Camden Conference 2024 Speakers are Making News
Our Camden Conference 2024 speakers are making news! And in a little over a month they will be making more news, live from the stage of the Camden Opera House, in a Conference you will not want to miss.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta, on the December 12 episode of the Ezra Klein Show podcast, told guest host Lydia Polgreen, “The signs for Indian democracy are looking very ominous.” The Princeton University professor, an editor of The Oxford Handbook to the Indian Constitution, spoke of the paradox of Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s India. “India’s political significance, economic significance, cultural creativity is as vibrant as ever,” said Mehta, while on the other hand, “the Indian media is actually …creating and disseminating structures of hate, fully funded by the most powerful echelons of Indian capital.”
And as if those charges were not provocative enough, what about Jim Crow in India? Camden Conference 2024 speaker Ashutosh Varshney sees it coming in the form of extreme Hindu nationalism. Varshney, the Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences at Brown University, co-authored, with Connor Staggs, “Hindu Nationalism and the New Jim Crow,” published in the January issue of the Journal of Democracy. Varshney told the Democracy Paradox podcast that contemporary Indian nationalism is based on the assumed primacy of its majority Hindu population, leaving Muslims and all others as second-class citizens.
New York Times reporter Emily Schmall, another Camden Conference 2024 speaker, whose recent series “India’s Daughters” dealt with the repression of women, says that in Modi’s India, the free press is being threatened. In The Interpreter, a Times subscriber-only newsletter, Schmall writes that Indian journalists, especially women reporters, have “increasingly come under attack. Local reporters have been jailed, the foreign press has been derided as anti-India, and female journalists have faced misogynistic trolling and harassment.” The press “has increasingly clashed with the political ideology of Hindu nationalism,” Schmall writes, and “The government has used antiterror laws to silence journalists.”
Mehta, Varshney and Schmall will be among the distinguished roster of speakers on stage at the Opera House the weekend of February 16-18 for INDIA: Rising Ambitions, Challenges at Home. It promises to be a great Conference and we hope you’ll be there to share in what promises to be a stimulating exchange of ideas and knowledge.