Uppsala successfully holds international conference on "Paths to the future for India and Pakistan"

On 4 May 2015 the Forum for South Asia Studies (FSAS) at Uppsala University had the great pleasure to welcome national and international guests in the 2015 FSAS conference "Paths to the future for India and Pakistan."

The conference was hosted by FSAS to encourage and facilitate discussion and exchange of Uppsala South Asia research with key international researchers. We are extremely thankful to our three keynote speakers that made the conference so special and facilitated discussion with all participants.

Ranjula Bali Swain, chair person of the Forum for South Asia Studies, opened the conference in the morninng and opened the floor for the keynote speakers. The morning started off with Professor Ian Talbot (left), University of Southampton, who spoke about current Pakistani politics after the 2013 elections. After him Professor Mahvish Shami (center) from London School of Economics (LSE), spoke about Patron–Client relations in the Pakistani countryside determining the voting pattern in the country.

The afternoon scholars split up into focused workshops to discuss their research on Environmental Issues in South Asian and Global Context (Workshop 1), Linguistics & Theology (Workshop 2) and Politics & Development (Workshop 3).

Among others Professor Arun Bandhopadhyay, Professor at the University of Calcutta, Department of History presented his research on "The Forest Question in India in light of Environmental History: Some Global and Local Issues."

After the focus workshops participants summond again for the keynote lecture by Professor Christophe Jaffrelot (right) from Sciences Po, Paris, who spoke about India after one year with Narendra Modi government – focusing on Economics, Politics and Foreign Relations. The event was rounded off by a joint panel discussion with all three keynote speakers that allowed participants to engage in a deeper discussion on the broader issue of India and Pakistan's future trajectories.

Some impressions from the three focused workshop sessions. Great engaged discussions on politics and development, as well as linguistic and religious identities.

Interdisciplinary Workshops on South Asia

Workshop 1:

Environmental Issues in South Asian and Global Context

Room: Sammanträdesrummet, G:a Torget 6

Chair: Margaret Hunt - Uppsala University, Department of History

  • Marcus Wangel - Uppsala University, Department of Government: "Green Expectations: Polycentric Ideals, Institutional Change and Forest Governance in South India"
  • Arun Bandhopadhyay - University of Calcutta, Department of History: "The Forest Question in India in light of Environmental History: Some Global and Local Issues"
  • Seema Arora-Jonsson - Uppsala University: “Policy Discourses and Marginal Places: Environmental Democracy in India and Sweden”
  • Nani Gopal Mandal - Uppsala University, Department of Government: "Politics of Development: The Paradigm Governing Dams Decision Making in Sikkim, India."
  • Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl - University of Copenhagen, Centre of Global South Asian Studies: "Indian pulses in Africa"

Workshop 2:

Linguistics & Theology

Room: Schefferus, G:a Torget 6

Chair: Heinz-Werner Wessler – Uppsala university, Department of Linguistics and Philology

  • Yaqoob Khan Bangash - IT University, Lahore, Pakistan: "God or Allah? Religion, the State and the Constitution, 1947-56"
  • Aiysha Varraich - University of Gothenburg, Political Science: "Power in the Hands of Saints"
  • Anton Zykov – Uppsala University, Department of Linguistics and Philology: "Contemporary Zoroastrianism in Iran and India: Change in Rituals and Vernacular Lexicons" 
  • Carola Erika Lorea - La Sapienza University of Rome - Italian Institute of Oriental Studies: "Metaphors and orthodoxy: metaphorical language as a key to institutionalisation and hinduisation of new religious cults in South Asia"
  • Paolo Eugenio Rosati - Sapienza' University of Rome - Italian Intitute of Oriental Studies: "The Yoni Cult at Kamakhya: Its Cross-Cultural Roots"

Workshop 3:

Politics & Development Workshop

Room: Datorsalen​

Chair: Sten Widmalm - Uppsala University, Department of Government

  • Pragya Rai - Stockholm University, Department of Political Science: "Political Representation and Empowerment: Women in Local Government Institutions in Bihar, India"
  • Slavena Ivanova - University of Reading, UK, Graduate Institute of Political and International Studies: “How did a common British colonial legacy lead to apparently contrasting patterns of political development - democracy in India and military authoritarianism in Pakistan?"
  • Muhammad Farooq Sulehria - School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Department of Development Studies: Globalization and Corruption - The Case of Indian Television System"
  • Bani Gill - Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Copenhagen University: "South-South mobilities: An Ethnographic Exploration of African migrants and asylum seekers in contemporary Delhi, India"
  • Gayatri Rathore - SciencesPo, Paris: "Politics and casteism in municipal recruitment: the case of bhisti recruitment as sanitary workers in Jaipur Municipal Corporation"
  • Priyanka Chakravarty - University of Oslo, Department of Political Science: "Examining the substance and form of rights in Right to Public Services Legislations in India "