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The Foundations and Future of Identity Politics

L-R  Dr. Dipankar Gupta, Dr. Ali S. Asani, and Kumar Ketkar
L-R Dr. Dipankar Gupta, Dr. Ali S. Asani, and Kumar Ketkar

To understand the functioning of societies and polities, it is important to understand the contexts in which identity politics gain salience. As multiple identities cross-cut, what leads individuals to identify themselves with one group versus another and why do certain identities co-exist while others clash? Across the world- including the ongoing election campaigns in India- political platforms are using other focal points, particularly economic development, to garner support. In comparison with other electoral appeals, where does identity politics fit, and how strong is its influence today?

Dr. Ali S. Asani is Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard and Director of the University's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Program in Islamic Studies. A scholar of Islam in South Asia, Dr. Asani's research focuses on the Ismaili and Sufi devotional traditions in the region. The author of several books and numerous academic articles, he is particularly interested in the interaction between religion, literature and the arts in Muslim Societies. In 2002 he was awarded the Harvard Foundation medal for his efforts in improving intercultural and interracial relations.

Dr. Dipankar Gupta is currently Distinguished Professor and Director of The Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory at Shiv Nadar University. Dr. Gupta also serves as Director of the Reserve Bank of India and the National Bank for Rural Development (NABARD). He previously served as a Professor at The Centre for the Study of Social Systems at Jawaharalal Nehru University, New Delhi. Dr. Gupta has authored and edited 18 books and was awarded Chevalier De L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Artes and Letters) by the French Government.

Kumar Ketkar is currently Chief Editor of Dainik Divya Marathi, Dainik Bhaskar Group of Newspapers. Ketkar was previously Chief Editor of Loksatta and Maharashtra Times, and Editor-In-Chief of the Lokmat Group of Newspapers. Ketkar was also Resident Editor of Daily Observer, of the Ambani Group, and has been a Reporter and Special Correspondent at the Economic Times. He was awarded the Padmashree in 2001, and the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Media.

This programme is part of our AsiaLive Series, conducted in partnership with OPEN Magazine, which works to provide a platform for informed discussions relating to important issues within Asia, or important global issues that significantly impact Asia. Past programmes have included a discussion on censorship in South Asia, and the stakes of the US Presidential Elections for Asia

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