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Publication Details

Reference
Chatterjee, Partha  (2004) Our Modernity. South-South Exchange Programme for Research on the History of Development (SEPHIS) : -.

Summary
There are a few unusual features I have noticed about today’s
lecture.1 First of all, I was stunned by the discovery that, unknown
to me, I had somehow acquired the standards of sagacity,
ancientness and grandiloquence usually expected of people who
are asked to deliver formal lectures of this kind. Second, there
can be nothing more unusual than the fact that I am delivering a
lecture in memory of Srijnan Halder who was my student and
barely old enough to be a younger brother. Indeed, had Srijnan
been delivering a lecture in my memory, it would have been far
more in conformity with the laws of nature as well as with social
convention. Third, in a short but dramatic life marked by his long
battle against an incurable disease, and in a still more dramatic
death, Srijnan has left behind for us unforgettable evidence of his
deep intellectual curiosity, an unshakable commitment to his own
beliefs and principles and his irrepressible love for life. I have
neither the language nor the thoughts to match that evidence.
There may not be anything very unusual in this but, faced with
Srijnan’s memory, I must, before I begin my lecture, own up to a
feeling of utter inadequacy.

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