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Wykłady monograficzne i opcje

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Wykłady monograficzne w semestrze letnim 2018/2019

Instytut Orientalistyki

W ramach ustanowionej w 2017 roku Katedry Studiów Indyjskich UJ Zakład Języków i Kultur Indii i Azji Południowej gościć będzie dra Rohita Wanchoo, profesora wizytującego z Indii.

W semestrze letnim dr Rohit Wanchoo poprowadzi wykłady monograficzne:

1) Gandhi: His Life and Thought, środa, godz. 14.45-16.15, sala 402, al. Mickiewicza 3

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, led a non-violent mass movement against British rule in India. He argued that non-violence was not a weapon of the weak but of the strong. He believed in soul force instead of brute force. Satyagrahis- those who adhered to his principles of non-violence- were forbidden to retaliate against violence or to hate the oppressor. In fact his avowal of love for the English often perplexed and infuriated conservative administrators. One of the greatest practitioners of non-violence he wanted to develop the ‘science’ of non-violence. Alone among the major leaders of India’s struggle for independence he critiqued industrial civilization and did not want India to become like Britain. He favoured self-sufficient village communities and did not support big armies and centralized states. The Mahatma has been called an anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist by some and compared to Mao-tse-Tung of China because of his earnest desire to reduce the distinction between mental and manual labour. His critique of modern medicine, technology and materialism has made him popular among postmodernists and anti-modernist thinkers; pungent observations about British parliamentary democracy have endeared him to those who are dissatisfied with procedural democracy and the neglect of the basic needs of common people. Some thinkers on the left have tried to appropriate him because of his emphasis on improving the lot of the poor even while others have regarded him as an obstacle in building a socialist movement because of his opposition to class conflict and statist models of development.


2) Religion, Language and Caste in Modern India, czwartek, godz. 14.45-16.15, sala 402, al. Mickiewicza 3

This course will deal with the emergence of identities in modern India based on religion, language and caste. The first section deals with the impact of colonial constructions of identities based on the textual traditions that scholars and administrators discovered, translated, interpreted and deployed.  Colonial ethnographic categories and administrative practices of enumeration strengthened existing identities as well as created new ones. Fuzzy identities became more sharply defined. There are enormous regional variations which need to be taken into account.

Language politics was shaped by several factors. Often, the middle classes of the less developed regions began to assert their linguistic identity later and in opposition to the language of the dominant group of the region. The politics of religion and language will be explored with reference to Bengal, Punjab and other regions of India. The emergence of anti-caste movements and the significance of reservations for untouchables/ Dalits under the Poona Pact of 1932 will also be dealt with.

The second section will focus on developments of the post-independence period. The consequences of partition for refugees, minorities and regional identities will be assessed. The demand for the linguistic reorganization of states, the language agitations of the 1960s, and the role of English and Hindi in India are important themes. The demands for regional autonomy and responses to such demands by the Indian state, political parties, public opinion and the courts will be dealt with. The politics of language and religion has been affected by the growth of the mass media, of globalization and the role of the Indian diaspora. Liberalization of the economy, extension of caste based reservations and the Ayodhya dispute have also shaped identity politics.


3) Evolution of Indian Democracy 1900-2000, czwartek, godz. 16.30-18.00, sala 326, al. Mickiewicza 3

This course will deal with the evolution of democracy in India during the twentieth century. The first section will explore the emergence of ideas of modern democracy during the period before independence. It will explore indigenous notions of democracy in pre-colonial India, the introduction of local self-government in the late nineteenth century, and the idea of representation based on community leading to the creation of separate electorates based on religion. The systems of classification used by the Censuses of India from the late nineteenth century onwards, based on caste, community and religion, strengthened such identities. The introduction of representative government created ideas about majorities and minorities which grew stronger with the extension of the franchise by the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935. In the early twentieth century separate electorates and the claims of castes and communities had a significant impact on the evolution of Indian democracy. There was a process of institutionalization of ideas of democracy but this was shaped significantly by the perceptions and practices of the colonial government.

The second section will examine how colonialism and the national movement influenced Indian politics after 1947. The struggle for independence in India was based on mass mobilization by the elites and initiatives by the common people. There were many protests and local agitations seeking redress of grievances by different sections of the population. Many critiques of colonial rule emerged as did divergent visions about what freedom or independence meant. Some of these will be dealt with. The Indian National Congress as the most important party in the struggle for independence became the most popular party for two decades after 1947. The second section will explore the reasons for one party-dominance in the first two decades after independence, the impact of land reforms and socialist ideas espoused by the Congress, the changing caste and class equations after the Green Revolution, the rise of the Other Backward Classes in politics, the impact of economic liberalization during the 1990s and the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The third section will deal with the institutional framework of Indian politics and democracy. It will explore the framing of the Indian Constitution and the salient features of this text. The simultaneous endorsement of individual and group rights, the emphasis on fundamental rights, the unitary bias in a federal constitution will be explored. The Supreme Court in India has played a vital role in upholding rights of citizens particularly after the rise of Public Interest Litigation. The meaning of fundamental rights has considerably expanded over the last few decades. The Court has played a critical role in upholding democratic values and has kept pace with the times. The successful conduct of elections in the world’s largest democracy has been made possible because of robust institutions that have withstood many pressures. A vibrant press in several Indian languages has promoted healthy electoral competition and has enabled the free expression of criticism and dissent. Democracy in India does have some shortcomings but is a thriving idea. There is no serious challenge to the idea of democracy in India despite its detractors and critics.


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