Aligarh: Dr Priyanka Jha, Fellow at Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, Erfurt University, Germany and faculty member at Dr B R Ambedkar University, Delhi discussed the adherence to the nation-state concept in South Asian region and difficulties faced by South Asian countries in building upon their shared culture.
She was addressing on ‘Locating the Thick and Thin: The Idea of South Asia’ during the ‘Department Lecture Series’ of the Department of Strategic and Security Studies, Faculty of International Studies, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The idea of South Asia has been mooted by the geostrategic and geopolitical lens; she said adding that the thin conception of the region is based on arbitrarily drawn national boundaries with problem areas related to unresolved issues from the colonial era.
“The perennial bickering in South Asia continues, despite regional links in myth, folklore, religion, art, literature, food and popular culture which can be the building blocks for re-imagining South Asia,” she said.
Dr Priyanka emphasised that human development should replace militaristic clashes in the region and the challenges need to be dealt in humane way.
She called upon South Asian people to focus on pervasiveness of the component of culture and to change the thought processes.
Borrowing from Geertz’s notion of ‘Thick and Thin Understanding of Culture’, Dr Priyanka urged South Asians and the people of the world to focus on bonds of solidarities and connectedness for understanding the region.
She also answered queries of students and faculty members in an interactive session.
Presiding over the lecture, Professor Mohammad Gulrez, Dean, Faculty of International Studies spoke on the importance of strategic peace keeping role. He added that the lectures and programmes for understanding South Asia should be organised regularly.
Dr Syed Tahseen Raza briefed about the concept and approach behind the ‘Department Lecture Series’.
Dr Swasti Rao delivered the welcome address.
Anam Fatima extended the vote of thanks.