UCL Faculty of Laws


Fatal Love: Intimacy and Interest in Indian Political Thought

20 March 2018, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

south asia legal forum

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UCL Laws


UCL Jeremy Bentham Room, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Launch of the South Asian Legal Studies Forum

South Asia has a unique shared legal history and deep links with the English legal system. These countries retained English styled laws after independence and even today a number of South Asian lawyers train in the UK before returning to practice their countries. The shared common law basis of the legal systems and the contiguous demographics of the countries in the region offer innumerable opportunities for comparative and interdisciplinary research on a variety of legal issues. The UCL Faculty of Laws and the Graduate Law Society is therefore pleased to announce the launch of the ‘South Asian Legal Studies Forum’ to offer its students a platform on which to discuss and debate legal issues relating to the region.

About the event:

Most accounts of Hindu-Muslim conflict in colonial India tend to emphasize the growing distance between these admittedly shifting and changing communities. Dr Faisal Devji will show that this relationship was in fact marked by great intimacy, which made for the possibility both of harmony and violence. He will describe how important Indian politicians and thinkers, such as Gandhi and Jinnah, were able to engage in a debate about the problem that intimacy and even love rather than distance posed for Hindu-Muslim relations. For Gandhi this intimacy had to be pushed even further to be made non-violent, while for Jinnah it had be dismantled and replaced by contractual relations and interest politics instead.

About the Speaker:

Dr Faisal Devji, University Reader in Modern South Asian History (University of Oxford).

Dr Devji has held faculty positions at the New School in New York, Yale University and the University of Chicago, from where he also received his PhD in Intellectual History. Devji was Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University, and Head of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, from where he directed post-graduate courses in the Near East and Central Asia.

He is a Fellow at New York University’s Institute of Public Knowledge and was previously the Yves Otramane Chair at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. 

He is interested in Indian political thought as well as that of modern Islam. His broader concerns have to do with ethics and violence in a globalized world.

Dr Devji is the author of four books: (1) Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea (2013); (2) The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptation of Violence (2012); (3) The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics (2009); (4) Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity (2005).

Principal Discussant:

Dr Amber Darr, Teaching Fellow, UCL Laws.

Dr Darr recently completed her PhD from UCL in which she compared the impact of legal and political institutions in India and Pakistan on the implementation of competition laws in the countries. She is a senior research fellow at UCL's Centre for Law, Economics and Society. She is also a Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English Literature from Bryn Mawr College, USA. In 2014, Dr Darr was enrolled as an Advocate as the Supreme Court of Pakistan. In addition to her primary research interests, Dr Darr is committed to raising public awareness of legal issues relating to Pakistan and the South Asian region.

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