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Nationalism, Internationalism and Cosmopolitanism: some lessons from modern Indian history

Department of Sociology and Centre for the Study of Human Rights public lecture

Date: Thursday 3 April 2014 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Partha Chatterjee
Chair: Dr Ayça Çubukçu

This lecture deals with four strands of trans-regional political movement in India’s anti-colonial history. The first is that of Islamic jihad which took inspiration from Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi’s campaigns in Sind, Afghanistan and Punjab in the early 19th century, was a submerged current in the 1857 revolt, sought to restore the Ottoman Khilafat after World War I and assumed the somewhat quixotic form of Obaidulla Sindhi’s attempt in the 1920s to mount an anti-British jihad from Kabul, Moscow and Ankara. The second consists of the international connections and alliances of nationalist armed revolutionaries, from the Ghadar party, Britain and US-based organizers such as Hardayal and Savarkar, the connections of the Bengal revolutionaries with Germany, the Irish rebels and anarchist groups in Europe, to the alliance of Subhas Chandra Bose with Germany and Japan during World War II. The third were the strong connections of Indian communists with the international communist movement. Finally, there were important critics such as Tagore who deplored the narrow self-aggrandizement of nationalism and pleaded for an opening to world humanity. All of these strands, with their possibilities and limits, continue to be vibrant today.   

Professor Chatterjee's lecture will inaugurate the Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity research group convened by Dr Ayça Çubukçu at LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights.

Partha Chatterjee is a professor of anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African studies at Columbia University and a Professor of Political Science at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Calcutta, India. He is a political theorist and historian and divides his time between Columbia University and the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, where he was the director from 1997 to 2007. A major focus of Partha Chatterjee’s work is nationalism, but in order to follow his thoughts on this topic, one must simultaneously think also of colonialism, post-colonialism, modernity, and the idea of the nation-state, and also summon up, simultaneously with that cluster of concepts, a not-nationalist and counter-colonial viewpoint about what these terms actually represent (or could actually represent), with special reference to India.

His books include: The Politics of the Governed: Considerations on Political Society in Most of the World (2004); A Princely Impostor? The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal (2002); A Possible India: Essays in Political Criticism (1997); The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (1993), and Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse? (1993). He is also a poet, playwright, and actor.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEChatterjee

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk| or call 020 7955 6043.

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CPD

This event has been certified for CPD| purposes by the Continuing Professional Development Certification Service|. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and email a completed scanned copy of their Self-Assessment Record form to events@lse.ac.uk| within 28 days of the date of the event attended. If a delegate fails to register their details at the event and email a scanned copy of their completed Self-Assessment Record form within 28 days, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. Certificates of attendance will be emailed out within 10 working days of the Self-Assessment form being received.

 
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