A PUBLICATION OF THE RESEARCH CENTRE FOR EASTERN AND
NORTH EASTERN REGIONAL STUDIES, KOLKATA

A University Grants Commission Approved Journal
(under UGC-CARE, Arts & Humanities Citation Index)
ISSN 2582-2241

  • Volume 3, Issue 2 (May 2019)
FIRST PAGES
ROUNDTABLE ON THE INDIGENOUS AND THE DIASPORA
THE RACIAL AND GENDERED GENOCIDE
OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE:
CANADIAN NEO-COLONIALISMS

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Abstract

KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE CENTRE FOR CANADIAN STUDIES, JADAVPUR UNIVERSITY, FEBRUARY 2019. This article is an updated version of the keynote address.

RE-DISCOVERING THE SELF:
DIASPORIC DIMENSIONS IN THE WORKS OF SHAUNA SINGH BALDWIN

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Abstract

This article revises the notions of diaspora and cultural identity, and offers a rethinking on the question of ethnicity and multiculturalism and how the author, Shauna Singh Baldwin, contributes to the diaspora. Baldwin’s works are evinced by the manner in which they have taken diverse paths to reach the goal of “belonging to the society and country of her choice.” This article concentrates on the question: Do women in diasporic communities in Canada suffer from a double subordination? Since being diasporic is a matter of personal choice, at least in the initial years, the journey through life becomes an exploration of alternative modes of adjustment. For Baldwin, writing on India through fiction is a matter of education and self-exploration, imagining India from faraway Canada. The voices from within, such as Baldwin’s add to the richness and diversity of the culture of the new homeland. The figurative interaction between the diaspora and the writer leads to an understanding of the other, signposting a social dialogue within multicultural communities.

INDIA-CANADA RELATIONS:
FROM SHARED BRITISH COMMONWEALTH LINKS
TO TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FRATERNITY AND FAULTLINES

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Abstract

India-Canada relations are marked by both convergent and divergent issues. They share a unique blend of history, common values of liberal democracy, the commonwealth connection, their economic complementarity, the diaspora factor, and close trade partnership that led to the setting up of strategic partnership. Their special relationship and shared experience soured in 1974 following India’s detonation of a nuclear device believed to have been conducted with Canadian materials. Canada reacted harshly to India’s May 1998 nuclear tests and maintained sanctions against it.  The Foreign Minister of Canada, John Manley tried to normalise relations through a re-engagement initiative by removing most sanctions in April 2001. Canadian prime ministers visited India in 2003, 2005, 2009, and 2012, and the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh had a bilateral dialogue included during his visit to  the Toronto G-20 summit in 2010. During his visit in April 2015, the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi built an extensive engagement with Canada. Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s week-long visit to India in February 2018 further expanded bilateral ties. But controversy over convicted Sikh separatist leader Jaspal Atwal marred Trudeau’s visit. The Canadian government’s perceived support for the Khalistan cause weighed heavily and adversely on Trudeau’s tour. The best that the two sides can do is to sideline the Khalistan issue and build their relationship on convergent issues that are in abundance.

THE AO NAGA AND CHIPPEWA
AS SISTERS IN SPIRIT:
ECOFEMINIST TRAJECTORIES
OF INDIGENOUS INTERCONNECTEDNESS ACROSS CULTURES

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Abstract

The fundamental principle underlying ecofeminism revolves around the empathic connections between women and the natural world, highlighting how the empowerment of one is not possible without that of the other. The indigenous women of Canada and India identify the roots of this empathy within their mutual ability to procreate, nurture, sustain and preserve life and their shared history of oppression in the hands of the mainstream populace of the two nations. This paper explores how the indigenous ecofeminist standpoint has emerged as a major tool of protest against colonial atrocities and postcolonial governance deficits, which have adversely affected the Chippewa (Ojibwe) of Canada and the Ao Naga of Nagaland in India. With reference to the poetry of the Chippewa writer, activist and publisher Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and that of the Ao Naga writer, scholar and ethnographer, Temsula Ao, this paper traces an ecofeminist trajectory of indigenous interconnectedness across the two nations.

THEORISING THE NARRATIVES OF SELFHOOD AND SOLIDARITY
OF INDIGENOUS CANADIAN AND DALIT WOMEN

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Abstract

Feminist cultural practice that defines specific gender roles has often been inadequate to the agenda of Indigenous Canadian and Dalit women’s concerns for identity and self-determination. Through a few comparative case studies, this paper focuses on how such authors have tried to negotiate the challenge of representing the past from the unspoken but inexorable reality of the present. Indigenous and Dalit authors have indeed been engaged in dialogues that seek self-determination embodied in a desire to articulate literary theories and practices from an Indigenous/Dalit perspective. A gendered experience of change, place, and belonging has informed Indigenous Canadian and Dalit women’s experiences in socio-political and cultural territories. The study of literature by the Indigenous Canadian and Dalit authors in focus provides a trajectory to evaluate modes of embodied knowledges and communal values. A gendered selfhood in these contexts is not distinct from, but may also be indispensable to, the process of conveying a holistic, complex framework of Indigenous and Dalit knowledge building.

RESEARCH ARTICLES
INDIA-VIETNAM RELATIONS
SUCH A LONG JOURNEY FROM ANTI-IMPERIALISM TO STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

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Abstract

The two Cold War allies, India and Vietnam, shared a common anti-colonial outlook, with India advocating an end to the American military intervention in Vietnam, and Hanoi later supporting India’s bid for membership of the United Nations Security Council, and desiring India to play a larger role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This article examines the impact the bilateral relationship has produced on Southeast Asia. A continued partnership will help India emerge as a dominant power in the Asia-Pacific and together with Vietnam bring peace and security to the region. India-Vietnam relations date back to 1927 when Jawaharlal Nehru met Ho Chi Minh, setting the foundation for a partnership. Relations were cordial until the Indo-China border war in 1962, when North Vietnam supported China, which led India to oppose Hanoi in the International Control Commission. The relationship was further tested in 1964 when China became a nuclear state and Vietnam recognised Beijing as a power that would bring peace and stability to Southeast Asia. India-Vietnam relations have strengthened over the past six decades through partnerships in the economy and defence, and through ASEAN.

MEETING OF EAST AND WEST
RABINDRANATH TAGORE’S CHALLENGING IDEAS ON NATIONALISM

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Abstract

Rabindranath Tagore was perhaps the world’s most eloquent critic of nationalism in his time. Disillusioned by the authoritarian and military power of the West, he argued for a new vision of freedom that he thought could be attained by means of cooperation and intermingling of the minds of the East and the West with a spirit of intellectual detachment. It was this ideal of looking beyond narrow domestic walls by means of such cooperation that went into the making of his Santiniketan school and his Visva-Bharati international university. He hoped that the holistic values imparted to the students of Santiniketan would help build a new Indian personality who would be free from the conflict of communities and capable of appreciating the many currents of the Indian cultural tradition as well as the Liberal tradition of the West. His idea was that such a personality would belong neither to the East nor to the West, but be a reconciler of both. His fundamental premise for his school and university was to overcome the question of East or West where Truth was concerned. The other fundamental premise was that access to the world’s fountain of knowledge was essential. That had been restricted due to imperial rule. The Santiniketan education was conceived to break out of that isolation and connect with the gateways of the world’s learning. He wrote, “India has been cut off from the world’s scholarship, treated only to trifles in the name of education and relegated to a perennial primary school. We now want freedom from this spiritual and intellectual humiliation.”

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