Harsh K. Bhasin, known variously to those who loved and admired him as Harshji, Mr. Ambassador, Professor, Nana, Dadaji, and Pa, died peacefully in New York City on March 24, 2023. Harsh dedicated his life to applying his knowledge, curiosity and pursuit of excellence to the service of others. Born on August 15th, 1944, his birth foretold a lifetime of service to his native India that would be independent 3 years later on that very day. In 1969, he began a 35-year career in the Indian Foreign Service in capitals around the world from Beijing and Hong Kong to Washington, Delhi and Pretoria. Always a bastion of honor, hard work and a kind word, he became Ambassador Bhasin to governments in Botswana, the United States, South Africa and Denmark. After his first “retirement”, eager to share his knowledge and love for diplomacy and international relations, he evolved into Professor Bhasin. In his almost 20 years at Stony Brook University, he exposed thousands of young people to the power of diplomacy over conflict, the wonders of South and East Asia, and the complexities of the geopolitics of India, China and the United States.
Harshji was a devoted husband to his constant companion Kumkum for 52 years, as they moved almost 15 times across continents. Dadaji and Nana had boundless love for his grandchildren Shreyas, Shivanjali, Aashna and Jayna – with whom the next game of bluff, the next story-reading and the errant chocolate ice cream was never too much. And Pa was a father to Aditya (Kate) and Madhuri (Dan) who raised them through his example of pursuing excellence, of honesty and honor, and of course, a love of pizza, chocolate, and anything sweet. Our family, and the thousands of people he touched, will miss him dearly.
Visitation and prayers will be held from 11am-1pm on Tuesday March 28 at Moloney’s Lake Funeral Home (132 Ronkonkoma Ave., Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779), followed by refreshments. In lieu of flowers, we request that you make a contribution to support an award in Ambassador Bhasin’s name for Stony Brook students interested in a career in the foreign service (details below).
To make a contribution, please visit https://tinyurl.com/HarshBhasin.
When making your contribution check the box on the second page under Tribute Information, select “in Memory of”, and insert Ambassador Bhasin’s name.
If you would like to send a check, please make your check out to the Stony Brook Foundation (with Ambassador Bhasin’s name in the memo section) and mail it to:
Attn: Chris Scarpati
E3320 Frank Melville Jr. Library
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3391