The Big Bang Conference Room of Jindal Global Business School (JGBS) saw the inauguration of the Center for Asia Pacific Business Research & Innovation (CAPBRI) on 3 May, 2017. Speaking at the inauguration, CAPBRI Director Professor Anirban Ganguly said, “This Center seeks to promote a multidisciplinary research approach that tries to integrate a plethora of areas of business research in the Asia Pacific Region. It will bring together scholars from various fields and disciplines working on diverse types of Asia Pacific business.” Along with its Director, the Center currently has four other members: Dr. Saumya Dey, Ms. Jasmine Ching-Chi Hsu, Dr. Ayona Bhattacharjee and Dr. Neha Mehra.
To mark the event, CAPBRI invited the well-known economic historian Professor Aditya Mukherjee to deliver a public lecture on ‘Origins of the Indian Capitalist Class’. Professor Mukherjee teaches modern Indian history at the Center for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. His research and teaching primarily focus on the various aspects of the colonial Indian economy. He has authored the much-appreciated book ‘Imperialism, Nationalism and the Making of the Indian Capitalist Class 1920-1947’.
Professor Mukherjee’s lecture was very well received by an audience composed of both students and faculty members. He dwelt on how the early Indian capitalists from the 1920s-30s carved an autonomous economic space within the colonial economy. According to him, they did this through two means: a) by consistently opposing the infiltration of foreign capital in the Indian economy; and b) by not subordinating themselves to it and by doing a thorough economic critique of colonialism which resonated with the Indian nationalist leadership. The early Indian capitalists were, according to Professor Mukherjee, integral to the Indian national movement. Thus, he suggested that the growth of Indian capitalism is closely linked to the rise of Indian nationalism.
The inauguration of the Center thus started off on an enlightening note.