“Discussing Contemporary India: Politics and International Relations from Asian and Global Perspectives”[KINDAS/RINDAS International Workshop]

【Date】Friday, June 29, 2012 10:00-17:20 Saturday, June 30, 2012 9:00-17:30 Sunday, July 1, 2012 9:30-12:40



Inamori Foundation Memorial Hall 3rd Fl., Room 333, Kyoto University
46 Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501

Download(PDF) 2012/06/01 up»

Part.1 Vernacular Publics and Democratic Transformation in India

Friday, June 29, 2012

Welcome Address
Nobuko Nagasaki (Ryukoku University)

Aim of Part 1: Taberez Neyazi (Kyoto University)

Chairperson: Tatsuro Fujikura (Kyoto University)

Kanchan Chandra (New York University) Abst»
Elections as Auctions: Explaining India’s High Rates of Electoral Participation

Akio Tanabe (Kyoto University)


Kazuya Nakamizo (Kyoto University) Abst»
Minority Question in India -The Case of Gujarat

Miharu Yui (Hiroshima University)

Shinya Ishizaka (Kyoto University) Abst»
Social Movement and the Transformation of Forest Management in the Uttarakhand

Tatsuro Fujikura (Kyoto University)

Lunch Break

Chairperson: Norio Kondo
(Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO))

Bela Bhatia (Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai) Abst»
What is the Conflagration in Bastar About? - Maoists, Development or Minerals?

Kazuya Nakamizo  (Kyoto University)


Anup Kumar (Cleveland State University) Abst»
Jan Andolans and Alternate Politics in India:
Symbiotic Interactions, Vernacular Publics and News Media in Jan Lokpal Andolan

Makiko Kimura  (Meiji Gakuin University)

Taberez Neyazi  (Kyoto University) Abst»
Vernacular Publics, Media and Civic Engagement: A Study of Anna Hazare’s Movement

Tomoaki Ueda  (Ryukoku University)

End of Day One

Reception at Hakusasonso Villa

Saturday, June 30,  2012

Chairperson: Takenori Horimoto (Kyoto University)

Akio Tanabe (Kyoto University) & Yumiko Tokita-Tanabe (Osaka University) Abst»
Politics of Relations: Glocal Networks of Development and Livelihood in Orissa

Brundabana Mishra (Kyoto University)

Andrew Wyatt (Bristol University) Abst»
Caste and Vernacular Politics in Tamil Nadu, South India

Norio Kondo
(Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade ((IDE-JETRO))


General Discussion

Rohan D'Souza  (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Minoru Mio  (National Museum of Ethnology)

Concluding Remarks: Akio Tanabe  (Kyoto University)


Part.2 The 60th anniversary of India-Japan partnership

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Session 1: Overviews
Chairperson: Hiroki Miwa (Hokkaido University)

K.V.Keshavan (Observer Research Foundation)

Takenori Horimoto (Kyoto University)

Akio Tanabe (Kyoto University)


Session 2 : Political and Security Implications
Chairperson & Discussant: Hiroki Miwa (Hokkaido University)

Osamu Yoshida (Hiroshima University)

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan (Observer Research Foundation)
India, Japan and Regional Security Dynamics

Marie Izuyama (The National Institute of Defense Studies)

End of Day Two

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Session 3 : Economic Implications
Chairperson: Kazuya Nakamizo (Kyoto University)

Lyndia Powel (Observer Research Foundation)

Takahiro Sato (Kobe University)
India-Japan Economic Relations

Srabani Roy Choudhury (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Session 4: General Discussion
Chairperson: Kazuya Nakamizo (Kyoto University)

Nobuko Nagasaki (Ryukoku Universty)
Historical Aspects

Hisashi Nakamura (Ryukoku University)
Contemporary Aspects

All Presenters and Discussants

Concluding Remarks:
K.V. Kesavan (Observer Research Foundation)
Takenori Horimoto (Kyoto University)


【Co-organization】 This international workshop will collaborate with Tanabe-kaken, Nakamizo-kaken and Ishizaka Kaken, Taberez Kaken. (The detail is on Japanese site as follows.)

