Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 Minorities and Modi: Modi’s Re-election and Implications for Minority Groups in India

Wednesday, December 4, 20194:00PM - 6:00PM208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place


The Indian Election in 2014 saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secure power. The BJP and Modi’s campaign were catered around themes of Hindu nationalism. Rather than losing momentum, the BJP and Modi continued to gain political traction in India. This has resulted in Modi’s landmark victory for a re-election on May 2019. While certainly lauded by many, Modi’s government has been heavily censured by critics who argue that his political success has been predicated on the oppression of minorities in India. This panel seeks to examine the sociopolitical position of Indian minorities under Modi’s administration. What are the rights implications for this population moving forward?

Speaker Biographies:

Bharat Punjabi is a Lecturer in the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. Dr. Punjabi’s research interests include and intersect Indian urbanization and water governance, the role of institutions in economic development and metropolitan governance in India. Dr. Punjabi is presently working towards a monograph on the theme of water policy and governance in large Indian mega regions. His research on water governance has been published in journals such as World Development, Environmental Research Letters and India Review.

Aparna Sundar teaches in the Comparative Asian Studies programme. Dr. Sundar has previously taught at universities in Bangalore, India. She works on democratic politics and contemporary struggles over the meanings of democracy in India, and is currently involved in two collaborative comparative research projects, one on authoritarian populisms, and the other on neoliberalization, precarity, and contentious politics in the BRICS countries.

Francis Cody is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on language and politics in southern India. He first brought these interests to bear on a study of citizenship, literacy, and social movement politics in rural Tamilnadu. This work was published as a book called The Light of Knowledge (Cornell 2013), winner of the 2014 Edward Sapir Book Prize awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. Cody’s more recent research traces the emergence of populism and transformations of political publicity through Tamil and English news media. This work explores questions of law, technology, and violence in claims to representing popular sovereignty. Taken as a whole, his work contributes to the transdisciplinary project of elaborating critical social theories of mass mediation and politics in the postcolonial world.


Bharat Punjabi
Lecturer, Asian Institute Research Fellow, Global Cities Institute

Aparna Sundar
Lecturer, Asian Institute

Francis Cody
Associate Professor, Asian Institute and Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union

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