1. “India is the only country trying to become a global economic power with an uneducated and unhealthy labour force”
On 6 November 2015 Amartya Sen visited LSE to discuss his new collection of cultural essays Country of First Boys with Nicholas Stern. Before taking the stage in the packed Old Theatre, he spoke to Sonali Campion and Taryana Odayar about the Indian government’s approach to development, Kerala as a model for universal education and healthcare in India, and his faith in democracy.
2. “The Kabuliwala represents a dilemma between the state and migratory history of the world”
Shah Mahmoud Hanifi
Taking Afghanistan as an example, Professor Shah Mahmoud Hanifi talks to Chris Finnigan about the fundamental questions posed by migration within South Asia. With Rabindranath Tagore’s legendary short story the ‘Kabuliwala’ as a reference, Hanifi explains how religion, culture, commerce and politics have shaped people’s experiences of living and moving around South Asia, and what lessons the past can provide for the present.
3. “I don’t believe that Hindutva is Hinduism”
In 2018, Shashi Tharoor was in the UK to promote his new book Why I am a Hindu. With a general election then approaching in India, the battle between Tharoor’s Congress Party and the current government, the Bharatiya Janata Party, provided an interesting backdrop for the release of Tharoor’s new book. Anishka Gheewala Lohiya had the opportunity to talk to Tharoor at LSE about the relationship between politics and religion in India.
4. “When you enter the Kabuliwalas’ homes in Kolkata you feel like you’re back in Afghanistan”
Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s 1892 short story, the Kabuliwala, photographers Moska Najib and Nazes Afroz spent three years capturing the lives of the Kabuliwalas of Kolkata. Chris Finnigan talks to Moska about how their new exhibition in London reveals how generations of Afghan migrants have preserved their Pashtun identities in their new homeland.
5. “Forget my creative expression, I can tell other stories, but can you imagine being a part of a society that thinks that you should not exist?”
In March 2015, Zoya Akhtar, an eminent Bollywood filmmaker who is known for making films that are critically acclaimed and commercially successful, attended the LSE Economic Forum to speak about Indian cinema and what makes the box office and industry tick. During her visit, she spoke to Sharanya Shriram about censorship and the representation of sexuality in Indian cinema.