South Asia Without Borders Seminar Shankar Ramaswami,South Asia Institute South Asian Studies Postdoctoral Fellow
Chair: Parimal G. Patil,Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University
This presentation will explore migrant workers’ experiences, aspirations, and world-views in Delhi, drawing on fieldwork among metal workers in the Okhla Industrial Area. The presentation invokes the image of the chakravyuh (lotus maze), a labyrinthine military formation arising in the Mahabharata, to understand workers’ entanglements in the factory, neighborhood, and family, and growing attachments in the city.
Cosponsored by the Department of South Asian Studies
Dipu Moni,Foreign Minister of Bangladesh
with Ruhul Abid, Assistant Professor, Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School M. Shawkat Razzaque, , Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School and Dental School
and Richard Cash, Senior Lecturer on Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health
Arthur Kleinman,Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University and Professor of Medical Anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Jennifer Leaning,Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
While much international attention has been paid to the recent rapid rise of China and India in economic terms, there has been relatively little focus on their efforts in the equally critical domain of developing human capabilities through the provision of basic education and adult literacy. China and India both emerged as sovereign nations in the mid-twentieth century with roughly comparable levels of literacy but have since followed distinctive approaches to education.This talk will examine and compare the progress and identify challenges in these domains within the framework of Education for All (EFA), a global agenda launched at Jomtien in 1990 and reaffirmed in Dakar in 2000.
Abhimanyu Singh is Director of the UNESCO Office Beijing and UNESCO Representative to the PRC, DRK, Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea. From 2006 to 2008, Singh served as Director of the UNESCO Office in Abuja, Nigeria. From 2001 to 2006 he led the global coordination and monitoring of the Education for All (EFA) movement at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. From 1974-2000, as a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the premier civil service of the country, Singh held key leadership positions at various levels of National and Provincial Governments. He chaired the global drafting committee at the World Education Forum at Dakar in 2000.As a mid-career professional he was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, USA
M. V. Ramana, Nuclear Futures Laboratory & Program on Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Princeton University
Chair: Matthew Bunn,Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Nuclear power has been held out as possibly the most important source of energy for India. And the dream of a nuclear-powered India has been supported by huge financial budgets and high-level political commitment for over six decades. Nuclear power has also been presented as safe, environmentally benign and cheap. In his book, The Power of Promise, Dr. M.V. Ramana makes a historically nuanced and compelling argument as to why the nuclear energy program in India has failed in the past and why its future is dubious.
Jonathan Spencer,Professor of the Anthropology of South Asia & Head of School of Social and Political Science, Social Anthropology, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
Chair: Charles Hallisey, Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures, Harvard Divinity School
Since the end of the country’s 30-year civil war in 2009, the Sri Lankan armed forces have continued to grow despite the absence of obvious military threats to the government. Under the guidance of the President’s brother, the Ministry of Defence now plays a leading role in town planning through the Urban Development Authority (which is formally part of the Ministry). Colombo has seen an aggressive programme of improvement, which started with a “war” on alleged underworld figures, has taken in the eviction of hawkers from pedestrian spaces, the creation of new leisure areas, and now would seem to involve the clearance of “sub-standard” housing, especially in places like Slave Island, an historically dense and religiously and culturally mixed area near the city centre. This talk will explore the different kinds of politics that may be at work in this moment, and ask what the project of “beautifying” Colombo might tell us about the political dynamics of postwar Sri Lanka.
Maitreyi Bordia Das, Lead Social Development Specialist and Team Leader for Social Inclusion, Social Development Department, World Bank Shankar Ramaswami, SAI Postdoctoral Fellow in South Asian Studies, Harvard University
Chair: Martha Chen,Lecturer in Public Policy, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard Kennedy School
S050, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA
Cosponsored with the Asia Center‘s Modern Asia Seminar Series
South Asia Without Borders Sara Shneiderman,Assistant Professor of Anthropology & South Asian Studies, Yale University
Chair: Ajantha Subramanian,Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Harvard University
Amina Steinfels, Associate Professor of Religion, Mount Holyoke College
Chair: Sunil Sharma, Chair, Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, Associate Professor of Persianate and Comparative Literature, Convener of Persian and Hindi-Urdu, Boston University
Despite a growing sophistication in the study of Islam, our understanding of Sufism continues to be hampered by deeply ingrained presuppositions, especially in the context of South Asian religious history. Professor Steinfels’ research on a fourteenth century Sufi master, Sayyid Jalal al-din Bukhari, demonstrates the inadequacy of categories such as mysticism, law, and orthodoxy, and the relationships usually presumed between them, to describe the lives and thought of medieval Muslims. She argues that Sufism is understood best as a matter of social identification and practice, rather than religious doctrine and theory.
South Asia Without Borders Pravin Parekh, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association; President of the Harvard Club of India
Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession Lunch will be served
Pravin H. Parekh is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, president of the Confederation of Indian Bar, and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. From 1975–2006 he headed P.H. Parekh & Co., one of the premier law firms in the Supreme Court. Throughout his career he has been active in working for the rights of women, children and disadvantaged people in India. Mr. Parekh has also worked for consumer rights and served as the chairman of the Consumer Education and Research Centre, Ahmedabad for three decades; he has been a trustee of the centre since 1989. He has edited and authored a number of books and articles, and has spoken extensively at various national and international forums on many critical issues. Mr. Parekh was awarded the Padma Shri title, one of the highest honors conferred by the president of India. He earned his B.A. (Hons) in Economics and Statistics at Elphinstone College in Bombay, and his LL.B. (First Class Hons) at Government Law College in Bombay.