Faith, Nation, Empire

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By JASON KEITH FERNANDES

 

Text of lecture at Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre.

5 November 2018

[Download PDF here.]

It would appear that the title for my presentation today is in sync with a time when there are at least two heads of state in America (and goodness knows where else) whose supporters believe them to be leaders or messiahs sent by God. I have to confess that while I phrased the title provocatively I was also aware that the intellectual position I occupy, one which is critical of liberalism and the operation of liberal democracy and seeks to look for alternatives to it, shares a common origin with the global processes that have led to the emergence of the kind of religiously tinged populism that we are witness to today. I would, of course, like to distinguish myself from these larger movements, while maintaining that what we are witness to is a breakdown of the certainties of liberalism, and with it liberal democracy, and that this breakdown is the result of the queries that were being leveled against liberalism for a long time now.

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The Politics of Renovation: The Disappearing Architecture of Goa’s Old Brahmanical Temples

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

2018. “Politics of Renovation: The Disappearing Architecture of Goa’s Bragmanical Temples.” In Preserving Transcultural Heritage: Your Way or My Way? Questions of Authenticity, Identity and Patrimonial Proceedings in the Safeguarding of Architectural Heritage Created in the Meeting of Cultures, edited by Joaquim Rodrigues dos Santos, 253-263. Casal de Cambra: Caleidoscópio – Edição e Artes Gráficas.

 

ABSTRACT

The unique architecture of Goa’s old Brahmanical shrines is under threat today, and one reason seems to be a perception that it is not Hindu enough. Goa’s centuries-long Islamicate and Iberian connections have left behind a heterogeneous culture in many aspects, including architecture. The many Brahmanical temples built from the seventeenth century onwards are examples of this, their hybrid forms belonging as much to the Islamicate world and the European Renaissance as to local building traditions. But, while these temples still stand today and attract increasing numbers of worshippers, their original architecture is disappearing, to be replaced by forms and elements from outside Goa. This paper examines the attempts to erase these unique forms, and the relation of this to the social, political, and legal context.

Keywords: heritage, preservation, Goa, Hindu temples, Brahmanical temples.

Download article here.

 

The Untouchable Citizen

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By JASON KEITH FERNANDES

 

On 6 June 2017 Jason Keith Fernandes spoke at St. Anthony’s College, Uni. of Oxford on “The Untouchable Citizen”. Exploring the emotional terrain of the citizenship experiences of groups in Goa in this presentation he argued that the linguistic choices made by the government of Goa ensured that it is not merely caste that is at the centre of citizenship experiences but in fact untouchability itself. Building on evidence from Goa he suggests that what obtains in Goa is not different from many other parts in India, allowing the suggestion that India is marked not as an egalitarian polity, but a casteist one.

Law Commissions of India and Goa Law Commissions: Framing the Absences of Regional Difference with Special Reference to Goa

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

This article examines how law reform processes in India have been unsuccessful in taking into account intersectionality, particularly in the context of Goa. It analyses how the existence of a Uniform Civil Code, a relic of the era of Portuguese colonialism, has been utilized by law reform processes to absolve themselves of responsibility for modernizing civil laws, particularly for women. The article breaks down the idea of an “Indian” identity, highlighting its failure to account for diversity in gender, caste, wealth and the unique challenges faced by a community that is at once isolated from India but also subsumed by this identity. Accounting for the failings of even institutional mechanisms such as the Law Commission of India to take cognizance of the needs of Goa and the lack of incentive for politicians to do so suo motu, this article calls for a relook at the identity through which laws are reviewed, as well as a more participative and inclusive look at the legislative changes required in Goa.

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Deve Ser Português Quem Nasce em Portugal? A Reforma da Lei da Nacionalidade

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DEBATE: DEVE SER PORTUGUÊS QUEM NASCE EM PORTUGAL? A REFORMA DA LEI DA NACIONALIDADE.
no âmbito de Congresso “MIGRAÇÃO, CIDADANIA, DIREITOS HUMANOS” 27 Nov 2017
organizado pelo
Universidade Nova De Lisboa
Intervencão pelo Jason Keith Fernandes

 

Antes de começar gostaria de agradecer aos organizadores deste evento, e em particular à Professora Cristina Nogueira, pelo o convite para participar neste debate. Enquanto os meus interesses de pesquisa se focam na área da cidadania, estou mais centrado no assunto relacionado com a cidadania dos Goeses especialmente em Goa, uma antiga província de Portugal. Mas, é precisamente com este local, talvez um bocado deslocado que gostaria de contribuir para este debate.

