Shashi Tharoor’s recent op-ed for The Guardian, where he charged PM Modi with damaging India’s reputation worldwide by waging a ‘war on Muslims’ and on tolerance, was slammed by Modi’s fans, accusing him of tarnishing India’s image, and of a PM who works tirelessly to lift India to a position of prosperity and world leadership. To them it amounted to washing the national dirty laundry in the land of the
This article first appeared on the Development Studies at SOAS blog, on 6 December 2015. Please click here to view the original article. Social science wisdom has long held that Indian elections are determined by ‘primoridial’ collective identities of caste, religion and region. Certainly, all political parties combine these elements in their election calculus, from the choice of candidate to election promises, campaign speeches and historical references which signal to the electorate who
On 19 November 2015, following Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK, the SOAS South Asia Institute hosted a panel discussion featuring SOAS academics whose own social science research engages with the changes of the new Modi era. The panel was an opportunity to assess Modi’s policies to date and the impacts they have had upon a range of different sectors and aspects of society in contemporary India. Please click on the titles
At the British Council’s India Forum on 27 October the Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute, Professor Michael Hutt, was asked to give his thoughts on how the UK can achieve a ‘sustainable relationship’ with India for 2050 in the field of education. Here is the text of his presentation. ————————————————————————————— 2050 is a generation away. I will use my three minutes to paint a best case scenario for
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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