Colloquium: Privacy in India: A Brief Social History of a Legal Concept @ Ambedkar University, Delhi [Sep 5, 3:30 PM]: Invitation Open

The right to privacy, and the debates around Aadhaar have captured the constitutional imagination of a whole new generation of legal activists, academics, scholars, and researchers.

With the Constitutional Bench in the Right to Privacy (Justice Puttaswamy & Ors v Union of India & Ors) declaring the right to privacy as a constitutional right, and delineating a trajectory of privacy  in Indian constitutional history as well as within natural law, within specific sections of the Constitution, and within international principles and comparative law; the right to privacy has been firmly entrenched in Indian law.

The court has evolved an understanding of privacy firmly rooted in notions of the dignity and autonomy of the individual and with a capacity to address a range of contemporary debates around varied themes such as big data, surveillance, gender identity , reproductive rights, and diversity of beliefs, and ways of life.

It is in this context that the School of Law, Governance and Citizenship (SLGC), Ambedkar University Delhi,  invites you to the next talk in our colloquium series:

Privacy in India: A Brief Social History of a Legal Concept by Pawan Singh

Venue: G 11 (Ground Floor), Ambedkar University Delhi, Karampura Campus (near Motinagar Metro Station)

When: 3:30 pm. Tuesday, 5th September, 2017

A Brief Description of the Talk:

The status of the right to privacy in most liberal democracies has historically remained a contested one. As the boundaries of privacy as a concept have expanded, privacy as an affordance itself appears to have shrunk supposedly because of information-technology enabled social practices and modes of governance that have reshaped everyday life.

This presentation examines how the question of privacy is currently being articulated in Indian media accounts of the Aadhaar debate. Situating Aadhaar within a broader set of issues that concern privacy, the talk asks:

If the public visibility of rights violation is an indispensable part of claiming justice, then how does such visibility reconfigure the demand for privacy as an individual right?

Why is privacy not fundamental, as the Indian government has recently claimed in the Indian Supreme Court with regards to its Aadhaar mandate?

Within the social and economic calculus of rights, for whom does privacy matter the most?

The talk maps the lay of the land of privacy in India as a legal concept, a social formulation and a cultural affordance in the context of gender/sexuality, digital governance (Aadhaar) and popular culture.

About the Speaker:

Pawan Singh has a PhD in media studies from University of California San Diego. He is currently a New Generation Network (NGN) Scholar in contemporary history at Deakin University and the Australia India Institute in Melbourne. His research looks at liberal identity politics, human rights, film and online media and privacy laws within a transnational framework.

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