School of Economics, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a Distinguished Lecture on “Seasons of Self-Delusion: Opium, Capitalism and the Financial Markets” by Professor Jairus Banaji, Research Professor, Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London on 29th July, 2013 at the Sir C V Raman Auditorium, UoH.


Professor Jairus Banaji while delivering distinguished lecture shared the central role played by speculation capital in two different moments of capitalist expansion. Professor Jairus said that in the 19th century, how speculative capital from London played a key role in the production and trade of opium between India and China, and how Indian peasants played a role of subordination to finance capital that emanated from London. Speaking to the packed auditorium, Professor Jairus said that in the recent global insist of 2007-08, he showed how American speculation capital played a key role in the capitalism among the World. By giving a call for a more democratic capitalism where working people will not be at the mercy of speculative capital.

Prof. Shantha Sinha, Department of Political Sciences introduced the speaker. She was delighted to share her experiences with Prof. Banaji during her student days at Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU). Prof. G Nancharaiah, Dean School of Economics presided over the lecture.


Professor Jairus Banaji is Research Professor in the Dept of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London. Professor Banaji’s main research interests include: agrarian history; Late Antiquity and early Islam; historical materialism and, contemporary India, with a special interest in issues like the critique of minimalist stereotypes of the ancient economy; Marx’s method in Capital; modes of production; the fate of the peasantry under capitalism; and, labour and capital in India’s economy. He is currently working on a short book called (provisionally) Marxist Theory and Contemporary Capitalism. His book Theory as History won the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize for 2011. His latest book is Fascism: Essays on Europe and India (2013).