Time : Mondays, 18:30 - 21:00
Professor : Dr.T.Wignesan
Area Course: South Asia (India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives)
Lectures will be geared to introducing both the uninitiated and/or
the already partially-tutored to an overall historico-cultural,
socio-economic and political background of the region (cf. "syllabus"
further down). In addition, the first 81 pages of the prescribed text:
Norton's India and South Asia, [kindly look further down
for details of prescribed texts], together with 33 relevant articles
of a reflective nature included in the book, supplemented by more
detailed first-hand observations by V.S. Naipaul in India: A
Million Mutinies Now should provide a firm foundation for the
Though not to be construed as required reading for the course,
Freedom at Midnight by Collins & Lapierre, a
detailed account of the end of the British Raj and the initial
tentative steps towards attaining self-governance and nationhood in
the sub-continent will stand every student in good stead in her/his
attempts to evaluate the evolution of events in the region during the
past half a century or so.
The last comprehensive session on "Literature and the Arts" however
will be tackled in piecemeal fashion right from the start.
Opportunities for listening to recordings of North and South Indian
classical music will be offered at every session, especially during
the break. Likewise excerpts from documentaries will be shown at
appropriate moments during deliberations on particular topics.
Readings from indigenous writers's relevant literary texts to
illustrate appropriate phases in the regions' history will accompany
corresponding lectures and discussions.
The idea is to get one's ear as close as possible "to the ground"
in order thereby to experience the feel of things from the point of
view of the Other.
The two hours and a half at our disposal will commence with a
formal lecture (or, alternatively, through explications) lasting about
an hour and a quarter, based on topics as specified along the lines in
the syllabus for each session, followed - after the
fifteen-minute break - by "presentations of topics" and
discussions. Every student will be assigned a topic of presentation,
and the oral presentations (chosen from the topics under " Topic
Guide to Articles ", pp. 84-85 in India and South
Asia [Ph.D. candidates must produce a research paper as well]
should normally be got going by the fourth session.
- James H.K.Norton. India and South Asia. 6th edn.
N.Y. : McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2003, x-214p.
- V.S.Naipaul. India: A Million Mutinies Now. London:
Minerva, 1992, 521p.
- Larry Collins & Dominique Lapierre. Freedom at
Midnight. London: Panther Books, 1985, 596p.
N.B. India : A Million Mutinies Now and
Freedom at Midnight are out-of-print. The following titles - as
prescribed texts - shall replace them:
- V.S.Naipaul. India: A Wounded Civilization.
Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1979, 175p.
- Mulk Raj Anand. Preface by E.M.Forster.
Untouchable. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books,
- Class participation: 25%
- Oral presentation and discussion of topic-paper: 25%
- Final Examination: 50%
South Asia region having enjoyed a common historical and cultural past
cannot, however, in the study of its component parts be treated in
isolation without the necessary crisscrossing of politically-ordained
contemporary national or provincial borders; the development of the
following course as such has to be gauged in the light of this
observation, and the syllabus in each session should not be construed
as forming a self-contained program of study by itself.
possible the course will be supplemented by "readings" from the
original texts, together with audio-video illustrations of relevant
Session 1: General Introduction
Geographical location and physical relief of the
Nations, states, provinces, and other political
Population figures and densities. Ethnic
Federal-Union territories, capitals, cities,
Principal languages: official and commercial.
monsoons and periodic natural disasters.
The importance of
maritime space in the area's development.
South Asia as a
counter-balance to its northern neighbours.
and/or hegemonic role in the region.
Treaties: SAARC, the Baghdad
Brief survey of the region's heritage.
Session 2: Contemporary History
The Independence Movement: the Congress Party and the
League: Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru,
Ahimsa and Satyagraha. Passive Resistance.
princely states (the Maharajahs).
The Second World War:
Independence from colonial rule,
Partition and its consequences.
Sri Lanka granted independence.
The birth of Bangladesh. General
survey up to the present.
