From Ghandi to Globalization Part 1

From Gandhi to Globalization:
Craft and Human Development - Part 1
Ashoke Chatterje

In part one Charllotte Kwon introduces Ashoke Chatterjee and explains the application process for a Canadian visa (Mr. Chatterjee, an Indian dignitary with flawless credentials was denied a visa to visit Canada). Ashoke presents the first part of his lecture with visuals via an internet connection to our Vancouver audience.

Craft may seem timeless - but it is, in fact, tossed on a constantly changing sea of social, political, and economic currents. Few have been able to navigate these waters as skillfully as Ashoke Chatterjee who, among his other achievements, has been the Executive Director of the National Institute of Design (India), and President for many years of the Crafts Council of India.

Mahatma Gandhi dreamed of India’s independence and used localised hand production as a weapon against colonial rule. Later, Gandhi’s legacy helped shape craft development within national planning. But contemporary globalization dreams of market influence, often at the expense of independence. The shift between paradigms has had far-reaching effects for human development in all countries, especially in the craft sector.

Mr. Chatterjee will explore India’s craft experience: the social, economic, and political challenges found in the transition from the independence movement to the present era of so-called “liberalization.” Mr. Chatterjee will draw on governmental and civil society experience and his experience with the current effort by the Craft Council of India to create a national economic survey of the craft sector.


Ashoke Chatterjee’s teaching and training activities have a focus on the management of design in industry and in the social sector. He has worked to guide projects in the areas of communication, health, education, craft regeneration, ecology, and conservation. Following 25 years at the National Institute of Design, he has been involved with institutional development at Shristi School of Design (Bangalore), Indus Valley School of Design and Architecture (Karachi), Royal College of Art (UK), and Kala Raksha Vidyalaya (Bhuj).

Mr. Chatterjee’s development experience includes consultancies and training conducted on behalf of the National Institute of Design, National Drinking Water Mission (Govt. of India), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (Govt. of India, New Delhi), Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (Geneva), National AIDS Control Organization (Govt. of India, New Delhi), UNICEF (India and New York), UNFPA (New Delhi), World Conservation Union (IUCN, Geneva), National Conservation Strategy of Pakistan (Islamabad), World Bank (New Delhi), Ford Foundation (New Delhi), Gujarat AIDS Prevention & Control Unit (GAP, Ahmedabad), Centre for Environment Education (Ahmedabad), Department of Health (Government of Gujarat), and on behalf of several NGOs working on health and environmental issues.

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