The proposed conference aims to reach at a deeper understanding of the history of the subcontinent with special reference to Northern Bengal in order to critically assess the development agenda of the Post-Colonial state which originated in 1947. The development rhetoric from the days of early 20th century was critical of colonial underdevelopment but somewhat underplayed the fact that colonialism created in India a “State with a Nationhood” also. The development agenda of post 1947 uncritically accepted the colonial nationhood and then tried to proceed on a path of development which gave no attention to the indigenous ideas of development, improvement and progress. Before the existence of colonial “State” and “Nation” from 1757 there existed an indigenous “Mughal/late Mughal State” and a nation, i.e., “Hindustan”. In Hindustan there existed an idea of distinct nationhood, idea of progress, development and improvement. The political economy of the colonial state, for its own necessity reshaped resource use strategy and hence ideas of development. To legitimise this resource use strategy the colonial state compared itself with the earlier Mughal/late Mughal state and termed the colonial state’s resource use strategy as “Modernity”. This vision of “Modernity” and “Development” was largely uncritically accepted by the nationalist and post-1947 development rhetoric. As a result post-1947 development agenda generally resulted in displacement, marginalisation, loss of traditional livelihood without any genuine replacement more or less exactly like the colonial times.
This seminar is expecting to get papers from the participants on the theme mentioned above. Since the venue of the seminar is in a multi-cultural region which contains numerous adibasis, minority religious community so papers relating to North Bengal region will be more appreciated but general studies are also welcome.
The following are the broad themes but presenters can present papers which relates to the broad title of the seminar.
The 18th century in Indian/Bengal History
19th century famine, agriculture and environment
Hindustani/Indigenous ideas of development
20th century idea of development ( nationalist idea of development and post 1947 agenda of development)
Subah Bangla as part of Hindustan/Hindustan as a nation
18th and 19th century colonial construction of a nation
Nation, Sub-nationalism and development
Partition(1947), Refugees and Rehabilitation
Ethno-Linguistic identity question with special reference to North Bengal
Send Title and Abstract (not more than 150 words) to Mr. Ashim Sarkar or Dr. Kaushik Chakraborty at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Date for Submission of Abstracts: 31st August 2009
Mr. Ashim Kumar Sarkar
Dr. Kaushik Chakraborty
Post-Graduate Department of History
India Email: email@example.com
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