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In the early 1990s, India exchanged the socialist economic model it had adopted at independence for a market-based one and subsequently went on to become one of the world’s fastest growing and largest economies. However, the benefits of growth have been spread unequally and have come at the cost of significant environmental degradation. Moreover, the recent decades have also been a period of competing political projects, marked by the rise of Hindu nationalism. Along with its new economic model, the country appears to have abandoned the principles of secularism and “unity-in-diversity” on which it was founded at independence. This has affected India’s reputation on the global stage, with great fears about the authoritarian turn affecting the “world’s largest democracy”. Nonetheless, India’s soft-power strategy also draws on long-standing common representations, many of which bear a colonial history. These include, for instance, projecting India as a land of spirituality through the promotion of the “International yoga day”. This summer school in India’s capital Delhi and in Amritsar aims to introduce students to these contemporary changes by interrogating the multiple ideas of the Indian nation. Through visits of major monuments and institutions, combined with lectures by renowned academics, students will understand the way conflicting visions of the Indian nation shape contemporary political, economic, and cultural issues.
18 August to 04 September 2023
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Summer School "Changing India"
Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies - Indian Studies