Dipak Nandy

Dipak K. Nandy (born 21 May 1936) is an Indian academic and administrator.

Beginning his career as a Lecturer in English literature, Nandy developed greater interests in race relations and was the first director of the Runnymede Trust. He was later a Special Consultant to the Home Office and deputy director of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Early lifeEdit

Nandy was born in Calcutta, India, on 21 May 1936, into a middle-class Bengali family,[1] and was educated at St Xavier's College.

He arrived in Britain in March 1956 with the aim of getting a university degree,[1] and worked for a time on the night shift at Cadbury Schweppes. He was then offered a place in the English Literature Department at the University of Leeds. He later stated that Leeds, in the 1950s, was, in range, variety and intellectual strength, the most exciting place in Britain to be. He took his first degree at Leeds in 1960, then began to work for the degree of doctor of philosophy, but was distracted from that by interests in physics, maths, music, and philosophy, and in 1962 was appointed to his first academic post, at the University of Leicester.[1]


On his arrival at Leicester, his colleague Monica Jones described Nandy as "a coloured communist".[2] In 1964, he was appointed as a lecturer, and from 1964 to 1967 chaired the Leicester Campaign for Racial Equality and also took part in sit-ins at the Admiral Nelson pub, which at that time had a colour bar.[3] In 1966 and 1967, he was Director of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination Summer Projects; he also joined the Information Panel of the National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants and served as Secretary of Equal Rights.

Nandy left his academic post in 1968 to found and run the Runnymede Trust, which he directed until 1973. He was also a member of the BBC's Immigrants Advisory Committee and of the Council of the Institute of Race Relations.[4]

After a brief break at Social and Community Planning Research, 1973-1974, he was recruited as a Special Consultant by the Home Office, to work on the Sex Discrimination Bill, before in 1976 helping to draft the Labour government’s Race Relations Bill.

In 1975, Hugo Young described Nandy as a highly intelligent academic, administrator and politician.[5]

In 1976, he went to Manchester, where the Equal Opportunities Commission had been located, and remained its Deputy Director and chief policymaker for the next ten years, remaining until 1986. There, among other work, he was intimately involved in driving through the Government's policy on taxation (The Taxation of Husband and Wife, by pressing for the equalisation of the State Pension ages of men and women. He successfully briefed Liberal and Labour MPs and peers to redraft the Government's proposed amendment to the Equal Pay Act 1970.

In 1979, Nandy began to forge a link with the Directorate-General V of the European Commission, and organised a representative conference on outstanding issues in the progress towards equal treatment of women throughout the nine members of the European Economic Community as at 1981, and acted as the Conference Secretary.

Nandy always had a detailed personal interest in broadcasting as 'the way a society talks to itself', and he served as the Chairman of the BBC's Immigrant Programme, 1983-1988, and as a member of its General Council, 1983-1990. He was appointed a member of Lord Annan‘s Committee of Inquiry into the Future of Broadcasting, 1974–77, which created Channel 4 instead of the widely expected ITV2, and successfully lobbied through the Committee's report for a unified Broadcasting Complaints Commission.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1960, while still a student at Leeds, Nandy met Margaret Gracie, whom he dated until 1964, when they were married in Leeds.[7] They separated in 1971, [8] and in 1972, in Lambeth, Nandy married secondly Ann Louise Byers,[9] a daughter of Lord Byers, Leader of the Liberals in the House of Lords. Their youngest daughter, Lisa Nandy, was born in 1979. She became a Labour Member of Parliament in 2010, and has stated that her father considers her right wing.[10]


  • Nandy, Dipak (January 1962). "Ancient Indian Materialism". Marxism Today.[11]
  • —— (January 1963). "How Not to Write History". Marxism Today. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)[12]
  • —— (1965). Order, empiricism and politics. Philosophical Books. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)
  • —— (September 1965). "Who Is the Leper Now?". The Labour Monthly. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)[13]
  • —— (1965). The English mind. Philosophical Books. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)
  • —— (June 1966). "Immigrants at Work". The Labour Monthly. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)[14]
  • —— (1968). How to Calculate Immigration Statistics. Runnymede Trust. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)
  • —— (1968). Race and Community. ISBN 0950009806. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)
  • —— (July 1968). "La société britannique face aux immigrants de couleur". Le Monde diplomatique. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)[15]
  • —— (1970). How to calculate immigration statistics. Runnymede Trust. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)
  • Nandy, Dipak; Holman, Bob; Lambert, John (1972). Race in the inner city. Runnymede Trust.
  • Nandy, Dipak (1982). "Introduction". In Jefferson, Douglas; Martin, Graham (eds.). The Uses of Fiction: Essays on the Modern Novel in Honour of Arnold Kettle. Open University Press. pp. 1–8. ISBN 033510181X.
  • —— (30 May 1986). "Famine---who runs the world?". New Statesman. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)[16]
  • Nandy, Dipak (1988). "Arnold Kettle and English Marxist Literary Criticism". Literature and Liberation: Selected Essays. By Kettle, Arnold. Martin, Graham; Owens, W.R. (eds.). Manchester University Press. pp. 1–17. ISBN 0719025419.
  • —— (1988). Sir Peter Medawar O.M., C.H., C.B.E., F.R.S. 1915–1987. A Personal Memoir. Runnymede Trust. ISBN 0902397745. Cite uses deprecated parameter |authormask= (help)


  • Racial Discrimination, Rediffusion, 1967[17]
  • Question Time 14 February 1985 [18]
  • A Question of Colour, Open University, 1982


  1. ^ a b c Olivier Esteves, Stéphane Porion, The Lives and Afterlives of Enoch Powell: The Undying Political Animal (Routledge, 2019, ISBN 9781138339286), p. 147
  2. ^ "Monica Jones". Guardian. 15 March 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Barbara (2 November 2011). "Leicester graduate presents programme on fight against racism". Leicester University. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ "The Runnymede Trust Begins Work". Runnymede Trust. October 1968. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ Young, Hugo (2008). The Hugo Young Papers: Thirty Years of British Politics - Off the Record. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1846140549.
  6. ^ "HO 245 - Committee on The Future of Broadcasting (1974-1977): Minutes, Evidence and Papers". National Archives. Home Office. 1974–1977. Retrieved 18 March 2018.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  7. ^ “NANDY Dipak K and GRACIE Margaret” in Register of Marriages for Leeds, vol. 2C (1964), p. 654
  8. ^ Newitt, Ned. "Who's Who in Radical Leicester". Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  9. ^ “NANDY Dipak K and BYERS Ann L” in Register of Marriages for Lambeth, vol. 5D (1972), p. 248
  10. ^ "Lisa Nandy Interview: 'Ed Miliband Is A Different Sort Of Politician'". Independent. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  11. ^ Nandy, Dipak (January 1962). "Ancient Indian Materialism". Marxism Today: 13–21. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  12. ^ Nandy, Dipak (January 1963). "How Not to Write History". Marxism Today. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  13. ^ Nandy, Dipak (September 1965). "Who Is the Leper Now?". The Labour Monthly: 418–422.
  14. ^ Nandy, Dipak (June 1966). "Immigrants at Work". The Labour Monthly. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  15. ^ Nandy, Dipak (July 1968). "La société britannique face aux immigrants de couleur". Le Monde diplomatique (in French). Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  16. ^ Nandy, Dipak (30 May 1986). "Famine---who runs the world?". New Statesman. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  17. ^ "This Week (1956–1992)". IMDB. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Question Time". IMDB. Retrieved 14 December 2019.