the-south-asian Life & Times               July - September 2010




 Editor's Note


 Photo Essay

 - Mehrangarh

 - The Walled City

 - Jodhpur Royals

 - Music Festival

 - Unusual Places to

 Bishnois - the True


 Cover Story
 Muslim Liberals
 - Ustad Amjad Ali

 - Aamir Khan

 - Saiyid Hamid

 - Anu Malik


 Doon School at 75

 - Interview with
   Dr. McLaughlin

 - Inspiring Legacies

 - Tribute to Nandu by
   Late RL Holdsworth

 - Old Boys 

 Mangalore &




 The Last Queen of


 Visa to Heaven
 & Hell


 Tarot Readings


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The Doon School turns 75!

Many of the 5000 or so alumni of one of India’s most exclusive boarding schools will get together in their campus in the Himalayan foothills in October this year to toast their alma mater – The Doon School - celebrating its gripping and stimulating 75 years .

Doon School is one of the most famous and exclusive private schools in India, sometimes described as the Eton of India. Though private, these exclusive schools are called public because they trained the privileged elite for public services: the civil service, military service, colonial service, church service… and so on.

Located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, it is a 5-hour drive from Delhi – theoretically! Founded by Satish Ranjan Das, one of pre-independent India’s most eminent barristers and a member of the Executive Council of the Viceroy of India, the Doon School was formally inaugurated on October 27, 1935 by Lord Willingdon, the Governor-General and Viceroy of India at the time. The British Board of Education selected Arthur Foot, a master at Eton College and also a keen climber, as The Doon School’s first Headmaster. Arthur Foot, who had never visited India before accepting the position, once explained how it all happened for him:

When I first heard that there was to be a school at Dehradun .... I took out my Times Atlas and looked up Dehradun. I found it an area that was light brown and capped by some patches of white. I at once applied for the post of Headmaster, knowing that I would be able to arrange my timetable so that I could motor up to the foot of a glacier on Friday after school, climb a peak on Saturday and return comfortably on Sunday ...." 

But running a new school left him with little or no time to climb. He recruited John Martyn, a master at Harrow and also a lover of mountains, as his deputy, and later brought in Jack Gibson in 1937, and RL Holdsworth (Holdie) in 1940 – this trinity was to take The Doon School to dizzying heights – literally! And in many other ways too. They were teachers, climbers – and bachelors. Many of their pupils became lifelong mountaineers.

Read the entire article in the print edition of The South Asian Life & Times






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