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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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).
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.
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.
*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)
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?
*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
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.
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.
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.