 

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Deve Ser Português Quem Nasce em Portugal? A Reforma da Lei da Nacionalidade

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DEBATE: DEVE SER PORTUGUÊS QUEM NASCE EM PORTUGAL? A REFORMA DA LEI DA NACIONALIDADE.
In the ambit of the Conference “Migration, Citizenship, Human Rights” 27 Nov 2017
Organized by
Universidade Nova De Lisboa
Intervention by JASON KEITH FERNANDES

 

Before I begin I would like to thank the organisers of this event, and in particular Prof. Cristina Nogueira, for having invited me to participate in this event. While my research interests are focussed on citizenship, they have more to do with the citizenship of those in Goa, a former province of Portugal. It is precisely from this somewhat displaced location that I would like to contribute to this debate.

 

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[Book Review] Paul Melo e Castro, ed. “Lengthening Shadows: An Anthology of Goan Short Stories Translated from Portuguese” (2 vols). Saligão and Margão: Goa 1556 and Golden Heart Emporium, 2016.

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By R. BENEDITO FERRÃO

2017, “[Book Review],” Journal of Lusophone Studies 2(1): 212-214. Download the PDF here.

 

In translating and compiling these 45 stories in the double volume Lengthening Shadows, editor Paul Melo e Castro showcases the legacy of the Portuguese short story from the former region of Goa Portuguesa. Held by the Portuguese between 1510 and 1961, Goa was the capital of Luso-Asia and the Estado da Índia Portuguesa. For Melo e Castro’s purposes, the anthology functions as “the autopsy of a dead literature,” focused as it is on a corpus that spans the period between 1864 and 1987 (8). After its 451-year colonization by Portugal, Goa was annexed by the Indian nation-state in 1961, a diminished literary output in Portuguese being a marker of the change in the enclave’s political identity. Even as the collection brings together a range of Portuguese stories by Goan authors, Melo e Castro’s introduction to the work dwells on the writers’ literary styles, their historical and social milieux, and links that could be made across the collection. In tying together Portuguese-language cultural production with Goa’s Portuguese identity, the edited volume looks to Goa’s past to recall its literary heritage. In this, the book is a testament, but its very publication may evidence a cultural continuity that cannot be so easily relegated to a bygone era.

 

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Tourism’s Unsustainable Consumption of Goa

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By VISHVESH KANDOLKAR

2016. “Tourism’s Unsustainable Consumption of Goa.” In Sustainable Energy for All by Design: Proceeding of the LeNSes Conference, Cape Town, South Africa 28-30 September 2016, edited by Emanuela Delfino and Carlo Vezzoli, 365–72. Cape Town: Edizioni POLI.design. Download PDF here. To view the original see here.

ABSTRACT

At once uniquely regional, yet possessing international cache, it is Goa’s Portuguese past that makes this now-Indian territory a site of consumption. Located along the western coast of the Indian subcontinent, it is not only the ‘sights’ of Goa that have been commercialized, but the very ‘site’ that has been occupied as elite India’s playground. Goa is overburdened with tourism-based real-estate development, and, the latest trend is to own a second home, catering to the needs of the elites from the urban metropoli like Bombay and Delhi. Such second homes add to the environmental concerns of the place, especially when the basic needs of housing for the locals are ignored. This paper argues that luxury second homes, even if they are certified as ‘green’, are in fact environmentally as well as socially unsustainable for a given place.

Keywords: Goa, Sustainability, Second homes, Tourism

 

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The Unsung Glories of the Imam: Silence, Absence and the Islamicate in the Kwok On Collection’s India holdings

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By JASON KEITH FERNANDES

 

(English version of the text presented at the Museu Oriente on April 19, 2017, as part of the series A Índia Visual. The original Portuguese version can be downloaded here. For the PDF of the English version click here.)

