The Patna Collective envisages itself as a new-age knowledge centre that defies the simplistic and often constraining binary of research-activism and seeks to articulate, generate and disseminate critical knowledge on new transformative spaces in India.
In this respect it feels that the persistence of faith in the public sphere and the ascendance of various identity informed counterpublics have particularly interrogated and complicated the hegemonic and received discourses of secularism, modernization and citizenship. These interrogations force us to reevaluate our normative universe and the hitherto acceptable strategies of transformative action.
While seeing little sense in recklessly either rejecting or accepting these new developments, The Patna Collective wishes to map, engage and reflect on these developments. Hence, the Collective aspires to engage with ‘faith’ in all its conceivable dimensions—faith as episteme, ethics, politics and culture. It also wishes to map and make sense of ‘identity-based counterpublics’ and ‘populism’ as an emerging social phenomenon and how they inform the question of internal reform, democratic social transformation and state policy as such.
In this pursuit the Collective aspires to forge networks, forums and resource centers that may enable a conversation on these developments both within the space of state and civil society and gauge what is at stake here. Moreover, ‘openness’ and ‘reflexivity’ remain the key values that bind the Collective and can be said to be the vantage-point from which its members would like their work and interventions to be evaluated.