Cambridge (Massachusetts): A Harvard study of the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in India will be presented at an annual symposium on South Asia hosted by the university’s South Asia Institute (SAI) here April 25-26.
The symposium will focus on the timely appeal of South Asia to the humanities-at the intersection of religion and civil society, ancient arts and cutting edge technologies, organisers of the symposium said.
“South Asia Without Borders 2013″ will explore development, the juncture of caste and race, gender and human rights, social entrepreneurship and the arts, constitutionalism and development in South Asia,” they said.
“Mapping the Kumbh Mela”, a study by 50 Harvard faculty, staff and student researchers who travelled to Allahabad in January, documents and analyses the processes involved in the Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest human gathering.
This religious festival is held every twelve years, lasts 55 days, and draws millions of visitors to a temporary, purpose-built tent city on the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna.
Team leaders will share insights and outcomes that have come from this massive interdisciplinary project and speak with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan at the symposium.
Other topics at the symposium include “Why Europe Got Rich and Asia Did Not”, “Historicity and Modernity of Caste” and “Gender and Contemporary South Asia.”