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Semester and Year Offered: Fourth and Monsoon Semetser
Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Priyanka Jha
Email of course coordinator: priyankajha[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in
Aim: The course introduces a variety of thinkers and themes that defines the modernity of Indian political thought and aims to critically examine some of its characteristic features. It seeks to familiarize students with some of the key themes like nation, caste, socialism, secularism and popular democracy which will be explored through the seminal works of Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore, Ambedkar, M.N.Roy, Lohia, JP and other contemporary political thinkers. This is an introductory course meant for undergraduate students in the second and third year of their study. This course intends to stimulate and promote the serious study of modern Indian political thought. The course introduces a wide span of thinkers and themes that defines the modernity of Indian political thought and also aims to examine critically some of the distinctive features of Indian tradition of political thought. This course will lay a founding stone for students aspiring to study political theory/thought/philosophy, sociology and development studies, as their academic specialization in future.
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
1. Understanding Modern Indian Political Thought
This module intends to understand and explain history of ideas in the context of India and South Asia. Attempts to locate nature of Indian Political thought and its evolution over a period of time. The attempt is to not only emphasize the thinkers and their ideas but also to understand the larger socio-historical contexts to which ideas and theories responded navigating the changes that the ideas and theories were intended to bring about. It largely deals with process of renaissance, reform and revivalism in India and the critique of west-centred paradigms of politics.
2. What kind of a Nation?
As a contested category, This module attempts to understand the category of Nation and nation state. Ideas and debates on the theme on nation and nationalism shall be explored through the writings of thinkers like Gandhi, Nehru & Tagore and pitching it against the Right wing understanding as presented in the writings of Golwalkar and Savarkar
3. The Question of Caste:
This module intends to provide a comprehensive understanding on the issue of caste inequality in India. It aims to understand anti-caste movement in India through the seminal works of Phule, Ambedkar and Phule. This module also attempts to bring in the voices of Iconic women thinker like Savitri phule and Pandita Ramabai and their gendered understanding.
4.Socialism and Distribution of Wealth
Some kind of a vague socialist thinking was already a part of the political process right from the early twenties in India. Marxian theory was increasingly influencing many individuals since then. This module attempts to understand the ideological evolution of socialism and communist movement in India through the writings of Nehru, M.N.Roy, Ram Manohar Lohia, J P Narayan
5.Secularism and its Critique
Secularization of Indian society has important place in contemporary Indian values. Secularism is one of the most debated issues in contemporary Indian political thought. This module focuses on Gandhi, Savarkar and Jinnah’s thought on religion as well as contemporary debates on secularism by Romila Thapar, T.N. Madan & Rajeev Bhargava.
6.Understanding Popular Democracy
Despite the disillusionment and contradiction of Indian democracy, India has forged a truly democratic future for itself. This module aims to explore the evolution of democracy in India through the writings of Kothari, Kaviraj, Khilnani & Chatterjee.
Assessment Details with weights: