Ecological citizenship encourages transcending of territory, says expert

CHANDIGARH: The Chandigarh Social Science Congress (CHASSCONG) started today at Panjab University (PU) with Prof Sanjay Chaturvedi of the Political Science Department delivered the keynote address on ‘Denizens of Anthropocene: Climate refugees’.

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 15

The Chandigarh Social Science Congress (CHASSCONG) started today at Panjab University (PU) with Prof Sanjay Chaturvedi of the Political Science Department delivered the keynote address on ‘Denizens of Anthropocene: Climate refugees’.

Prof Chaturvedi dilated on various theoretical perspectives associated with citizens in the state-centric and realistic dialogues; the ‘climate refugee’ as a forced migrant, as victims of environmental disruptions and state-centered cartography — how contours of population and geography were mapped rather than recorded as they exist.

His main conclusion was that while constitutional citizenship was build around territory, ecological citizenship encourages transcending of territory. He recommended collective behavioral changes in human beings for a sustainable future.

Earlier, the inaugural session began with Prof Akshaya Kumar of the English Department introducing the congress, while speaking on the nature of a responsible citizen of being ever ready to ask questions and challenge the status quo. He referred to the possibility of constituting an autonomous republic of the self, a re-alliance between the self and the alienated ‘other’.

The first plenary session turned into a dialogic presentation by Prof Leon Morenas of the School of Planning and Architecture and also a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advances Studies (IIAS), Shimla, and Ankur Sarin of the IIM, Ahemdabad.

Prof Morenas opened up the discussion of big data as a valuable resources and responsibility of academia, respectively. He talked on how corporation capitalised on the collected data of the consumer-citizens in the Indian context. The political and judicial decisions are seen at cross-purpose with a larger capital-driven market economy where people have become the ‘new commodity’. Teasing out the complexities of implementation of biometrics and Aadhaar, he included discussions on what was the role of institutions in formulating citizens.

Sarin gave a clarion call for academics to become interventionist in discourses of citizenship. He emphasised how the curriculum was distancing people from social realities and in this fracture, scholars could not become passive bystanders. He concluded that in everyday life, academics need to reconcile this fracture and ought to give up perpetuating such structures which were not sustainable for a collective co-existence.

CHASSCONG at PU

Prof Sanjay Chaturvedi of the Political Science Department dilated on various theoretical perspectives associated with citizens in the state-centric and realistic dialogues; the ‘climate refugee’ as a forced migrant, as victims of environmental disruptions and state-centered cartography — how contours of population and geography were mapped rather than recorded as they exist.

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