 

Before anything else I would like to thank a couple of people who have ensured that I have this opportunity today. I would like to thank, first of all Ines Lourenco for having invited to make this presentation. I have been following the India Visual series for a while and always nursed a secret desire to be able to speak from this platform. For this opportunity Ines, many thanks.

 

I would also like to thank the team at Museu Oriente, Liliana Cruz, Sofia Lopes and Cátia Souto for their help with this presentation. I recognize the presence of my doctoral supervisor Profa. Rosa Maria Perez. And finally, I would like to thank the members of the audience for their presence.

 

To move on to the substance of today’s presentation, I would like to begin with a confession. When I received the invitation to present at the India Visual lecture series I was told that I would have the option to visit the reserves of the Kwok On Collection and choose a piece, or pieces I would like to speak on.

 

As any museum aficionado knows, it is a huge opportunity to visit the reserves of a Museum, and not one to be missed. I was particularly excited because it would give me the chance to determine if my suspicion about the nature of the holdings was fact or simply a wild idea. The suspicion was that the India segment of the Kwok On collection would in fact be a collection of Hindu objects. This is to say, that India will have been implicitly understood as ‘Hindu’ by those who constitute the collection. I was not wrong in my assessment, and what I beheld in the collection, or at least the portion I was able to review, was rack upon rack of material that is associated with what we call Hinduism. Missing from these racks, at least on first glance, were materials that could be associated with Islam and Christianity. It is to this absence that the title of my presentation makes reference to, and which I would like to reflect on for just a moment before moving forward.

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As Glórias desconhecidas do Imã: O silêncio, a ausência e o islamicate na Índia da Colecção Kwok On

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Por JASON KEITH FERNANDES

 

(Texto da conferência apresentada a 19 de Abril, 2017 no Museu do Oriente, Lisboa no âmbito do  ciclo A Índia Visual. PDF em português e PDF em inglês.)

 

Antes de mais gostaria de agradecer a oportunidade que me foi dada para estar, hoje, aqui.

 

Em primeiro lugar gostaria de agradecer, à minha colega do CRIA Inês Lourenço por me ter convidado a fazer esta apresentação. Tenho seguido a série Índia Visual durante algum tempo e sempre alimentei o desejo secreto de poder participarnesta plataforma. Por esta oportunidade Inês, muito obrigado.

 

Gostaria também de demonstrar a minha gratidão para com a equipa do Museu Oriente: Liliana Cruz, Sofia Lopes e Cátia Souto por todo o apoio prestado durante esta apresentação. Aproveito a ocasião para agradecer também a presença da orientadora da minha tese de doutoramento, a Professora Doutora Rosa Maria Perez. Por último, mas de modo algum por ordem de importância, quero de agradecer a presença de todos os que aqui estão presentes hoje.

 

Antes de entrarno assunto que hoje nostraz aqui, gostaria de fazer uma confissão: Quando recebi este convitefoi-me dito que teria a possibilidadede visitar a reserva do Colecção Kwok on e seleccionar uma peça, ou peças, sobre a qual gostaria falar.

 

Qualquer apreciador de arte sabe que visitar as reservas de um Museu é uma experiência única. Fiquei particularmente entusiasmado porque desta maneira poderia ter a oportunidade de confirmar se a minha intuição, sobre a natureza desta colecção, seria uma realidade ou simplesmente uma suposição . O meu pressentimento dizia-me queo núcleo dedicado à índia da colecção Kwok On seria um conjunto de objectos Hindus. Quer dizer, a Índia teria sido implicitamente entendida como ‘Hindu’ por quem constituiu acolecção. Infelizmente a minha intuição não me enganou. Na reserva da Colecção, encontrei um acervo extraordinário mas na sua maioria associado ao culto hindu. Ausente deste espólio, pelo menos na primeira vista, estão objectos ligados ao Islão e à Cristandade. Esta é a ausência a que se refere o título da minha apresentação – e sobre a qual gostaria de reflectir por alguns instantes.

LER MAIS