The Zakir Husain Memorial Lectures 1992–2004



lxvi + 242 pages

9.5 x 6.25 inches

ISBN: 81-89487-11-6

Rs 495

All rights available

Zakir Husain College •University of Delhi

The Zakir Husain Memorial Lecture, held at Zakir Husain College each year, honours an eminent educationist, nationalist and distinguished President of India. Dr Zakir Husain was well aware of the historical contribution and contemporary significance of the College for higher education in modern India. The Memorial Lecture commemorates the vital role he played in the governance of the College in the pre- and post-independence periods.

It is said that the twentieth century closed with the ‘end of history’, the demise of ideology and many certainties. However, a view has also emerged that the proclaimed demise of all certainties in itself has turned into a new orthodoxy, thereby necessitating the need to critically engage with all forms of received knowledge – old and new.

The twelve Zakir Husain Memorial Lectures collected in this volume seek to do precisely this – that is, interrogate a range of ideas that continue to inhabit and shape our contemporary intellectual space. These lectures grapple with critical issues that are at the heart of contemporary life: the nation-state, capitalism, modernity, globalization and a variety of representations – linguistic, cultural, pedagogical and historical.

The writers are experts from different disciplines; they are firmly rooted in their subjects but they possess the macro vision to make connections with broader processes, especially globalization, identity formation and democratization.

Zakir Husain College stands on the deep foundation of a 300-year-long history, one that speaks of a vibrant tradition of knowledge-building in the Indian sub-continent. While the strength of its foundation offers tremendous scope to reach great heights, it also demands a dynamic engagement with contemporary ideas, life and education. The progressive ideals demonstrated and nurtured by this institution from as long back as the beginning of the eighteenth century, through the turbulence of 1857 and the upheaval of the Partition in 1947, to the present times, have included a concern for women’s education; stress on vernacular education alongside learning of the English language; spreading scientific awareness through education and by making western texts accessible through translation into Urdu; and upholding the values of a composite culture. Despite some grave setbacks and threats, the institution has demonstrated great optimism in its energetic revivals under different names – Anglo-Arabic College in the pre-independence period, Delhi College in 1948, and later, Zakir Husain College.