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Research Unit
Indian Social Institute, Bangalore

Regional Conference:
Nationalism and Its Challenges: Introspect and Prospect

The Research Unit at Indian Social Institute, Bangalore organized a two-day conference on 24th and 25th September 2016 to reflect on the burning issue of nationalism in the wake of recent communal furore. The keynote address was given by Mr Prakash Ambedkar, the national leader of a local political party called Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and the grandson of B. R Ambedkar, who spoke on shrinking democratic space not only in the political sense but social sense as well. He reinterpreted nationalism from the perspective of Ambedkar and its relevance in contemporary times. Nationalism has been mainstreamed and a hegemonic version of the same made normative. In such times, the ideas of Ambedkar need to be revisited.

People from all walks of life especially students thronged for the conference. The conference touched upon diverse aspects of nationalism such as theological, sociological and feminist in the form of paper presentations and discussion. There was an interactive session on the concluding day in which the audience shared divergent views on the notion of nationalism and how the conference made them rethink about nation and nationalism. The success of the conference lay in huge participation of students who found it an academically fulfilling exercise.

Demonetization and its Impact : A Round Table Discussion
Vimochana, Forum for Women’s Rights in Bangalore, organized a round table discussion on Demonetization and its effects on 26th November 2016 in which Dr John Mohan Razu, Co-ordinator at Research Unit, participated as the resource person. He discussed the realistic impacts of this draconian move on the lives of ordinary masses and the covert reasons for introducing in such a haphazard manner. In the domain of liberalism, he argued, demonetization was a fascist intervention predicated on the whims of the ruler that would achieve little success in countering corruption but would aggravate the routine problems of the populace. Further, he brought to notice that routine problems that people were forced to encounter because of this abrupt move and the alarming deaths that this move had caused which were conveniently glossed over by the government as collateral damage.

Shujayathulla E. Aashrafee
Research Assistant,
Research Unit.