IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: The criminalisation of student activism and the idea of academic freedom in India

23 January 2021, 2:30 pm–4:00 pm

Flag of India. Image: Soubhagya Maharana via Pexels

This webinar will highlight the vital role of student activism in university spaces in India.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Laila Kadiwal

India has seen an alarming rise in the imprisonment of students and young academics, as well as restrictions on academic activities that are critical of the ruling powers, as reported in the press.

Instances of everyday violence on university campuses are largely left unpunished and foster an environment of fear. 

Students from historically oppressed castes as well as minority religious backgrounds face systemic discrimination and exclusion from higher education, with women from these groups being hit the hardest. 

These developments are concurrent with a cultivation of anti-intellectual discourses in academic spaces in India.

Event participants

  • Professor Apoorvanand, Hindi Department, University of Delhi
  • Nabiya Khan, poet and activist
  • Hadif Nisar, student activist and President of the Jammu and Kashmir Students' Association, University of Hyderabad
  • Moderator: Aman Abhishek, doctoral student at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Academic Freedom in India seminar series

This webinar is the first in a series to increase international awareness of the shrinking space for academic freedom in India and the incarceration of Indian academics, students, public intellectuals and civil liberties activists, on charges of sedition, as reported in the press.

This series will cover the whole spectrum of areas where intellectually grounded thinking and reasoning is being threatened both within and outside university spaces. 


Image: Soubhagya Maharana via Pexels