- Code ASIA2164
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Asian Studies
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
The Governor-General’s palace at Simla in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas was the venue of conferences in 1945 and 1946 that determined the future of the Indian nation. The British Government, the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League, and representatives of all sections of Indian society from the untouchables to the aristocratic ruling princes all took part. After much wrangling and negotiation, the final outcome of the conference was Partition of India on the one hand and Pakistan (and what became Bangladesh) on the other. It was an outcome that satisfied no one, and in the chaos that followed up to one million refugees lost their lives.
Reverberations from Partition continue to impinge on the security of South Asia to this day. How did the decision to partition India come about? Did it have to be like this? Were other outcomes possible? The focus of this course to explore the dynamics and personalities that lead to Partition and to answer in part these questions.
In this highly innovative course we use role-play to recreate the Simla conferences. Each student will take on the roles of one of the participants including the British and India participants. The aim of the game is to form alliances with sufficient numerical strength to convince the British Government to adopt a model of India that meets the needs of each individual or faction. Students may have to compromise their principles to build such alliances, but at the same time must remain accountable to their constituents. The success of the course depends on each participant in the game undertaking a heavy reading load in the first few weeks as students master the historical background to the conference and become familiar with the role they are to adopt. To negotiate effectively with other factions, students will also have to understand their backgrounds, goals and motivations.
This course is part of a series entitled, Reacting to the Past, developed by Mark Carnes, Columbia University.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Improve group and individual negotiating techniques and strategies
- Strengthen public speaking capacity and confidence
- Become skilled in role-play based learning activities
- Civil Service Examination (week 4) 15%
- 1st presentation (1000 words) 25%
- 2nd presentation (1000 words) 25%
- Hats-off learning Journals 15%
- ‘Read and Respond’ 15%
- A bonus 5 points may be awarded to members of factions who achieve their game objectives
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32 teaching hours per semester
Requisite and Incompatibility
Embree, A. and Carbes, M. 2006. Defining the Nation: India on the eve of Independence 1945. New York: Pearson Longman.
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