Open Discussion organized by Divya Nadkarni and moderated by Sudha Rajagopalan. As you may be aware, the Government of India has recently passed a controversial legislation (Citizenship Amendment Act, 12th December 2019) which at one end of the spectrum is being lauded as the 'refugee policy' to protect specific religious minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and on the other end of the spectrum is seen as a discriminatory ‘re-engineering of Índian Citizenship’ on religious grounds.
It is feared that the Act, along with the existing process of Citizenship Determination in India will burden poor and marginalized sections of the society, especially Women, Dalits, tribes and religious minorities. It is also feared that the Act can lead to statelessness amongst the Muslim people residing in India.
At the same time the use of brute state forces and violent backlash by the ruling government towards the Student protestors in an attempt to silence dissenting democratic voices resonates with the rise of violence and majoritarian politics across the world. According to a recent New York University report, India currently has the 3rd largest attack against students globally, after Turkey and China. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/05/world/asia/india-jawaharlal-nehru-university-attack.html
In light of this law and the growing state crack-down of dissent through the use of brute force across Indian Universities, we, academics in the Netherlands, wish to join in solidarity, the students of JMI, AMU, JNU (among others); the Muslim women of Shaheen Bhag in New Delhi; and the numerous other protests taking place across India and Indian diasporic communities worldwide. As members of academia in the Netherlands, we strongly believe in the need to create open spaces across Universities in the Netherlands to discuss the happenings within the largest democracy in the world, and to make room for debates, discussions, education, and resistance! The first of these discussions was held in the University of Groningen on 8th January 2020, organised by Dr. Ritumbra Manuvie.
In continuation, a second discussion is organised in Amsterdam, a joint venture by researchers and staff from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Vrije Universiteit (VU) on Wednesday 22nd of January from 15:00 to 17:00 hrs at [LOCATION TBD]. This day is especially critical since it is the date of the 2nd hearing in India of a petition challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act on its constitutionality.. The meeting will allow us to openly reflect upon the nature of Secularism and growth of majoritarianism in India.
There will be a parallel meeting in the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen on the same date, organised by Dr. Ritumbra Manuvie. For those who wish to attend the event in Groningen, please contact Dr. Manuvie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.