Session 3: Religions of the Sub-Continent
The fundamentals of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism,
Zoroastrianism and Islam.
The caste system and the rise of
the new middle class.
The Dalits, and the Dravida
Munnetra Kalagham in Tamil Nadu.
Ethnicity and communalism.
Religion as an/the essential motivating force in politics.
Sessions 4 -7 : Constitutions, Governments, and Political
Essentials of the Constitutions of India, West & East
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives.
Unitary State vs Federalism, and Central Government
Emergency powers and the role of the Governor in the
Major political parties. Citizenship status: women and
A brief historical record of internal
strife: Indira Gandhi's
"Emergency" rule in India; and the
military coup d'état(s) in
Pakistan in World Affairs (relations with major
Sessions 8 - 10 : Intra-National and International
The Indo-Pakistan Wars.
Civil War between East & West
Pakistan and its consequences;
The dispute over
Secessions : Nagaland, Assam; Sikh separatism:
Nepal and the Marxist guerrilla.
movement. Shiv Sena.
Hindu-Muslim riots and the ruling BJP in
The Ayodhya temple-mosque conundrum.
Civil war in Sri
Lanka: the Tamil Eelam peace negotiations.
Sessions 11-13: Economic Development of the Region since
The Five-Year Plans, Foreign Aid and Investment.
GNP and per
capita income, balance of payments, trade, foreign
Annual growth rates.
Agriculture, Irrigation, Fishing, Mining,
Heavy industries, Village
Pharmaceuticals, the Motor car and scooter
industry, Rice production, Animal husbandry,
Nuclear technology (Tata Research Institute, Poona,
& Bangalore). Consumer products. Tourism.
record. Urbanisation in the wake of
Westernisation. Review of
region's development vis-à-vis
Session 14 : Introduction to Literature and the Arts (Music,
Painting, Sculpture, Dance, Cinema).
Rabindranath Tagore, V.S.Naipaul, Zulfikar Ghose, Salman Rushdie,
Raja Rao, Michael Ondaatje, Arundhati Roy, Taslima Nasreen, etc.
(playwright, poets and novelists);
(sitar), the Khan family & Ghosh (tabla),
Khan (shenai), Karaikudi family (veena),
Kathak, Kathakali, and Manipuri
Hindu temple architecture; Mughal art: mausoleums
Western influence on cinema, fashion,
& urban middle-class life.
Spiritual influence of the region
in the West: Buddhism, Yoga.
Session 15: Final Examination
List of Reference Works
Mulk Raj Anand. Preface by E.M.Forster. Afterword and Notes
by B.Damodar Rao. Untouchable. Mysore: Geetha Book House, 1993,
Basham, A.L. The Wonder that was India. A survey of the
history and culture of the Indian sub-continent before the coming of
the Muslims. London: Fontana-Collins, 1967, xix-572p.
Collins, Larry and Dominique Lapierre. Freedom at
Midnight. London: Panther Books, 1982, 596p. [See pp. 565 to 575
for a useful list of books on the region.]
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. History of Indian and Indonesian
Art. N.Y.: Dover Publications, 1965 (Reprint of 1927 edn.), 295p.
with plates & maps.
Chopra, J.K. Bangladesh as a New Nation. Jaipur:
Sublime, 2000, 252p.
Daniélou, Alain. La musique de l'Inde du Nord. 2nd
edn. Paris : Editions Buchet-Chastel, 1985.
_____________. The Ragas of Northern Indian Music. New
Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1980.
Derrett, J. Duncan M. Religion, Law and the State in
India. London: Faber & Faber, 1968, 615p.
Dharwadker, Vinay and A.K.Ramanujan. Ed. The Oxford
Anthology of Modern Indian Poetry. Delhi: Oxford University Press,
Frédéric, Louis. Dictionnaire de la Civilisation
Indienne. Paris: Editions Robert Laffont, 1987, XIV-1276p. [See
pp.1195 to 1229 for detailed bibliographical references to the
Gandhi, M.K. Autobiography or the Story of my Experiments
with Truth. London: Penguin Books, 1982, 454p.
