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Session 1:

“What is the Postcolonialism?” by Robert J. C. Young

This reading talks about the situation of the world after the British imperialism ended and the
colonial states were given independence. The importance of Bandung Conference to the
importance of Tricontinental is discussed in the reading. Moreover, the effects of the cold war
were also discussed here. It explained the concept of post-colonialism effectively while giving a
brief overview of the global scenario.

Session 2:

‘Introduction: Nation and Nationalism since 1780’ by Eric Hobsbawm

The reading talked about how nations and nationalism is not just a European concept, rather it is a
phenomenon which is found everywhere. The reading talked about how nations are linked to the
territory of the region as only industrial societies revolts because homogeneity does not result in a
revolt. Moreover, the methods in which nationalism was spread (print media) were also discussed.
By giving the daak route example from the Mughal time period the means were further elaborated.
The also discussed how nationalism erases the culture of a place due to the spread of state agenda.

Session 3:

‘Nationalism as a Problem in the History of Political Ideas’ by Partha Chatterjee

This reading talked about the concept of nation-state. It discussed how state and nation cannot be
thought of different concepts as these two concepts are always taught together by the state backed
media and other state institutions as there will always be act of power overlapping between them.
Chatterjee also talked about how the idea of a nation is reproduced in our stories, our homes, our
sermons, our public places etc. The reading then talks about modernity and how it is modular in
nature and different nation-state will always have different paces to achieve modernity.

‘The Idea of Provincializing Europe’ by Dipesh Chakrabarty

This reading discussed that the concept of modernity in South Asian states, especially the states
which got independence from the British, is derived from the modular forms of enlightenments by
European institutions. It goes on to discuss how colonial time was not critical enough as the use
of capital and resources was absurd which only increased the class difference. It further discusses
that social relations were deteriorated, and this led to conflicts in the post-colonial states.

Session 4:

‘The Wider Context’ by Stanley J. Tambiah

This reading talks about how even though there is modernization and development, the economic
and political programs have given birth to civil wars and gruesome interracial and interethnic
bloodshed. It also talks about the rise of repressive authoritarianism in countries both in the form
of democratically elected people and in the form of military rule. It also talks about how liberal
democracies exported this rule abroad and interiorized the cultures of the colonies which
eventually gave rise to Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu nationalism.

Session 5:

‘The Routinization and Ritualization of Violence’ by Stanley J. Tambiah

This reading talks about how violence is routinized and ritualized in the society. It mentions how
our daily activities, be it discussions in our home or telling stories of the past to children, creates
a sense of hostility towards the party. In this way, fault lines are formed and when an actual violent
conflict breaks out, these fault lines become evident. The reading also discussed how the act of
engaging in violent acts increase the social capital of people and how they benefit from it.
Moreover, it also talked about how it is not only about the person speaking, but also about the time
and the place.

Session 6:

‘Communal Identities at the Heart of Nation’ by Thomas Blom Hansen

This reading talks about the normalization of violence due to nationalism in the presence of any
conflict. Certain groups of people are always looked at differently because their ideas are not
homogenous to ours which results in fault lines to be established which inevitably results in
violence. The reading also discusses the two aspects of violence; the first one being the normal
one in which we normalize the existing fault lines, and the second one being the demonic one in
which when violence erupts it become pathological to us.

Session 7:

Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India by Gyanendra Pandev

The reading talks about the violence caused by the partition of the Indian Sub-continent in 1947.
The author talks about how even in the medieval times, the fault lines between the Hindus and the
Muslims existed but they were normalized. However, during the British rule there was no political
hegemony between the Hindus and the Muslims before the separate electorate. Moreover, the
reading talks about the three partitions which took place in 1947; the first one being the
geographical one, the second one being the political one and the third one being the crossover of
populations and the cultural divide.

Session 8:

Staying On: Partition and West Bengal’s Muslim Minorities by Joya Chatterji
This reading focuses on how whenever partition occurs in an area, the group of people which was
in minority becomes the new majority while the people who did not move and were the majority,
become the new minority. The reading specifically talks about the Muslim minority in West
Bengal which was formed after the partition of the province of Bengal. It talks about the difficulties
faced by them as neither of the sides would give them full rights once they migrated and returned.

