Smita Narula

 Rural Resistance and Renewal in India

Rural communities across India are engaged in profound and often prolonged acts of resistance against large-scale development projects and the corporate capture of land and agricultural policies. From farmers protesting agricultural laws, to movements against hydroelectric dam projects, to Adivasis (tribal community members) defending their territories from resource extraction, India’s people’s struggles—which are seldom centered in the media or in legal scholarship—represent a dramatic repudiation of decades of neoliberal economic reforms. This talk examines key sites of confrontation between rural communities and the corporate state in India, and sheds light on grassroots initiatives that are seeking to reimagine democracy, social justice, and ecological renewal from the ground up.

Professor Smita Narula is the Elisabeth Haub School of Law’s inaugural Haub Distinguished Chair of International Law. Professor Narula  has founded and directed numerous non-profit and higher education initiatives dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights and to social and ecological justice. Prior to the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, she was the Distinguished Lecturer and Interim Director of the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.