[Job Offer] Head Researcher in Social Sciences at the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) in New Delhi

Researcher in charge for the team of researchers, responsible for development and implementation of research programmes in the humanities and social sciences in a research centre under the dual supervision of the Ministry of Europe and Business the Centre de Sciences Étrangères (MEAE) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS): Humaines (CSH), USR 3330, UMIFRE 21, at the Centre de Sciences Humaines – antenna of the French Institute in India (IFI), New Delhi.

The last date to send your job application is 30 September 2021. 

The full details about the application process and candidate profile are available below in the attached documents:

Apply for the above job position on the below link given on the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) website : https://pastel.diplomatie.gouv.fr/transparenceext/transparence_emplois_reseau_etranger.php#

Le peuple des déchets. Vies plastiques – The people of waste. Living Plastic

Qu’advient-il de nos déchets après la poubelle ? Comment sont-ils collectés, triés, recyclés et réutilisés ? La gestion des déchets produits par les activités humaines constitue aujourd’hui l’un des points centraux des politiques environnementales contemporaines au niveau international. Mais comment cela s’organise-t-il concrètement en Inde, où des filières informelles de récupération des déchets existent depuis longtemps ?

À partir de l’exemple de Delhi, capitale de l’Inde, ce film explore la transformation d’un déchet plastique en ressource valorisable en donnant à voir la diversité du « Peuple des déchets » qui vit à l’ombre de la société de consommation. Le documentaire a l’ambition de rendre mieux visible la myriade de professions spécialisées dans la récupération, le tri, la revente, le nettoyage, le broyage et la transformation du déchet, du collecteur stigmatisé à la base de la chaine jusqu’à l’industriel en haut de la pyramide qui réinjecte la matière récupérée dans l’économie formelle.

Au-delà du cas indien, ce court-métrage rappelle aux spectateurs leur responsabilité de générateur de déchets et leur lien avec le système de récupération, remettant en cause l’ambivalence des discours sur le recyclage qui tendent à légitimer une consommation de masse infinie.

D’une durée de 18 minutes, ce documentaire a été réalisé par Rémi de Bercegol (CNRS) avec Grant Davis et Shankare Gowda, financé par « IRD Images » et soutenu par « MITI CNRS ». Il a été tourné en Février 2019 et finalisé en 2020. Il s’appuie sur une compréhension scientifique de la situation à Delhi et souhaite ouvrir le débat sur la relation des sociétés à leurs déchets à une audience non-académique.

What happens to our garbage after it is dumped? How is it collected, sorted, recycled and reused? The management of waste produced by human activities is today one of the central points of contemporary environmental policies at the international level. But how is it organized in India, where informal waste recovery systems have existed for a long time?

Through the example of Delhi, the film explores the transformation of a piece of plastic waste into a resource, through filmed interviews with diverse “people of waste” living in the shadow of consumer society. It aims at making visible the myriad of professions that specialize in the collection, sorting, reselling, cleaning, shredding and transformation of waste, from the stigmatized garbage picker at the bottom of the chain until the industrialist at the top of the pyramid who re-injects the recovered materials into the formal economy.

Beyond the Indian case, it reminds the spectators of their responsibility as a producer of waste and their relation with this waste recovery system, putting into question the ambivalent discourses on recycling which tend to legitimize an endless mass consumption.

This short documentary film (18min), has been co-directed by Rémi de Bercegol (CNRS), together with Grant Davis and Shankare Gowda; funded by « IRD Images », completed with “MITI CNRS », it has been shot in February 2019 in and around Delhi and was released in 2020.

It relies on a scientific understanding of the on-going scenario in Delhi (cf. Bercegol, Gowda 2019; Bercegol, Gowda 2020) and aims at opening the debate to a broader non-academic audience about the relationship between societies and waste.


