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Dates will be announced soon
Over the last few decades, and particularly in recent years, public discourse over Indian texts and traditions has increased manifold. At the same time, there is a related but certainly distinct engagement with the same traditions in the academia. However, although they are speaking about the same traditions, the communities and stakeholders involved here are speaking across each other, rather than conversing. This leads to several issues. In the first place, the academia often functions with the presumption of ignorance on part of the practicing communities, or neglects their views entirely. Secondly, the practicing communities view the academics with some suspicion, and often have only partial understanding of their work, meaning they may be asking questions of their work which may have been answered, and withholding crucial critical questions which may lead to more nuanced scholarship. Finally, there is a set of participants in this conversations which is divorced from both these positions, and work with piecemeal understandings of either or both.
This leads to a situation of hostility or a breakdown of communication. In the spirit of conversing, and creating a situation where the practicing communities can converse with the academia in such a way that it leads to better, more engaged scholarship as well as productive communication in the public sphere, we propose this lecture series. It is named after a prominent sociologist and Indologist of the twentieth century, Pandit Shambhoo Ratna Tripathi, whose work, particularly in the last few decades of his life (particularly his writings on Gandhi and his collection of essays, Bharata ke Siddha Santa aur Yogi), was dedicated to a similar endeavour, and has inspired the conceptualization of this series.
The purpose of this series is not only to bring about a shift in the way these traditions are discussed, but also to think of ways in which these discussions can lead to a critical intervention in wider public discourse on questions of power, politics, climate change, and the post(?)colonial condition.