About the Lecture:
The Indian Ocean has been characterized as “the ocean of notions” and “cradle of globalization”. As it begins to reveal its own stories to us, we start seeing it not only as a geo-political, but cultural and conceptual space. From Mahatma Gandhi to Narendra Modi, how has the Indian Ocean narrative changed? From Gandhi’s oceanic exposition, Hind Swaraj (1909), to Modi’s SAGAR (“Security And Growth for All in the Region”), how do we map the dynamic, topographical, and economic coordinates of the evolving Indian Ocean narrative? In a world after Western hegemony, what would be India’s role in the Indian Ocean arena? Singapore’s founder and first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew believed that “India was the ideal candidate to undertake” the role of a “guardian”. He predicted “India will dominate the Indian Ocean for a long time”. Has India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi at last woken up to what we might term the Lee imperative? Has Narendra Modi embarked, to use David Scott’s phrase, on a “drive to make the Indian Ocean, ‘India’s Ocean’”? This presentation proposes to explore and discuss issues such as these in light of larger geo-political cultural and security concerns.
About the Speaker:
Makarand R. Paranjape, Professor of English at the Centre for English Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, earned his Masters and Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA). Among his recent book publications are: Cultural Politics in Modern India: Postcolonial Prospects, Colourful Cosmopolitanism, Global Proximities (Routledge, 2016), The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi (Penguin Random House, 2015), and Making India: Colonialism, National Culture, and the Afterlife of Indian English Authority (Springer, 2013). He is the Principal Investigator of the Project on “Asian Crossroads: Indic Neighbourhoods, Global Connections”.
Makarand was the Inaugural DAAD Global South Visiting Fellow and Erich Auerbach Visiting Professor in World Literature, University of Tuebingen (May-July 2015 and July-December 2014), Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (January-April 2015), Inaugural ICCR Chair in Indian Studies, South Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore (2010-2011), CAPES Visiting Professor, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (August-December 2011), and Shivdasani Visiting Fellow, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, University of Oxford (October-December 2009).
Makarand is also a columnist for Swarajya, DNA, and Mail Today.