Public talks

Radio Interview with Patricia Kullberg on the Coronavirus Crisis in India

Link to the interview

Patricia Kullberg speaks with Dr. Swati Birla about how Primer Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling BJT party set the stage for the coronavirus catastrophe currently unfolding in India and how radical right-wing and anti-Muslim forces in India are attempting to take advantage of the crisis to consolidate their political stranglehold on the country. Dr. Birla is a physician and feminist activist engaged in anti-caste and anti-racist work with the collective Sanhati and the Global Prison Abolitionist Collective. She is currently completing a doctorate degree in sociology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  


A talk on the Citizenship Amendment Act (2019) Sponsored by the Revive the Peace Movement Network, and Solidarity-US

Link to the talk

The Citizenship Amendment Act and the mandatory National Register of Citizens passed on December 12th, 2019 will make 200 million Muslims stateless. Preceding the CAA bill, on August 5th the Indian state abrogated the constitutional autonomy of the region of Kashmir after decades of military repression. The colonial proclivities of the Indian state are extremely clear in Kashmir (and in Northeastern states) as is the willingness to unleash an extremely brutal and militarized regime through Armed Forces Special Powers Act and other such instruments in such regions early in the career of these states from the 1950s.

With these acts of suspension of autonomy and repression what we are seeing is a decisive transformation of the Indian state and polity, the quest to exclude the doubtfuls and Muslims from the nation, the quest to expand territorial boundaries. This has been a long drawn historical process but the decisive shift to fascism in India places new demands on us to formulate new political grammar and strategies. With this presentation I hope to explore what lessons and insights that we might bring to bear on India from other spaces of struggle.


Panel discussion Farmers’ struggles: From India to U.S.

Link to the panel

The world’s food is grown by the world’s poorest people. About 70 percent of the world’s food is grown by small scale peasant farmers who also live in the world’s impoverished and rural areas. How did farmers become the epicenter of global poverty and protests against capitalism? And how can we think of our present and future politics of food, land, livelihood through ecologically sustainable, viable and socially just frameworks? This panel will bring speakers from India and the U.S to discuss the contemporary protests and alternative economy experiments.

Speakers: Dr. Vikas Rawal is a Professor of Economics at Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. LaShauna Austria  is a member of the Executive Committee of the National AfroSocialist & Socialists of Color caucus within the Democratic Socialists of America. Rohini Hensman is a writer, independent scholar and activist working on workers’ rights, feminism, minority rights and globalization. Moderator: Swati Birla

Sponsored by Revive the Peace Movement (RPM),  Afro-Socialist Caucus (DSA), Sanhati, Dwight Hall Peace Initiative (Yale), Boston South Asia Coalition, Solidarity (Socialist, Feminist & Anti-racist), Transnational Solidarity NetworkSystem Change Not Climate Change.