Religion, Ethnicity, and Political Polarization in South Asia

FBK-ISR International Seminar 2022

Multicultural societies of South Asia comprise of groups and communities characterised by different ethnicity, religion, and language. These three factors seem to be crucial in building the identity narrative, based on rather fluid and contextual interpretation of various aspects of the myth of origin, often with the belief that it predestines one group to rule over other communities.
The study will be based on the example of Sri Lanka, showing how differences between communities translate into “otherism”, radicalism, but also in political polarisation, and unequal power distribution. It will concentrate on Sinhala identity narration, which allows this majoritarian group to act as under constant threat by the “other”, targeting firstly Tamils, and now shifting its focus to Muslims. Here (as well as in case of other countries, e.g. India), we may observe the mechanism of “majority with minority complex” (Tambiah), which requires the presence of “the Other” to legitimize its own violence.


Scientific coordination
Massimo Leone, Director FBK-ISR

Cycle of seminars: “De-Polarization in Religion and Ethics


The event will be held in English

The event will be online 

To participate in the event, you must register by 12 noon on Wednesday, 27 July 2022


Fresco by Schweitzer



  • Dr. Kamila Junik is Assistant Professor at the Institute of the Middle and Far East, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. She holds an M.A. in Oriental Philology (Indology), and a PhD in Hindi Literature. Her interests include contemporary Hindi and Urdu literature, visual culture, religions, and socio-political situation in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh). She has published a monograph on new trends in contemporary Hindi literature (2015, in Polish), translations from Hindi and Urdu literature into Polish, and several papers on topics related to modern South Asia.


Registration to this event is mandatory.

Registration closed on 27/07/2022.



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