SPECIAL ONE DAY ROUNDTABLE ON ASPECTS OF THE STATE AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN MODERN INDIA & BANGLADESH

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 28/11/2014
10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Location
ACJC Seminar rooms, Building H, 8th floor (H8.06)

Category(ies)


MONASH UNIVERSITY

SPECIAL ONE DAY ROUNDTABLE ON

ASPECTS OF THE STATE AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN MODERN INDIA & BANGLADESH

NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES

 

  

PROGRAM

 

10 am to 11am                   Discussion with Mr Iftikhar Rashid,  PhD candidate, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

The Radical Ideology and Narratives of Hizb-ut Tahrir in Bangladesh: Redefining the Security Threat?

 

11am to Noon                   Discussion with Parichay Patra, PhD candidate, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

Remembrances of the Things ‘Past’: Shahbag, War Crimes Trial  and the Public Life of Alternative Histories

 

12noon to 1pm                 Lunch   (RSVPS essential to Halina. Bluzer@monash.edu)

 

1pm to 2pm                        Discussion with Dr Martin Hříbek, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Czech constructions of India and beyond from nineteenth century to post-socialism

 

2pm to 3pm                        Discussion with Dr Manoj Sanyal, Independent Scholar, Kolkata, India

 Ideologies, Idealization And Political Formations: Colonial India

 

3pm to 4pm                        Discussion with Monimalika Sengupta, PhD candidate, Faculty Arts, Monash University

Chakma Refugees Going Beyond Victimhood

 

SEE DETAILS BELOW ABOUT THE SPEAKERS AND THEMES

   

SPEAKER 1 -Ifti Rashid

10AM TO 11AM

 

Ifti Rashid,  School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts,Monash University

The Radical Ideology and Narratives of Hizb-ut Tahrir in Bangladesh: Redefining the Security Threat?   

ABSTRACT
Hizb-ut Tahrir (HT) is a transnational radical movement seeking to establish a pan-Islamic Caliphate in Muslim countries. The movement disavows democracy, capitalism, secularism and nationalism as being incompatible with Islam, while propagating a narrative of a civilizational struggle between Wester “kufr” (non-believer) and Islamic “spiritual-divine” civilizations.  In October 2009, the Bangladesh chapter was banned as a security threat for “anti-state, anti-government, anti-people and anti-democratic activities”. Though HT was the fifth organization to be proscribed in Bangladesh, it was the first to be declared illegal as a pre-emptive counter-terrorism measure in the country. This paper examines the global ideology and local narratives of HT within the political, social and economic context to critically evaluate the movement’s historical evolution and radicalization agenda in Bangladesh, including the nature of the security threat posed by its mobilization strategy targeting the military and youth.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Ifti Rashid is Bangladesh political and security analyst. He is currently a Doctoral Researcher and Endeavour Scholar in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia. He has previously served as a Bangladesh specialist for the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade, Canada and Department of State, United States. He is a former Lecturer in the Independent University, Bangladesh and has consulted for the World Bank, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, Institute of Governance Studies and Bangladesh Centre for Development Journalism and Communications. Ifti holds a Master of International Development & Environment Analysis (Democracy, Governance and Civil Society) and Bachelor of Business & Commerce (Economics & Management) from Monash University. He was awarded the Golden Key International Honour Society Award in 2003. His current research interests include the political activism and mobilization of Islamist radical movements in Bangladesh and Australia.

 

 

SPEAKER 2: -Parichay Patra

11 AM TO 12NOON

Parichay Patra, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Film and Screen Studies, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University.

Remembrances of the Things ‘Past’: Shahbag, War Crimes Trial and the Public Life of Alternative Histories

Abstract: In this presentation I would like to look at the highly publicized war crimes trials in Bangladesh and the Shahbag Protests of 2013, with a special focus on the way in which popular discourses were formed around this cataclysmic event in the history of South Asia. Larger questions involving the nature of the secular state, its minorities and democracy will also be addressed. My site of inquiry would be the alternative histories that were written through the means of literary, cinematic and new media texts, signifying a ‘public life’ of history in South Asia with much wider connotations.

 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Parichay Patra is a doctoral student in the Department of Film and Screen Studies, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University. His area of research is the Indian New Wave of the 1970s.  Patra has co-edited Bollywood and Its Other(s): Towards New Configurations (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). Additionally, he nourishes an active interest in the issues concerning politics and religion(s) in South Asia in general and Bangladesh in particular.

