News Highlights

Sixth P. K. Gopalakrishnan Memorial Lecture

Eminent political scientist and commentator, Professor Nivedita Menon from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, delivered the sixth P K Gopalakrishnan Memorial Lecture on 18 February 2016 at CDS. A widely-respected scholar on gender in contemporary Indian politics, Dr Menon spoke about emerging land reform scenarios in the context of the neoliberal growth agenda and cautioned the audience against the seemingly-progressive language of much ongoing codification of land rights. Bringing together seemingly-disparate bodies of scholarship, she argued that what may appear to be favoring women may actually be a larger process of the production of capitalist subjects, one which facilitates the accelerating process of state-mediated dispossession of the commons and the poor in India. She traced the history of state intervention in family property since the early 20th century, remarking that while legislators appeared to hold extremely patriarchal views on women’s access to property, they were united in passing legislation that would enable women to claim property rights in individual terms. The lecture concluded with reflections on how women’s access to property may be effectively secured without resort to individualistic rights discourses and policies. A lively debate followed

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