UI II: Who is an Indian?

The second course of Understanding India

This is the second course in the Understanding India (UI) component of the UG coursework. UI2 marks a shift in the ground, a rearrangement of view points, in seeking to understand India. In UI1 the central question was: What is India? In UI2 the big, guiding question is: Who is an Indian? And the timeframe within which this question will be enlivened is anchored in our unfolding present and, therefore, closer to the contemporary than was the case in UI1.

A who’ question is an invitation to address issues of Identity, to respond in terms of identities. It will require the unpacking of the identity Indian’ itself and examining how individual and social identities are produced, and how they relate to the national identity. The key identity the course engages with are (i) national identity; (ii) gender and sexuality; (iii) caste; and (iv) indigenous identity. The course will draw upon the diverse lived experiences of students and put these into conversation with relevant concepts and accessible scholarship, thus providing students with basic analytical tools. It will also look at ongoing/​past movements for securing justice against identity-based discrimination and marginalisation, prompting students to think critically and imaginatively about how a more just, humane, sustainable, and equitable society can be realised.