The Infosys Prize 2023 laureate in Social Sciences Prof. Karuna Mantena delivered the Infosys Prize Lecture at the University of Hyderabad on July 5, 2024. The lecture was hosted by the School of Social Sciences at University of Hyderabad. Prof. Mantena is Professor, Political Science, Columbia University, USA and Co-Director, Conference for the Study of Political Thought. She was awarded the Infosys Prize for her groundbreaking research on the theory of imperial rule, and the claim that this late imperial ideology became one of the important factors in the emergence of modern social theory. Prof. Mantena’s Infosys Prize lecture was chaired by Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan of the Department of Political Science at the School of Social Sciences.

In her lecture Prof. Mantena discussed M.K. Gandhi’s analysis and rejection of violence in mass protest and consider why these matters for democracy today. Gandhi championed non-violent resistance as part of his protest against empire and colonial rule. However, the Rowlatt Satyagraha and the Non-Cooperation Movement, Gandhi’s first experiments in mass satyagraha, ended in outbreaks of violence.  What was the cause of this violence?  Gandhi worried that just as Indians were freeing themselves from slavery, they began acting like masters against those who were weaker, especially minorities of various kinds.

The Infosys Prize lecture series is intended as a platform for the Infosys Prize laureates to speak about their award-winning research to a wider audience of research scholars and students. The lectures are meant to spark conversations and enable an exchange of ideas among the scholarly community and aspiring researchers. You can read more about the Infosys Prize here.