Nationalism and its discontents: Excluded and stateless in Modi’s India

17.00-19.30 on 20th February 2020

Venue: Flora Anderson Hall, Somerville College

Format: Keynote address (25-30 minutes).
Panel of 4 (10 minutes each), followed by moderated discussion and Q&A

Drinks: 19:00-19.30

In its second term, the Modi government’s “bold” moves have sought to change the constitutional character of India. This event focuses on two prominent state interventions to springboard a broader discussion about democracy, citizenship, nationalism and statelessness: first, the revocation of Kashmir’s special constitutional status and second, the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which links Indian citizenship to religion. In response to both state actions, protests of varying lengths, scale and intensity have broken out across the country. These have been met with intense state repression, including police brutality, communication blackouts and curfews. In light of these deteriorating state-citizen relations, this panel discussion brings together experts from a diverse fields — academia, literature, science — to discuss the implications for the Indian polity.

The keynote address will be given by Professor Niraja Gopal Jayal, Jawaharlal Nehru University. The panelists are Dr Nikita Sud, Associate Professor of Development Studies, University of Oxford, Meena Kandasamy, poet and author, Dr. Subir Sarkar, Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford, and Mirza Waheed, journalist and novelist.

The event will be moderated by Dr. Sneha Krishnan, Associate Professor in Human Geography, University of Oxford.

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