SOUTH ASIA- People, Culture, Development (2012/2013, Semester 1) 

 MODULE OUTLINE Created: 07-Jul-2011, Updated: 10-Dec-2012
Module Code ARCHIVED_S11213_SN1101E
Module Title SOUTH ASIA- People, Culture, Development
Semester Semester 1, 2012/2013
Modular Credits --
Faculty Arts & Social Sciences
Department South Asian Studies Programme
Timetable Timetable/Teaching Staff
Module Facilitators
DR Rajesh Rai Coordinator
DR Bishnu Narayana Mohapatra Co-Lecturer
DR Jayati Bhattacharya Co-Lecturer
DR Jalais, Annu Co-Lecturer
DR Carol Thirumaran Tutor
NUS South Asian Studies Programme Website
NUS South Asian Studies Programme Facebook Page
Fantastic website with visual essays on South Asian themes. Enjoy!!
Likeable India: India, China, Hearts and Minds
This article discusses the link between entrepreneurship and poverty reduction in India.
Article in New York Times
Barack Obama's speech to the Indian Parliament - 9 November 2011
Educational Good resource.Good resource.
Excellent in-depth NYTimes piece about caste and social mobility in rural India
Excellent resource.Excellent resource.Excellent resource.Excellent resource.
Anna Hazare's Satyagraha
Tags --

Synopsis | Aims & Objectives (Learning Outcomes) | Module Overview | Assessment | Lecture Schedule | Tutorial Schedule | Tutorials: Venues, Timings | Required Readings | Supplemental Readings | Plagiarism and Intellectual Honesty | Workload | References


South Asia: People, Culture, Development

National University of Singapore
Faculty of Arts and Social Science
South Asian Studies Programme

A year one level exposure module designed to introduce undergraduate students to South Asia
- a dynamic region, that is fast emerging as a major player in global politics and economy. 
The lectures consider aspects of South Asian history, politics and society,
with a view of fostering an appreciation of the diversity of the region.  
The course will cover
 themes such as:
Gandhi & the Indian anti-colonial movement;
Democratisation in South Asia;
Caste; Religion; & South Asian Cinema.

Semester 1, 2012-2013
Friday 1000 – 1200; Venue: Lecture Theatre 8

Coordinator: Dr Rajesh Rai (6516 3607;; AS7 #04-08)
Dr Jayati Bhattacharya (6516 8474;; AS7 #04-09)
Dr Bishnu N. Mohapatra (6516 1379;; AS7 #04-04);
Dr Annu Jalais (6601 2842;; AS7 #04-05)

 *Note: SN1101E is a 'webcast-friendly' course; no prior background of the region is necessary. 

 The aim of this module is to introduce you to contemporary South Asia. We will do this by:

(a) introducing you to significant features of the modern development of the South Asian nations - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; and
(b) the changing patterns of life - social, cultural, economic and political - of the people of those seven nation-states.

The module will also introduce you the different disciplinary approaches to the study of South Asia which are represented in the South Asian Studies Programme.  These include the disciplines of historical, social and political studies; gender and religious studies, cultural anthropology, and diaspora studies.


    Lectures and Discussion Groups: Summary of the Programme

Date Lect
Subject Discussion
Group (DG)
17 Aug.  1 The South Asian region & its diversity;
Gandhi and the Indian anti-colonial movement
- -
24 Aug. 2 The Partition of South Asia and Its Effects - -
31 Aug. 3 Overview of South Asian politics; Trajectories of democracy in India
ODD WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic I: ‘Ice Breaker’ and an Introduction to South Asia
7 Sep. 4 Democratising governance in Pakistan and Bangladesh EVEN WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic I: ‘Ice Breaker’ and an Introduction to South Asia
14 Sep. 5 Democratic and ethnic futures of Nepal and Sri Lanka
ODD WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic II: Partition & its effects
21 Sep. 6 Caste and Society – Why does it matter who one eats with? EVEN WEEK DISCUSSION GROUP Topic II: Partition & its effects
Reading Week   Mid-Semester Break: No Lecture No DGs  
5 Oct. 7 Caste: The view from below, Dalits and affirmative action
ODD WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic III: Political Development in South Asia: Promises and Challenges
12. Oct. 8 Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism: Rethinking religious boundaries EVEN WEEK DISCUSSION GROUP Topic III: Political Development in South Asia: Promises and Challenges
19 Oct. 9 Secularism and Religious Nationalism ODD WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic IV: Caste
26 Oct. 10 Hari Raya Haji Holiday EVEN WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic IV: Caste
2 Nov. 11 Term Test ODD WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic V: Religion
9 Nov. 12 Indian Economic Reforms EVEN WEEK DISCUSSION GROUPS Topic V: Religion
16 Nov. 13 Indian Cinema    
    Reading Week    
29 November 2012  



