In This Issue
About Us
About Pattrika
This newsletter, conceived to give a glimpse of the many and varied projects conducted by the French research centres in India, circulated for several years as a "dead-tree" newsletter, then as a large PDF file. After a pause for reflection in 2016, we decided to relaunch it in a more convenient online format as a biannual newsletter. This second issue in the new format covers the second half of 2017, with one or two allusions to significant events from just outside this period. Click here for previous issues
Contact Us
IFP: ifpinfo{at}ifpindia{dot}org

EFEO: administration{at}efeo-pondicherry{dot}org

CSH: communication{at}csh-delhi{dot}com
Controlling emerging diseases in India (CSH)

Dengue test being performed on Delhi inhabitants. (Olivier Telle, 2017)

Mosquito-borne diseases rising in Asia is a true critical issue. Centre de Sciences Humaines is glad to collaborate with the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Center for Policy Research and the Institut Pasteur on a Public Health project which looks for long-term solutions to slow epidemics. Supervised by Olivier Telle (CNRS researcher and Head Researcher at CSH), this project aims to better control emerging infectious diseases in urban areas. The project's joint team works on developing on-site innovative tools to control the emergence of Aedes Aegipty mosquito that is the main vector for dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses.

Each institution involved plays a key role in the research process. Institut Pasteur will develop mosquito trap that will be field-tested in Delhi by the National Institute of Malaria Research. Integrating mobility of individuals, socio-economical and environmental disparities, Centre de Sciences Humaines and its partners will then identify areas where established mosquito control measures can have maximum impact on the spread of diseases. However, CSH provides crucial informations all through the project, by analysing links between diseases, city development, and human migrations.

The other main objective is to control Delhi urban niches where Aedes mosquitoes find suitable environment to perpetuate. This is a crucial phase of the project, since it will ascertain its long-term effectiveness. We indeed believe that the best way to improve the control of epidemics is to reconnect preventive healthcare with cities development and human mobility.

This Indo-French collaborative project, involving geographers, mathematicians, entomologists and viologists, is a strong example of transdisciplinary research. Though Delhi has been chosen as the starting point, this research will be extended all over Asia in the near future.

Contact: Olivier Telle, olivier{dot}telle{at}gmail{dot}com

Pacippiṇi: Writings on Hunger from Tamil South India (IFP)

From a Buddhist Tamil classic: Manimekalai, offering food

This project seeks to foreground how hunger is dealt with in its literary and religious representations in the Tamil region of South India. "Hunger" is a notoriously polysemic and slippery concept which can and is used and appropriated in very different contexts -- ranging from dieting to anorexia, from ascetic fasting to famine induced starvation. This proposed book project is not concerned with the material causes of hunger, the economic reasons for it or the socio-political processes that bring it about. Rather, it aims at illuminating the religious and cultural history of the concept from a longue durée perspective, through its literary representations within one vernacular tradition. The choice of texts for translation will shed light on the changing historical meanings of hunger within the vernacular literature. The pivotal period will be the 19th century when British political engagement with India transits from a purely commercial interest enacted through company rule to an imperial engagement that involves the incorporation of India as a colony of the British Empire. The 19th century as the pivotal site for changing perceptions of hunger is no mere coincidence. As Vernon (2010:4) has pointed out, "it was in imperial Britain over the past two centuries that the story of modernity became partially organized around the conquest of hunger, or at least its banishment to lands still awaiting "development"." This project will illuminate how the literary representations of hunger undergo changes around the 19th century in those very lands subjected to the impact of the "metropole" and the metropolitan discourse governing them and, further, how this impact continues to reverberate in the post-colonial state.

Contact: Prof. Srilata Raman, Toronto University, s.raman{at}utoronto{dot}ca; Mr. Kannan.M, IFP, kannan.m{at}ifpindia{dot}org; Dr. Prakash V., IFP, prakash.v{at}ifpindia{dot}org

Haṭha Yoga Workshop (EFEO)

Photo EFEO: collection Père Faucheux

From 15th to 25th January 2018, a reading workshop of the ERC-funded “Haṭha Yoga Project” ( was held in the Pondicherry Centre of the EFEO. Several editions of yogic works in Sanskrit are under preparation as part of the project, and some of these were studied and discussed during the course of the workshop, notably the Amaraughaprabodha, the Yogatārāvalī (Jason Birch, SOAS), the old Gorakṣaśataka (not to be confused with the Vivekamārtaṇḍa) and the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, (James Mallinson, SOAS), as well as passages from the old Yogayājñavalkya (Somdev Vasudeva, Kyoto University), the Kaulajñānanirṇaya (Shaman Hatley, University of Massachusetts, Boston), the yoganirṇaya of the Jayadrathayāmala (Somdev Vasudeva), the Siddhāntadīpikā of Rāmanātha (R. Sathyanarayanan, EFEO) and the Sarvajñānottaratantra (Dominic Goodall, EFEO). The readings threw light on varied ideas about the hierarchy of mantrayoga, layayoga, haṭhayoga and rājayoga, and both the constitution and the interpretation of many a passage were considerably improved in the course of the discussions, which were lively and congenial.

Contact: James Mallinson, jm63{at}soas{dot}ac{dot}; Jason Birch, jb92{at}soas{dot}ac{dot}uk