Staffan had met Victor
A van Bijlert in 1998 at NIAS, Copenhagen, where he was a guest researcher
for six months. After that he was attached to IIAS at Leiden. He started
off as an sanskrit scholar and then became an indologist, and knows a
lot of languages Greek, Hindi, Bengali, etc. He is married to a
Bengali lady, who is a PhD in history and now works as a teacher in Kolkata.
He himself got the job as associate professor at MCHV one and a half years
The Indian Institute of Management, IIM, at Joka, southeast
of Kolkata was established in 1974; and the Management Centre for Human
Values in 1992, by Prof. S K Chakraborty. The latter has frequently
been invited to countries round the Globe, including Sweden, to deliver
lectures, keynote addresses, or to offer seminars/ workshops to managers,
and presented papers at international meets in Psychology, Philosophy,
Values, Ethics etc.
IIM as a whole (web page: http://www.iimcal.ac.in/)
is a prestigious institution, training people to become business executives.
There are many exchange students and much co-operation with Western universities.
MCHV was started to give ethical consideration to Indian business. It
is funded by private and public companies, like Tata, BPLC, etc. It teaches
modern Indian philosophy based on the teachings of Vivekananda, Gandhi,
Tagore, and Sri Aurobindo. It emphasises the synthesis, not their divergent
views (like the conflict between Tagore and Gandhi in the twenties, when
Tagore was more ready to adopt the best of the West and the East).
Dr Bijlert himself is doing research on early Indian modernity, and the
freedom struggle, along Weberian lines.
Meeting at the Centre for Studies in the Social Sciences,
CSSSC, at Patuli, Kolkata
We first met the Director, Prof. Partha
Chatterjee. Staffan had met Partha before in Sandberg Manor, Denmark,
somewhere in the mid-nineties. He is the director since five years, but
now also Guest professor each fall semester at Columbia University, in
He thinks the co-operation with Roskilde University (Preben Kaarsholm
and Bodil Folke Fredriksen) and the Centre for Basic Research in
Kampala, Uganda, has worked out very well. This co-operation has been
funded by DANIDA and is now in its final phase, with two more years to
go. Two students from Kolkata has gone to Roskilde, one of them has finished
and is now working as a teacher in Kolkata. Four students from CBR has
studied here and taken their PhD, among them Murindwa Rutanga,
who once came to Lund under the SMS programme.
He is very positive to our plans of to build a network, and would welcome
a co-operation with SASNET.
Discussion with Dr. Anjan
Ghosh, Fellow, and Professor Pradip
Anjan knows Stig Toft Madsen very well from the time he worked
at JNU in New Delhi, and Stig was in Meerut writing his M Phil. Stigs
article in Anthropos has been translated into Bengali, and Stigs
thesis about Human Rights in South Asia is also well known to them.
They are also very positive to the Danida financed Roskilde programmes,
ENRECA, for the enhancement of local research capacity (presently there
are three ENRECA programmes, all in Africa). (The
ENRECA project initiated in 1990 closed down in 2004).
They are also into a South-South
Exchange Programme for Research on the History of Development, funded
by SEPHIS, a Dutch development funding programme. CSSSC gives a one year
researcher training course programme, in which the student has to choose
6 courses out of 12 options and also write a term paper. Mostly Indian
students from Kolkata have attended, but they are now thinking of going
international with this programme. A 6-7 days cultural studies workshop
is one of the courses. The students from Uganda attended these courses.
CSSSC has gone from emphasising political economy and poverty, to putting
more weight on the one hand Trade and Finance, and on the other hand Cultural
studies, in which History, Sociology, etc. all merge into one inter-disciplinary
programme where they see things as much more interconnected. The programme
declaration can be found in the magazine Seminar,
No. 446, October 1996, edited by Anjan Ghosh.
Staffan suggested that there might be a networking with
the Cultural Studies School that Ron Eyerman is planning
to set up with Margareta Bertilsson at Copenhagen, with Staffan
at Lund, Jeff Alexander, and others. Staffan promised to send the