  • de Bercegol R.Gowda S., 2019, « A new waste and energy nexus? Rethinking the modernisation of waste services in Delhi. », Urban Studies, 56.11 : 2297-2314.
  • de Bercegol R.Gowda S., 2020, « « Nettoyer l’Inde », la marginalisation des récupérateurs de déchets à Delhi. » Les Cahiers d’Outre-Mer. Revue de géographie de Bordeaux, 73.281 : 41-68.

7 June – Roland lardinois – epistemology of south asian studies in France

The last session of this year’s webinar « India Matters » took place on Monday 7 June at 13:00 CEST / 16:30 IST. Last but not least, this time we heard French sociologist Roland Lardinois drawing on his personal experience and extensive research to analyse the structuration of the field of Indian Studies in France. The talk is entitled : “The field of Indian Studies in France XIXth-XXIst century: genesis, structure, transformation

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to present some considerations on the history of Indian studies in France and the evolution of this field of knowledge from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century. We will draw on the work we have done, focusing on the first half of the twentieth century, and then, using our personal experience, we will examine the transformations that this field has undergone since the 1960s up to the contemporary period. We will insist on methodological problems: should we speak of an Indian studies milieu, as we speak of a literary milieu, a field or a configuration, according to the concepts developed by Pierre Bourdieu and Norbert Elias? What do the terms Indologists and Indianists mean? Do we work on India or in India? 
 
Résumé. L’objet de cette communication est de présenter quelques réflexions sur l’histoire des études indiennes en France et l’évolution de cet espace de savoirs depuis la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle jusqu’au début du XXIe siècle. On se fondera sur des travaux que l’on a conduits, centrés sur la première moitié du XXe siècle puis, en recourant au témoignage personnel, on s’interrogera sur les transformations que cet espace a connu depuis les années 1960 jusqu’à la période contemporaine. On insistera sur des problèmes de méthodes : faut-il parler de milieu d’études indiennes, comme on parle de milieu littéraire, de champ ou de configuration, selon les concepts développés par Pierre Bourdieu et Norbert Elias ? Que signifient les termes : indologues, indianistes ? Travaille-t-on sur l’Inde ou en Inde ?
 
You might also consider checking these references : Roland Lardinois, L’Invention de l’Inde. Entre ésotérisme et science, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2007 ; trad. Scholars and Prophets Sociology of India from France 19th-20th centuries, Delhi, Social Science Press, 2013 ; « Maîtres à distance et distance aux maîtres : Sylvain Lévi, Louis Dumont et Pierre Bourdieu », dans François Raviez (dir.), L’image du maître spirituel, Arras, Artois Presses Université, 2019, p. 321-338
 
Watch the Webinar on our YouTube Channel here :

4 May – Social stratification in India with Floriane bolazzi

The fifth session of our webinar « India Matters » will take place on tuesday 4 May at 13:00 CEST / 16:30 IST and will deal with social stratification in India.
 
This time, we will welcome Floriane Bolazzi who is a post-doc researcher at the Department of Sociology and Social Research (University Milano Bicocca) where she is working on labour and social mobility issues. She will present some of the evidence reported in her thesis resulting from an original approach of mixed methodology and a wide-ranging analysis of the material and subjective dimensions of mobility and of their intersection. Since its independence (1947), India has undergone profound social, political, and economic transformations driven by the agrarian reforms in the 1950s, the Green Revolution in the 1970s and the neoliberal turn in the 1990s. While these changes have undeniably contributed to the economic development of the country, it is less clear to what extent better opportunities for social mobility opened up to individuals historically disadvantaged by their caste position. Previous large-scale studies of social mobility in India have been limited by the lack of intergenerational data and the impossibility to disaggregate administrative caste categories into jatis (birth-ascribed endogamous groups). Using unique individual-level data for the entire population of Palanpur, a village in Uttar Pradesh, surveyed seven times from 1958 to 2015, this presentation aims at verifying whether the social mobility has increased over time and whether caste, at the jati level, continues to prevail as a factor of social stratification.
 
