“Attending the Kumbh Mela at Nasik: some reflections from a SOAS mahant” by James Mallinson

By Nicole Roughton|September 30, 2015|Culture, General, India, Religion|0 comments

I’ve just returned from the Kumbh Melā at Nasik, the first since that at Allahabad in February 2013 at which I was made a mahant (a cross between an abbot and a brigadier) of the Ramanandi religious order. The ceremony was recorded in the documentary film ‘West Meets East’, which finally got a UK airing on BBC4 on 9th September this year (available on the BBC iPlayer).

“Caste – out of the shadows” – Conference: Make a statement!

By Sana Shah|August 5, 2015|Caste, Development, Gender, General, India, SSAI|0 comments

The SOAS South Asia Institute in cooperation with a group of NGOs is hosting a conference on the theme of caste to be held at SOAS on the 5th September 2015. Make a statement! The ‘Out of the Shadows’ conference aims to engage people from a range of development organisations in a debate on the significance of caste to poverty and development in the contemporary world. 

Free Trial to the FO Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan- 1947-1980

By Farzana Whitfield|May 12, 2015|Afghanistan, General, History, India, Pakistan|0 comments

We have an exciting offer of a free trial to the FO Files for India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan for the period 1947-1980 Many departments, students and researchers will find this digital archive relevant and resourceful for a number of subject disciplines, including History, Politics, Development Studies, Economics, Near Middle Eastern Studies (Afghanistan), South East Asian Studies (Burma) and South Asian Studies. Access is from this link: www.archivesdirect.amdigital.co.uk/FO_India.

“In Conversation with Vidhu Vinod Chopra” by Priyamvada Sinha and Koninika Roy

By Heewon Kim|April 9, 2015|Culture, General, India, Media, SSAI|0 comments

The NISU and SOAS South Asia Institute had organized an intimate gathering to glean the process of making a first-of-its-kind Hollywood film by Bollywood director Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The evening was made interesting with dance and song from Chopra’s films and an exclusive look at the theatrical trailer of Broken Horses. The trailer comes with Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron’s comment on the film: “Broken Horses is an artistic triumph. Beautifully

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“Mr Modi and the working poor” by Alessandra Mezzadri

By Heewon Kim|March 24, 2015|Development, General, India|0 comments

One thing should be said: the Modi government can hardly be accused of idleness. Since his coming to power last year, Mr. Modi has promised systemic changes to ameliorate the lives of India’s working poor. Not an easy task, considering that India’s informal labour accounts for 86% of total employment in non-agricultural activities and 93% if one considers all economic activities instead (NCEUS, 2008). One of the first systemic changes

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“Introducing the South Asia Institute in India” by Michael Hutt

By Heewon Kim|March 3, 2015|Education, General, India, SSAI|0 comments

During the first two weeks of February, Michael Hutt (Director of the  SOAS South Asia Institute) and Matthew Gorman (Director of Development and Alumni Relations) visited Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai to introduce the new South Asia Institute to alumni, offer holders, business leaders, philanthropists and friends of SOAS, and to both longstanding and potential new partners. In each city, friends of SOAS hosted alumni gatherings at which Michael Hutt gave

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“Debating Higher Education in South Asia” by Michael Hutt

By Heewon Kim|February 16, 2015|Education, General, SSAI|0 comments

A one-day roundtable meeting on higher education in South Asia (‘Revolution and Realities in the New Economic Order’) was held at the British Academy on 22 January 2015. The new South Asia Institute at SOAS, of which I am Director, partnered with the British Academy and the British Council in the organisation of this event, which was the first of a series of five ‘Global Education Dialogues’ on higher education

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“Power and Pageantry in Modi’s India” by Simona Vittorini

By Heewon Kim|February 12, 2015|General, India, Politics|0 comments

We live not according to reason but fashion – Seneca.  In a recent piece, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor aptly called Modi ‘a master communicator at work’ coming up with new slogans, sound-bites, photo ops in quite an unparalleled way. Prime Minister Modi certainly showed his communication skills when US President Barak Obama visited India as chief guest to India’s Republic Day Parade last January. The visit (a highly anticipated and media-crazed

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‘Momentous point’ for South Asian sectors, British Council event hears

By Heewon Kim|February 12, 2015|Education, General, SSAI|0 comments

As a part of British Council’s ‘Global Education Dialogues’ series on higher education in South Asia, on 22nd January 2015 the SOAS South Asia Institute co-organised an event in collaboration with British Council to debate the future of higher education in South Asia. The roundtable brought together distinguished experts, education ministers and delegates from the South Asian region, and policy-makers working in education sector from South Asia and UK to reflect on issues

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“Past in the Present: Sri Lanka after Rajapaksa” by Suthaharan Nadarajah

By Heewon Kim|January 27, 2015|Conflict, General, Politics, Sri Lanka|0 comments

The sudden collapse of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime following his shock defeat in Sri Lanka’s presidential polls on January 8 has been heralded as a potential sea change in both domestic governance and foreign relations. Under Rajapaksa Sri Lanka’s relations with the United States and other western states, which had been excellent since the late seventies (i.e. throughout the three decade armed conflict), had deteriorated sharply in recent years. Relations

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