 

Noon – 1PM      LUNCH 

 

SPEAKER 3:- Dr Martin Hříbek ,

I PM TO 2PM

Dr Martin Hribeck, Visiting Scholar to the National Centre for South Asian Studies Monash from the Charles University, Prague.

ABSTRACT

Orientalism has not been a single discourse of the West about the East but rather a network of discourses in individual national traditions. Czech constructions of India are different from those described by Edward Said and also the German school. In the 19th century Czech revivalists looked for eastern sources of national identity, namely in Russia and India. The importance of an Oriental element in Czech discourse has remained firm, which this presentation will demonstrate on examples ranging from early discussions on Slav-Indian affinity to reception of Rabindranath Tagore in Czechoslovakia to current high-profile debate on “Dalai Lamaism” in Czech domestic politics.

 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Martin Hříbek is a lecturer in Bengali language and Indian Studies at Charles University in Prague. Having previously researched the poetics and politics of Durgapuja festival in contemporary Calcutta he recently turned to reflect on Czech representations of the Orient. His other research interests include Hinduism, Indian nationalism, and nature symbolism in Bengali literature.

 

SPEAKER 4 :-Dr Manoj Kumar Sanyal

2PM TO 3PM

Dr Manoj Kumar Sanyal, Independent visiting scholar from Kolkata India,.

IDEOLOGIES, IDEALIZATION AND POLITICAL FORMATIONS:

COLONIAL INDIA

Abstract

This paper dwells on the rise of old patriotism or proto-nationalism in India since the early nineteenth century. Raja Rammohun Roy who, being a monotheist, fought against the forces of mediavalism and contributed to nation building. Roy and his followers pioneered socio-religious reform movements that laid the foundation of new India.  By the end of the nineteenth century, political activism began to take place round the Indian National Congress. Over two decades after its inception the party was swayed by M.K. Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence that actually repelled the young revolutionaries. While Gandhi himself was an avowed Hindu he abhorred the shakto cult of adopting violent means to kill enemies. The revolutionaries formed secret societies, took up arms, regularly read gita, a selection from Mahabharata. Gita provided moral arms to the young revolutionaries.  This paper shows how the nationalist thinkers and social reformers of the nineteenth century were idealized and misinterpreted and religion came into play to direct political activism that vitiated the minds of both the Hindus and the Muslims. The process ended in partitioning the Indian subcontinent to achieve independence at enormous costs of human life. Political parties in the post-colonial period carry over the tradition of dividing the communities to pursue their vote-bank politics.

About the author

Dr. Manoj Kumar Sanyal is an independent researcher in social science and a former senior fellow at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. In addition to his contribution to journals, writing book chapters, authoring and editing books he also worked for popular print media as a writer.

 

SPEAKER 5:  – Monimalika Sengupta

3PM TO 4PM

Monimalika Sengupta, School of Social Science, Faculty of Arts, Monash University.

Chakma refugees going beyond victimhood

Over last five decades Chakmas of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh have sought refuge in the north-eastern states of India, primarily Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura and Assam. Chakmas are the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Though these north-eastern states are home to 250,000 Chakmas according to the 2012 census report, of which quite a significant number of this ethnic group has been born in India, the majority still have refugee status. In Arunachal Pradesh they are still labeled as “outsiders” in spite of being born in India. These Chakma people often face violent physical, sexual and psychological abuse from the local authorities and people. I address the reasons for the tension between the Chakmas and local people and also how these Chakma refugees go beyond victimhood and conduct their daily lives in the north-eastern states despite the violence. Every five years a number of Chakma refugees are forced to become stateless in the face of the “Chakmas go back” or the “Quit the state” project led by the local political parties.

 

About the Speaker

Moni Sengupta has two MAs one from Monash University on Women’s Studies and Gender Research and another from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, on Comparative Literature.  In Kolkata she also worked as a Financial Inclusion Officer for a local NGO dealing with Bangladeshi refugees. During her student days she was also a journalist for the highly regarded English national daily newspaper The Statesman. Her interest in the refugees of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) stems from her family background: her mother is from CHT and her family had to bear the trauma of 1947 partition and the stigma that goes with being a refugee in India. Her doctoral thesis allows her to speak about these lesser-heard voices in India.

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