Watch the recording here

India Matters – Alexandre Cebeillac – Geography of movements – 16 March

This time, the session will deal with the use of large datasets in Indian studies. To talk about that, we will host geographer Alexandre Cebeillac from the Université de Rouen. He almost has a decade of experience performing spatial analyses based on various data sources, from social media datasets to the census of India, often around urban-related issues. He recently defended a monumental thesis that focused on the use of online data in the study of mobilities and vector-borne diseases in Delhi and Bangkok. He has an extensive knowledge of India’s large datasets and knows it all about the difficulties in handling them. He will talk about it and expose some innovative methods he developed to work around some common data problems in Indian studies.

Watch the recording here : 

INDIA MATTERS : FORUM OF ASSOCIATIONS FOR SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES ON 6 APRIL 2021

The French Youth Association for Indian Studies (AJEI) is pleased to invite you to the 4th session of its 2021 webinar series: India Matters on April 6th at 1:00 pm CET/ 5:30 pm IST.

This time, the online session will turn into a forum of associations. It will include representatives from the French Youth Association for Indian Studies (AJEI), the South Asia Research and Studies Venice and Turin Italy (Sarasvati Association), the French Academic Network on Asian Studies (GIS Asie), the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), the European Association of Young Researchers on South Asia (EAYRSA), the French Association for Research on Southeast Asia (AFRASE), the Japanese Association of South Asian Studies (JASAS). They will each present the history, network, area of studies, and objectives of their respective associations.

The remaining time will be given to a Q&A session and a discussion on the relevance of the geographical area of these associations (India, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Asia, etc.) and the scale of their network (France, Italy, Japan, Europe, Young researchers, civil society, institutions, etc.).

Watch the recording here :

Droits sociaux : les travailleuses en première ligne – Floriane Bolazzi sur France Culture

Une émission à réécouter ici sur France Culture.

Lundi 8 mars, des milliers d’indiennes se sont jointes à la colère des agriculteurs. Ce mouvement massif montre l’investissement des femmes dans la défense des terres. Depuis une trentaine d’années, le milieu agricole s’est considérablement féminisé, que signifie cette implication paysanne en Inde ?

Des femmes activistes crient des slogans pour la Journée internationale de la femme, elles manifestent contre les récentes réformes agricoles du gouvernement central, à Amritsar, le 8 mars 2021.Des femmes activistes crient des slogans pour la Journée internationale de la femme, elles manifestent contre les récentes réformes agricoles du gouvernement central, à Amritsar, le 8 mars 2021. Crédits : NARINDER NANU – AFP

 

Des milliers d’Indiennes sont descendues dans les rues, ce lundi 8 mars, profitant de la Journée internationale des droits des femmes pour se joindre aux agriculteurs en colère. 

Une manifestation massive qui a permis de mettre en lumière une implication des femmes en réalité bien antérieure.
Depuis le début du mouvement, les femmes sont mobilisées pour en assurer la logistique, cuisinant pour nourrir ceux qui occupent toute la journée l’espace publique. Mais leur participation ne se limite pas à ce rôle invisible. 

Performance, chants, slogans, les paysannes s’affichent, comme les paysans, pour défendre leurs terres. De fait, en dépit de l’organisation fortement patriarcale de l’Inde rurale, le secteur agricole s’est considérablement féminisé au cours des trente dernières années, face à l’exode des hommes vers la ville.

Quand ceux-ci quittent les campagnes à la recherche d’emplois journaliers, les femmes continuent à pratiquer une agriculture de subsistance pour nourrir leurs familles. Un rôle souvent non reconnu, mais qui s’est renforcé avec la crise du covid-19.
Bergères, ouvrières agricoles, ou fermières se mobilisent donc désormais, non pas contre une inégalité de genre, mais pour leur droit au travail et à la subsistance. Une lutte féminine qui pourrait aussi devenir féministe, si elle permet de changer le regard des hommes sur elles.

Cette implication des femmes dans la contestation paysanne constitue-t-elle un phénomène nouveau en Inde ? Dans quelle mesure sont-elles spécifiquement menacées par les réformes agraires de Narendra Modi ? Leur mobilisation dans les manifestations a-t-elle une chance de bousculer l’ordre patriarcal de l’Inde rurale ?

Nos invités pour en parler sont Isabelle Guérin, directrice de recherche en socio-économie à l’IRD et au CESSMA et Floriane Bolazzi, chercheuse en socio-économie à l’Université de Milan-Bicocca. 

Une émission à réécouter ici sur France Culture.

 

Lola Guyot & Arnaud KABA – COVID-19 SOCIOPOLITICAL CRISIS in SOUTH ASIA

Lola Guyot (European University Institute) and Arnaud Kaba (University of Göttingen)  talk about the COVID-19 crisis in Sri Lanka and in India, focusing on its socioeconomic consequences and the management of the crisis by the national governments. They present the current research literature on the theme and the perspectives for French-Southasian research. 

Les campus au cœur des luttes sociales

Les campus au cœur des luttes sociales

À retrouver dans l’émission CULTURESMONDE par Florian Delorme
 

Reading PM Modi, through his speeches

Written by Christophe Jaffrelot , Jean Thomas Martelli | Updated: August 15, 2017 10:48:25 am
https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/reading-pm-modi-through-his-speeches-independence-day-4796963/

In his Independence Day speeches, Narendra Modi has repeatedly used the words ‘sister’, ‘brother’ and ‘team’. The Prime Minister’s rhetorical technique is inherent in populism, a version of politics that crystallises when a leader tries to relate directly to ‘his’ nation, circumventing institutions in the worst-case scenarios.

Narendra Modi rose to power partly on the basis of his discourse, a notion referring not only to the themes he has highlighted in his speeches but also to his oratorical style. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, he attacked Congressmen politically, but also personally by coining acronyms and formulas. He arraigned the inaction of Manmohan Singh by calling him “Maun (silent) Mohan Singh”. He also presented himself as the protector of Gujarat against the Centre in a graphic manner. He claimed that he was “the chowkidar” of the state’s treasury, guarding it from the greed of the Congress. And he added: “Earlier, this money used to get swallowed. Maaru koi vhalu-dahalu nathi (I don’t have near and dear ones). The six crore Gujaratis are my family and their happiness is mine”.

In the same vein, he accused the Nehru-Gandhi family of cultivating an old anti-Gujarati prejudice. In 2012, he declared: “Historically, the Nehru Parivar doesn’t like any Gujarati leader. They treated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel badly. They treated Morarji Desai badly. Now it’s my turn to be targeted by them.”

Simultaneously, Modi presented himself as an aam admi, a common man, in contrast to the Nehru-Gandhi family whom he associated with the political elite. During the 2013-14 Lok Sabha election campaign, after becoming the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, he elaborated on this theme by emphasising his background as a former chaiwala (teaboy).

 

Last but not the least, as CM, Modi repeatedly attacked the Centre for its lack of economic dynamism, compared to Gujarat. For instance, after his 2012 victory, he delivered an address in this vein at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi:

Brothers and sisters, I came here today to attend the NDC (National Development Council) meeting, and in the meeting, I put my point before the Prime Minister and said that it is the country’s misfortune that [in] the post that you are, [in] the place from where you are speaking, an atmosphere of despair is being created in the country. Whatever you are saying is taking the country to the bottom of deep despair.

As Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s discourse was bound to change since he was not any more a provincial challenger fighting the establishment, but the ruler of the country. However, some constants remained, as is evident from the data base on which this article relies. This data set comprises 720 interventions by Modi (either in English or translated from the Hindi) representing 1.6 million words covering the period 2010-17 (until July 31).

