Virtual Session on The Political Life of Memory Birsa Munda in Contemporary India

Organizer: Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

About the Session

  • When: 17 February 2023, 4 pm IST Seminar Room and Zoom
  • Free and Open to All

Session by Rahul Ranjan
Chair: Prathama Banerjee

Zoom Link: Join Here

Meeting ID: 85037779351
Passcode: csdsdelhi

This lecture examines the representation of Birsa Munda’s political life, memory politics and the making of anti-colonialism in contemporary Jharkhand. The framing of Birsa in the heroic narrative through a grand scale of memorialisation isolates the scope of elaborating his political ideas outside the confines of atypical historical records and their relevance in the contemporary context. The speaker argues that everyday politics through affective sites such as memorials and statues produce political visions, emotions and opportunities. It shows how such symbolic sites are often strategically placed and politically motivated to inscribe ideologies. This process outlines how the state and Adivasis use memory as a political tool to lay claims to the past of the Birsa movement.

Rahul Ranjan is a writer and academic, who currently holds the Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the Development Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University. He is part of the “Riverine Rights” project based in Oslo, Norway and investigates the rights of rivers in India, Aotereao New Zealand and Colombia. His recent book is The Political Life of Memory: Birsa Munda in Contemporary India, (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Prathama Banerjee is Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

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