The department of International Relations, Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ), Brambe, Ranchi, delved into the history of India’s freedom struggle at a seminar
The two-day session co-sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, was titled ‘India’s Freedom Movement and Untold Stories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands’.
Bibhuti Bhushan Biswas, the convener of the seminar, offered gave an insight into the history of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Rajkumar Kothari, professor, department of Political Science at Diamond Harbour Women’s University, Bengal, spoke about Rabindranath Tagore and his concept of nationalism connecting it to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, an initiative by the Indian government to celebrate 75 years of independence.
“Tagore did not adhere to the traditional idea of nationalism but his idea was non-oriental; non-native and non-Indian. He believed that to be a patriot one does not have to be a part of the nation. Tagore supported the Indian freedom struggle but had a different vision for nation,” Kothari said.
Alok Kumar Gupta, dean of Social Science at CUJ, highlighted the atrocities on the prisoners in cellular jail and how that’s all most people know about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Veer Savarkar was jailed there for 10 years and in his book he has mentioned the level of pain he and other inmates went through the term.
Professors and research scholars from all over India presented their insightful papers on various topics related to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Some of the topics were Battle of Aberdeen: The Untold Story of Andamanese, Deep Pluralism of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Shadow of Extra-regional Powers.
Delivering the presidential address, Manoj Kumar, dean of academics at CUJ, emphasised the need for such seminars to bring together academic ideas and minds.
The researchers talked about the Japanese rule on Andaman Islands, the history of the islands, the current strategic importance of the islands and the politics in and around the islands.
Debasish Nandy, associate professor and head, department of Political Science, Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol; Utham Kumar Jamadhagni, professor and head, department of Defence and Strategic Studies, University of Madras, Chennai; and K. M. Parivelan, associate professor, Centre for Statelessness and Refugee Studies, School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance, Tata Institute of Social Science Research, Mumbai; chaired three sessions.