In his upcoming talk Jawhar Sircar will present evidence of how the public broadcaster of India actively helped 'create a national identity' and reach a common cultural denominator in India where 1.3 billion people speak 22 languages and profess 6 religions. He will give specific examples of its successes, in the face of large scale illiteracy, in extremely complex tasks of social reforms, ensuring equity and in economic development, which is unparalleled in its scale and magnitude of operations.
Sircar will also analyse the failures of India’s public broadcaster such as its inadequacy in autonomy and professionalisation, the inability to upgrade its programmes and technology with the changing times and its increasing dependence on government funding.
Jawhar Sircar has been India's longest serving Culture Secretary and has also headed the national public broadcasters, All India Radio and Doordarshan for nearly five years.He has been Vice President of the 71-nation Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union for four years. After graduating in Political Science from Presidency College in 1972, he studied at the universities of Calcutta, Cambridge and Sussex. He has two Masters Degrees in History and Anthropology. Sircar's research-based writings are on history, culture and religion, which have been published in India and abroad. He speaks regularly at foreign universities and institutes, mainly on Indian civilisation and culture, covering a whole range of critical issues. He resigned recently as the head of Indian public broadcasting to devote full time to his academic pursuits.
The lecture is organized in cooperation with the CEU South Asia Research Group.