Politics and the Promise of Bhagat Singh

Politics and the Promise of Bhagat Singh

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Venue: 
Fellows' Dining Room
Speaker(s): 
Chris Moffat (Queen Mary)
Convenor: 
Dr F Devji
Series: 
South Asia Seminar

This paper interrogates the continuing political potential of the martyred revolutionary Bhagat Singh (1907-1931) in twenty-first century India. Rather than the wilful conjuring of the dead for politics, by political actors, Chris Moffat will explore the possibility that the dead might themselves conjure forms of politics – intervening in political arguments, calling the living to account, inciting action. Taking seriously the multiple, erratic afterlives of Bhagat Singh, this talk will raise questions around self-sacrifice, the politics of inheritance and the public life of history.

 

Chris Moffat is Lecturer in South Asian and Global History at Queen Mary, University of London, and Director of the MA in Global and Imperial History. He writes on the history of political thought in modern India and Pakistan and the public life of history in the postcolonial world more generally. To this end, he is interested in both the anthropology and the philosophy of the discipline.

Picture: Mural depicting the hanging of Bhagat Singh and two of his comrades, Ferozepur. Copyright Chris Moffat.