Anekdhara's February Webinar

Anekdhara presents

A Webinar on

Unpacking New Welfarism: A Political Economy Analysis

Speaker

Ms Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Policy Research
11:00 AM IST on Sunday, 25th February 2024
Live on YouTube @: https://youtube.com/live/uN8D3xjDN0Y?feature=share
Visit us at: http://anekdhara.in
For regular updates:
Become friends with Anekdhara: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100075622567634
Join our WhatsApp webinar group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/H1rDgKgos9b26O6cai4Bgu
Join our telegram channel: https://t.me/anekdhara

For past webinar playlist click here

About Us

Anekdhara is a public policy portal. It will hold an eponymously titled monthly webinar series on past and contemporary events. The forum's aim is to encourage discussion and discourse on various topical issues in a systematic manner. The focus is on a nuanced understanding of the complexities of the issues vis-à-vis the situation and its perceptions juxtaposed with facts. Our approach is to keep away from the deeply disturbing discordance seen on TV channels and in social media and focus on informed debate, discussion, and exchange of ideas.

Anekdhara was founded by a group of retired civil servants but over the time people from diverse backgrounds joined in running Anekdhara. Given below are the details of the core team which helps in running Anekdhara.

Day to day functioning of Anekdhara is managed by Madhu, Gagarin, Pavithran and Ravibabu - retired civil servants from the Ministry of Railways. Madhu (A.Madhukumar Reddy) has an academic background in social sciences and has garnered administrative experience in Transportation, Urban Development, and the Textiles sectors over the last three decades. Gagarin, a post graduate in Social Sciences, Humanities and Management, feels self-fulfilment in motivating young children. Pavithran is a post graduate in Economics with more than 30 years experience in the government and takes keen interest in contemporary events. Ravibabu is a Fellow from IIMA and has experience in transport, skill development, and rural development - both at the operational and policy levels. All of them reside in different parts of the country - with Madhu in Gurugram, Gagarin in Bengaluru, Pavithran in Colva (in Goa), and Ravibabu in Hyderabad.

Prof. G. Haragopal

Prof. G. Haragopal currently teaches at National Law School University, Bangalore and he was the former dean of School of Social Sciences, Hyderabad Central University. He is a public intellectual and is well known for his espousal of human rights especially of the poor and downtrodden.

Prof. Kumkum Roy

Prof. Kumkum Roy did her PhD in Ancient Indian History from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi. She taught at Satyawati Co-educational College, Delhi University, and at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her specialization is in ancient Indian history. Her areas of interest include histories of political institutions and processes, and issues of gender. Her publications include The Emergence of Monarchy in North India, The Power of Gender and the Gender of Power, and A Historical Dictionary of Ancient India. She is also interested in issues of pedagogy at various levels.

Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan

Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan teaches History and Environmental Studies at Ashoka University. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford.

Prof. Nissim Mannathukkaren

Prof. Nissim Mannathukkaren is Associate Professor in the International Development Studies Department at Dalhousie University, Canada. His main research interests are focused on nationalism, post-truth, Left/communist movements, development and democracy, modernity, and the politics of popular culture. He is the author of two books: Communism, Subaltern Studies, and Postcolonial Theory: The Left in South India (Routledge, 2021) and The Rupture with Memory: Derrida and the Specters that Haunt Marxism (Navayana, 2006). He is a regular contributor to the popular press and his articles have appeared in The Hindu, The Wire, Indian Express, The Telegraph, Deccan Herald, Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age, Outlook, Tehelka, Citizen, Kafila, Open Democracy, Polis Project, The Wall Street Journal, Kochi Post, Mathrubhumi, Kalakaumudi, Malayalam Varikha, and Navamalayali.

Dr. Garimella Subramaniam

Dr. Garimella Subramaniam did his graduation from Loyola College, Madras, Masters and M Phil from JNU, and PhD in Political Science from London School of Economics. He was till a few years ago, the Deputy Editor with 'The Hindu' newspaper. He is currently the Director, Strategic Initiatives, with AgnoShin Technologies Private Limited.

Sadiq has around 40 years of experience in field operations and teaching in railways and consultancy in various domains of transport. Importantly, with his keen interest in computers and information technology he developed various computer aided teaching tools and gives solid technical support to Anekdhara. Sadiq resides in Hyderabad.

Design and media team is led by young team of Shreya and Zoha.

