CWC’s 4th Panel Discussion on “Law, Governance and Religion: Constituting the Citizen”
The discussion aimed to encourage a dialogue amongst students of Ashoka University on the role of caste politics in forming the legislature and law.
Office of PR & Communications29 March, 2018 | 5 min read
After the mid semester break, CWC which opened with its 4th Panel Discussion on “Law, Governance and Religion: Constituting the Citizen” was organized on 21st March, 2018. Chaired by Dr. M.A.A. Khan (from the Political Science Department), the discussion aimed to encourage a dialogue amongst students of Ashoka University on the role of caste politics in forming the legislature and law. Ravi Shankar Jayaram began the panel listing out the factors that enabled the BJP’s recent political ascendance in Uttar Pradesh. He presented his arguments on the evident class divide between the wealthy and politically well-connected, and those employed in insecure, lower middle-class professions. On the success of BJP defying the prevalent caste politics, Dr. Shankar argued that the BJP crafted a multi-ethnic electoral coalition that encompassed traditional upper caste elites and new middle classes from diverse backgrounds.
Divya Tripathi then highlighted the role of caste in the making of the law. Opening with a trailer of the short documentary ‘Kakoos’, on the basis of empirical research, she argued that the state’s approach on eradication of manual scavenging is questionable. She gave an overarching view of pre- and post-independence laws that led to the current legislations and schemes. She ended the discussion by highlighting the loopholes in identifying, liberating, and rehabilitating schemes that have been laid down in the 2013 Act.
Professor Khan tied the discussion together with questions on the issues and highlighted why more conversations like these are needed. The discussion went on for almost an hour, held by an enthusiastic audience that chipped in with their queries and views.