Urban conservation is often a pressing challenge in historic Indian cities experiencing the pressures of development. Many cities, often lacking any viable local-level policy and enforcement, have resorted to alternative tools, often citizen-led, to accomplish the goal of conservation. This seminar will explore the tools of advocacy, politics, and civic engagement through recent examples from the city of Lucknow in northern India.
SAI Event Type : Talk
After the 1880s, Mysore was established as the home of the royal family. Despite its interrupted and uncertain status as a “capital” city, it became the site of an experiment in ornamentalism by the 20th century. It was among the first cities in India to have a City Improvement Trust in 1903, a few years after the Bombay Improvement Trust was set up in 1898. In the Trust’s negotiations with the municipality on the one hand, and the Palace establishment on the other, we see a specific form of material and temporal “ordering” that drew as much on the sovereign power of the monarch — though mediated by an increasingly powerful bureaucracy — as on a creative adaptation of the diverse forces, techniques, and devices more properly associated with “governmentality.” How does the invention of Royal Mysore challenge existing conceptions of the colonial city as a site of modernity?
Janaki Nair, Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Delusional States is the first in-depth study of state-making and social change in Gilgit-Baltistan, a Shia-majority region of Sunni-dominated Pakistan and a contested border area that forms part of disputed Kashmir. Ali will discuss how Gilgit-Baltistan’s image within Pakistan as an idyllic paradise overlooks how the region is governed as a suspect security zone and dispossessed through multiple processes of state-making, including representation, militarization, and sectarianized education.
Nosheen Ali, Karti Dharti, Institute for Ecological Studies, Pakistan
Ali Asani, Harvard University, will moderate the discussion
Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is the most competent, lethal, and loyal proxy of the Pakistani state, operating in India, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in South Asia and beyond. In this presentation, C. Christine Fair will draw from a narrative analysis of a ten percent random sample of nearly 1,000 biographies of slain LeT fighters to delve into the battlefield motivation of the fighters. She will reveal the dark role that families play in a young man’s decision to fight in Pakistani terrorist organizations, deriving various forms of social capital from a male family member’s participation in so-called “jihad.”
C. Christine Fair, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
Kristin E. Fabbe, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
How can India take advantage of data to achieve its developmental objectives while balancing the need for personal privacy? The recently implemented Account Aggregator framework tries to establish a digital consent architecture to allow post-collection transfers of data. This will unlock a number of financial models to serve those who are not currently part of the formal banking systems. But at the same time, this can have a serious impact on personal privacy. A similar model is being attempted in the health system, and that too has similar repercussions. The speakers on this panel will delve into the interplay between data transfer and personal privacy in both the financial and healthcare systems.
Rahul Matthan, Partner, Trilegal, India
I. Glenn Cohen, James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School
Moderator: Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, the Mittal Institute
This event is co-sponsored by The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.
Raj Rewal is internationally recognized for the creation of buildings that respond with sensitivity to the complex demands of rapid urbanization, climate, and culture. Earlier in his career, his focus on low-cost housing led him to design a large number of dwelling units, fragmented into smaller aggregations enclosing a variety of spaces for different building types — an experience that led him to create a series of public projects in a humane manner, for works of epic proportions. Rewal will discuss his past work in public housing, the lessons learned from the cities of Rajasthan, Mediterranean villages, and high-density developments, and how the study of the existing traditional pattern of living can provide cues for place-making that can promote community activities.
Our Fall 2019 Visiting Artist Fellows, Sagar Chhetri from Nepal and Sakshi Gupta from India, will exhibit their artwork to provide creative commentary on identity today in South Asia. During the reception, both Chhetri and Gupta will present their work and engage in a discussion with the audience. Snacks will be served at the October 15 opening reception!
Eclipse, Sagar Chhetri
At the Still Point of the Turning World, Sakshi Gupta
The exhibition will be available for viewing between October 15, 2019 and November 26, 2019 on the fourth floor of CGIS South. The opening reception will take place on October 15, 2019.
Around the world, numerous nations have witnessed a resurgence of strongman politics — and with it, many governments are bypassing democratic norms and embracing populist ideals. Focusing on President Bolsonaro of Brazil and Prime Minister Modi of India, the speakers on this panel will discuss what nationalist and populist leadership means for Brazil, India, and the global political system at large.
Rachel Brule, Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy, Boston University
Bruno Carvalho, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
Patrick Heller, Professor of Sociology and iNternational and Public Affairs, Brown University
This event is co-sponsored by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
Film Director Musa Syeed will join Professor Ali Asani for a screening of his film, Valley of Saints, followed by a question-and-answer session.
About the Film:
Dal Lake is a sprawling aquatic community in Kashmir where erupting political violence often distracts from the natural beauty. Gulzar, a young, working-class boatman, plans to skip town with his best friend in search of a better life, but a weeklong military curfew derails their departure. Forced to wait it out, Gulzar takes a job assisting a scientist named Asifa. As they navigate the floating landscape, an unlikely relationship blossoms between the two. When Asifa’s research reveals that the lake and an entire way of life face an alarming threat, everything in Gulzar’s own life begins to take on a new hue. Intricately weaving contemporary issues with traditional culture and ancient myths, VALLEY OF SAINTS is a vibrant, lyrical film about finding one’s path home in a changing world.
In India, subaltern groups must resort to the universalizing vocabulary of citizenship in order to stake claims for redistribution and recognition. But on what basis do they do this — especially under severe coercion? Alf Nilsen, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pretoria, will explore this question by investigating movement patterns in the Bhil heartland of western India, where Adivasi communities have organized and mobilized against the tyranny of the local state.
In this talk, Roluahpuia, the Mittal Institute’s 2018-19 Raghunathan Family Fellow, will explore how and why politics among the Mizos continue to remain nationalistic in India and how to understand this phenomenon in contemporary India. This discussion will be moderated by Virginius Xaxa, Visiting Professor at the Institute for Human Development.
Engaging with India: Engaging with Feminism and the Passion of “The Before Midnight’s Children”
Speaker: Devaki Jain, Economist, Writer, and Recipient of the Padma Bhushan Award
The Harish C. Mahindra Lecture Series is given in honor of the late Harish C. Mahindra, a distinguished alumnus of Harvard College and a visionary leader of business and industry in India. The lecture is an important component in continuing the education and understanding of the challenges facing South Asia, and provides an ideal forum for the next generation of global leadership.
This year, Devaki Jain will be giving the Mahindra Lecture. Devaki Jain is an Indian economist and writer who has made significant contributions to feminist economics, social justice, and women’s empowerment in India. In 2006, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan — the third-highest civilian honor from the Government of India — for her contributions to society. In this lecture, she will weave her own personal story into the political story of India and discuss her engagement with public life, activism, and her current work in feminist economics.
A reception will follow the lecture. This event is free and open to the public.