New Delhi, August 10: The Department of Political Science collaborated with the Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women’s Studies (SNCWS) at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) to have a thought-provoking panel discussion in hybrid mode on the theme of “Indigenous Traditional Knowledge & Role of Women” to commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9, 2023.
The university was honored to have distinguished panelists who shared their expertise and insights on the topic. Ms. Madhu Khanna, Director & Founding Trustee of Tantra Foundation and Shrikunja; Shri Saquib Salim, Consultant & Researcher at Awaz The Voice; and Meenu Aggarwal, Communication Coach &Film Critic, provided valuable perspectives during the discussion.
The event witnessed active participation from around 102 students, research scholars, and faculty members of the university, who engaged enthusiastically with the panelists. The SNCWS and Department of Political Science were privileged to have JMI Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Najma Akhtar (Padma shri), as the Patron of the event. In her inaugural speech, Prof. Akhtar emphasized the importance of traditional communities in preserving the rich diversity of India, with a special focus on gender issues.
The discussion was chaired by Prof. Bulbul Dhar-James, Head of the Department of Political Science and Honorary Director of the SNCWS. Dr. Amna Mirza, Associate Professor at SNCWS, JMI, skillfully coordinated and moderated the event with the assistance of student volunteers from the MA Gender Studies program.
Prof. Bulbul Dhar-James expressed her honor in organizing a panel discussion on such a crucial and often overlooked theme, which aimed to unpack the idea of indigeneity with respect to women in Indian society. Ms. Madhu Khanna highlighted the significance of indigenous people in India’s history, citing examples such as Lord Shri Rama and Shabri. Meenu Aggarwal conceptualized the role of indigenous women in tribal ecosystems, emphasizing the matrilineal lineage of the Khasi and Garo tribes. Shri Saquib Salim focused on the rationality with which indigenous people cope with their problems and challenges.
The panel discussion was attended by a large number of 90 people (on and off line) –faculty across India as part of the UGC Refresher Course on Human Rights and Social Inclusion, Faculty members and students from across JMI, Other academics and members of the press. The Webinar was followed by a rigorous round of question-and- answer, allowing participants to further explore the topics discussed.
The vote of thanks was given by Dr. Nazia, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and Prof Nadeem on behalf of the SNCWS, JMI.