National Conference on ‘Caste and Communication’
Venue: Dayar-i Mir Taqi Mir, JMI.
Date: March 27 & 28, 2019
About the event:
The Centre for Culture, Media & Governance (CCMG), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in collaboration with All India Communication and Media Association (AICMA) organised a two-day National Conference on ‘Caste and Communication’ on March 27 & 28, 2019.
The bench was comprised of:
Prof. Gopalan Ravindran Secretary, AICMA, New Delhi
Shri D.P. Majhi, Director, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, New Delhi
Prof. Hira Singh, Department of Sociology, York University, Toronto
Prof. Biswajit Das, Director, CCMG
Prof. Shahid Ashraf, Offg. Vice Chancellor, JMI chaired the Inaugural Session.
Discussion of a few key points:
Professor Hira Singh challenged some of the key interpretations of Caste in Social Sciences and Humanities discipline in his inaugural address. He said Caste is not unique to India. Prof. Singh suggested, with regard to the historical development of India, the idea of class emerged before caste. There have been many initiatives to theorize caste in sociology and social anthropology, but no one before Dr. B. R Ambedkar questioned: “caste as normal”. Dr. Ambedkar and Gandhi both had a shared understating of Caste.
Shri. D. P. Majhi emphasized on stepping outside the boundaries of social work to engage more seriously and critically with the idea of caste. For that, more academic and scholarly endeavors similar to this conference is required.
Prof. Gopalan Ravindran stressed on the need to bring together the emerging scholar of India in a larger and diversely connected platform. Such initiatives are much welcome given the global challenges of diversity, democracy, and globalization.
Prof. Biswajit Das welcomed the participants and key speakers. He indicated the lag in media studies to engage with the issues of Caste and Social discrimination. Given the epistemic shift in Indian scholarly arena, Caste is now at the forefront of discussion and has an agency of its own in the media. Therefore studies related to communication and media need to take caste into serious consideration as both mutually influence each other.
The Conference was supported by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Delhi and University Grants Commission (UGC).