There are three elements in the assessment of your performance in the module:

  • 25% of assessment from Discussion Group (DG) participation & presentation;
  • Please note that absence from Discussion Group sessions will affect your performance adversely.
  • this assessment will be based on the following:
    • 15%     contribution in class discussion
    • 10%     presentation (one page summary of presentation to be handed     in to your DG tutor)
  • 25% of assessment from a Term Test;
  • the Test will be taken on 2 Nov. 2012; it will be held in LT 8 (the normal lecture venue) during the normal lecture period; the Test will commence at 10.15 pm and conclude at 11.30pm;
  • 50% of assessment from the Final Examination ();
  • the Examination will comprise a TWO (2) hour ‘closed book’ examination.

Week 1 : a) Introduction – the South Asian region & its diversity &  b) Gandhi & the Indian anti-colonial movement
a) This lecture will provide an introduction to the region, the module and to the approaches and interests of the three lecturers who will present the material in the lecture programme.  The session will look at:
  • the structure and operation of the module: the organization of the module in terms of Lectures and DGs; the assessment for the module, especially in terms of the CA requirements (choice of assignment topics; proposal and confirmation of the topic and presentation of the assignment.
  • the South Asian region and its diversity;
b) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has long been acclaimed as being instrumental in transforming India’s political landscape from the 1920s. The lecture will look at the principles, beliefs and practices of the Gandhian anti-colonial movement. It will seek to understand the reasons for the resonance of Gandhi’s non-violent non-cooperation movement against British colonial rule.
NOTE: Readings marked with an asterisk are essential readings.
*Schmidt, K.J., Atlas and Survey of South Asian History, Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1995, pp.1-9. [CL Reference 1 G2261 His.Sc]
*Metcalf, Barbara, D. & Metcalf, Thomas R., A Concise History of Modern India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, 2nd edition, pp. 167-202.
*Bose, Sugata & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia: History, Culture & Political Economy, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York: Routledge, 2011, 3rd edition, pp. 111-121.
Supplementary readings:
Brown, Judith M. and Anthony Parel (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp.30-68.
Metcalf, Barbara, D. & Metcalf, Thomas R., A Concise History of Modern India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, 2nd edition, pp. 123-166.
Chakrabarty Bidyut, Social and Political Thought of Mahatma Gandhi, London and New York: Routledge, 2006, pp.1-29.
Week 2: Partition and its effects
The Partition of India in 1947 that led to the emergence of two new nations, India and Pakistan, was a momentous event which basically reconfigured the ‘Indian sub-continent’ and whose effects are still experienced at many different levels today.  This lecture is designed to consider how the concept of the Muslim homeland in Pakistan was developed, how the Partition affected people in the new nations in 1947 and what the enduring effects have been.  It will consider the enduring effects of Partition including the long, on-going dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
*Tan, Tai Yong and Gyanesh Kudaisya, The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia, London: Routledge, 2000, pp. 220-243.
*Moore, R.J. “Jinnah and the Pakistan Demand”, in Mushirul Hasan (ed.), India’s Partition: process, strategy and mobilisation, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 160-197.
*Hasan, Mushirul, ‘Partition: the Human Cost’, History Today, Vol. 47, No. 9, September 1997, pp. 47-53.
Supplementary Readings:
Ganguly, Sumit. The origins of war in South Asia : the Indo-Pakistani conflicts since 1947, Boulder: Westview Press , 1994. 2nd edition, pp. 1-12, 119-133.
Talbot, Ian and Gurharpal Singh, The Partition of India, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp.127-175.
Hewitt, Vernon, ‘Kashmir: the Unanswered Question’, History Today, Vol. 47, No. 9, September 1997, pp. 60-64.
Week 3: Overview of South Asia; trajectories of democracy in India
This lecture outlines a broad overview of the region, a synoptic historical background and then takes up the issue of democratic consolidation in India.
* Harriss, John, “Political Change, Political Structure, and the Indian State since Independence”, in Paul R. Brass (ed.), Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal), Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, New York: Routledge, 2010, pages, 55-64.
* Echeverri-Gent, John,  “Politics in India’s Decentered Polity”, in Alyssa Ayres and Philip Oldenburg (eds.), India Briefing (Quickening the pace of change), New York: M. E. Sharpe, 2002, pp. 19-30.
* Kumar, Sanjay, “India’s Maturing Democracy”, in Takashi Inoguchi and M. Carlson (eds.), Governance and Democracy in Asia, Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2006, pp.  163-172. 
* Hoeber, Rudolph Susanne and Lloyd I. Rudolph, “New Dimensions of Indian Democracy”, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 13, No. 1, January 2002, pp. 52-66.
Supplementary Readings:
Chatterjee, Partha, “The State”, in Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta (eds.), The Oxford Companion to the Politics in India, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 3- 14.
Yadav, Yogendra, “Politics”, in Marshall Bouton and Philip Oldenburg (eds.), India Briefing: A Transformative Fifty Years, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1999, pp. 10-30.
