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CSSEIP organises a talk by Dr. L. David Lal

CSSEIP organises a talk by Dr. L. David Lal

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CSSEIP organises a talk by Dr. L. David Lal
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Repressed Caste Guilt and Remorse: Understanding Caste Violence in India


Dr. L. David Lal
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati (IIITG), Bongora, Guwahati


This research paper delves into the profound complexities surrounding caste-based atrocities in Uttar Pradesh with a specific focus on the interplay of hostility, guilt, and collective responsibility among Dalits and upper-caste individuals. Drawing upon court cases as primary sources, this study thoughtfully addresses pivotal questions related to the origins of animosity between these communities, the moral detachment observed among upper-caste perpetrators, the gradual erosion of guilt in those involved in heinous acts, and the pervasive avoidance of collective guilt. Informed by the critical theories of the Frankfurt School, notably through the perspective of Theodor Adorno, and enriched by psychoanalytic insights from Anna Freud, this research underscores the urgent necessity to confront both individual and collective guilt within the upper-caste demographic. This approach, aligned with Claudia Leeb's concept of "embodied reflective judgments," strives to create a harmonious integration of rational cognition and emotional sensibilities. The study not only revisits past atrocities but also offers a profound examination of the potential of guilt, both individual and collective, in averting the recurrence of future acts of violence, ultimately seeking to comprehend and address the intricate aftermath of such atrocities.


Date: 14th February, 2024
Venue: room no. 402, CSSEIP, SSS-I
Time: 9.00 am

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.