School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Celebrations to mark India Day

Dr Talat Ahmed, Lecturer in South Asian History, will be taking part in two upcoming events to mark India Day and to discuss diversity in the history curriculum. (Published 27 September, 2017)

At the end of the guard changing ceremony at the Pakistan-India border the respective flags are lowered.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

As part of its celebrations to mark India Day, the University of Edinburgh will hold a workshop for the local business community and Edinburgh academics on the theme of ‘The state of Indian democracy: Multiculturalism and communal harmony’. Dr Ahmed will also be part of a panel discussion – ‘Inclusivity in history’ with colleagues Anna Feintuck and Dr Zubin Mistry – organised by Edinburgh University History Society and LiberatEd, an initiative created by Edinburgh University Students' Association aimed at challenging the academic establishment to become more diverse, more inclusive, and more critical of historically dominant narratives.

'The 2nd of October is the birth date of Mohandas Gandhi and the university commemorates this with its India Day event with Dr Shashi Tharoor, who will speak on the history and relationship between the U.K. and India.' explains Dr Ahmed. 'This year also marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of colonial rule and the emergence of two new states: India and Pakistan. The legacy of the partition of India has prompted some reflection on questions of identity, pluralism and heterogeneity. Dr Tharoor will participate at a workshop, hosted by the Centre for South Asian Studies on Tuesday 3 October, focusing and reflecting on issues of democracy and communal harmony for India and the region of South Asia more generally. It is important to consider inclusivity and diversity all year, and I hope these events will spark that in people's minds’.'

India Day - Public Lecture by Dr Shashi Tharoor

‘Inclusivity in history’

The 70th anniversary of Partition

During the summer Dr Ahmed took part in events to mark the 70th anniversary of Partition as part of the city’s many festivals. ‘Empire State of Mind’ at the Just Festival was a panel discussion looking at methods and attitudes surrounding and addressing the legacy of the British Empire in schools. One of the strands at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was ‘Part of our India & Pakistan: 70 Years On’, during which Dr Ahmed was a discussant on the panel ‘A Legacy That Lingers Long’. She was also interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland for the faith and ethics programme Sunday Morning with … and the national news show Good Morning Scotland.

Dr Talat Ahmed is a lecturer in South Asian History at the University whose research interests include colonial and post-colonial India, Pakistan, cultural movements and intellectual trends  and cinema and society. She is on the steering committee of the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University and is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Useful information

Dr Talat Ahmed’s staff profile

Just Festival, Empire State of Mind, August 2017

Sunday Morning with …, August 2017

Good Morning Scotland, August 2017

Edinburgh Book Festival, No Dogs No Indians, August 2017