Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Neusprachliche Südasienstudien


State Religion Debate and Blogger Killings: current legal and human rights issues in Bangladesh on April 11, 2016
The Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures cordially invites you to the following event:

State Religion Debate and Blogger Killings: current legal and human rights issues in Bangladesh

Presentation and discussion with

SARA HOSSAIN (Lawyer, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, and very prominent human rights activist)

NABA KUMAR RAHA (Director, Gandhi Ashram, Noakhali, Bangladesh)

Venue: SAI, R Z10

Date:     Monday, April 11, 2016,  2 pm

Further Information is available on the poster.


State Religion Debate and Blogger Killings: current legal and human rights issues in Bangladesh


As the war crime tribunals are still going on, recent developments have again triggered controversy and friction among political and social actors in Bangladesh. These have deepened the impression generated in the aftermath of the Shahbagh movement, namely that Bangladeshi society is being polarized as seldom before, with proponents of secularism on one side and those opting for Islam as guiding principle of state and society on the other. The killings of bloggers propagating secular orientations since February 2015, attacks against religious leaders of minority communities, and the failed petition to remove the declaration of Bangladesh as an Islamic State from the Constitution, are the most prominent recent issues in this regard. How is Bangladesh’s government, with its increasingly authoritarian practice in matters of press freedom etc., going to tackle these developments?


In this panel discussion, prominent lawyer SARA HOSSAIN and human rights activist NABA KUMAR RAHA will give introductions to their take on the current state of affairs. This will be followed by an open discussion.


The Guest Speakers:

SARA HOSSAIN is lawyer at the Supreme Court, Dhaka, and a prominent human rights activist. After studies in Oxford and Middle Temple, she joined the chambers of her father, the former Minister of External Affairs of Bangladesh, Dr. Kamal Hossain. Much of her work is of a voluntary nature, e.g. directing the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (Blast). A few days ago she received the International Women of Courage Award of the US State Department.


NABA KUMAR RAHA is director of the Gandhi-Ashram in Noakhali (Bangladesh). The founding stone for the trust was laid by M. K. 

Gandhi during the Noakhali riots after Independence. Communal harmony and Khadi work continue to be priorities of the Ashram. In 2014, Naba Kumar Raha received the "G. Ramachandran-Ikeda Award" from Delhi for his merits.

Posted on 06 Apr 2016
Hindi in Prague, Vienna and Heidelberg on 20.01.2016

The department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures cordially invites everyone to the event "Hindi in Prague, Vienna and Heidelberg", which takes place on January 20, 2016, 4.00-6.00 p.m. in the Heinrich-Zimmer Reading Room, SAI-Library and is supported by the Indian Consulate General in Munich.

Further information is available on the poster.

Posted on 11 Jan 2016
Lecture by Prof. Kalpana Sahni on 09.12.2015
We cordially invite you to the lecture by Prof. Kalpana Sahni (JNU, New Delhi) entitled “Bhisham Sahni. The Life and Times of my Father”.
The talk will take place on Wednesday, 09.12.2015 at 4.00 p.m. c.t. in room 317.
The poster is available
Posted on 03 Dec 2015
Lecture by Dr. Sourav Kargupta on 07.12.2015
We cordially invite you to the lecture by Dr. Sourav Kargupta (School of Culture and Society - The Department for Indology, Aarhus University) entitled “From Non-Fictional to Fictional: Literary Non-Conscious, Sexual Difference and Rabindranath Tagore’s Trajectories”.
The talk will take place on Monday, 07.12.2015 at 2.00 p.m. c.t. in room 323.
The poster is available here.


From Non-Fictional to Fictional: Literary non-conscious, Sexual Difference and Rabindranath Tagore’s Trajectories.

This paper presents the initial findings of my project tentatively titled: “Literary non conscious and the history of the jati: Rabindranath Tagore’s Trajectories”. The project tries to take initial steps toward a re-statement in situating the works of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) in the map of the literary as well as the socio-political. It argues that Tagore’s writings on literature, especially his conceptual-speculative readings of ‘Bengali Folk Literature’ open up a major theoretical possibility in understanding the genealogy of the ‘nation’ in a non-essentialist way, a conceptual critique which subsequently is never explored. This paper would specifically argue that there is a possible way of reading a continuity between Tagore’s early prose ‘non-fiction’ on the question of the literary and his fictional works. Within its limits, it can only talk about the short stories, when talking about fictional works. The idea of the ‘concept-metaphor’ is key to the style-of-reading this project pursues. Any sign, within a textual situation has a dual trajectory. On the one side it is controlled within the limits of clear conceptual rigour, and, on the other, it remains open to a temptation of metaphoric slide of meaning. In balancing the two, the metaphoric remains regulated by a certain economy. The paper works with this assumption that if one carefully follows the economy of metaphoric deployments in a text (I am only talking about prose works here), one can recover a map both of the intentional archeology its author, and the typical resistances the subject-matter put up to the revealing glance of his prose. In the case of Tagore, the following of the metaphoric prohibitions and transgressions become more important, since (especially the early) Tagore is actively in the process of tasting the limits of Bengali prose in articulating different kinds of subjects and is very willing to give into the metaphoric plural slides of meaning. This paper discusses two such moments in early Tagore (before the turn of the century) where his experiments with the metaphoric reveals key ideas about a nonessential list philosophy. In the first moment, I try to show how, faced with the problem of the ‘literary on-conscious’, Tagore’s inclination towards metaphoric detours is strained, as the non-fictional is pushed to a more fictional loosening of meanings. In the second, the fictional itself encounters a limit in trying to stage an ethical transgression of the social by critiquing the foreclosure of ‘sexual difference’, and therefore of the metaphoric as such. This thread would be established with detailed analysis of some of Tagore’s short stories.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
4.12.2015: Bangladesh Afternoon
On 04 December 2015, 3.00 p.m. a Bangla Day organized by the Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures will take place in R 15 at the Institute of Geography (Im Neuenheimer Feld 348).

Further information is available on the poster.

Everybody is cordially invited!
Posted on 25 Nov 2015

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