Session 9:

Blurred Borders: Costal Conflict between India and Pakistan by Charu Gupta and Mukul Sharma

This reading talks about the non-existent problems which emerged after the partition took place.
Talking specifically about the fishermen, the author discusses that after the partition both Pakistan
and India had to mark their navel territories. However, the common people, fishermen in this case,
are not aware of the boundaries as they are only concerned about their catch for survival, so
whenever they accidently cross the boundaries, they get arrested by the authorities of the other
country. This issue is not given as much importance as other issues related to boundaries but still
resumes to be a huge problem for common fishermen.

Session 10:

Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace by Sumantra Bose

This reading talks about the issue of Kashmir. It starts by explaining how the issue started in the
first place and how it was carried forward by both the countries which has led to three wars. It
further talks about the population of Kashmir is divided geographically which leads to major
chunks of majority in one place and major chunks of minority in the other place. Moreover, it talks
about the potential solutions of the issue and the conflicts which can arise if either one of the
solutions is opted.

Session 11:

Conjuring Pakistan: History as Official Imagining by Ayesha Jalal

This reading talks about the nationalism of Pakistan and how identities are regional and historically
contingent as their articulation lies on the differentiation between the right and the wrong. By
projecting ‘us’ in a positive manner and ‘them’ in a negative manner, the strains of bigotry against
‘them’ strengthens which is exactly what Pakistani nationalism is made of. It also talks about the
effects of modernization and the existence of colonial and post-colonial identities of Pakistan
existing together.

Session 12:

No compulsory reading mentioned

Session 13:
Renewed: Ethnonationalist Insurgency in Baluchistan by Adeel Khan

This reading talks about the entire issue of Baluchistan. It starts of by talking about the cause of
the issue and how the princely states acceded to Pakistan one by one. It further talks about the one-
unit scheme and the riots it caused and then talks about the ethnic violence that started in the 60s
and the 70s and is present till now. It also goes in detail of the mid 2000s insurgency and the
liberation funds and the military crackdowns. Moreover, it also talks about the lack of the socio-
economic development in Baluchistan and the misuse of their resources which led to a violent

Session 14:

Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society by David Lewis

This reading talks about the Bengali economy and society as a whole. From the British rule to the
East Pakistani era it describes how Hinduism was forced on the people of Bengal and to resist they
converted to Islam. It talks about how Bengali nationalism is based more on their language and
culture rather than their religion, and how even after independence Bengalis created their own
culture based on their social norms. They envisioned an independent Pakistan which will have
freedom for all, i.e. fishermen, farmers, minorities etc.

Session 15:

A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh by Srinath Raghavan

This reading talks about the formation of the independent Bangladesh and the factor leading to it.
It discusses the role of factors such as the selection of Urdu language as the national language,
East Pakistan being left open to attack in the 1965 war, lack of fund provided to them and misuse
of their resources in the formation of Bangladesh. Moreover, it discusses the entire scenario
regarding the elections of 1971 and how Bengalis were not being given their power, and how
Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman presented his 6 points which led to operation searchlight (military
crackdown) resulting in the formation of Bangladesh.

Session 16:

Genocide in Bangladesh by Rounaq Jahan

This reading talks about the atrocities committed by the Pakistani military against the Bangladeshi
people. After the Awami National Party’s Sheikh Mujeeb declared independence in March 1971,
the Pakistani military launched their operation searchlight which initially targeted the Bengali
intellectuals. However, as the violent conflict continued, the military attacked everyone. The
reading discusses the importance of number and says that the number of Bengali women raped
was less than what Bengali people claim which leads to the unreliability of this as the ethical and
moral questions regarding the women are raised.
Session 17:

The Repartition of 1973 and the Remaking of Modern South Asia by Antara Dutta

This reading talks about the repartition of 1973 and the remaking of the South Asian borders after
the formation of Bangladesh. It discusses how the tensions escalated between the Bihari Hindus
and the Bengali Muslims which led to some tensions between India and Bangladesh. Moreover, it
talks about the citizenship status of the newly formed minorities in the independent state of

Session 18:

Stateless in South Asia: The Making of the India-Bangladesh Enclaves by William Schendel

This session talks about the enclaves of Bangladesh and India in each other territories. The reading
focuses on how difficult it was for the people living in enclaves to live their everyday life, the lack
of opportunities and the difficulties they faced when they had to visit their homeland. It also
discusses how people living in enclaves were left on their own during the times of peace but were
only cared for when war broke out. Moreover, the reading also discusses the end of these enclaves
and their accession into the countries they were in.

