture Transcript

Colonel Ellis, Brigadier Mittal, Admiral Shekhawat, Lieutenant General Jetley, Air Marshal Wollen, respected members of General Thimayya’s family, distinguished members of the Armed Forces, honoured guests who have travelled from across the nation to be here, past and present Cottonians, ladies and gentlemen.
I am deeply honoured to be with you today.
And I congratulate Mr Aditya Sondhi and his remarkable team of OCs for honouring the truly great man, our beloved General Thimayya. Read more →

2007: Col. Lalit Rai, VrC on Undiluted Heroism

Colonel Lalit Rai, VrC

December 8th, 2007

Colonel Lalit Rai’s sterling account of the role played by his battalion in the icy heights of Khalubar, coupled with first hand accounts of daring, death and triumph moved the 1200+ audience to tears. It was particularly poignant that General Thimayya had 50 years earlier in 1949 played an equally stellar role in Kargil. The guests included the General’s family, senior officers from all the Services, Old Boys, former Principals, former and present teachers & Masters, students of the senior School, public spirited individuals from differing walks of life and admirers of ‘Timmy’. The standing ovation that Colonel Rai received after his address was testimony of the fact that one was privileged to have been part of a memorable Cottonian event.
Colonel John Ellis, (Retired), Principal of BCBS delivered the Introductory Address. The lecture was followed by a robust Fellowship Dinner at the Anchor Lawns, Bangalore Club.

Lecture Transcript

In deference to the sensitive nature of the PPT presented by Colonel Lalit Rai, the same is not reproduced here on our website. For a link to Colonel Rai’s account of Kargil ’99, click here

2006: C.V. Ranganathan, IFS on “Emerging India and China: Perspectives & Prospects”

C. V. Ranganathan, IFS (Retd.)

December 2nd, 2006

The Gen. K. S. Thimayya Memorial Lecture series is an Old-Boys-of-Cottons endeavour, to commemorate the memory of General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya, Padma Vibhushan, DSO, ADC, Chief of Army Staff from May 07, 1957 to May 07, 1961, and Old Cottonian (1918-1922).
The Lecture series is instituted to pay tribute to an exemplary Cottonian, Indian and human being, by inviting a distinguished Old Cottonian to render a keynote address to Old & present Cottonians, Masters & Teachers, and other well-wishers of the School. The underlying tribute is to Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bangalore – Alma Mater to innumerable distinguished and loyal Old Boys.

The 2nd Gen. K. S. Thimayya Memorial Lecture was held on Saturday, December 2, 2006 at the Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton Auditorium, Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, St. Mark’s Road, Bangalore 560 001 at 6:00 p.m., and was delivered by C. V. Ranganathan, IFS (Retd.), OC, on “Emerging India and China: Perspectives & Prospects”
Mr. Ranganathan – the keynote speaker – was India’s Ambassador to China from 1987 to 1991 and is widely regarded as an authority on Sino-Indian relations. During a sparkling career spanning almost 35 years in the IFS, he has served as Ambassador to France, and High Commissioner to Ethiopia & Moscow. Post-retirement, Mr. Ranganathan has served as the Convenor of the prestigious National Security Advisory Board and has co-authored India and China – The Way Ahead. He is an Old Cottonian of the 1948 vintage.
Col. John Ellis, (Retd.), Principal of the Bishop Cotton Boys’ School delivered the Introductory Address. Over 300 Old Cottonians, Present Cottonians, former Principals, masters & teachers, and members from the Armed Forces were in attendance. Mr Ranganathan’s riveting talk was followed by a robust Q & A session, and a Fellowship dinner. For the text of the keynote address, click here.
Nec Dextrorsum Nec Sinistrorsum

Lecture Transcript

Col Ellis & Mrs. Ellis, Principal of Bishop Cottons Boys’ School, Members of the Faculty of Bishop Cottons, Distinguished former Members of the Armed Forces, Alumni, so many people who were referred to- may be I won’t go down the list, Ladies & Gentlemen it is a great honour to be asked to give this General KS Thimayya Memorial Lecture, in what I understand is the centenary year of his birth. I profoundly thank the Old Boys who are in charge of remembering a great native of Coorg and a very great Indian. Read more →

2005: Nandan Nilekani, Padma Bhushan on “Corporate Social Responsibility: Emerging Leadership Trends & Issues”

Nandan M. Nilekani, CEO, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

December 17th, 2005

The 1st Gen. K. S. Thimayya Memorial Lecture was held on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at the J. R. D. Tata Auditorium, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore 560 012, at 6:00 p.m. The event commemorated the 40th death anniversary of one of India’s greatest Generals. The keynote address was delivered by Nandan M. Nilekani on “Corporate Social Responsibility: Emerging Leadership Trends & Issues”.
Mr. Nilekani – the keynote speaker – is the CEO, President & Managing Director of Infosys Technologies Ltd., India’s flagship IT company, and is one of its co-founders. Amongst several accolades to his credit, Mr. Nilekani along with Infosys Chairman & co-founder Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, received the Fortune magazine’s prestigious ‘Asia’s Businessmen of the Year 2003’ award. He is an alumnus of IIT (Bombay) and an illustrious Old Cottonian (1967).
Mr. Nilekani’s exhaustive address touched upon the various facets of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) including the ethical, philanthropic and environmental, as well as CSR advocacy. He pointed out the effect of CSR models on the corporate sector at large, by setting trends for others to follow as well as creating pressure in the system by provoking curiosity of shareholders of other companies who then debate the feasibility of CSR with their respective managements.
The keynote address was followed by a stimulating Q & A session, when Mr. Nilekani deftly handled questions ranging from Corporate-Government intercourse and sustainable development, to career planning and role of corporates in education. The Lecture was followed by a Fellowship dinner, with over 200 guests in attendance. Earlier, after the introduction of Gen. Thimayya, Mr. Balraj, Former Principal, Bishop Cotton Boys’ School (1970-1985) introduced Mr. Nilekani.
The guests in attendance included distinguished Old Cottonians such as Air Marshal M. S. D. Wollen (Retd.), Maj. Gen. Sultan Mahmood (Retd.), Dilip Thakore, Akbar Khaleeli, C. V. Ranganathan, M. G. Muthanna, Professors P. R. Kumar & Vijay Kumar, Dr. B. D. Chengappa, Dr. Nandakumar Jayram, V. P. Mahendra, M. N. Chitiappa, Rev. Kiran Sebastian, and several others. Other eminent guests included Maj. Gen. & Mrs. Chengappa (Gen Thimayya’s son-in-law and daughter) and their son K. C. Belliappa & his fiancée Nicole, Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy & Mrs. Sudha Murthy, Mrs. Rohini Nilekani, Ramchandra Guha and officers from the Kumaon regiment which Gen. Thimayya commanded. Former Principals of the School – Mr. Balraj and Dr Samuel (& his wife Dr. Mrs. Samuel), and several Masters (Dr. Iqbal Ahmed & Mr. M S Shankar included) & Teachers also attended.
The event was webcast live over the internet to Old Cottonians all over the world, courtesy Webex (India).
Click here to view the webcast from the 2005 lecture series (Courtesy Webex Systems).


Lecture Transcript

It is a great honor to be here. I thank you for this opportunity to speak at the General Thimmayya lecture.
General Thimmayya – an alumnus of this very school – is one of India’s military heroes, and is spoken of as much for his impressive, colorful personality as for his military record. Read more →

General K. S. Thimayya Memorial Trust: All Rights Reserved 2012