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【Co-hosted event with CSAS】: "Liberal ideas in India"

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Date: 20 September 2022 (17:00-18:30 Japan time, GMT+9)

Venue: Online (Zoom)


Dr. Rochana Bajpai (SOAS) : "Liberal ideas in India"


Liberal ideas in India remain understudied as liberalism, having been subsumed within Indian nationalism. Revisiting my earlier sketches of liberal ideas in India (Bajpai 2012, 2019), I distinguish three strands that were influential in nineteenth and twentieth-century India: colonial, nationalist, and radical. All shared a strong belief in the state as the principal agent of liberal reform and an acceptance of group-differentiated rights, reflected in the Indian Constitution. Even though liberal ideas have had a significant presence, strong liberalism has rarely been articulated – the need for limiting state power and protecting individual freedoms has rarely been elaborated, a key concern today. Liberalism is often located within Western colonialism in current debates in political theory. However, the decolonizing agenda also requires us to attend to the novel forms and emancipatory potential of liberal ideas and practices in non-Western contexts.

Modeator: Prof. Riho Isaka (The University of Tokyo)

Language: English


Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS); Indian Ocean World Studies (TINDOWS), The University of Tokyo;

South Asia Studies Center, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies


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