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Speakers

Post-doctoral Fellow at the Kennedy School, Harvard University
Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Satish Dhawan Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Science
Founder and Director, Trans Rights Now Collective
Fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation

Date & Time

Thursday Thu, 8 Aug 2019

Categories

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Caste Matters, the stunning new book by Suraj Yengde, invokes the personal and the political to provide us a searing perspective of caste in 21st century India. Partha Chatterjee calls it “A book that demands to be read”. Anand Teltumbde writes, “Caste Matters is an experiential exposition of the hidden side of caste by a promising young scholar who has risen from the dark alleys of his childhood to the academic dazzle of iconic Harvard”. Join us for the Bangalore launch of this book, where Ramachandra Guha, Menaka Guruswamy, Grace Banu and Achal Prabhala will engage in a discussion with the author.

Speakers

Suraj Yengde

Post-doctoral Fellow at the Kennedy School, Harvard University

Suraj Yengde is an award-winning scholar and activist from India. He is currently the inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Initiative for Institutional Anti-racism and Accountability, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School, Harvard University. He is a co-convener of Dalit-Black Lives Matter symposium and Dalit and Black Power Movement. He runs a monthly Ambedkar Lecture Series at Harvard. He is the co-editor of The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections (Allen Lane, 2018), and Associate Editor of CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion published by Brandeis University. Additionally, Suraj is India’s first Dalit Ph.D. holder from an African university (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), prior to which he worked in international human rights law in Geneva, London and New York.

Menaka Guruswamy

Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India

Dr. Menaka Guruswamy is a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India. She was also B.R Ambedkar Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School from 2017-2019.

Among other cases, she successfully represented retired civil servants in a large constitutional case that brought reform of public administration and the bureaucracy in the country (TSR Subramanium and Ors v Union of India and Ors), has successfully defended federal legislation that mandates that all private schools admit disadvantaged children (the Right to Education Act), and litigated successfully against Salwa Judum—state sponsored vigilante groups in Chhattisgarh. She successfully represented LGBT writ petitioners who overturned the colonial-era section 377. (Navtej Singh Jauhar and Ors. v Union of India). She is amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court in a case concerning 1528 alleged extra-judicial killings by security personnel in the state of Manipur. (Victims of Extra Judicial Executions)

She has been Visiting Faculty at Yale Law School, University of Toronto School of Law and New York University School of Law, and a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin.,

Her most recent publications include, a forthcoming co-edited book on Founding Moments in Constitutionalism (Hart/Bloomsbury 2019) an essay on Constitution-Making in South Asia, in Handbook on Comparative Constitutional Law (Edward Elgar, Forthcoming (2019) and a note on privacy in the American Journal of International Law (2017).

Ramachandra Guha

Satish Dhawan Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Science

Ramachandra Guha is an Indian historian and writer whose research interests include environmental, social, political, contemporary and cricket history. He is also a columnist for The Telegraph and Hindustan Times. A regular contributor to various academic journals, Guha has also written for The Caravan and Outlook magazines. His latest book is Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World (2018), the second part of the planned two-volume biography of M. K. Gandhi. It is a follow up to the acclaimed, Gandhi Before India (2013)

Grace Banu

Founder and Director, Trans Rights Now Collective

Grace Banu is a Dalit and transgender rights activist, who founded and runs the collective Trans Rights Now. She made history by becoming the first transgender person to be admitted to an engineering college in the state of Tamil Nadu. Banu was born and raised in Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu. Her experiences when growing up, based on both her caste and gender identity, were difficult and formative. Overcoming severe and unjust constraints, Banu undertook a Diploma in Computer Engineering, followed by an engineering degree. She is actively involved in a number of initiatives that fight discrimination and deliver equality to those who are persecuted because of their caste and gender identity.

Achal Prabhala

Fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation

Achal Prabhala is a writer and researcher in Bangalore. He works on intellectual property and its application to medicine and knowledge, towards increasing access to both. He has taught at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town, and has worked with several non-profit organisations in India. Currently a fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation, Prabhala runs the accessibsa project, which works concurrently in India, Brazil and South Africa on patent reform and increasing access to life-saving medicines.