Shreya is a product designer and strategist currently working to help build and grow a B2B Software as a Service startup based in Mumbai. She is graduate of New York University and is interested in working in the technology start-up space to help unique products scale. Zoha Rawat is a final-year master's student at NIFT, Bengaluru. She studies design and has a great passion for painting flora and landscapes and usually they end up showing on her designs as well. Shreya and Zoha reside in Mumbai and Bengaluru respectively.

Webinars

Anekdhara is an evolving public policy portal conceptualised by a group of retired civil servants who share a worldview centred on progressive social values. The objective of the portal is to stimulate debate on issues of public importance.

Anekdhara aims to provide an eclectic platform for academics, activists and politicians to enable an inclusive and open discussion on the evolving contours of Indian society and democracy. 

Taking advantage of the growing ease of virtual discussions, Anekdhara will host a webinar on the last Sunday of each month on topical issues of public importance.

Anekdhara's February Webinar

Anekdhara presents

A Webinar on

Unpacking New Welfarism: A Political Economy Analysis

Speaker

Ms Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Policy Research
11:00 AM IST on Sunday, 25th February 2024
Live on YouTube @: https://youtube.com/live/uN8D3xjDN0Y?feature=share
Visit us at: http://anekdhara.in
For regular updates:
Become friends with Anekdhara: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100075622567634
Join our WhatsApp webinar group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/H1rDgKgos9b26O6cai4Bgu
Join our telegram channel: https://t.me/anekdhara
Anekdhara's January Webinar
Topic: 75 years of Indian Constitution: Critical Perspectives

Constitution was adapted 75 years ago not only with lot of hopes and aspirations but also with lot of fear. Hopes and aspirations emanated from the experiences of national movement and fears as it is being experimented for the first time not only in Indian context but also in a unique way globally. Taking stock of the situation in the webinar would be prominent constitutional experts Dr Usha Ramanathan, independent law researcher, and Dr Gautam Bhatia, advocate and author.

The session will be moderated by Ms Susan Sremamala, Teacher and researcher.

Anekdhara's December Webinar
Topic: Vivekananda - The Philosopher of Freedom

Struggle for Indian Independence has also brought out a number of leaders and philosophers. One such towering personality is Swamy Vivekananda and this this month's Anekdhara's webinar is on "Vivekananda - the Philosopher of Freedom". Speaker is Sri. Govind Krishnan, Author, Independent Journalist, and Speaker; and author of a book by the same title.

Anekdhara's November Webinar
Topic: The Concepts of Reform and Revival: The Hindus of British India

This month's Anekdhara's webinar is on "The Concepts of Reform and Revival: The Hindus of British India". Webinar will be addressed by Prof. Amiya Prosad Sen, Formerly, Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia University and currently Hony. Fellow, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Oxford and the session will be moderated by Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan, Professor of History and Environmental Studies and Chair, Ashoka Archives of Contemporary India, Ashoka University

British colonial rule was not only a domination on political front but a great challenge in culture and religious domains. Hindus in those days also reviewed the status of the religion and their Hindu brethren closely and responded to the challenge. They were later classified either as revival or reformist movements. It is these efforts which would be discussed this month.

Anekdhara's October Webinar
Topic: A Radical Comradeship: Periyar, Ambedkar and the Caste Question

This month's Anekdhara's webinar is on "A Radical Comradeship: Periyar, Ambedkar and the Caste Question". The question will be addressed by Ms. V. Geetha, Independent scholar and Editorial Director, Tara Books. Abstract of the talk shared by the speaker is given below

A radical comradeship: Periyar, Ambedkar and the Caste Question

E V Ramasamy Periyar (1879-1973) and Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar (1891-1956) were both committed to what the latter termed the 'annihilation of caste'. Periyar expounded his ideas in and through public addresses, and the editorials that he sometimes wrote for the weeklies he edited. Dr Ambedkar's critique of caste and untouchability was expressed in a variety of contexts: in his writings, public addresses, speeches in legislature, well researched books and in the reports he submitted to colonial commissions set up to examine the extent and possibility of Indian self-government.

While the tenor of their arguments was different, Periyar and Ambedkar held a set of views in common: these had to do with their faith in rationality and progress, their mistrust of Indian nationalism, their conviction that social reform was as important as self-rule and their commitment to radical equality, of classes, castes and genders. Both were watchful of and lifelong critics of what they termed 'Brahminism' as well. While Periyar was an atheist, Ambedkar held religion to be an important domain of human experience. In this sense, both paid attention to the place of faith in everyday life and sought to call attention to its productive as well as problematic aspects.