India in recent years has witnessed greater participation of vernacular publics consisting of diverse social groups – dalits, other backward classes, minorities, women, people from rural areas, towns and cities, middle classes – in the process of democratic transformation. Such participation is not confined to the electoral arena, but has extended to the vernacular public arena in which these groups are able to raise their voice publicly and to negotiate among and engage in dialogue with each other in the vernacular. By vernacular public, we refer to these diverse social groups who have begun to attain a certain degree of voice in the vernacular in this newly emerging and expanding public arena. In this transformation, various actors including political parties and leaders, NGOs, people’s movements, and the media have played a vital role in enabling dialogues, debates and negotiations among diverse groups. What is important to note is that the participation of vernacular publics has resulted in the transformation of Indian democracy itself from one with its focus on which individuals and social groups represent the political community of nation, states and districts to another that focuses on the ways of governance and who are responsible thereof for improving people’s lives.

By using democratic tools and opportunities, the poor and the subalterns engage in negotiation and resistance to defend and expand their socio-economic rights, ranging from access to education, jobs, health, and so on. At the same time, there are individuals and groups who have been marginalized from the process of participation, which has created doubts about the democratic potential of the ongoing transformation. This workshop aims to understand and unravel the complexities of the democratic change in contemporary India and focuses on how the participation of vernacular publics has changed the nature of Indian democracy.

The emergence of this new vernacular public arena has enabled, to a certain degree, diverse social groups to participate and negotiate with each other while retaining their own distinctive positions and viewpoints. This process has concurred with the transformation in the form of politics where earlier oppositional politics on issues of

caste, class, and religion based on binary frameworks of ‘lower castes versus upper castes’ and ‘urban elites versus rural subaltern’ is going through a complicated reshuffling and reassembling. Some scholars also started to question the validity of the binary framework of 'Hindutva versus Secularism' to describe today's right-wing majoritarian politics and its repercussions that have also gone through a convoluted transformation. This change does not mean that the issues of caste, class, and religion are no longer important in Indian politics. They certainly continue to be serious agenda. But it seems true in today’s India that there is much more nuanced and complicated political interaction among diverse social groups than the binary frameworks can tell us as analytical framework.

We are witnessing unexpected alliances across diverse castes and classes, while the question of development and equity attains very high public attention. Also, right-wing politics seems to be going through a process of regionalization and diversification while retaining its exclusive majoritarian character. And yet, the demand of the subaltern, the oppressed, and the poor is raised in these vernacular arenas as arguably one of the most important issues, while the viewpoints and interests of the urban middle classes are also often asserted in the name of development. It is this socially hybrid and mediating character of the vernacular public arena that provides the basis for negotiation and dialogue, while certainly containing the elements of friction and confrontation among diverse social groups. In fact, these vernacular public arenas are often created through the mediation of educated leaders (in the case of people's movements) and the middle class (in the case of mass media), who, as the core or the facilitator, are able to get together diverse social groups in a network.

Despite making significant progress in providing political space to diverse social groups to raise their grievances in the public arena, Indian democracy has failed in including the substantial numbers of vernacular publics in the process of development. The continuous marginalization of these groups has made critics view India as a procedural rather than a substantive democracy. It must, however, be noted that the increasing competitive nature of democratic politics has opened up new avenues for previously marginalized groups to organize themselves into a political platform.

The workshop aims to explore the following questions:

  • How has the participation of vernacular publics affected the transformation of Indian democracy?

  • To what extent is the vernacular public arena been able to allow the diverse social groups to engage in political negotiations and dialogues?

  • In what ways are different political actors and institutions, such as political parties and leaders, NGOs, people’s movements, and the media accommodating and mediating the demands of vernacular publics in their political agenda?




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