Democracy and Human Rights in South Asia: The Inaugural Asma Jahangir Memorial Lecture featuring Ayesha Jalal
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The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Asia Program, and South Asia Democracy Watch (SDW), Present the Inaugural Asma Jahangir Lecture Series
This event, an address by Tufts University professor Ayesha Jalal, marks the launch of an annual lecture series in honor of the late Asma Jehangir, a leading human rights activist from Pakistan who passed away in 2018. The lecture series will feature an annual address by a distinguished scholar or opinion leader who will address issues of democracy and human rights in South Asia. The series is hosted by the Wilson Center's Asia Program and South Asia Democracy Watch (SDW), a nonprofit organization that promotes social justice, human rights, and equality in South Asia through educational programs, conferences, and symposia.
Dr. Jalal's lecture will provide historical depth to contemporary concerns about challenges to democracy and human rights. She will examine why the post-colonial states of South Asia are facing, in different measures, challenges from social and political groupings. She will argue that these groupings, even when not openly rejecting democracy, are subverting the ideals of freedom of speech and religious consciousness by invoking exclusionary loyalties and false readings of canonical texts-often at the grave expense of the ever-moving target of the "other." A binding theme of Dr. Jalal's lecture will be a discernible closing of the mind that has accompanied a recent turn toward authoritarianism in several parts of the world, and especially South Asia.
The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region. Read more
History and Public Policy Program
The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs. Read more
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