In this talk, I will present their views in tandem, and take note of a rare public comradeship which, I argue, may be viewed as representing an important strand of modern political and social thought - anti-caste radicalism, which, as an intellectual tradition, may be traced to the early 19th century.

Anekdhara's September Webinar
Topic: Is India becoming illiberal?

This month's Anekdhara's webinar is on "Is India becoming illiberal?". Liberalism in political context is associated with variety of concepts such as focus on reason, individualism, and the rejection of authoritarianism and a democratic spirit. Denying this is the trend of illiberalism with emphasis on curtailment of rights and an authoritarian streak.

Speaking on the topic are two well acknowledged experts on the subject - Prof. Ajay Gudavarthy, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Sri Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, independent journalist and author.

Anekdhara's August Webinar
Topic: History at the Crossroads: Possible paths ahead

This month's Anekdhara's webinar is on History at the Crossroads: Possible paths ahead an entire gamut of issues - while focus was on History a number of issues were focused relating how history is impacting the present. Webinar was organised in a conversation with Prof. Romila Thapar, Professor, Emerita, JNU, New Delhi. The conversation was led by Prof. Kumkum Roy and helped three youngsters Mr. Md. Absar Alam, Ms Yamini Appikatla and Ms Avnika SInha.

Anekdhara's July Webinar
Topic: Policies to Spur Industrialisation in Bharat: A Critical Appraisal

This month's Anekdhara's webinar is on "Policies to Spur Industrialisation in Bharat: A Critical Appraisal". The webinar will be addressed by Prof. Rayaprolu Nagaraj and Prof. Sripad Motiram. The session will be moderated by Sri S. Mani IRSME (retd) and team leader in making of the Vande Bharat series of trains.

Anekdhara's June Webinar
Topic: Synthesis and Diversity in Indian Music

This month's webinar is on synthesis and diversity in indian music. We have as speakers two distinguished persons, they are not only practitioners but also have well acknowledged academic credentials. Pandit Dr. Nagaraja Rao Havaladar, Hindustani Classical Vocalist and Music Composer with a doctorate in history of classical music in Karnataka would be one of speakers. Prof Sumangala Damodaran, Professor in Economics department, Ambedkar University, Delhi, is a Music Composer and Researcher and actively works in research and documentation of the musical tradition of the resistance music.Sesion will be moderated by Sri Sirra Gagarin, IRTS (retd).

Anekdhara's May Webinar
Topic: Economic concentration and its implications in India

This month's webinar is on economic concentration and its implications in India. Addressing the topic are stalwarts in the area with diversified backgrounds. Prof. Pranab Bardhan is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley. He made fundamental contributions in many fields of economics including inequality. Sri Harish Damodaran, is a journalist of 30 years experience and Senior Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research. He combines economic developments and social history to develop fresh insights on changes happening in Indian Society. The session will be moderated by Dr R Badri Narayan. IRTS (Retd), Adviser/RITES, Gurugram.

Anekdhara's April Webinar
Topic: Indian Growth Story - Why has employment failed to keep pace?

This month's webinar on Growth and employment is core to developing the country with a humane face. The topic are stalwarts in the area with diversified backgrounds. Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, Professor emeritus, Centre for Economic and Social Planning, JNU presented a conceptual view of the employment problem and few solutions to the problem. Prof Santosh Mehrotra while endorsing Prof. Patnaik's conceptual formulation is buttressed them by giving copius amount of data. He also suggested sectors on which our economy should focus. Sri Partho P. Kar, moderated the discussion covering a wide gamut of issues.

Anekdhara's March Webinar
Topic: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary - Where is the Lakshmana Rekha?

India's constitutional founding fathers trod an intricately laid out path while dividing the powers between executive, legislature and judiciary. However, what is unwritten or implicit has had far reaching implications and the topic of division of powers between the three wings is always contentious. The issue has become important as leading lights of Indian democracy have expressed strong views on the subject.

Anekdhara's webinar on the topic was addressed by Hon. Justice (Retd) Sri J. Chelameswar, Retired Judge of Supreme Court of India and Sri Dushyant Dave, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, and it was moderated by Sri A. K . Srivastava, IRTS (retd).

Anekdhara's February Webinar
Topic: Religion and Secularism: Constitutional Precept and Practice

India is a crucible of a number of religions and religious practices involving practically all major religions of the world. Secularism is an hallmark of the modern Indian polity and is the bedrock of constitution. These topics have been discussed a number of times both by the well read and by lay persons. It is in this context Anekdhara organised the webinar and it addressed by Sri Sanjay R Hegde, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Prof. Rajeev Bhargava, Honorary Fellow and Founder Director, Parekh Institute of Indian Thought, CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies) Delhi and former director CSDS (2007-2014).

Anekdhara's December Webinar
Topic: Empowering democracy: making elections clean, transparent and fair

Clean electoral system and conducting of elections fairly is vital for Indian democracy. This month we have professor Trilochan Sastry of IIM Bangalore and the founder trustee of Association of Democratic Reforms to speak to us on the topic.

Anekdhara's November Webinar
Topic: Transparency and Accountability in Administration: How to Enhance it?

Right to Information Act (RTI) is a pathbreaking act in Indian public administration. Can we go beyond that is now the relevant question. The complex issue of "Transparency and Accountability in Administration" was addressed by three eminent speakers - Ms. Gayathri Kalia former civil servant, Public Service Delivery Architect and Mediator, and Executive Director Centre for Arbitration & Mediation Practice; Sri Nikhil Dey, Social activist and Founder Member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) & National Campaign For Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI); and Dr. A Ravindra IAS, Chief Secretary (Retd), Government of Karnataka, Head, Smart Cities India Foundation, Bengaluru.

Anekdhara's October Webinar
Topic: Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in India: How to Sustain it?

The topic was addressed by Prof G. N Devy, Chairperson, The People's Linguistic Survey of India, Obaid Siddiqi Chair Professor, National Center for Biological Sciences - Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, & Honorary Senior Fellow, Asiatic Society of Mumbai; and Prof. Rama Kant Agnihotri (Retd), Dept. of Linguistics, University of Delhi. Ms Deepa Hari,Teacher, publisher’s editor and former civil servant moderated the session.

Anekdhara's September Webinar
Topic: Socioeconomic Development of the Underprivileged Sections in Post-independent India

Topic was addressed by Prof. K S. Chalam Member (I/c Chair) Union Public Service Commission and Former Vice Chancellor Dravidian University, and Sri Bezwada Wilson, National Convener of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) and Ramon Magsaysay Award winner. The session was moderated by Sri Sirra Gagarin.

Anekdhara's August Webinar
Topic: Nature and National Development Can They Go Together in India

Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan of Ashoka University and Prof. Harini Nagendra of Azim Premji University dwelt on the themes of "Nature and the Nation: History, Ecology, and Indian Futures" and "Ecology and the Indian City: Contestations and Collaborations" respectively. Sri Devender Singh IRTS (Retd), Naturalist, Bird watcher, Wildlife Enthusiast, Lepidopterist, Photographer, and Ex-Civil Servant, moderated the session.

Prof. Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan made a perceptible observation that Nature and Development conundrum could probably be resolved if one were to "draw on science" and also draw on "experience of democratic ways of functioning" as "the democracy provided checks and balances".

Prof. Harini Nagendra presented how city development interacts with (or degrades) the nature in general and enriched her presentation with live examples from Bengaluru. She says with prescience that "unless we recognize local foraging, local cultural and spiritual values we can't hope to protect urban ecosystems".

Sri Devender Singh shared his thoughts on the topic and also moderated a lively discussion on a broad range of issues.

Anekdhara's July Webinar
Topic: Status of Women in India: Current Trends and Way Ahead

The webinar panel discussed on "Status of Women in India: Current Trends and Way Ahead" by adapting a freewheeling round table discussion format instead of talk format. The panel consisted of Prof. Vibhuti Patel, Vice President, Indian Association for Women’s Studies and former professor Tata Institute of Social Studies, Ms Rinki Roy Bhattacharya, Journalist, Author, and Chairperson, Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society, and Dr Nalini Gangadharan, Founder Trustee, CAP Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Ms Prabhleen Tuteja, Executive Director, The YP Foundation.

Anekdhara's June Webinar
Topic: Sardar Patel: How well do we know him?

The webinar discussed various dimensions of personality of Sardar Patel and his contributions to the freedom struggle and making of modern India. Prof Pushpesh Pant, Former Dean, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, delved on various dimensions of Sardar's personality and his relations Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru. Prof Rajmohan Gandhi, Research Professor, Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, brought out various aspects of Sardar's personality, his relations with his contemporaries and his contribution to making of modern India.

