Video: Flash Panel: Lessons from India's Religious Freedom Protests

Author: Laurel Clements

Girls In Kargil

In January 2022, six Muslim students protested against authorities at a district college in Karnataka, a state in southern India, after being denied their right to wear headscarves. Their simple act of civil disobedience fostered a broader debate over the status of minorities in India. The state response to these protests further revealed the selective interpretation of religious freedom that seems to undermine minority rights.

What are the legal, cultural, and political implications of this controversy? What can it tell us about the ongoing Hindu nationalist “saffronisation” of Indian politics? And how can insights from these protests be situated into a larger conversation around how Islamophobia is often embedded in the construction and practice of religious freedom and secularism around the world?

In this panel discussion, hear insights from experts who unpack key themes relating to religious freedom and secularization in India, including Liu fellow Julia Kowalski.

This discussion was presented by the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement and co-sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies’ South Asia Group.