Bangalore, April 19, 2023 – Dr. Mattur Nandakumara, a highly respected authority on Vedic literature, philosophy, mythology, and rituals, has been appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his services to the teaching, performance, and accessibility of Indian classical arts in the UK. He has actively promoted Sanskrit education and Indian culture in the UK and Europe for over four decades.
Dr. Nandakumara is the current Executive Director of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (also known as The Bhavan) in London, UK and also been identified as one of the UK’s top 100 most influential Asians for his role as an ambassador for India’s art, culture, and philosophy.
Since 1977, Dr. Nandakumara has been associated with The Bhavan in London, where he has been teaching multiple Sanskrit courses ranging from introductory to expert-level courses in grammar, commentary, and discussion on the great literary texts. Over the past five decades, The Bhavan in London has become a dynamic and vibrant cultural hub with help from the numerous well-wishers who have contributed to its success. Notably, Smt. Sudha Murty has been supporting The Bhavan since 2008 and has provided unstinting support to numerous programs and artists.
Expressing his gratitude upon receiving the MBE award, Dr. Mattur Nandakumara said, “I am deeply humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious recognition from His Majesty The King Charles III. I am committed to continuing my efforts in teaching and making Indian classical arts accessible in the UK and the rest of the world. I am grateful for the support of my family, mentors, colleagues, and students, without whom this would not have been possible.”
Dr. Nandakumara’s outstanding achievements in promoting and preserving Sanskrit education and Indian culture have been recognised with several awards, including the Kannada Rajyotsava Award in 2011, the Samskriti Seva Samman by Hindi Samiti UK for his contribution to Art and Culture, and the Award of Distinction in the field of Art and Culture in 2006, instituted by the India International Foundation and presented by Baroness Usha Prashar.
Apart from teaching, Dr. Nandakumara has also organised and run multiple Conversational Sanskrit courses in London and has lectured extensively on various aspects of Hindu philosophy and mythology across the UK. He has officiated hundreds of Hindu ceremonies in the UK, Europe, and the Far East and is also a writer of multiple poems in both Sanskrit and Kannada languages, with a focus on personal interpretations of key parts of the Vedas, Upanishads, and Gita.
Dr. Nandakumara has contributed to promoting Indian culture in the UK by organizing concerts for the benefit of The Bhavan. These concerts feature eminent artists like Pt Ravi Shankar, Pt Birju Maharaj, Dr. Balamuralikrishna, Pt Jasraj, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Zakir Hussain, and Anoushka Shankar, among others. Since 1984, he has been responsible for presenting over eighty events every year, featuring eminent artists and scholars, many of whom have conducted workshops and lecture demonstrations.
Dr. Nandakumara’s dedication, knowledge, and contribution to the promotion and preservation of Indian culture and Sanskrit education are an inspiration to all.