Flash Panel: Lessons from India’s Religious Freedom Protests

In January 2022, six Muslim students protested against authorities at a district college in Karnataka, a state in southern India, after being denied their right to wear headscarves. Their simple act of civil disobedience has since fostered a broader debate over the status of minorities in India. The state response to these protests further reveals the selective interpretation of religious freedom that seems to undermine minority rights.

What are the legal, cultural, and political implications of this controversy? What can it tell us about the ongoing Hindu nationalist “saffronisation” of Indian politics? And how can insights from these protests be situated into a larger conversation around how Islamophobia is often embedded in the construction and practice of religious freedom and secularism around the world?

Join us for a panel discussion on this timely topic and hear insights from experts who will unpack key themes relating to religious freedom and secularization in India—and beyond.

Presented by the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement and co-sponsored by the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies’ South Asia Group, and the Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative. This event was recorded on March 28, 2022.


Nabeela Jamil
Delhi High Court and Supreme Court of India

Fatima Khan
The Quint

Julia Kowalski
Assistant Professor of Global Affairs
Keough School of Global Affairs


Prithvi Iyer
Master of Global Affairs Student
Keough School of Global Affairs

For more information visit the event website.

Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion

March 28, 2022

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