Voter apathy in Mumbai? Not in the BDD Chawls. by Jonathan Galton

By Sunil Pun|April 30, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 Mumbai is often derided as a city uninterested in politics. “Maximum City, Minimum Voting” sneers a recent Economic Times analysis, pointing out that even Mumbai’s uncharacteristically high voter turnout in 2014 lagged behind Delhi’s by nearly 15%. Hard statistics notwithstanding, voter apathy is scarcely in evidence in Mumbai’s chawls, cramped tenement blocks constructed to house the city’s army of migrant

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Meghalaya: National Politics in a Small, Tribal, North-East State by Philippe Cullet

By Sunil Pun|April 23, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 Meghalaya is one of the small states of the North-East. It is also one of a handful of tribal-majority states. In this sense, it reflects particularly well the multiplicity of peoples, languages, religions and customs that make up the diverse country that is India. This is particularly important in the context of national elections marked at the national level by

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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Snigdha Poonam in conversation with Edward Simpson (Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute) about her book ‘Dreamers: How Young Indians are changing the world’

By Sunil Pun|May 9, 2018|India, SSAI|0 comments

600 million Indians, more than half the population, are under twenty-five. This generation lives between extremes: more connected and global than ever, but with narrow ideas of Indian identity; raised with the cultural values of their grandparents, but the life goals of American teenagers. These dreamers are the face of a new India. Angry, and frustrated with being marginalised by both globalisation and India’s old politics, they place hope in

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Giulia Battaglia in conversation with Edward Simpson (Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute) about her book Documentary film in India: An anthropological history.

By Sunil Pun|May 9, 2018|History, India, Media, SSAI|0 comments

Documentary film in India: An anthropological history maps a hundred years of documentary film practices in India. It demonstrates that in order to study the development of a film practice, it is necessary to go beyond the classic analysis of films and filmmakers and focus on the discourses created around and about the practice in question. The book navigates different historical moments of the growth of documentary filmmaking in India

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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,

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Memories of Partition – 70 years on by Farzana Whitfield

By rk24|August 24, 2017|Conflict, Culture, India, Pakistan, Politics, Religion|0 comments

Farzana Whitfield is the subject librarian for South Asia and Development Studies at SOAS. Here she looks back on her family’s personal experience and memories of Partition. This article has previously appeared on SOAS’s library blog.  This August marks 70 years of India’s independence from British rule (15th August) giving birth to 2 nations- a Hindu majority India and a Muslim majority Pakistan (14th August). Subsequently there were 3 wars between

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