Nation, Secularism and Self in Contemporary India
Special Lectures by Aditya Nigam, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, and Nivedita Menon, University of Delhi
Monday, March 06, 2006
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
11377 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Nation, Time and Belonging – The Modern Indian Self in Search of History
Lecture by Aditya Nigam
This lecture explores the ‘paradigm of nationhood’ and the attendant problem of temporality in the context of contending imaginations of Selfhood in the India of the first half of the twentieth century. Through a set of lived categories, picked up at random from contemporary India, it travels back to explore the different temporal imaginations that under gird the search for Self definition of different sections of ‘Indian people’, for instance, Savarkar, Nehru, the Dalits, and the Muslims. Through this exploration, it argues that what appears as a recurrent problem in many nationalisms, namely the problem of the ‘opportunism of minority cultures’, is closely tied to the transformation of notions of Time with modernity, and to Nationalism’s search for a singular history of the Nation.
Living with Secularism in post-Gujarat India
Lecture by Nivedita Menon
This lecture contributes to the on-going retuning of the idea of secularism in India particularly "After Gujarat". Complex renegotiations with notions of Nation, Democracy and Development have been necessitated over the 1990s - what challenges do these pose for radical political movements and for political theory?
Aditya Nigam is Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi and Visiting Fellow, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Department of History, Princeton University. He is interested in issues of nationalism and identity and more generally in modernity and notions of radical politics. He is the author of Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular-Nationalism in India (2006), and co-author with Nivedita Menon, of Power and Contestation: India Since 1990, forthcoming from Zed Books under their "Global History of the Present Series". Aditya Nigam has also written extensively in Hindi and Bengali.
Nivedita Menon is Associate Professor in Political Science, University of Delhi, India,and presently Fellow, International Center for Advanced Studies, New York University (2005-2006). She is a political theorist whose work on contemporary politics in India has focused mainly on feminist politics. She has also written on secularism in India.Her publications include an edited volume titled Gender and Politics in India (2001) and more recently, Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004).