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Luther, Narendra 1932–

Luther, Narendra 1932–

(Narindar Ludhar, Narindar Luthar)

PERSONAL:

Born 1932. Hobbies and other interests: Geology.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Hyderabad, India.

CAREER:

Writer, historian, columnist, translator, documentary maker, biographer, and political leader. Indian Administrative Service (IAS), officer, 1955—. Andhra Pradesh, India, chief secretary, chairman of tourism development corporation; Hyderabad, India, municipal commissioner. Translator of works in Urdu.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Golden Aster Award (two-time recipient), IX International Heritage Film Festival, Osaka, Japan, 1999.

WRITINGS:

Alif Tahasha, Zindah Dilan-i Haidarabad (Hyderabad, India), 1985.

Prince, Poet, Lover, Builder, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the Founder of Hyderabad, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India (New Delhi, India), 1991.

Hyderabad: Memoirs of a City, Orient Longman (Hyderabad, India), 1995.

The Nizam Who Wasn't: A Souvenir of Bella Vista, Creative Point (Hyderabad, India), 1996.

Raja Deen Dayal: Prince of Photographers, foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, Creative Point (Hyderabad, India), 2003.

The Rockitecture of Andhra Pradesh, Tourism & Culture Dept, Government of Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad, India), 2003.

The Nocturnal Court, Darbaar-e-durbaar: The Life of a Prince of Hyderabad, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Hyderabad: A Biography, Oxford University Press (New Delhi, India), 2006.

Creator of documentary film, Rockumentary, about rocks and geological features of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, India.

SIDELIGHTS:

Narendra Luther is a writer, amateur geologist, and a retired official in the Indian Administrative Service, where he began work in 1955. Upon his retirement, he was the chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, noted biographer Usha Raman in Hindu (Chennai, India). Luther is an authority on the rock formations and geology of the Banjara Hills area near Hyderabad, India, and is the creator of a documentary film, Rockumentary, on this subject. His own home has been carefully incorporated into the rocks of the Banjara Hills area, and his efforts have resulted in nine rock formations in Banjara Hills being declared protected, reported Balkrishnan Hariharan in Harmony Magazine.

Several of Luther's works concern his home area of Hyderabad, including Hyderabad: Memoirs of a City, and Hyderabad: A Biography. A departure in Luther's published works is Raja Deen Dayal: Prince of Photographers, the biography of one of India's preeminent photographers. Luther ‘tells the story well, and intelligibly,’ commented reviewer B.N. Goswamy in the Tribune (Chandigarh, India). He provides in-depth biographical information on Deen Dayal, who was granted the title ‘Raja’ by the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad in 1895, Goswamy reported. As background, Luther explores the history of photography in the west and describes how the art arrived in India during the colonial period. He traces Dayal's arrival in Hyderabad, his favorable relationship with the Nizam, and the photographer's rapid rise through a distinguished career as a photographer. Luther also includes several examples of Dayal's work as illustrations. Among Dayal's subjects were accomplished hunters and their prizes, dignified rulers, architectural wonders, delicate princesses, and many other images that Goswamy describes as ‘lavish’ and ‘crisp.’ Luther also describes Dayal's keen sense of business, and how this commercial sense also helped him to grow in success and esteem among his royal clientele.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Asian Affairs, October, 1996, Maurice Zinkin, review of Hyderabad: Memoirs of a City, p. 377.

Hindu (Chennai, India), August 6, 2002, Usha Raman, ‘Public Services: The Machinery of the Nation,’ biography of Narendra Luther.

Times Literary Supplement, January 5, 2007, ‘Key to the Raj,’ review of Hyderabad: A Biography, p. 6.

Tribune (Chandigarh, India), February 8, 2004, B.N. Goswamy, ‘Portrait of a Photographer,’ review of Raja Deen Dayal: Prince of Photographers.

ONLINE

Harmony Magazine,http://www.harmonyindia.org/ (November 5, 2007), Balkrishnan Hariharan, biography of Narendra Luther.

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