A panel discussion around land inequalities and cities in India with Jignesh Mevani (independent MLA from Gujarat and the convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, who has been at the frontline of very important struggles on land redistribution to Dalit landless groups) and Nityanand Jayaraman (an environmental activist who has been working on reclaiming common lands in Chennai). The discussion will be moderated by Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, in a joint appointment with DCRP and GMS (Global Metropolitan Studies), UC Berkeley
DATE: Thursday, September 23, 2021
TIME: 7pm Berkeley | 10pm New York | 3am London | 7am Lahore | 7:30am Delhi | Calculate Your Local Time
This event will also be live streamed on the Institute's FB page: ISASatUCBerkeley
Jignesh Mevani is a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Gujarat. Contesting as an independent candidate from Vadgam constituency with support from the Congress, Mevani was the Dalit face of Rahul Gandhis challenge to BJP in the Gujarat Assembly elections 2017. He is also the the convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM; State Dalit Rights Platform). Mevani has been at the forefront of Dalit agitation against the Narendra Modi government and BJP in the past few years. After an attack on Dalit men in Una village of Gujarats Saurashtra region by members of a cow-protection group, protests broke out across the state. Mevani led a protest march called Dalit Asmita Yatra from Ahmedabad to Una which was attended by over 20,000 Dalits.
Nityanand Jayaraman is a writer and researcher based in Chennai. He investigates and reports on corporate abuses of environment and human rights. Part of an anti-corporate collective called Vettiver Koottamaippu (Collective) he involves himself in mobilising youth to lend solidarity to social and environmental justice struggles around the country. He is an active volunteer in the campaign for justice in Bhopal and Kodaikanal, and is also supporting communities fighting environmental degradation, corporate crime and destructive land-use change in several parts of Tamil Nadu. A firm believer in the need for a comprehensive treaty to deal with corporate malpractices, Jayaraman stresses that companies need to do much more than pledging adherence to UN Guiding Principles, if they wish to make their commitment to respecting human rights real.
Sai Balakrishnan is an Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, in a joint appointment with DCRP and GMS (Global Metropolitan Studies). Her research and teaching broadly pivot around global urban inequalities, with a particular focus on urbanization and planning institutions in the global south, and on the spatial politics of land-use and property. She is the author of Shareholder Cities: Land Transformations along Urban Corridors in India (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), an exploration of the agrarian-urban changes along Indias first economic corridor, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway; the book highlights the colonial-agrarian origins of contemporary urban inequalities and uneven development. Before Berkeley, Prof. Balakrishnan taught at, amongst other places, the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has worked as an urban planner in the United States, India, and the United Arab Emirates, and as a consultant to the UN-HABITAT, Nairobi.
The event is FREE and OPEN to the public.