PRESENTATION

Title : Towards A Modern Indigenous Historical Framework
Author: 
Teesta Setalvad
Date: 
Thursday 16th January 2014 Asia/Kolkata
Synopsis: 
Independent India’s rendering of a historical understanding of colonialism and all its manifestations has been sorely wanting leading to the birth of a dominant elite that in fact has no real understanding of the critical issues that lay behind India’s struggle for Independence from foreign yoke.

Relieving our past from colonial, non-indigenous and prejudicial categorisations and understanding of the past will not only contribute to a more rich and creative understanding of it but could also, at this fragile juncture, contribute to a more rational understanding of the present. Within the broader matrix, the skewed understanding of the lasting exploitation(s) caused by colonial domination, especially in the context of neo-liberal economics that seeks to re-colonise third world cultures and economies needs to be factored in for the education of today’s young.
HIGHLIGHTS: 
  • This year, 2014, on January 30, 1948 we will commemorate the 65th Anniversary of this brute killing. How do we understand this the first act of terror of independent India?
  • Impact of Colonialism : Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean were all subjected to the new kind of economic imperialism that over the next centuries bled these continents economically.
  • The successful penetration of a single term Babar ki aulad (sons of Babar) in the Indian socio-political discourse shows the remarkable success of the Hindu communal, Hindutva ideology in shaping and interpreting past events for us.
  • We have, through the early part of this century distinct trends visible that go beyond the anti-colonial, negative thrust, the positive understanding of Indian nationalism. One is Anantakumar Swamy's "Essays on Nationalist Idealism" that explores the real essence of a nation as being not politics but culture and Gandhi's "Hind Swaraj" which explains the essence of nationalism being civilizational. Both these thinkers did not link the concept of nationalism with religion.