Archives of Contemporary India

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L.M. Singhvi Papers

L.M. Singhvi Papers
"The Indian Diaspora is a rainbow, and if I may say so, my head soars with a fond aspiration and my heart leaps with boundless joy when I behold the rainbow of India and Indians over the globe. I also behold and hope for the globalisation of India in the right perspective and Indianisation of the globe in the right proportion, with our Indian Diaspora as the catalyst for cross-fertilisation.This congregation and this auspicious beginning will, I hope, build a global Diaspora network of bridges or what was called in Indian antiquity, Setubandhanam.

Laxmi Mall Singhvi, popularly known as L.M. Singhvi (b.1931–d.2007), was a scholar-statesman, a prolific author, poet, linguist and litterateur, an eminent jurist, a distinguished diplomat and a prominent parliamentarian.

Singhvi was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan into a Marwari Jain family. He graduated with a gold medal from Allahabad University and then did his MA and LLB from Jaipur University. Excelling in academics, he proceeded to attain masters in Law from Harvard University and LL.D from Cornell University, USA (1955). He returned to India in 1957 and started his legal practice at the Jodhpur trial and sessions court.

In 1962, he contested (as an independent candidate) and won the election to Lok Sabha from Jodhpur constituency. After completing the five year term he resumed his legal practice and began practicing at the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court of India. He was appointed the Advocate General of Rajasthan for the period, 1972-77.

Singhvi served as High Commissioner for India in the United Kingdom from 1991 to1997 and was the second longest-serving High Commissioner for India in the U.K. after V.K. Krishna Menon. He was elected to Rajya Sabha after his return to India in 1998. He led the Indian delegations to the UN Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993 and the UNESCO Conference on Culture of Peace in Stockholm in 1998. Dr. Singhvi was elected to the International Court of Arbitration at Hague in 2000 and was appointed Chairman of a National High-Level Committee on Persons of Indian Origin and Non-Resident Indians in 2000. He presided over the inauguration of Bharatiya Pravasi Divas on 9 January 2003. 

He received LL.D and D.Litt. Honoris Causa from leading universities in India and abroad. He was made an Honorary Bencher and Master of the Middle Temple in 1987 and was also appointed to the ancient Rede Chair in Cambridge University. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998.

Dr. Singhvi authored several monographs and books including Sandhya Ka Surya (1991), Freedom on Trial (1991), A Tale of Three Cities (1996), Towards Global Togetherness (2002), Democracy and Rule of Law (2002), A Diplomatic Sojourn (2002). Jain Temples in India and around the World (2002)Diplomacy and Diaspora (2012), and Evolution of Indian Judiciary (2012).

About the Collection: The papers of Dr. L.M. Singhvi comprise his correspondence, papers, and press clippings relating to his tenure as High Commissioner of India to U.K. including  auction and acquisition of M.K. Gandhi and Tagore manuscripts, Indo-British political and economic relations, 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, philanthropic, charitable activities and environmental issues.  The collection also contains papers regarding his literary activities, Kashmir terrorism, human rights, his association with IGNCA, Jnanpith, UNESCO, UN Commission on Human Rights, and some reports, articles, forewords, addresses, speeches, interviews on Jainism, Diaspora, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas & National Law Day.  There are also photos and press clippings of his varied public life in the collection.

Donor: Kamala Singhvi
Acquisition: 2017