Welcoming the Inlaks Research and Travel Grantees 2016
In November 2016 we were happy to welcome 3 bright minds to the Inlaks Family.
The Inlaks Research and Travel Grantees, Rajat Roy and Sharmin Khodaiji have both are exploring interesting insights into the history of Indian politics and how they have been shaped.
The recipient of the King's Research Studentship, Anisa Bhutia will be reflecting on her own experiences that have shaped her research into the idea of 'community'.
Here’s a bit more about the grantees in their own words:
I am a research scholar with the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. My broad area of interest for research is the history of political economy where I am presently looking at colonial India.
This research is taking from M.G. Ranade’s lecture delivered in 1892, titled “Indian Political Economy”, where he gave a call for developing a more historical and nationalist framework of studying political economy, thereby making it more suitable to explore the existing conditions in colonial India, as opposed to classical political economy. This lecture influenced some of his contemporaries, and more specifically authors who were writing some of the earliest textbooks describing the economy of India during the early twentieth century such as Vaman Govind Kale, Benoy Kumar Sarkar, Radhakamal Mukerjee etc. The first two decades of the twentieth century also saw the establishment of departments of economics in universities in Calcutta, Mumbai, Allahabad and other cities. Through this research I plan to trace the particular political history and intellectual history of the significance being given to the domain of political economy in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century colonial India, as it was sought to be connected to the nationalist movement. To better understand that, the influence of Friedrich List, the German economic nationalist, will also be studied to see the way in which List brought history, experience and nationalism centrally to the study of political economy. The idea is to explore how the emergence of the discipline of economics is rooted in the politics of the period and needs to be studied against the backdrop of the Indian nationalist movement.
I am Rajat Roy, PhD student at the Centre for Political Studies, SSS, awaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. I have completed my Graduation from Presidency College, Kolkata (2010), andMA (2012) and M.Phil (2014) from Centre for Political Studies, SSS, JNU, in the discipline of Political Science.
My area of research is centered on contemporary dalit literature in Bengal. With continual reference to Namasudra literature as my case study, the research aims at ‘reading’ the writings of such history, which can be said as exposing the ‘small voice’ or ‘subaltern speech’. The tool, with which I would like to investigate the question of the ‘small voice’ of history, is the concept of 'irony'. To put it simply, irony exposes a problem of temporal scale— in which the subalterns’ (here, dalit) claim to be a part of the universal historical scale in turn minoritizes it. With the recourse to a certain historical – mythical and also autobiographical texts produced by Namasudras of West Bengal in recent times, the work would attempt to argue that the ‘small voice’ of history is nothing but an ironical utterance which splits the subaltern subject into singular historical statements, which are nonetheless, conditioned by the threshold of a general ironical enunciation. The thesis is titled as "Writing Caste in Postcolonial Politics: A Study of the Namasudras of Bengal."
With the help of Inlaks Research Travel Grant, I shall be a Visiting Fellow at the NewZealand India Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and work under the supervision of Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay for a period of three months.
Having shifted schools numerous times, meeting new people, adapting has become a part of me. I did my schooling from Arunachal Pradesh to Pakyong to Kalimpong. For my bachelors I travelled to Kolkata and I did my Bachelors in commerce specialising in Marketing. My name is Anisa Bhutia and currently I am pursuing PhD from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.
From Commerce to Social Sciences, my interdisciplinary engagement has been extremely rewarding. Through my ethnographic works in Kalimpong, Srinagar, and Dharamshala, I have ingrained the values of integrity, equality and diversity. Interactions with experts, within my discipline and without, enriched my thoughts on culture, identity and the politics of belonging.
The present research aims to study trade and connected histories in my hometown of Kalimpong. In times of mobility and statelessness, my research has consistently added new perspectives to identity politics, statehood and belonging and explored 'region' beyond cartography. Be it “khache”s of Srinagar, or youth in Kalimpong, always a member of the studied-group myself, my work offers reflection into the ‘insider-outsider’ debate and the idea of ‘community’ itself.