Monthly Webinar Series: Academic Freedom in India

Webinar 2: 27 February 2021 -- details below

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 will be the last Saturday of every month, 8pm IST

                                                                                                                     (subject to speakers availability)

Webinar 2:
Why academics need to be part of
the farmers' protests in India

27 February 2021 8pm IST / 6:30am PST/ 8:30am CST/ 9:30am EST/ 2:30pm GMT/ 3:30pm CET




What is the connection between the ongoing farmer protests and the arrests of scholars and civic activists in India? Farmers' unions agitating against three farm laws have notably also raised their voices demanding the release of numerous intellectuals and civic activists, arrested under the 'Unlawful Activities Prevention Act'. Several of those arrested have been actively involved in struggles of the landless and rural poor, and have been vocal in their opposition to India's increasingly increasingly authoritarian, pro-corporate and casteist modes of governance. This webinar brings together scholars and farmers to discuss how the process of corporatisation undermines education and agriculture in similar ways.  It will reflect on the caste dimensions of the protests, and how academics, farmers and agricultural workers can forge solidarities in times of dispossession and crises.

Our guest speakers

Harinder Kaur 'Bindu', President, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) Women's Wing, India. Harinder has been working tirelessly to organise and educate, in particular women in Punjab about the wide ramifications and intended impact of the farms laws

Vijoo Krishnan, All India Joint Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, India. Vijoo is a writer on agrarian issues and also a central committee member of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a key organiser of Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan

Surinder Jodhka, Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India. Surinder has written extensively on agrarian structures and change, as well as caste politics in India

Shreya Sinha, Research Associate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. Shreya works on the political economy of development and agrarian change in India


Our moderator


Ashok Kumbamu, Sociologist and editorial board member, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism


Join the Q&A session with our speakers

Register to join in the Zoom webinar here:


This webinar is co-hosted by InSAF IndiaAmbedkar 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


Previous webinars available as educational resources

The criminalisation of student activism and the idea of academic freedom in India


Topics that will be covered in forthcoming webinars:

The criminalisation of anti-caste academic research and activism

Academic freedom in India: legal aspects

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

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