The formal recognition of religious identities as grounds for citizenship in the Indian constitution puts the fundamentals of citizenship up for debate. Reflections on the ways in which caste, class and religion have been conceived and discussed in reference to citizenship in the past, can shed light on the questions around citizenship confronting India today. Has the idea of citizenship in India changed materially over time? How do identity and status impact relations between citizens and the state? What are the present obstacles to achieving a more equitable concept of citizenship in India?

For our sixth Anahita Speaker Series session of 2020, we hosted Niraja Gopal Jayal, professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, as she drew on her expertise to give us insights on the changing ideas of citizenship in India.