Rethinking urban resistance as sites for rebuilding differential solidarities

Citizens’ movements resisting an authoritarian, unjust and high-handed states have faced immense coercion and police violence across the globe. State narratives of these protests term them as ‘dissenting’, ‘anti-national’ and ‘anti-people’. Most protests fizzle away due to policing, surveillance, and state-action or fall into than the trap of ‘state-media constructed narratives’ posing one community against the other. In such times how can scholars, citizen-activists, and people start a process of negation of such allegations through a process of initiation of re-building solidarity.

The study addresses these questions by:

(i) Investigating whether and how these sites of ‘resistance’ in their spatial-temporality be transformed into spaces of inception of ‘differential-solidarity’ cutting across but accepting differences.

(ii) Developing the concept of ‘differential solidarity’ by deploying the intersectionality approach to probe the urban resistance focusing on Muslim women anti-CAA protest in India 2019-2020.

(iii) Is it an illusion to seek violence-free sustainable life for humans and non-humans when we are on the brink of ‘polycrisis’?

Papia Sen Gupta (Sengupta) teaches in Centre for Political Studies at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. At present she is affiliated with the Urban Institute at Sheffield as British Academy International Fellow. She has published extensively on South Asian politics particularly on linguistic and education policies, minority accommodation and multiculturalism, federal democratization, including her monograph on Language as Identity (2018) and Critical Sites of Inclusion in India’s Higher Education (2022), and numerous journals in Economic and Political Weekly, Geoforum, International Journal of Multilingualism, Social Change, Droit et Culture and Social Action. She recently completed her second monograph on Linguistic sub-nationalism and democratization in India (forthcoming 2024) and is currently working on her monograph titled Rethinking urban resistance and democracy: Towards building ‘differential solidarities’.