Criminalisation of anti-caste research and activism in India

Access the original video here.

Anti-caste academic research and activism in India are increasingly threatened with criminalisation and surveillance from the state: from the arrests of academics and students to the militarisation of campuses, from the banning of books, plays and film screenings to the censorship of activities deemed as detrimental to the reputation of the government. The persecution of academic-activists in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence is a case in point. Other examples include the specific targeting of anti-caste academics, in particular academics from Dalit and Bahujan backgrounds. Critics of corporate-friendly policies and actions of the government, public intellectuals who take the side of the poorest rural communities and join their struggles against dislocation, land expropriation and ecological destruction, are also regularly attacked and threatened. This webinar is a rich discussion that includes:

— Production of Brahminical knowledge and reproduction of caste system: a critique of academic practice.

— University as a space of graded inequality: anti-caste student movement and its critique to Brahminic system of power.

— Materiality of caste mentalities: anti-reservation policies and other strategies of exclusion of anti-caste subjects.

Our guest speakers:

Anjali Arondekar: Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, and founding Co-Director, Center for South Asian Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz (https://anjaliarondekar.sites.ucsc.edu/​)

Dontha Prashanth: Research Scholar at School of Economics, University of Hyderabad and President of Ambedkar Students’ Association for 2014-2015, and an elected Students’ Union President of University of Hyderabad for 2011-2012.

Uma Chakravarti: Feminist historian who has written on caste and gender. Uma is also a filmmaker who makes films on women who have gone to jail for their political work.

Our moderator Arun Asokan, Post-doctoral Fellow, History and Philosophy of Mathematical Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland

This webinar is co-hosted by InSAF India, Ambedkar King Study Circle (California), Scholars At Risk, the British Association for South Asian Studies, and the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam, The Forum on Education in Asia (UCL), and the SIU University Honors Program

To learn more about or contact InSAF India, please visit our website: https://www.academicfreedomindia.com/​

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