Bengali historian speaks of 'legacy' of India as a civilization





During the era of nationalism in India, the term 'civilization' became a critical word, according to a Bengali historian and professor from the University of Chicago, Dipesh Chakrabarty.

Chakrabarty's presentation, Indian Modernity: Once Colonial, Now Global, was presented last night as a part of the 2009 URI Honors Colloquium series.

The University of Rhode Island's Chaffee Auditorium was completely filled by the time Chakrabarty took the stage. In his lecture, Chakrabarty addressed the issue surrounding the poor working class population of India and India's classification as a civilization.

According to Chakrabarty, due to the uncertainty over what India should do with its large quota of peasants, tension currently resides in the heart of India's leap to globalization. One obstacle the country faces today is labor laws that were first introduced to the nation in the 1950s. He also said the labor laws are not beneficial for capitalistic societies because they allow workers to have numerous privileges.

"Whether India was industrialized or not, workers should get all their rights," Chakrabarty said. "People in India, the poor, want to vote, making it difficult to change the democracy of India."...

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