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Monday, September 20

Secularism, Religious Freedom and Religious Reform in South Asia
Asia Now Fall Lecture Series
4:30 pm
Dr. Neilesh Bose, University of Victoria
211 David Lawrence Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center

My presentation will offer a historical perspective on secularism in South Asia through a discussion of a history of religious reform movements from the early twentieth century through the end of colonial India, as a way of historicizing the creation of a constitutional secular state in India in the mid-twentieth century. Though Indian history will comprise the base of the presentation, it will address the issue of religious freedom in contemporary South Asia, drawing on cases from India and Bangladesh primarily. I will mention a few thematic issues that inform the South Asian region as a whole, such as the role of religion in constitutions of South Asian states and the different ways minorities have been legally categorized by the state, as these developments draw on a shared history of colonialism in South Asia.

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