The Dr. K.R. Narayan Centre for Dalit & Minorities Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia organized the 7th Dr. K.R. Narayan Lecture on “The Uses of Otherness: Accumulation and Social Divisions in India” today i.e.March 27, 2014. The Lecture was delivered by Prof. Jayati Ghosh who teaches at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, New Delhi.
Prof. Ghosh referred to Dr. K.R. Narayan as a great reformer, humanist and crusader against the various hierarchies prevailing in society. Referring to the Nehruvian hope that modernization and economic development in independent India would lead to a removal of caste, gender and ethnic discrimination, she stressed that the same could never be fulfilled. She opined that the situation demanded reassessment of the nature of economic development. Elaborating the hypothesis, she explained that globalization and contemporary economic development in India, rather than being antithetical to caste, gender and ethnic divisions, actually draws strength from these. In the process, these divisions only get perpetuated rather than being challenged. Prof. Ghosh corroborated her argument by citing examples of caste profile of employment in India, the role of unpaid and unrecognized household work by women and mass scale displacement in ensuring higher growth and the condition of outsourced workers of Bangalore’s shining software industry.
Prof. Jayati Ghosh concluded her lecture by emphasizing the need of a broad-based strategy of development and pointed out that the youth of the society are less tolerant of prevailing inequalities. Hence, there exist possibilities of positive change.
The programme was chaired by Prof. S.M. Sajid, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia.