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Sun, 28 Aug


Online Dialogue

75 years after the Partition

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75 years after the Partition
75 years after the Partition

Time & Location

28 Aug 2022, 16:00 – 18:00 CEST

Online Dialogue

About the event

Scope of the Dialogue:

Much has been written and debated about the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. For many, it was a blessing, for others a tragedy. For many, it meant independence and freedom, for others loss of independence and change of the masters. It left millions traumatized. The violence unleashed before, during and after the independence movement keeps recurring in various forms – most notable, religious extremism. 75 years on, the crisis on both sides of the border is deepening. The “two nations” are still struggling how to define themselves as nations. The emergence of Bangladesh in 1971 as the third nation has challenged several myths. Almost everyone agrees that a strong friendly relationship between these states is essential for their progress, welfare and security of their people.

This Dialogue with high-level academics, intellectuals, social and political scientists is meant to shed light on the reasons and forces behind the partition, the aspirations of the leaders and people. Why are we entangled in a never-ending crisis and conflict? Why has the faith failed to form cohesive nations? What are the barriers and how can we steer out of this situation?


Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed is a Swedish political scientist and author of Pakistani descent. He obtained a PhD in Political Science from Stockholm University, where he is currently Professor Emeritus, having retired in 2010. During 2015-2019 he was Visiting Professor at the Government College University, Lahore, and from 2013-2015 Visiting Professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore and was Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS). He was also Visiting Professor at the South Asian Studies Programme, the National University of Singapore from June 2007 to June 2010. He is a member of the editorial advisory boards of "Asian Ethnicity"; "Journal of Punjab Studies"; "IPRI Journal, Islamabad"; and "PIPS Research Journal of Conflict and Peace Studies, Islamabad. He is the author of several books including "Punjab Bloodied" and Pakistan, the Garrison State".

Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy - One of Pakistan's most prominent academics, Hoodbhoy is a well-known activist, in particular concerned with the promotion of freedom of speech, secularism, education and emancipation of women in Pakistan. Hoodbhoy extensively writes and speaks on topics ranging from science in Islam to education and arms disarmament issues worldwide. He is the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, which has been translated into five languages. His articles on various issues related to science and social issues are often published in international media. His publications are repeatedly published in both technical and non-technical papers.

By profession, Hoodbhoy is a nuclear physicist. He did his graduation with a double BSc in Electrical Engineering and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, followed by MS in physics with a concentration in solid-state physics in 1973. After graduation, Hoodbhoy joined the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) as a researcher and renewed his scholarship to resume his studies in the United States. Hoodbhoy continued his research in doctoral studies in physics at MIT and was awarded a PhD in nuclear physics in 1978.

Dr Rajmohan Gandhi is an Indian biographer, historian, and research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US. His paternal grandfather is Mahatma Gandhi. He is also a scholar in residence at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar. Associated from 1956 with Initiatives of Change (formerly known as Moral Re-Armament), Rajmohan Gandhi has been engaged for half a century in efforts for trust-building, reconciliation and democracy and in battles against corruption and inequalities. His book, A Tale of Two Revolts: India 1857 & the American Civil War, studies two 19th-century wars occurring in opposite parts of the world at almost the same time. His previous book, a biography of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi, Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire, received the Biennial Award from the Indian History Congress in 2007. His other works include Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent Badshah of the PakhtunsRevenge & Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian HistoryPatel: A Life, a Biography of Vallabhbhai Patel, Deputy Prime Minister of India; and Eight Lives: A Study of the Hindu-Muslim Encounter. Most recently, Gandhi published a book titled, Punjab, which is a historical account of undivided Punjab, from the death of Aurangzeb to the Partition.

Dr Harsh Mander is an Indian author, columnist, researcher, teacher, and social activist who started the Karwan-e-Mohabbat campaign in solidarity with the victims of communal or religiously motivated violence. He is the Director of the Centre for Equity Studies, a research organisation based in New Delhi. Mander formerly worked in the Indian Administrative Services(IAS). After Gujarat Riot, Mander left the service in 2002 and started social activism. Harsh Mander teaches courses on poverty and governance at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He taught at the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi and at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie while he was Deputy Director of the institution, during which he also played a dominant role in the Right to Information Act (RTI). Harsh Mander has written and co-authored several books and regularly writes columns for newspapers like The Hindu, Hindustan Times and Dainik Bhaskar, and contributes frequently to scholarly journals.

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