*This event is cancelled. A new date will be announced on the faculty website soon.
On Thursday 3 March, the Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalization and the Institute for Indian Studies of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen will be hosting an event on 'The Politics of Religious Identity in Contemporary India'. Leading Indian human rights activist Dr Harsh Mander, assisted by India expert Prof. Jan Breman, will be shedding light on religion and politics in present-day India.
The event is part of a triptych, for which the UG, the University of Amsterdam and the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (part of Erasmus University Rotterdam) are working together. Between 28 February and 3 March, the three institutions will host lecture, seminar and discussion evenings. At all three events, renowned Indian human rights activist Dr Harsh Mander will talk about his work and about the complex, divisive intertwining of political and religious identity in contemporary India. Dr Mander was recently (in early February) nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2022 and is currently Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.
Dr Harsh Mander worked for the Indian government for many years. After the outbreaks of violence in Gujarat in 2002, Dr Mander began to engage more in social activism. He campaigns for the rights of religious minorities in the country and opposes all forms of extremism and violence. In 2017, he started the Karwan-e-Mohabbat [The Caravan of Love] to combat growing intolerance in India by showing solidarity with the victims of identity-based violence.
In the event series, Dr Harsh Mander will be assisted by emeritus professor and India expert Prof. Jan Breman. During the event in Groningen, Prof. Breman will also present his new book Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism, co-written with Ghanshyam Shah. Gujarat is an industrially and economically significant state in India. In this new book, the authors shed light on the implications of communalist politics in this region.
A panel discussion will be held with Prof. Breman and Dr Mander, accompanied by Dr Erin Wilson and Dr Elena Mucciarelli from the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. This panel will be moderated by Coen Kompier, a UG alumnus who worked as a senior expert at the International Labor Organization in India for 16 years. The event will be held in English.
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