Panjab University is going to organize the 8th Chandigarh Social Science Congress (CHASSCONG VIII), on March 15-16, 2018. The theme of this year’s congress is “Discourse of Citizenship in Contemporary India.”

Citizenship has been an issue of endless debate. In recent times, the debate has become rather too intense. In legalistic terms, citizenship is a matter of constitutional rights and obligations. In moral and ethical terms, it stands for fellow feeling and responsibility towards others. In affective terms, it becomes a function of emotional belonging and visceral responses. In plain nationalistic context, it boils down to exclusive patriotism. In the context of global flows, it becomes expansive enough to claim cosmopolitanism. Neoliberal economics gives rise to corporate citizenship that partly redeems its profiteering through what is often bandied as corporate social responsibility (CSR). The subalterns grudge their exclusion from the loop of citizenship; some even allege that they are treated by the state as ‘second rate citizens’. The displaced migrants as refugees undergo real existential dilemmas. The rich diaspora however clamours for the status of dual citizenship. The citizenship rights of the disabled are hardly passed on to them. The question of citizenship of the children and the teenagers still looms large. The extant frames of citizenship are utterly clueless about the possible claims of aliens, cyborgs and robots to formal citizenship. Should animals be treated as citizens? – this too is an overwhelming question. The LGBT groups can be seen marching on the roads for their right to sexual citizenship.