Monthly Webinar Series: Academic Freedom in India

This series is part of InSAF India’s solidarity campaign for maintaining international awareness of :

• the unjustifiable jailing in India of academics, students and activists

• the shrinking space for academic freedom

• the state’s usurping of academia in the saffronisation of India


   One webinar every month -- usually this is the last Saturday of every month, 7pm/8pm IST

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Human Rights Defenders in India: Stories from the Trenches


Saturday, 31 July 2021

9:30am New York | 2:30pm UK | 7pm India

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As a growing number of human rights defenders are being incarcerated using charges of sedition, terrorism and anti-national activities, the movements and causes they have stood for and struggled with through constitutional means, now, in turn, are fighting for their release. It is clear the state is determined to silence these activists by any means necessary, framing them in false cases and denying them bail repeatedly.


We mourn the institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy that has fully exposed to the world the machinations of Indian state agencies and a compromised judiciary.

• Why was Father Stan and his centre in Ranchi, Jharkhand (Bagaicha) such a threat to the state?

• How are corporations/commercial interests complicit with the state in trying to suppress the movements of such grassroots organizations and eliminate these activists?

• How does the Indian legal system enable those in power to rule by law instead of governing under a rule of law?

Through this webinar we hope to shine a light on how these grassroots organizations and activists have stood up to the carceral state and its allied interests, and what support the international community can provide.



Dayamani Barla, Adivaasi, Moolvaasi, Astitva Raksha Manch, Jharkhand, India

Jerome Kujur, Social Activist, Jharkhand, India


Nikita Sonavane, Lawyer and Co-founder, Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAProject), Bhopal, India


Father P.M. Tony, Freelance Researcher, Social Activist, and Colleague of Late Father Stan Swamy, Ranchi, India


Nihalsing Rathod, Defence Lawyer for the Bhima Koregaon Arrestees, Nagpur, India


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This webinar is co-hosted by India Civil Watch International

Other webinars available as educational resources


Co-hosts for the above webinars include Ambedkar King Study Circle (California), India Civil Watch International, British Association for South Asian StudiesScholars At Risk, the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam, The Forum on Education in Asia (UCL), and the SIU University Honors Program

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Topics to be covered in forthcoming webinars

The scientific community’s Hindutva challenge

Academic freedom in higher education institutions in India

Academic freedom in primary and secondary education in India

Locking down academic freedom in Kashmir

The international reach of Hindutva: Hindu nationalist thought in academic institutions abroad

The international reach of Hindutva: Challenges of researching India and complicity of European knowledge

The saffronisation of archives

Adivasi rights and academic freedom