Chandigarh, March 15, 2019: Two day National Seminar on Indian Cultural Studies organized by Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh concluded here today. Prof.Deepti Gupta and Prof. Pampa Mukherjee presided over the session on paper presentations by young research scholars and professors from the University and beyond. The topics under discussion included multi-cultural ethics of Tagore, Gandhi’s theory of purna swaraj, etc. Much discussion ensued on language politics between Hindi as official and national language.
Prof. Mohd. Khalid who chaired the session, discussed the importance of remembering our national patriots. Prof. Kamlesh Mohan presented Gandhi’s views on sexuality, women and swaraj over the course of a riveting talk. She mentioned how Gandhi overburdens mythological symbols with too much meaning and neglects to use socially relevant allegories. She also discussed how Gandhi created the desexualised woman and critiqued him for holding women up to an unjust moral standard in contrast to his views on masculine agency. She concluded with a positive assertion that as Gandhi focused on the flaws of the nationalist project, his progressive views still hold relevance and must be discussed further.
Prof. Mohibul Haque, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh debated on the universalist significance of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his teachings. He commented on his controversial British loyalty and the manner in which his ideas prevented religious provocation at the end of the nineteenth century. He also cited Sir Syed’s views on the Indian National Congress and how the party’s pan-Indian rhetoric did not enthral many freedom fighters at the time.
The session concluded with a robust discussion in which many audience members raised questions on the issues of triple talaq, separatism, and Gandhi’s views on homosexuality.