Chair: Parimal G. Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Committee on the Study of Religion, FAS, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies
Final Solution is a study of the politics of hate. Set in Gujarat during the period Feb/March 2002 – July 2003, the film graphically documents the changing face of right-wing politics in India through a study of the 2002 genocide of Moslems in Gujarat. It specifically examines political tendencies reminiscient of the Nazi Germany of early/mid-1930s.
After the screening there will be a Q&A with Rakesh Sharma.
Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Rohit De, Associate Research Scholar in Law, Yale
Nick Robinson, Resident Fellow, Center on the Legal Profession
Cosponsored with Harvard Law School
Although the field of constitutional law has become increasingly comparative in recent years, its geographic focus has remained limited. South Asia, despite being the site of the world’s largest democracy and a vibrant if turbulent constitutionalism, is one of the important neglected regions within the field. This book remedies this lack of attention by providing a detailed examination of constitutional law and practice in five South Asian countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Identifying a common theme of volatile change, it develops the concept of “unstable constitutionalism,” studying the sources of instability alongside reactions and responses to it. By highlighting unique theoretical and practical questions in an underrepresented region, Unstable Constitutionalism constitutes an important step toward truly global constitutional scholarship.
Join Global Studies Outreach at Harvard for an online discussion of Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh led by Professor Sunil Amrith of the Departments of History and South Asian Studies at Harvard University.
Please note that given the length of the novel we will structure the discussion based on the assumption that not everyone will have finished it by the day of the webinar. In fact, we welcome participation from those that are simply considering beginning.
Sea of Poppies is the first book of the Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh (the third installment, Flood of Fire, was released in 2015). At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Her destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean shortly before the outbreak of the Opium Wars in China. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners on board, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of Canton.
Professor Sunil Amrith’s research is on the trans-regional movement of people, ideas, and institutions. Areas of particular interest include the history of public health and poverty, the history of migration, and environmental history. His most recent work has been on the Bay of Bengal as a region connecting South and Southeast Asia. He has a PhD in History (2005) from the University of Cambridge, where he was also a Research Fellow of Trinity College (2004-6).
Sunder Nagri (Beautiful City) is a small working class colony on the margins of India’s capital city, Delhi. Most families residing here come from a community of weavers. The last ten years have seen a gradual disintegration of the handloom tradition of this community under the globalisation regime. Families have to cope with change as well as reinvent themselves to eke out a living. The City Beautiful (78 min, 2003) is the story of two families struggling to make sense of a world, which keeps pushing them to the margins.
Cosponsored with the Department of South Asian Studies, Political Anthropology Working Group, Harvard Asia Center, The Sensory Ethnography Lab, and The Film Study Center
Chair: Shankar Ramaswami, Lecturer on South Asian Studies, Harvard University
147 workers of India’s largest automobile manufacturing company Maruti Suzuki are on trial for the murder of a senior manager and 2500 workers dismissed. It has been two and a half years and the case drags on. Their bail application has been rejected by the courts. On each hearing they are led to the courtroom by the police while families line up to catch a glimpse. Defence lawyers plan their strategy in the court canteen. Justice seems a dim hope. The film (120 min, 2015) follows the fate of the under trial workers, families and terminated workers to investigate the underbelly of industrial conflict and the elusive nature of justice.
Bunty, Kamal, Sanjay and Sanju, best of friends and residents of Jehangirpuri, a working class colony on the outskirts of Delhi are young and trying to make their lives in an environment which is changing rapidly… girls seem to be very bold… stable jobs are not easy to come by… sex is a strange mix of guilt and pleasure… families are claustrophobic… and the blur of television the only sounding board…
The documentary (When Four Friends, 43 min, 2000, Majma, 54 min, 2001) is part of a South Asia based project under which four films have been made in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal exploring masculinities.
Cosponsored with the Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard Asia Center, Political Anthropology Working Group, The Sensory Ethnography Lab, and The Film Study Center
Ruth Barron, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Chair: Jennifer Leaning, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH; Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh is the worst industrial disaster of the 21st century, in which over 1100 people died and thousands more were injured. Through a series of compelling interviews with survivors of the tragedy, this moving film gives a voice to those directly affected.
Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa, Directors
Chair: Rohit Chandra, PhD candidate, Harvard Kennedy School
4:00-5:30 pm – Film Screening
5:30 – 6:30 pm – Discussion and Q&A with Directors
Katiyabaaz is a 2014 Indian Hindi documentary film directed by Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa about the problem of power theft in Kanpur. Released in India on August 22, 2014, the film is shot in Kanpur city, which faces long power cuts, giving rise to the profession of Loha Singh, a local electricity thief orkatiyabaaz in localities like Chaman Ganj. He provides illegal electricity connections to people, while Ritu Maheshwari, MD of KESCo, Kanpur Electricity Supply Company, tries to tackle the issue of rampant electricity theft.
The film was premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival 2013 and later won the Best Film in the India Gold Section at the 15th Mumbai Film Festival. At the61st National Film Awards the film won the ward for Best Investigative Film.Katiyabaaz premiered on American television on Independent Lens – PBS on November 3, 2014
Co-Sponsored by the Harvard Electricity Policy Group and the Energy Technology Innovation Program
Astu, directed by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar, and starring Dr. Mohan Agashe, focuses ona retired Sanskrit professor who suffers from Alzheimer’s and goes missing while travelling with his daughter.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with:
Dr. Mohan Agashe, actor, psychiatrist, and consultant in mental health
Professor Arthur Kleinman, Director of the Harvard Asia Center; Professor of Anthropology, Psychiatry and Medical Anthropology
Professor Diana Eck, Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society, Harvard University
Dr. Ruth Barron, Cambridge Health Alliance and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Cosponsored with the Harvard University Asia Center
Lakshmi Iyer, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Diane Rosenfeld, Lecturer on Law and Director of the Gender Violence Program, Harvard Law School
Beena Sarwar, Editor, Aman ki Asha, Jang Group Pakistan; former Nieman Fellow and Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Chair:Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Director of Research, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer in Law, Harvard Law School, Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School
The recently released BBC documentary India’s Daughter, by Leslee Udwin, captures the story of the brutal rape and murder of a young medical student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012. Banned by the Indian Government, the film has raised questions about the attitude towards violence against women in India.
A panel discussion will follow the screening, examining the documentary and its ban by the Indian Government through the lens of the law, the media, and gender.
Jointly organized by SAI and the India Caucus at HKS, and co-sponsored by the South Asia Caucus, the Human Rights PIC, the Gender Consortium and the Criminal Justice PIC.
Chair: Anila Daulatzai, Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and Islamic Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Omar Shahid Hamid has served with the Karachi police for twelve years, most recently as head of counterterrorism. During his service, he has been actively targeted by various terrorist groups and organizations. He was wounded in the line of duty and his office was bombed by the Taliban in 2010. He left Karachi for a sabbatical when there were too many contracts on his life. He has a master’s in criminal justice policy from the London School of Economics and a master’s in law from University College London.
Much like the protagonist in his police procedural, The Prisoner, Hamid was forced to navigate the byzantine politics, shifting alliances, and backroom dealings of Karachi police and intelligence agencies. In his novel, Hamid exposes that dark side of Karachi, as only a police officer could. His writing has garnered praise for rejecting a romanticized take on slum life—as is characteristic in Pakistani English literature—in favor of gritty realism.
A thinly veiled fictional interpretation of real-life events, the novel follows Constantine D’Souza, a Christian police officer charged with rescuing kidnapped American journalist Jon Friedland (a.k.a., 2002 captured Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl). With no leads, D’Souza recruits Akbar Khan, a rogue cop imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit (modeled on Pakistan’s famed take-no-prisoners officer Chaudhry Aslam Khan). Caught between Pakistan’s militant ruling party and the Pakistani intelligence agencies, D’Souza finds himself in a race against time to save a man’s life—and the honor of his nation.