"Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Partha Chatterjee has been postponed until further notice. The organizers offer our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience. We will update you in the coming weeks regarding rescheduling.”
Speaker: Partha Chatterjee, Professor of Anthropology and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University
Talk Title: “A Relativist View of the Indian Nation”
Talk Abstract: Research in the last three decades on the print literatures in the various Indian languages has revealed that the consciousness of the people as constituting a nation was deeply grounded in the emergence in the 19th and 20th centuries of the regional vernaculars as standardized print languages. But the identity of the people-nation in each region had constituent features that were not the same everywhere. At the same time, the identity of a linguistic community as a people was located within a larger identity of belonging to the Indian nation. This paper argues that while there is a real construct of the Indian nation, it looks different when viewed from the perspective of each regional language. There is no language-neutral perspective available. Hence, one must accept a relativist view of the Indian nation.
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