33 episodes

The Polis Project, Inc is a hybrid research and journalism organization producing knowledge about some of the most important issues affecting us, by amplifying diverse perspectives from those indigenous to the conflicts and crisis affecting our world today.

Polis Project Conversation Series The Polis Project

    • Society & Culture

The Polis Project, Inc is a hybrid research and journalism organization producing knowledge about some of the most important issues affecting us, by amplifying diverse perspectives from those indigenous to the conflicts and crisis affecting our world today.

    Conversation with Mehr Manda and Mayukh Goswami, creators of the web comic, “Jamun Ka Ped”

    Conversation with Mehr Manda and Mayukh Goswami, creators of the web comic, “Jamun Ka Ped”

    Since December 2019 millions of Indians have protested the contentious “Citizenship Amendment Act” (CAA)-- rightly called the Nuremberg laws of India. 

    Since the protest started there as been brutal police actions against those protesting especially students in Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi. An organic peoples protest is now blooming across India. 

    Along with protests come poetry and art.  These protests are being chronicled by a new generation of artists. Joining us today are the USA-based artist Mayukh Goswami and writer and poet Meher Manda who started their “webcomic of dissent” that they call “Jamun Ka Ped” 

    Jamun Ka Ped', written in the 1960s, is a satire on bureaucratic red tape by Krishna Chander told through the story of a well-known poet who gets trapped under a Jamun tree in the lawns of a secretariat building after a thunderstorm.

    • 29 min
    Hindutva And The University

    Hindutva And The University

    The sustained assaults on universities and schools in Kashmir, the long-standing discrimination against Dalits and minorities at Indian universities, and the recent armed attacks on students and faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University in India all draw attention to the way in which questions of knowledge—its production and dissemination—are fundamentally, and violently, imbricated with the project of Indian, and particularly Hindu, nationalism.

    The assault on public university students is part of the battle over categories such as nation, borders, autonomy, and more recently citizenship. In addition to incursions on institutions of knowledge and their patrons – which range from physical violence to efforts to delegitimise opposing views by constructing them as ‘anti-national’ – Hindutva organisations such as the RSS, as well as its networks and adherents in Western academic contexts, also aim to promote intellectual work and academic knowledge that aligns with their political ideology.

    This panel will discuss the role played by pedagogy and knowledge production in the Hindu nationalist project, as well as the forms of learning, knowledge, and organising that are seen as threats to it, and then met with violence. In doing so, it will place the recent and widely discussed attacks on Indian university students within the long history of India’s military occupations, and everyday violence against minorities in India, and against the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

    Speakers:
    • Mehroosh Tak, Kashmir Solidarity Movement
    • Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths, University of London
    • Meena Dhanda, University of Wolverhampton
    • Rahul Rao, SOAS, University of London

    Chair:
    Akshi Singh, Queen Mary, University of London

    • 1 hr 56 min
    India’s Breaking Point by talk by Alf Gunvald Nilsen

    India’s Breaking Point by talk by Alf Gunvald Nilsen

    Prof Nilsen discusses the attacks on students and faculty at JNU in relation to the ongoing conflict and its significance to the protests that have been ongoing across India since the middle of December, against the introduction of citizenship laws that are widely – and correctly – perceived to be both anti-Muslim and a threat to the secular fabric of the Indian Constitution.

    The talk was organized by the Asia Network at the University of Oslo, in their "Focus" speaker-series. It was hosted by the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo.

    • 26 min
    Hindutva and the falsifications of Indian history, a talk by Prof. Irfan Habib

    Hindutva and the falsifications of Indian history, a talk by Prof. Irfan Habib

    Yesterday, Twitter was awash with posts about events at the Indian Historical Congress in Kannur. The eminent historian Irfan Habib has disrupted proceedings as Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, as part of his speech to the delegates, quoted Maulana Azad in relation to the CAA/NRC controversy. Habib told the Governor that he had no right to quote Maulana Azad, and that he should quote Nathuram Godse instead.

    Professor Habib's intervention reflects the courageous dedication to truth and justice that has informed his scholarship since his pathbreaking work on the agrarian system of Mughal India first appeared in the early 1960s. His decision to stand up to power at the Indian History Congress is model behaviour for all public intellectuals at this perilous moment in the life of the Indian republic.

    In recognition of this, we are pleased to share this recording of a talk given by Irfan Habib at a seminar organized by the Joshi-Adhikari Institute of Social Sciences in December 2015. The talk is an urgent call to arms against the falsifications of Indian history that nourish the Hindu nationalist imagination. As such, it bears witness to the stature and commitment of Professor Habib, and speaks directly to the current conjuncture of struggle in India.

    • 46 min
    "Our education system produces people that are either indifferent to caste oppression or oblivious"

    "Our education system produces people that are either indifferent to caste oppression or oblivious"

    "Our education system produces people that are either indifferent to caste oppression or oblivious to it" - Conversation with Pradyumna Jairam

    • 39 min
    5 Objects Podcast: Conversation with Hassan Ghedi Santur

    5 Objects Podcast: Conversation with Hassan Ghedi Santur

    Suchitra Vijayan speaks to author Hassan Ghedi Santur about his new book The Youth of God, representation and diversity and what it means to be a writer.

    • 41 min

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