Why did you get into teaching? How do you guide young minds as a teacher?
After doing my Masters and my MPhil coursework, the one thing that I missed sorely was classrooms. And that was the point I realised how much I loved them. So, I wanted to be a part of them one way or another! That is one reason I taught for a while during my PhD. Also, my teachers have made a huge difference to my life and to who I am as a person. It was nice to think I could do the same with younger people.
Today, we live in a world, where choosing sides, taking offence, and having an opinion about anything and everything has become very easy. I hope to convey to them that there is more to thought than just pronouncing on what is right or wrong. That it is okay to not feel certain about something and be confused. It is important that they engage politically with this world – a world where ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ matter, where our imagination and conceptions of an ethical, moral world matter. At the same time, I hope I can convey to them that our thinking cannot remain static while the world keeps changing.
The importance of political science as a subject in your opinion:
Political science as a subject that attempts to reconcile the normative notions of what ‘ought’ to be in the world and the actual, material practices and political contestations. On one hand, we see the normative world of politics obsessively trying to neatly define, label and create a conceptual map. The real life of politics is far too amorphous for that. It becomes like the air we breathe. Feminists, queer politics have gone on to speak of how even bodies are politically produced objects.
But as amorphous as the actual field of politics becomes, the task of normative political science becomes even more essential because theory, at the end of the day, gives us a way of how to make sense of this world. And to me, this eternal tension is incredibly rich and full of possibilities – both in terms of doing theory and doing politics.