Session 19:

Postcolonial Identities by Sankaran Krishna

This reading is divided into two parts. The first chapter revolves around how narratives are formed.
It tells us how narratives allow people to identify themselves with a group and how the stories
forming the narrative are not as important as the way you tell them. The second part revolves
around the formation of the Sri-Lankan identity. It discusses the riots of the 1915 which saw the
Sinhala clash with the Tamil which led to the Buddhist identity of the Sri Lankan people.

Session 20:

Explaining Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka by Neil DeVotta

This reading talks about the disputed nationalism in Sri Lanka and the factor which led to it. It
starts by talked about the riots and an explosive bombing on a shrine which led to the chaos
between the Sri Lankan people and the LTTE. It discusses that when these terrorist attacks
happened, the Buddhist identity of the Sri Lankan people came under threat. It also talks about the
economic development barriers and how the state kept on promising things but did not deliver
them. In addition to this, it talked about how the authoritarian rule gave birth to more military

Session 21:
Sovereign Violence and the Domain of the Political by Partha Chatterjee

This session talks about the sovereignty of the Indian state after its independence. The author talks
about the different problem faced by the state to settle down the huge influx of migrants coming
from the Punjabi and the Bengali borders. It also talks about the violence inflicted upon the
Muslims of India after the partition and how people saw them with uncertainty and threat of
disobedience to the state.

Session 22:

Adivasis, Naxalites and Indian Democracy by Ramchandra Guha

This reading talks about the rights of minorities and the indigenous tribes in the post-colonial state
of India. The reading talks about the Indian Naxalites and how the Naxal-Bari Movement paced
up their presence in India. It also talks about the case of Adivasis who were scattered
geographically but lived in similar regions (mountains). The reading also discusses the different
ethnic groups of the Adivasis and the demands laid by them. It ends on how these sorts of
movements were crushed by the Indian state.

Session 23:

The Myth of Unity: Colonial and National Narratives by Mushirul Hasan

This session talks about the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India. The author talks about how the unity
of both the groups was only a myth and that the fault lines clearly existed between them in the pre-
colonial era and in the colonial era. Furthermore, it talks about locating the roots of this violent
conflict which has seen hundreds of thousands of lives being lost. It talks about events such as the
destruction of the Babari Mosque and the Gujrati massacres and the reason which led to them.

Session 24:

The Partition of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India by Paul R. Brass

This reading goes on to discuss that how the Indian state goes on to establish itself as a secular
state but in reality, the state and the nationalistic narrative preached by the state is not secular in
any sense. It goes on to say that the state policy and the nationalistic narrative is born due to
everyday events in life and that in the case of India, the problems were mainly created by the
nationalistic regional governments. It describes how the Hindu-Muslim violence on the religious
fundamentalism on both sides.

Session 25:

A History of Nepal by John Whelpton

This session talks about the history of Nepal. It talks about how the common pattern of the majority
being the ruling party was absent from Nepal as Hindus who were the minority were the rulers for
the longest time, and the Buddhists who were the minority were the subjects. It talks about the
social condition of the country and how the areas in the mountains were extremely underdeveloped
and poor. Moreover, it talks about the huge class difference between the ruling Hindus as they
were given the edge in everything while the Buddhists lagged.

Session 26:

Nepal in Transition: From People’s War to Fragile Peace by Deepak Thapa

This session talks about the Maoist insurgency which took place in Nepal. The country was in self-
imposed isolation which led to severe underdevelopment. This led to the people revolting against
the Hindu monarchy and when the elections finally took place a leftist party won them. This started
the people’s war which continued for almost a decade. The communists used child soldiers in the
war against the military which left many families torn and the trauma of the war of these children
was evident as after the war they lost their purpose.

Session 27:

The Past as Present by Ayesha Jalal

This reading talks about the current situation of Pakistan and how it is similar to the past in a sense
that the militant insurgencies are increasing more and more, and the violent acts are increasing. It
also talks about how the civil society of Pakistan and the social changes in the country.