18 June 2018

Victor Mallet: River of Life, River of Death

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On 14 June, Sevenoaks welcomed the Financial Times Asia news editor Victor Mallet to speak on India.

Lauded by former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten as one of the most reliable and well informed observers of Asian issues, Victor Mallet is an author, journalist and commentator with three decades of experience in Asia, Europe, the middle East and Africa, and it was a pleasure to host him at The Space.

Mr Mallet spoke about his fascination with the River Ganges – the backbone of India and a landmark of the world – and took us through his journey of exploring it from its source in the Gangotri Glacier to its mouth at the Bay of Bengal. Along this 2500-kilometre journey, Mr Mallet outlined intrinsic connections between the river and Indian culture, and described it as a melting pot of religious activity, vibrant festivals and history.

Moving on, he discussed some of the dangers faced by the Ganges, including discharge from poor sewage systems. There exists a plethora of issues suffered by the sacred river, making it vulnerable if no extreme steps are taken soon. Past Indian governments have all tried to seek out effective solutions, but the river remains one of the world’s most polluted water bodies.

Afterwards, Mr Mallet signed copies of his most recent book, River of Life, River of Death, which goes further into detail about the complexities surrounding the Ganges, from an extraordinary combination of historical, geographical, political and religious perspectives.

It was a pleasure to host Mr Mallet and we look forward to welcoming him again in the future.

Ram Capoor, Lower Sixth

View the images from Victors talk here

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