“Amaravathi and the New Andhra: Globalising the Provincial?”

NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meeting


Topic: “Amaravathi and the New Andhra: Globalising the Provincial?”

Speaker: Prof. Carol Upadhya

Professor, School of Social Sciences, NIAS


Chairperson: Ms. Sanam Roohi

Ph.D. Scholar, School of Social Sciences, NIAS

Date: 23 December, 2015

Time: 9.30 am

Venue: Lecture Hall, NIAS

All are cordially invited

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Abstract: On October 22, a lavish foundation ceremony for the planned capital of Andhra Pradesh, ‘Amaravathi’, was held in a small village in Guntur district, close to the Krishna River. Against a large backdrop of a Singapore-style skyline, artistes entertained the audience with Telugu songs and traditional dances, and Hindu priests performed Vedic rituals as Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone. This presentation will explore the political symbolism of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s ‘dream capital’ – a ‘futuristic’ yet ‘vaastu-compliant’ new city that is to rise in the midst of a verdant rural landscape. Situating the capital project within ongoing processes of ‘provincial globalisation’ in the Coastal Andhra region, I argue that it signifies the amalgamation of an internationally circulating ‘world-city’ planning model with a regionalist cultural politics that is crystallising following the bifurcation of the state. This ‘urban utopia’ also reflects the reterritorialisation of Andhra by provincial capital and the regional diaspora, animated by a globalising and technocratic developmental imaginary and materialised through transnational and translocal flows of capital.

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For further details, please contact Prof. Sangeetha Menon [prajnanata@gmail.com or smenon@nias.iisc.ernet.in], Coordinator for Wednesday Discussion Meetings.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015