Hasan, Zoya, “Political Parties”, in Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta (eds.), The Oxford Companion to the Politics in India, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 241-253.
Jodhka, “Caste and Politics” in Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta (eds.), The Oxford Companion to the Politics in India, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 154-167.
Week 4: Democratizing governance in Pakistan and Bangladesh
This lecture analyzes the broad contours of Pakistani politics over the last six decades and outlines the challenges of democratic transition. This lecture also deals with the nature of democratic governance in Bangladesh
* Cohen, Stephen Philip, The Idea of Pakistan, Washington, D. C.: Brookings University Press, 2004, pp. 124-130, 201-208, 225 -229.
* Van Schendel, Willem, A History of Bangladesh, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 193-209.
Supplementary readings:
Waseem, Mohammad, “Functioning of Democracy in Pakistan”, in Zoya Hasan (ed.) Democracy in Muslim Societies: The Asian Experience, New Delhi: Sage, 2007, pp. 189-202.
Ali, Mubarak, “Pakistan’s Search for Identity”, in Paul R. Brass and Achin Vanaik (eds.), Competing Nationalisms in South Asia, Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2002, pp. 250-271.
Mohsin, Ameena and Meghna Thakurta, “The Struggle for Democracy in Bangladesh”, in Zoya Hasan (ed.) Democracy in Muslim Societies: The Asian Eperience, New Delhi: Sage, 2007, pp. 60-68.
Mohsin, Ameena, “National Security and the Minorities: The Bangladesh Case”, in D. L. Seth and Gurpreet Mahajan (eds.), Minority Identities and the Nation State, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 312 – 330.
Week 5: Democratic and ethnic futures in Nepal and Sri Lanka
This lecture takes up cases of Nepal and Sri Lanka from democracy and ethnic diversity vantages. The making of a new republican constitution in Nepal and the issues of ethnicity in the postcolonial and post-LTTE phases in Sri Lanka will be discussed.
* Hachhethu, Krishna and David N. Gellner: “Nepal: Trajectories of democracy and restructuring of the state ”, in Paul R. Brass (ed.), Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal), Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, New York: Routledge, 2010, pages, 131- 144.
* De Votta, Neil, “Politics and Governance in post-independence Sri Lanka”, in Paul R. Brass (ed.), Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal), Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, New York: Routledge, 2010, pages, 118- 128.
* Liyanage, Sumanasiri, “The Tamil National Question in Sri Lanka: Current Dynamics and Future Trends”, in Smruti S Pattanaik (ed.), South Asia: Envisioning a Regional Future, New Delhi: IDSA, 2011, pp. 119 – 131.
Supplementary readings:
Wickramasinghe, Nira, Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History of Contested Identities, New Delhi: Foundation Books, 2006, pp. 285-301.
Uyangoda, Jayaeva, “Ethnic Conflict and the Civil War in Sri Lanka”, in Paul R. Brass (ed.), Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal), Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, New York: Routledge, 2010, pages, 291-300.
Baral, Lok Raj, “Nepal: Political Dynamics and Challenges”, in Tan Tai Yong (ed.), Socio-political and Economic Challenges in South Asia, New Delhi: Sage, 2009, pp.69-79.
Lawoti, Mahendra, “Democratization Promoting and Democratization Hindering Contentious Politics: Lessons from Nepal”, in Mahendra Lawoti (ed.), Contentious Politics ad Democratization in Nepal, New Delhi: Sage, 2007, pp. 322-335.
Week 6: Caste and Society – Why does it matter who one eats with?
This week examines some of the major debates about caste – a topic which has dominated studies on South Asia since the 19th Century. After clarifying concepts of varna and jati we will look at how the caste system has long governed South Asian life, whether as a religious institution or whether through the governing of the colonial state. We will also look at contemporary attitudes to caste and how they vary according to such factors as gender, education, economic position and geographic location.
Essential Reading
*Rao, Anupama. 2010. The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India. Permanent Black (pp. 1-38).
*Dirks, Nicholas B. 2001. Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. Princeton University Press (pp. 3-18).
*Cohn, Bernard, ‘The Census, Social Structure, and Objectification in South Asia’, in Ishita Banerjee-Dube (ed.), Caste in history. Oxford University Press (pp. 28–39).
Additional reading
Bétêille, André. 1995. ‘Caste in Contemporary India’, in Chris J Fuller (ed)., Caste Today,  Oxford University Press.
Dumont, Louis. 1970. Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications. London: Wiedenfeld & Nicolson. (Read as much as possible, but esp intro & chs 3-4).
Mid Semester Break: No Lecture
Week 7: Caste: The view from below, Dalits and affirmative action
Do attitudes on the caste system vary depending on who is being considered? According to conventional wisdom on caste, at the bottom of the social pile in India, are the country’s Scheduled Castes (‘Untouchables’, Dalits, Harijans) and Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis). In this lecture we will look at Dalits. What is life like for Dalits and how do they themselves explain their position in society? As a result of the efforts of Ambedkar, the father of the Indian constitution who himself suffered the stigma of untouchability, the Indian Constitution reserves a quota of jobs in the civil service and public sector industries for members of scheduled castes – how has society taken to this?
*Durgabai Vyam, Subhash Vyam, Srividya Natarajan, S. Anand. 2011. Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability. Delhi: Navayana (pp. 17-57).
