SWEDISH SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES NETWORK
|K Sivaramakrishnan (University of Washington), Staffan Lindberg, Gunnel Cederlöf and Beppe Karlsson|
The International Indian Diaspora
is another topic of considerable interest with many papers. These show
that there is an increasing awareness of Indian roots across the globe
and increasing communication with Mother India among new emigrants
(via travelling, e-mails, and financial investments). For example, Mohan
K Gautam asked the general assembly if the people of Indian origin
in the Caribbean countries could be considered to belong to India!
In panel no 41, on 'South Asian Society: Brittish Colonialism and the Emergence of Subaltern Networks in the Indian Ocean Region' Harald Fischer-Tiné from Berlin drew a large crowd for his paper on a somewhat less known phenomenon from the colonial history, on The European Networks of Prostitution and Colonial Anxiety in South Asia, dealing with the period just before the First World War, with trafficking of girls mostly from the Habsburg Empire to the Indian port cities and onwards to East Asia.
Regional issues were covered in panels on Bangladesh, Sri
Lanka, Karnataka (with 22 papers the biggest panel!), Tamil Nadu, Mahaharashtra,
Rajasthan, Orissa, Bengal, and Punjab. Depending on the convenors, the
panels covered a variety of issues, such as cultural, anthropological,
linguistic, economic and political. Most spectacular was perhaps Peter
Schalks attack on the representation of the Veddah people
as an original tribe in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. In the same
panel Alan Bullion presented a paper on the Norwegian Peace making Process
in Sri Lanka, and John Neelsen a paper on the SinhalaTamil conflict
in the same country, Political Conflict and Political Accomodation
in a Multiethnic State.
The panel on Punjab offered two very interesting papers, one by Shinder Thandi on Diaspora financing of rural development in Punjab, and one by Jivtesh Singh Mandi on The Paradox of Punjab: A Rich State with Chronic Fiscal Deficits.
|Susanna von der Heide on the killings of the Nepalese royal family in 2001.|
Several panels dealt with the Himalayas, such as Representing Local Histories (with 14 papers) and Anthropology and Himalayan Politics, in which Susanna von der Heide presented an interesting paper on The Death of the King of Nepal and his Family Fateful intra- and intercultural as well as National and Internetaional Entanglements. Anthropology was also prominent in a panel of Tribal life, with the very concept of tribal itself highly contested.
Economic development nowadays attracts much less attention than it used to. Perhaps it is symptomatic that the panel on Problems of Urbanization in South Asia, Past and Present had 12 papers, the panel on Education had 14 papers, and the panel Nature, Nation and Empire had 7 papers, while the panels on Rural Development and Industrialisation only had a handful each. However, in the latter panel, Dieter Rothermund presented a very interesting overview of the Industrial Production and Technological progress in India, which should deserve a wide readership.
The Nordic participation was particularly strong in the panels on Gender and Religions (organised by Eva Hellman and Sidsel Hansson), where Åsa Elisabeth Hole presented a paper on the religious traditions among Gujarati Hindu women in diaspora, and Eva Rosén-Hockersmith presented a paper on North Indian Astrology, based on fieldwork in Kolkata; and equally strong in the panel on 'Nature, Nation and Empire (organised by Gunnel Cederlöf and K Sivaramakrishnan).
The next, 18th, European conference on Modern South Asia Studies will be arranged by SASNET and Lund University 69 July, 2004.
An invitation for the conference is found at http://www.sasnet.lu.se/EASAS18.html.
We hope to be able to organise just as interesting panels as in Heidelberg.