Susham Bedi JULY 26, 1945 – MARCH 20, 2020 (Part 2)

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A more detailed announcement about Susham Bedi from the South Asia Institute at Columbia University.


From: South Asia Institute <>
Date: March 23, 2020 at 9:25:11 AM EDT
To: SAI Announcements <>
Subject: [SAI] Susham Bedi


The South Asia Institute has the sad duty to announce the loss of a long-time member of the South Asia faculty at Columbia University, Dr. Susham Bedi.  She passed away on Saturday, March 20, from a respiratory illness.  

Dr. Bedi taught Hindi Language and Literature at Columbia, in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, and served as the Hindi-Urdu Language Coordinator until 2007.  She had been affiliated with Columbia for 20 years before her retirement.  She earned her BA, MA and MLitt at Delhi University and her PhD at Panjabi University, and wrote her dissertation on Hindi language drama.  Dr. Bedi had also taught at NYU and the New School, and served as a consultant for language instruction at Cooper Union, Skidmore, Vassar, and other schools.  For many years, she had served as the Editor of Vishvā, a quarterly journal published by the International Hindi Association.

Dr. Bedi was a well-known author and published eight novels, many short stories collections, and poetry, all of which were written in Hindi, and many of which focused on Indian diaspora communities.  One of her best-known works, the novel Havan (1983), was published in English as The Fire Sacrifice by Heineman International in 1993.   Her works have been translated into English, Urdu, French, and Dutch.  Dr. Bedi received prizes from the Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan (2007)and the Sahitya Academy in Delhi (2006), which honored her for her contributions to Hindi language and literature.

Before moving to the U.S. in 1979, Susham Bedi had worked as a journalist with the Times of India, the Navbhārat Times, and All-India Radio.  Susham had a career as an actress as well, appearing in movies and television shows in the U.S. and India, including The Big Sick (2017), and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (2000).

She is survived by her husband, Rahul Bedi, and her daughter, Purva Bedi, and her son, Varun Bedi.

Categories: Obituary