*Jaffrelot, Christophe. 2005. Dr. Ambedkar and Untouchability: Fighting the Indian Caste System. (Chapter 9) New York: Columbia University Press.
*Shyamala, Gogu, 1/2/2012 'But Why Shouldn’t the Baindla Woman Ask for Her Land?' in The Caravan.
Additional Reading
Kamble, Baby. 2008. The Prisons We Broke: The Autobiography of a Community, Orient Longman. (Read any chapter)
Ciotti, Manuella. 2010. Retro-Modern India: forging the low-caste self. Routledge (Read any chapter)
Rawat, Ramnarayan S. 2011. Reconsidering Untouchability: Chamars and Dalits in North India. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. (Read any chapter)
Week 8: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism: Rethinking religious boundaries
This week provides an introduction to South-Asia’s most widely practised religions: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism. Some of the readings will give a close examination of these religions’ popular practises and modes of worship while others focus on the inseparability of religion from politics and explore the role of the modern media and of nationalist discourses in transforming beliefs and practises. This shall lead us to examine the complex interactions between religion and culture in constructing definitions of national identity.
Essential Reading
*Madan, TN. 2004. ‘Plurality and Pluralism’ in TN Madan (ed.) India’s Religions: Perspectives from Sociology and History. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. (pp. 1-35)
*Srinivas, MN. 2009. ‘The Social Significance of Religion in India’, in The Oxford India Srinivas, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. (pp. 362–370).
*Jalais, Annu. 2010. Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans. Routledge (Chapter 4)
Additional Readings
Kabeer, Naila. 1991. ‘The Quest for National Identity: Women, Islam and the State in Bangladesh’, in Women, Islam and the State. Kandiyoti, D. (ed.), Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press
Oberoi, Harjot. 1994. The Construction of Religious Boundaries: Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition, Chicago
‪Kabeer, Naila, 1991. 'The Quest for National Identity: Women, Islam and the State in Bangladesh' Feminist Review 37, 38–58 (1 March 1991).
Week 9: Secularism and Religious Nationalism
The rise of the militant RSS: Rahstriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and its affiliated Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatya Janata Party, has put secularism in the spotlight in India as never before. In this lecture we will look at the development of this political project and its implications on the ideology of secularism in India. What is the connection between Hindu reformism and nationalist fundamentalism? Is secularism incompatible with popular Hindu belief and practices?
Essential Reading
*Bétêille, André. 1994. ‘Secularism and Intellectuals’. In Economic and Political Weekly. March. (pp. 559-566).
*Chatterjee, Partha. 1994. ‘Secularism and toleration’. Economic and Political Weekly, July: 1768-77.
*Hansen, Thomas Blom. 1996. Recuperating masculinity: Hindu nationalism, violence and exorcism of the Muslim ‘other’. In Critique of Anthropology, 16, pp 131-72
Additional Reading
Kumar, Priya. 2008. Limitimg Secularism: The Ethics of Coexistence in Indian Literature and Film. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
Sen, Amrita K. 1996. Secularism and its discontents. In Kaushik Basu and Sanjana Subrahmanyam (eds.), Unravelling the Nation: Sectarian Conflict and India’s Secular Identity, 11-43. New Delhi: Penguin.
                                                   Week 10: Hari Raya Haji
Week 11: Term Test
Week 12: Indian Economic Reforms
The initiative of economic reforms in the 1990s and the consequent liberalization of the economy have set India on a trajectory of development and globalization. This lecture will focus on the reasons and different parameters of the Indian growth story.
*Mukherji, Rahul, ‘A Tiger Despite the Chains: The State of Reform in India,’ Current History, vol.19, no.726, April 2010, pp. 144-150.
*Das, Gurcharan, ‘The Indian Model,’ Foreign Affairs, vol.85, no. 4 (July-August 2006), pp. 2-16.
Supplementary readings
Narayana, N.S.S. ed. Economic Policy and State Internvention: Selected Papers of T.N. Srinivasan, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 230-270.
Dhume, Sadanand, ‘Why India Keeps Failing at Reform,’ The Wall Street Journal, 13 June, 2012.
Week 13: Indian Cinema
The narrative of the Indian cinema reflects the voices and visions of the people of the sub-continent through different phases of its growth and development. In spite of its vast diversities, it has been regarded as one of the most prominent vehicle of cultural discourse with significant global outreach. This lecture will focus on its linkages with nation-building, politics, diaspora and the cultural extension across the globe.
* Ray, Satyajit, 1976. ‘What is Wrong with Indian Films’, in Satyajit Ray, Our Films, Their Films, Disha Books, pp. 19–24.
  • Nandy, Ashis, “Indian Popular Cinema as a Slum’s Eye View of Politics”, in Ashis Nandy (ed.), The Secret Politics of Our Desires: innocence, culpability and Indian popular cinema, London; New York: Zed Books, 1998, pp. 1-18.
  • Lal, Vinay and Ashis Nandy (eds.) Fingerprinting Popular Culture: The Mythic and the Iconic in Indian Cinema, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. xi- xxvii.
Supplementary readings
Das Gupta, Chidananda, ‘New Directions in Indian Cinema,’ Film Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 1 (Autumn1980), pp. 32-42.
Booth, Gregory D., ‘Traditional Content and Narrative Structure in the Hindi Commercial Cinema, Asian Folklore Studies, vol. 54, no. 2 (1995), pp. 169-190.


