Muslim Minorities and the Consolidation of Trinamool in West Bengal By Maidul Islam

By Sunil Pun|April 17, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 West Bengal has a substantial Muslim population: 27.1% according to the 2011 Census of India. Three primary issues are relevant for Muslim minorities in India: (1) Identity (Freedom to practice religion, religious cultural festivals, management of minority institutions etc.), (2) Security (immunity from communal conflicts), and (3) Equity (income, education, employment, health, access to public goods etc.). In November 2006,

Read More

India’s Single-Issue Election? An International-Security Perspective  By Matthew J. Nelson

By Sunil Pun|April 9, 2019|General|0 comments

Matthew Nelson is a Reader in Politics at SOAS. His research focuses on the comparative and international politics of South Asia, with an emphasis on non-elite politics, comparative political thought, the politics of Islamic institutions, and democracy. Leading up to U.S. presidential elections, international observers tend to watch the polls. Of course, their attention is misplaced. They should focus on the finer details of America’s Electoral College—the body that actually

Read More

SOAS Honours Human Rights Lawyer Vrinda Grover by Shailza Sharma

By Sunil Pun|August 2, 2018|General|0 comments

  Advocate Vrinda Grover was honoured and awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws at the July 2018 SOAS graduation ceremony for her decades of human rights activism and legal work. In presenting the citation for Vrinda Grover’s award at the ceremony, Dr. Navtej Purewal, Deputy Director of the South Asia Institute, stated: “Her work in interrogating the structures which produce violations and violence; in highlighting injustice in the face of

Read More

Approaching South Asia: Challenges, Connections and Creativity by Jonathan Galton and Adrija Dey

By Sunil Pun|July 5, 2018|General|0 comments

One-Day PhD Conference, Friday 29th June 2018, SOAS South Asia Institute, University of London How do we approach South Asia in the 21st Century? For academics, the region presents a unique set of challenges arising from its socio-cultural diversity, its complex political landscape and entrenched economic disparities. Moreover, the region is arguably as divided as it has ever been and there is an increasing emphasis on challenging the constricted academic

Read More

When Music, Truly, Is Unbound: By Kunal Purohit

By Kunal Purohit|December 11, 2017|Caste, General, India, Literature, Pakistan, Politics, Religion, SSAI|0 comments

Music and poetry transcend boundaries of time, of space, of culture. This is known. But, not often does a 15th century Kabir effortlessly flow into a 20th century John Lennon creation. Or that you find, in Leonard Cohen’s work, the echoes of Asian poets from the 17th and 13th centuries. Similarly, when injustices of caste and class even in the United Kingdom find articulation in the works of Dalit poets. This, then, is when music, truly,

Read More

‘Systems in flux: constitution-making, patronage and post-war politics in Nepal and Sri Lanka’ by Jonathan Goodhand and Oliver Walton

By Rosa Vercoe|October 14, 2016|Elections, General, Nepal, Politics, Sri Lanka|0 comments

Jonathan Goodhand is Professor in Conflict and Development Studies in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS University of London where he teaches courses on Development Practice and War to Peace Transitions. Oliver Walton is a Lecturer in International Development  in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. He specialises in NGO politics, conflict and peacebuilding.  Sri Lanka and Nepal may have turned their backs on protracted and

Read More

‘Jaffna University, Sri Lanka – when entitlement is rejected’ by Annemari de Silva

By Rosa Vercoe|August 15, 2016|Conflict, Culture, Education, General, Sri Lanka|0 comments

Annemari de Silva is Chevening Scholar to SOAS reading for an MA South Asian Area Studies, major in the Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia. On the 16th of July, a clash between students at the University of Jaffna erupted over the inclusion of Sinhalese cultural spectacles in the welcome event. Established in 1974, Jaffna University is located at the heart of the Tamil majority North of Sri Lanka. Although

Read More

‘The pathologies of trust and distrust in Pakistan’ by Amina Yaqin

By Shreya Sinha|July 13, 2016|Conflict, Culture, General, Pakistan, Religion|0 comments

Amina Yaqin is Senior Lecturer in Urdu and Postcolonial Studies in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia, SOAS. The recent assassination of the renowned qawwali singer Amjad Fareed Sabri in the name of piety in Pakistan has revived the question of the permissibility of music in Pakistani culture. Sabri was shot on June 22nd 2016 by attackers on a motorcycle while he was driving his car in Liaquatabad,

Read More

‘Africa Day’ by Simona Vittorini

By Shreya Sinha|June 20, 2016|Conflict, Education, General, India, Politics|0 comments

Simona Vittorini is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies where she lectures undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the comparative politics of Asia and Africa. A diplomatic crisis was narrowly averted last week in Delhi when the African Heads of Missions finally agreed to participate in the Africa Day celebrations organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in New Delhi. A few days

Read More

A Survey of Delhi Garment Workers Suggests Poverty Comes in Many Sizes

By Shreya Sinha|May 23, 2016|Development, General, India|0 comments

Alessandra Mezzadri is lecturer in Development Studies at SOAS, University of  London. Her research interests focus on globalisation and processes of labour informalisation; materialist and feminist approaches to global commodity chains and global industrial systems; labour regimes, labour standards and CSR; gender and globalisation; and the political economy of India. Three years after Rana Plaza, garment workers worldwide still endure poor working conditions. The industry has witnessed several ‘minor’ disasters

Read More