On December 16, a 23 year-old woman was brutally gang-raped, within an inch of her life, in a public bus with an illegal license that was driving through the streets for half an hour, unnoticed. Like Khaled Mohamed Saeed and Mohammed Bouazizi, this young anonymous woman has become the emblem of an angry nation. For students in New Delhi, this was the last straw. Their anger is justified.
Their reaction is dangerous and misguided.In the past year and a half, educated Indians have been willing to come out on to the streets to demand harsher punishment and more severe laws. As a nation, we are angry. We have been angry for a terribly long time. Unfortunately, we have not directed our anger towards the construction of responsible social values. Instead, in the course of our anger, we are demanding the construction of a brutal and violent tyranny that will only continue to serve those who are in power at the cost of the powerless.
Continue reading Protests in India: Who Will be the Final Victim of this Anger?
Prof. Ashis Nandy: Question 1 from Baraza Video on Vimeo.
Five Questions with Professor Ashis Nandy
2011 has marked a new model of revolution that stem from practical realities and shun standardized theory. What do you think the prospects are for such demands for change that function in the absence of macro-social frameworks and ideologies? What ideas or discourses are likely to rise to the fore in the future? Does the nation state have a future as the main unit of political organization? If not, how will people and societies be organized?
Continue reading Five Questions with Prof. Ashis Nandy
The recording is now available for the public conversation between Prof. Hamid Dabashi and Prof. Ashis Nandy.
The two eminent scholars raised crucial questions revolving around the theme of “state, culture, and human imagination.” Professor Dabashi and Professor Nandy brought to this discussion their respective conceptions of these central ideas. Of particular interest was the nature of the modern state and its viability within the context of changing epistemological, discursive, and temporal spaces. Professor Nandy suggests that the advent of the modern state has wreaked devastation upon societies by imposing the necessity of a cultural homogenization project. Building upon this idea, Professor Dabashi questions the viability of the modern state, in the Weberian sense, suggesting that the amorphous state has a greater tolerance for critical thinking than a totalitarian nation-state. The public conversation between Professor Dabashi and Professor Nandy is crucial to Baraza’s own work, which seeks to imagine – and create – a space that not only facilitates engagement within the geographic and disciplinary boundaries of Area Studies. It also encourages the production of new discursive modes around which these engagements can be centered.
Continue reading Recording: A Public Conversation between Professor Hamid Dabashi and Professor Ashis Nandy