Routledge Book Release


IRNRD Launch and Discussion of Routledge Books on Aspects of Religion and Democracy

Host& Sponsor: Routledge (India)

Venue: R K Khanna Tennis Complex / Africa Avenue / Safdarjang Enclave / New Delhi -- 110029
Date: 12 December 2012

P R O G R A M  &  S P E A K E R S

14:00-14:55: Buffet Lunch at RK Khanna Club

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15:00:Routledge India: Multiple Book Launch
Chair: Aakash Singh Rathore

15:00-15:20: Peter Losonczi and Walter Van Herck introduce their forthcoming book Secularism, Religion, and Politics: Concepts and Context in India and Europe

The secular model has been the subject of intensive debates in India andare also now wide-spread in Europe. The book reflects on various issues relevant for these developments, and the essays evince how complicated and far reaching the consequences of these processes can be. We stress the importance of engagement with the specific problems and dilemmas of the differing contexts and underline that, among the intensifying exchange between these contexts, the findings of these debates can be mutually relevant for each other (i.e., India and Europe). The editors are convinced of the importance of acquiring knowledge regarding the variegated developments on a global scale, as well as the local relevance of these findings. The present volume aims at the collection of important studies that in various ways can contribute to this task.

Discussants: SebastianoMaffettone, Veit Bader

15:20-15:40: Gurpreet Mahajan presents her book Religion, Community and Development: Changing Contours of Politics and Policy in India

Chair: PeterLosonczi

By making religious community a relevant category for discussing development deficit, the Sachar Committee Report (SCR), submitted to the Prime Minister in 2007, initiated a new political discourse in India. While the liberal secular framework privileged the individual over the community and was more inclined to use the category of class rather than the identity of religion, the SCR differentiated citizens on the basis of their religious identity. Its conclusions reinforced the necessity of approaching issues of development through the optic of religious community. This volume focuses on this shift in public policy. The articles in this collection examine the nature and implications of this new approach to the Indian social reality. Taking a close look at the findings of the SCR, they highlight the challenges posed by inter-community comparisons. At another level the articles supplement the debate initiated by the SCR by constructing a profile of religious communities in India so as to factor in their concerns of development into the present discourse and to nuance and modify the simple indicators to which development is often reduced. As most religious communities are themselves engaged in development-related activities, the volume also examines some of these initiatives in order to see what development connotes to the members themselves and what receives attention by the community.

Discussants: C. Upendra, Hilal Ahmed

15:40-16:00: Dilip Menon presents his Book Series Pathfinders

Chair: Devrim Kabasakal

This series explores the intellectual history of South Asia through the lives and ideas of significant individuals within a historical context. These 'pathfinders' are seen to represent a break with existing traditions, canons and inherited histories. In fact, even the idea of South Asia with its constituent regions and linguistic and religious divisions maybe thrown into crisis as we explore the idea of territory as generated by thought. It is not cartographic limits that determine thinking but the imagining of elective affinities across space, time and borders. These thinkers are necessarily cosmopolitan and engage with a miscegenation of ideas that recasts existing notions of schools of thinking, of the archive for a history of ideas, and indeed of the very notion of national and regional limits to intellectual activity. The books in this series try to think beyond the limited frameworks of colonialism and nationalism for the modern period and more generally of histories of societies that are told through the prism of the state, its institutions and ideologies.

Discussants: Sudarshan Padmanabhan, Dara Salam

16:00-16:20: Amit Prakash discusses Ranabir Samaddar's book New Subjects and New Governance in India

Chair: Silika Mohapatra

This volume looks at the ways in which governance in the exercise of its strategies also acts as a process of production of subjects. It argues that governance is not a one-sided affair starting and ending with those who rule and govern, producing fiats, decrees, and diktats, but a productive process — one that produces subjects of governance who in turn respond to the process, and make the field of governance a contentious one. Against the backdrop of the first transition of democracy in India from its origin in a colonial polity to the first phase of its independent life after the promulgation of the Indian Constitution in 1950, this volume explores the second transition towards developmental democracy, examining the interrelations between globalisation, development and structures of governance. The volume suggests that while there is need to reflect on the governance of transition, it is important to question how democracy negotiates this transition.

Discussants: Uriel Abulof, Meysam Badamchi

16:20-16:40: Hilal Ahmed on his forthcoming Routledge book Monuments

Chair: Mohammed Hashas

Discussants: Tom Bailey, Manohar Kumar

16:40-17:00: Ranjan Ghosh presents Making Sense of Secularism

Chair: Kanchana Mahadevan

This book offers a wide range of critical perspectives on how secularism unfolds and has been made sense of across Europe and Asia. The book evaluates secularism as it exists today – its formations and discontents within contemporary discourses of power, terror, religion and cosmopolitanism – and the focus on these two continents gives critical attention to recent political and cultural developments where secularism and multiculturalism have impinged in deeply problematical ways, raising bristling ideological debates within the functioning of modern state bureaucracies. Examining issues as controversial as the state of Islam in Europe and China’s encounters with religion, secularism, and modernization provides incisive and broader perspectives on how we negotiate secularism within the contemporary threats of terrorism and other forms of fundamentalism and state-politics. However, amidst the discussions of various versions of secularism in different countries and cultural contexts, this book also raises several other issues relevant to the antitheocratic and theocratic alike, such as: Is secularism merely a nonreligious establishment? Is secularism a kind of cultural war? How is it related to "terror"? The book at once makes sense of secularism across cultural, religious, and national borders and puts several relevant issues on the anvil for further investigations and understanding.

Discussants: David Rasmussen, Gennaro Gervasio

17:00-17:15: Routledge India Publishing Director, Shashank Sinha, speaks on Routledge India Originals


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