We are doing a podcast with Prof. Devji right now.
He’s a Professor of Indian Studies at Oxford and head of the Asian Studies.
Really lovely and dense; will be released in June. Professor Devji’s knowledge is really impressive..
Kushal and I had a *friendly* shouting match (we get on quite well actually) because I used the title “Maharajah Modi,” thereby undermining Indian democratic traditions (he alluded to India’s modern Maharani but I found her the most effective post-independence leader).
Interestingly enough Professor Devji just alluded that Hindutva, colloquially, to use royal titles for its leaders.
We are discussing Prof. Devji’s latest article; Search for a Majority.
Interesting as an aside that the Left-Liberal elite (the “Lutyens crowd” in Indian parlance) is completely entrenched in Cambridge; even soft-BJP types have to tone it down otherwise they get shouted at. Lots of self-censorship..
10 thoughts on “Unbelievable podcast with Prof. Devji”
I read the article, was better than I expected and not the usual copypasta we get from NYT and WaPo. This guy might be worth listening to (even though we are opposed, of course.)
Just so much information and reframed the discussion.
“Interesting as an aside that the Left-Liberal elite (the “Lutyens crowd” in Indian parlance) is completely entrenched in Cambridge; even soft-BJP types have to tone it down otherwise they get shouted at. Lots of self-censorship..”
Do you mean to say Oxford, where Prof Devji is from, is more heterdox in this regard?
Oxford has always been much more conservative than Cambridge.
Also Islamicate culture has very high prestige in certain sectors of the West ..
Male Ayesha Jalal with a bit more perspective ( sympathetic to the Congress side)
Devji is a brilliant historian. His ‘The Impossible Indian’ and ‘Muslim Zion’ are quite stunning works of history, religion and psychology.
His conduct has been poor in other situations though. His review of Dhulipala’s ‘Creating a New Medina’ cannot be described as anything other than academic bullying. See: https://thewire.in/books/young-fogeys-the-anachronism-of-new-scholarship-on-pakistan
Luckily, Dhulipala delivered a decisive response here: Revisiting Creating a New Medina: Reflections on Fault-lines of Partition Historiography, in a peer reviewed article. See here: http://irigs.iiu.edu.pk:64447/ojs/index.php/islamicstudies/article/view/439
Devji wasnt really able to respond. He got some rambling ‘riposte’ published in a Pakistan newspaper. See (dont if you dont want to waste your time): https://nayadaur.tv/2019/02/national-identity-is-a-political-project-turning-that-into-a-religious-endeavour-does-not-work/
He has lost a lot of credibility in my eyes, but still produces interesting work.
I’ve asked him to speak on our next Majlis event.
MJ also agreed that Prof Devji was spectacularly nuanced and textured in his analysis.
Well we have to wait for the podcast 🙂
Live debate between him, Dhulipala and Jalal would be fun.
Jalal and Dhulipala were at one event though. Both reacted as if they didnt know each other 😛
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