Discussion Group Topic I:
‘Ice Breaker’ and an Introduction to South Asia

1. In this session we will take the opportunity to introduce ourselves and get to know each other better, to learn from each other and share our knowledge. We will seek to establish good practices for the conduct of discussion groups and the necessary requirements for following sessions. 
2. We will discuss issues pertaining to the course particularly with reference to:

  1. The structure of the course;
  2. Other issues of concern to you.
3. We will focus on the nation-states which comprise the region and make an effort to recognize their distinctive features. You can do some preliminary reading from the following websites:
a) The BBC Website (South Asian section)
This website contains interesting stories and features on current happenings in the region. It also contains excellent Country Profiles of the nations of South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
b) The World Fact Book 2002 Website
This is a CIA website: however, from out point of view, it contains a wealth of factual information about the seven nations in which we are interested.
*4. South Asian Current Affairs Exercise
You should bring to your session at least one newspaper article on South Asia that you have read in the past week for discussion with fellow members in your DG. You can use this time to share some of the knowledge that you have of South Asia based on programmes you have watched, stories you have heard, or information from books you have read.

Discussion Group Topic II:
The Effects of Partition

The background to this discussion is the Partition of 1947 and the part it has played in defining the nation-states of South Asia. Our focus is on the consequence and legacies of Partition which have been complex and multi-faceted. In the readings and during the discussion we could approach this theme by distinguishing between ‘consequences’ and ‘legacies’.  The former were changes, immediate and long-term, which came about as a result of the division of the Indian subcontinent; the latter are those outcomes which continue to influence present-day developments in the South Asian region.
Discussion Questions:
1. What were the political events that led to the Partition? Which were the groups which were uprooted and from where?
2. Consider the impact of Partition on religious minorities in the long-term.
3. How did Partition affect the long-term political relations between the South Asian nation states?

