Special Lecture by Prof. Srinath Raghavan at

Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai - 2 November, 2016

Prof. Srinath Raghavan, Visiting Fellow at MIDS, spoke on the topic "India's Long Rise as an Asian Power: The Second World War and After" on November 2, 2016, to a large gathering at the special lecture held at the Adiseshiah Auditorium, MIDS. The lecture was organised by MIDS in association with the Infosys Science Foundation, Bangalore.
Mr. S. Krishnan, I.A.S., Principal Secretary, Department of Planning & Development and Special Initiatives, Government of Tamil Nadu, chaired the proceedings.
Prof. Venkatachalapathy, Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies, welcomed the Speaker, the Chair and the invited guests to the lecture and introduced the speaker to the audience.
Prof. Shashanka Bhide, Director, MIDS, proposed the vote of thanks.
The lecture was attended by faculty and students of research and educational institutions in the city, other professionals, general public and the press. In a first for MIDS, the event was webcast live and reached a wide global audience.

Summary of the Lecture:

The emergence of India as a major Asian-and potentially global-power is now widely acknowledged. Yet the historical roots of India's rise as an Asian power are less well understood. It is usually traced to the early 1990s when India undertook significant economic reforms. This talk provides a longer context to India's rise and emphasizes the Second World War as the starting point of this process. It focuses on three major aspects of India's participation in the war.

Starting with the enormous expansion of the Indian Army (from just about 200,000 men to nearly 2.5 million), the talk explores the changing social composition of the army and the creation of a large military infrastructure to support this fighting force.

The second theme of the talk is the making of a war economy and its longer term institutional legacy for India. 

The war not only spurred enormous military and economic changes in India, but also pushed India onto the global stage in an unprecedented fashion. Only by coming to terms with the impact of the Second World War on India can we begin to make sense of India's rise as an Asian power.


Press coverage


http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/031116/india-should-rope-in-china-to-isolate-pak-srinath-raghavan.html http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/world-war-ii-gave-us-the-first-economic-spark/article9297618.ece


Webcast link



Profile of the Speaker

Srinath Raghavan is a Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He is also a Visiting Professor at Ashoka University and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King's College London. His research spans historical and contemporary aspects of India's engagement with the world.  His books include War and Peace in Modern India: A Strategic History of the Nehru Years; 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh; and most recently India's War: The Making of Modern South Asia, 1939-45.  He is a recipient of the K. Subrahmanyam Award for Strategic Studies (2011) and the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences (2015).


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