Ghose, Zulfikar. The Contradictions. London:
MacMillan, 1966, 189p. [See also his The Loss of India (poems); and
Confessions of a Native Alien (autobiography)]
Hewitt, Vernon Marston. The International Politics of
South Asia. Manchester & N.Y.: Manchester University Press,
Iqbal, Muhammad. Javid-Nama. Transl. from the Persian
with Introduction and Notes by A.J.Arberry. London: George Allen &
Unwin, 1966, 151p.
Jayal, Niraja Gopal. Ed. Democracy in India. Delhi
& Oxford: OUP, 2001, 571p.
Kahin, George McTurnan. Ed. Major Governments of
Asia. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1958, xii-607p. [See
pp. 241 to 464 for India and Pakistan, includes suggested reading
lists on the countries.]
Naipaul, V.S. Among the Believers: An Islamic
Journey. [Cf. Part II: "Pakistan, The Salt Hills of a Dream", pp.
81-209]. London: Andre Deutsch, 1981, 399p.
__________. India: A
Wounded Civilization. London: Penguin Books, 1977,
__________. India: A Million Mutinies. Now. London:
Minerva, 1991, 521p.
__________. A House for Mr.Biswas.
London: Fontana Books, 1963, 512p.
Nanda, B.R. Mahatma Gandhi: A Biography. Delhi:
Oxford University Press (Oxford India Paperbacks), 1989 (Abridged
Nehru, Jawaharlal. India's Freedom. London: Unwin
Books, 1962, 95p.
Ondaatje, Michael. The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected
Poems. N.Y.: Vintage, 1997.
(See also his The English
Patient. N.Y.: Knopf, 1992.)
Pesch, Ludwig. The Illustrated Companion to South Indian
Classical Music. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999,
Radhakrishnan, S. Religion and Society. London:
George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1956, 248p.
Rice, David Talbot. Islamic Art. London: Thames &
Hudson, 1975, 288p.
Robinson, Francis (Ed.) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the
Maldives. CUP: 1988.
Rushdie, Salman. Midnight's Children. London-N.Y.:
Vintage, 1995, 463p.
Spear, Percival. A History of India. Vol. Two.
London: Penguin Books, 1978 (with revisions), 298p.
Tagore, Rabindranath. Collected Poems and Plays of
Rabindranath Tagore. London: MacMillan, 1961, 578p.
Talbot, Ian. India and Pakistan. N.Y.: OUP, 2000,
Tambiah, Stanley J. Sri Lanka: Ethnic Fratricide and the
Dismantling of Democracy. London: I.B.Tauris, 1986,
Wallbank, T.Walter. A Short History of India
and Pakistan. [An abridged version of India in the New Era
completely revised and up-to-date]. New York: Mentor Books, 1958,
Wilson, A. Jeyaratnam. Politics in Sri Lanka,
1947-1979. London & Basingstoke: The MacMillan Press, 1979,
The Journal of Asian Studies. Pub. by The Association for
Asian Studies, U.S.A.
The Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
(University of London).
South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. Pub. by Monash
Asian Affairs. Pub. by The Royal Society for Asian Affairs,
The Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies. Pub. by the
Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai, India.
Contemporary South Asia (Ford Foundation & Universities
of Bradford and Manchester), Carfax Publishing, U.K.
There is a French library in the vicinity of
the school that might prove well worth the while checking.
- Bibliothèque du Centre d'études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du
(Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences
Sociales & Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique :
Maison de l'Asie, 22, rue de Président Wilson, 75116
The library stocks 28,000 books and 400 journals focussed
on the region.
It's open from 9 to 18 hours, Monday to
Tel. n°: 01 53 70 18 20
- Bibliothèque de l'Ecole française d'Extrême Orient
(address, same as above).
AGSIRD Class Schedule - Fall 2003