Research Network on Modern South Asian Thinkers


About the Group

Modern South Asian Thinkers group came into existence out of the anxieties that revolve around the imagination of South Asia. For most part of the history colonial and post-colonial, South Asia has been imagined as cartographic region with rigid boundaries. As we all know the colonial knowledge production, identified many areas of study and cartographically divided the regions according to their pursuit of interests and convenience ‘to know’ the ‘other’. South Asia is a construct of that design. Since, the 1980s during the emergence of SAARC, the colonial definition got entrenched. Consequently, neglecting the complex dynamics of socio-cultural intimacy and exchanges which had been there and still happening without the compulsions and pressures of national borders. In a way, the region is full of similarities amidst differences and socio-cultural intimacies amidst the pluralities. Keeping this neglected dimension in mind, a bunch of young scholars, young faculties and senior academics came together as a group to find out the possibilities to re-imagine South Asia as a thought-scape in between the hierarchies of national and global, East and West. Thus, the group shuns the pre-given strategic and cartographic imagination of South Asia with an aim to find out the connecting dots in the intellectual thoughts of the various modern thinkers of this region.

Initially, Prof. Sanjeev Kumar H.M. (University of Delhi) and Dr. Dev N. Pathak (South Asian University) brought around 37 scholars together in November, 2015 and later on the group became the official research group of the Department of Political Science on 15th January, 2016 with Prof. Sanjeev Kumar H.M. as its Convenor. Since, then the group has actively organized workshops, seminars and discussions on various relevant themes. The group has also collaborated with other research groups which are working on similar areas for its future research endeavours.


Areas of Research

Ø  Intersectionality between the colonial and post-colonial; modern and post-modern; Tradition and Modernity.

Ø  Focus on both ontic and epistemic history.

Ø  Ideas on identities and beyond.

Ø  Imaginations of Nation and Universe in South Asia

Ø  Intellectual History from the perspective of South Asia

Ø  Alternative imaginations of South Asia.


Academic Activities

Ø The group organized its First Internal Workshop on 14 May 2016 at Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. The workshop was organized as part of its initial deliberative effort to discuss on Intellectual History in South Asia.

Ø A two days national seminar on ‘Reimagining South Asia: An exploration on the history of ideas’ was organized from 17th Feb – 18th Feb, 2017 at Department of Political Science, University of Delhi with generous sponsorship of ICSSR. In this seminar, around 39 scholars presented their research. As a by-product of the deliberations, a book on Modern South Asian Thinkers is under process of publication with Sage Publications, India.

Ø The group also collaborated with Intellectual History Research Group and organized a two days national seminar on ‘Beyond Identities: Reflections from South Asian Imaginaries of Nation and Universe’ from 13th March – 14th March 2018 at Department of Political Science, University of Delhi with a generous support of UGC CAS-SAP Program. The collaboration of two groups and deliberative efforts are envisaged to bring out yet another thematic and focussed volume on the theme in future.

Contact Us

Sanjeev Kumar H.M. (Convenor)


Department of Political Science,

University of Delhi