14 June 2024, 06:30 pm
“#Gandhi Must Fall”: The Dilemmas of Being Turned into Statue
Programme Type
Conference Room I, IIC main building

Speaker: Sumathi Ramaswamy, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of History, Duke University who has published on language politics, gender studies, spatial studies and the history of cartography, visual studies and the modern history of art, and more recently, digital humanities and the history of philanthropy. Her recent writings on Gandhi include Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience (New Delhi: Roli Books, 2022) and the digital project B is for Bapu: Gandhi in the Art of the Child in Modern India (https://sites.duke.edu/bisforbapu/)

Using a material culture approach, the lecture reflects on the overwhelming penchant for the creation of statues of Gandhi, the most among India’s political leaders to be so “honoured” both at home and overseas, where many a statue has been installed as the official government gift. It is worth reflecting on this phenomenon at a time when across the world, because of varying projects for critically reckoning with difficult inherited pasts, statues of (big) men are being defaced. How might Gandhi respond to such acts, especially since his statue is increasingly vulnerable as well. 

(Collaboration:  American Institute of Indian Studies)