Anekdhara's May Webinar
Topic: India's Composite Culture - Evolution and Future

The webinar discussed on the "India's Composite Culture - Evolution and Future". Prof. Kumkum Roy, Former professor of Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, delivered her talk on "The Complexities of a Composite Culture: Insights from an old story". In the talk she explained the complexities of composite culture using a story as the reference. Prof Vinay Lal, Professor of History and Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) spoke on "Composite Culture of India in Modern Times and the Perils of Homogenisation" using wide range of examples to understand nuances of composite culture. He also spoke on the disturbing aspects of recent trends in India.

Anekdhara's April Webinar
Topic: National Education Policy and its Implications

The webinar discussed the implications of the recently introduced national education policy (NEP) and its implications. Prof. Anita Rampal, Former Dean, Faculty of Education, Delhi University spoke on "Engaging with Education Policies: Between and Beyond the Lines" placing the policy in the context of constitutional values and right to education and covered broad range of issues afflicting the education system. Prof. Furqan Qamar, Professor, Centre for Management Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia and Former Vice Chancellor, University of Rajasthan spoke on "Flexible Interpretation and Selective Implementation of National Educational Policy in Higher Education" and discussed various dimensions of the policy in higher education

Anekdhara's March Webinar
Topic: History of Indian History Writing

The webinar discussed on how writing of Indian History evolved over different periods of time. Prof. Salil Misra, Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University, Delhi dwelt on "The Idea of Civilization in History Writing" and described what is a civilisation and drawing its implications for Indian history writing. Prof. S B Upadhyay, Professor of History, IGNOU, New Delhi dwelt on 'Colonialism and the Writing of Indian History' and he described how writing of Indian history was influenced by various writers and thought processes of the colonial period.

Anekdhara's February Webinar
Topic: The idea of India

The webinar discussed on the "The Idea of India" with specific reference to the current context. Ms Aruna Roy, Founder, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan; and President, National Federation of Indian Women; spoke on "The constitution as the idea of India" and need for defending the constitution. Prof G. Haragopal, Visiting Professor, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru; and Former dean, School of Social Science, University of Hyderabad spoke on his conception on "The Idea of Humane India: Emerging Trends". During the talk he gave a visualisation of a humane India where relations are built at the human level and not based on identities.

This was followed by a Q&A session. Please click below to see the webinar proceedings.

Anekdhara's January Webinar
Topic: Jai Bhim and The Indian Constitution Perspectives on Dr. Ambedkar's Vision

The webinar discussed Dr B. R. Ambedkar's conception of social justice with reference to constitution and the legal system. Speakers in the webinar and the topics dealt with were: Thiru T J Gnanavel, Writer and Director, Jai Bhim on on " Inspiration in Making of Jai Bhim and its Contemporary Relevance"; Dr Nissim Mannathukkaren, Associate Professor, International Development Studies, Dalhousie University, Canada;on "Annihilation of Caste and Public Culture"; and Dr Kalpana Kannabiran, Distinguished Professor, Council for Social Development, India; on “Citizenship, Public Dialogue and the Constitution”.

This was followed by a Q&A session. Please click below to see the webinar proceedings.

Anekdhara's December Webinar
Topic: Gandhi and Indian Nationalism

The webinar discussed on how the use of religious symbols, non-violence, and tolerance of diverse faiths were integral to Indian Nationalism then and the issues concerning nationalism in practice today. The webinar was addressed by two prominent thinkers in the domain; Prof. Sucheta Mahajan, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, and Sri Tushar Gandhi, Founder, and President Mahatma Gandhi Foundation and they dealt on "Way to Communal Harmony: Gandhiji's Solitary Walk in Noakhali" and "Secularism and Nationalism in the Times of Gandhi" respectively.

This was followed by a Q&A session. Please click below to see the webinar proceedings.

The Inaugural Webinar

The webinar is a critical evaluation of Nehru’s legacy and the haze recently created around Nehru’s contribution to the nation. Two well-known scholars, Dr. Ananya Vajpeyi and Prof. Rudrangshu Mukherjee dwelt on the themes of "Jawaharlal Nehru --Visions & Myths" and "Jawaharlal Nehru’s Legacy and his Importance" respectively.

This was followed by a Q&A session. Please click below to see the webinar proceedings.

For webinar playlist click here