When compared to later public interventions, the three words that Modi used in greater proportions as CM were “gentleman”, “lady” and “friend”, in that order. The three words overrepresented in his 2013-14 election campaign speeches were “friend”, “Congress” and “BJP” — in that order again. Finally, the three overused words in his speeches as PM were “our”, “cooperation” and “India” (overused in comparison to the lexicons of his two predecessors whose speeches, too, we have processed).

narendra modi This Correspondence Analysis maps the distribution of Modi’s vocabulary based on co-occurring features, i.e., sets of words frequently mentioned together in his speeches from 2010 to 2017. The six clusters of words we generated are displayed. Two topics are linked to economic matters: the grey category clusters broad developmental vocabulary, and the purple one refers to local access to infrastructure and commodities. The green topic displays foreign policy lexicon, and the red one is associated with emotions, decision-making and technical-cum-procedural issues. The light blue cluster draws on ideology and culture, while the dark blue one points to leading political figures and ceremonial matters.

But among Modi’s speeches, the Red Fort addresses represent a specific genre.

Independence Day speeches of Prime Minister Modi and his two immediate predecessors, Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, that we have scrutinised show the speeches to be a codified political ritual in which the unity of the nation is always emphasised. The computer-assisted classification of content words enable us to outline two main themes woven around the ideas of sovereignty and economic development. Additionally, the two first-person plural pronouns (“we” and “our”) are the two most overrepresented function words found in Independence Day speeches as compared to other political interventions. August 15 speeches thus appear as a political genre calling for performative collective action and devotional stances for the people of India.

However, despite the codified and ceremonial-based nature of Independence Day speeches, the ones made by Narendra Modi between 2014 and 2016 are very specific to him. They are part of the Modi mould and do exemplify the main features of his oratorical identity. When compared to Manmohan Singh’s and Vajpayee’s Independence Day speeches, the three words overused by Modi have been “sister”, “brother” and “team”. This trilogy is very revealing of his attempt at establishing a personal connection with India’s citizens — something also evident from his monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat.

By contrast, the three overused words by Manmohan Singh in his Red Fort addresses over 10 years were “our”, “growth” and education”; Vajpayee’s podium was made of “shall”, “Kashmir” and “India”.

Modi’s rhetorical technique is inherent in populism, a version of politics that crystallises when a leader tries to relate directly to “his” nation, circumventing institutions in the worst-case scenarios. Words like “sister” and “brother” suggest that the variant of this type of discourse that Modi prefers is family-oriented. This approach is in tune with the organic view of society prevailing among Hindu nationalist ideologues. For them, social divisions are secondary and need to be downplayed in order to promote unity. Modi, therefore, always claimed that he represented 6 crore Gujaratis.

As PM, he suggested a privileged relationship with Indians through hailing them and addressing them directly. Accordingly, words like “you”, “brother”, “sister”, “friend”, “people”, and “mother” best define Modi’s language. They are typically found in short, action-oriented sentences, often either exclamatory or interrogative. Speeches by him frequently rely on references to himself, while the abundant use of numerals, past tenses and the third person singular show his emphasis on economic achievements, personalisation of power, and story-telling. The following is an example taken from his 2015 Independence speech:

Lo and behold! The great strength of the Team India of 125 crore Indians and their resolve! Within a certain time limit, the coal was auctioned and now almost Rs 3 lakh crore would be accruing to the national exchequer. Brothers and sisters, just ask yourselves whether corruption was rooted out or not? Whether the middlemen were ousted or not? Whether the door was shut in the face of the wealth-stealers of India or not? I did not make any speech in this regard. I just did it.

Modi approaches the question of economic improvement from a non-technical angle. He prefers to use words such as “poor”, “electricity”, “rupee”, “money” and “village”, while Manmohan Singh favoured terms such as “growth”, “development”, “policy”, or “institution”.

While his skills as an orator has contributed to Modi’s rise to power in a manner not significantly different from Indira Gandhi’s brand of populism in the early 1970s, in his case, the use of social media, holograms, and body language at large also need to be factored in — and deserve more research.

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