Discussion Group Topic III:   
Political development in South Asia: Promises and challenges

South Asian countries, more or less, share similar democratization and nation-building challenges. In India, the democratic experiment for more than sixty years has transformed the disadvantaged social groups into active citizens. In some other countries, despite authoritarianism, popular aspiration for creating an accountable political system still remains high. In all these countries, the nation-building project remains an ongoing and contentious project.  
The key political developments in these countries from the above two vantage points will be discussed in this session. The focus will be on the political framework and its viability in terms of providing stability, security and the rights of the individual and groups. We will examine the relationship between democracy and empowerment as they have played out in India’s politics and discuss the crisis of nation-building in Sri Lanka. The challenges of building democracy in Pakistan and Bangladesh and the challenges of making a constitutional democracy in Nepal will also be discussed in this session.
Discussion Questions: 
1. Has democracy in India become more inclusive in recent years? Or  is it merely reduced to its periodic elections? Discuss these questions in the light of the current political development in India.
2. What are the reasons for the rise of military in Pakistan  and Bangladesh? What are the key challenges for democratic consolidation in both these countries?
3. What factors led to Tamil ethnic mobilization in Sri Lanka? How did the Sri Lankan state handle ethnic diversities?
4. How does on differentiate between the people’s movement I and people’s  movement II in Nepal? What are the key challenges before the Government of Nepal as it tries establish a constitutional democracy?
Discussion Group Topic IV:

The focus of this discussion group will be on identity formation in modern South Asia in terms of caste. Caste has shown an amazing ability to adapt not only to changing social contexts but also continues to play a critical role in shaping political processes.  While caste assertion has led to violence it has also made social justice possible. Students are encouraged to engage with the growing literature on caste movements in India to understand their significance.
Discussion Questions:
1. Discuss varna and jati and whether these are religious or social categories or both.
2. What is caste and how does its interpretation depend on who you ask (discuss in relation to history as well as in relation to hierarchy)?
3. Discuss reservations and Ambedkar's legacy.
Discussion Group Topic V:

The focus of this discussion group will be on identity formation in modern South Asia in terms of religion, and how this has both helped forge communities as well as being the crucible of conflict. Students are encouraged to engage with both the process of identity formation in relation to religion as well as the results of the formation of such religious identities.
Discussion Questions:
  1. Give examples of plural religious practices and what these might reveal about social life in South Asia.
  1. What is the relationship between religion and nation in South Asian countries' post-colonial histories?
  1. What are the ideological arguments of Dalits for conversion to Buddhism and what impact has it had?

AY2012/2013 Semester 1
SN1101E South Asia: People, Culture, Development tutorial timetable
Class Type Week Type Week Day Start End Room Tutor
D1 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK MONDAY 1200 1400 AS7-0411 Carol
D10 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK MONDAY 1000 1200 AS7-0106 Carol
D2 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK TUESDAY 1000 1200 AS7-0411 Jayati
D3 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK WEDNESDAY 1000 1200 AS7-0413 Jayati
D5 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK THURSDAY 1600 1800 AS7-0411 Himanshu
D6 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK FRIDAY 1400 1600 AS7-0411 Carol
D7 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK FRIDAY 1600 1800 AS7-0411 Bishnu
D8 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK MONDAY 1400 1600 AS1-0209 Jayati
D9 TUTORIAL ODD WEEK TUESDAY 1400 1600 AS7-0411 Jayati
E10 TUTORIAL EVEN WEEK MONDAY 1000 1200 AS7-0411 Jayati
E3 TUTORIAL EVEN WEEK THURSDAY 1200 1400 AS7-0411 Jayati
E4 TUTORIAL EVEN WEEK THURSDAY 1600 1800 AS7-0413 Himanshu
E5 TUTORIAL EVEN WEEK FRIDAY 1400 1600 AS7-0411 Annu
E8 TUTORIAL EVEN WEEK THURSDAY 1400 1600 AS7-0411 Jayati
E9 TUTORIAL EVEN WEEK MONDAY 1200 1400 AS7-0413 Jayati

See Lecture Schedule

See Lecture Schedule

            The National University of Singapore has a very strict policy regarding plagiarism; it is your responsibility to educate yourself on this issue. Towards this end, please ensure that you have completed the e-module on academic culture at NUS with special attention to the sections on plagiarism:
            If you have any questions, doubts or concerns about plagiarism, intellectual honesty or any other matter relating to academic culture at NUS, you are urged to consult with one of the three instructors personally. We are eager to help resolve any doubts you may have.