Pradnya Bivalkar is an expert in India and has been responsible for the Indian media ambassadors programme at the University of Tübingen since January 2017. Prior to that, she was responsible for the programme at HAW Hamburg between 2015 and 2016. After doing a BA in economics and a MA in German at the University of Pune, Bivalkar spent five years in Tübingen. From May 2009 until the end of 2011 she received a scholarship on the "Wertewelten" project at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, before receiving a scholarship from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from January 2012 to December 2014. In her PhD thesis she explores the images of contemporary Indian literature and media, using the examples set by selected works (by V S Naipaul, Günter Grass, Ilija Trojanov, Mira Nair and Ashutosh Gowarikar) and the phenomenon of transcultural identities.
India is a country of extremes - a country in which polar opposites such as wealth and poverty, hunger and abundance, liberalism and conservatism exist everyday. Indian society embodies openness and open-mindedness, but also tradition, conservative values and moral values. On one hand, the so-called "Western" concepts, which have become more popular in India thanks to globalisation, such as gender equality and equality for minorities, are now being fought for everywhere. On the other hand, many parts of society want a return to the so-called traditional and conservative values. Many right-wing groups and political parties are fighting to maintain their so-called traditional concepts, whilst claiming that unmarried women are too Western, have questionable personalities, bad characters, and pose a big risk to society. They also oppose interreligious marriages, as well as marriages between people from two different castes - this conflict between liberality and openness and conservatism characterises everyday Indian life. This lecture deals with this everyday conflict in India, using films like "Bachelor Girls" to showcase the divide between cultures, castes, sexes, poverty and wealth.