London’s India Club to shut down

The building that houses the India Club lost a battle against freeholders of the land it stands on. A luxurious hotel will crop up in its place.

Yasmin Tinwala

The India Club / Website

London’s iconic India Club, where Indian nationalists are believed to have convened during the independence movement, announced it will shut down forever on September 17. The social and dining club located inside Hotel Strand Continental had been fighting a long battle with the owners of the land on which it stands.

Since 2017, Marston Properties has wished to partly demolish, extend, and redevelop the building into a luxury property. Indian politician and diplomat Shashi Tharoor whose father was instrumental in the club’s establishment, lamented about the development, in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“I am sorry to hear that the India Club, London, is to close permanently in September. As the son of one of its founders, I lament the passing of an institution that served so many Indians (and not only Indians) for nearly three-quarters of a century,” his tweet read in part.

India Club was established in 1951 by India’s first high commissioner to the UK, Krishna Menon, and had India's first Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru and Lady Mountbatten as its founding members.

In 2018, Yadgar Marker, the director of the Goldsand Hotels which operates the Hotel Strand Continental put in an application to stop the redevelopment efforts of the building on the basis that it played a role in the UK-India joint history. The application was rejected in May 2018.


 Shashi Tharoor with his sister at India Club. Image-X/@ShashiTharoor

Tharoor’s concluded his recent tweet sharing a memory from the club and writing a eulogy for it. “As the picture shows, I was there this summer with my sister (we are standing in front of photos of my father attending club events in the early 1950s) and am sad to realise that that was my last visit, since I will not be returning to London this year. Om Shanti!”


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