advisory board

Advisory Board Members

Professor Michael J. Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School. He served as the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History at the University of Virginia School of Law from 1987-2008. Klarman has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship, which are primarily in the areas of Constitutional Law and Constitutional History. Klarman’s first book, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 and received the 2005 Bancroft Prize in History. His books “Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement” and “Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History” are part of Oxford University Press’s Inalienable Rights Series. Details of his later books and work can be seen here.

Sukhadeo Thorat is Chairman, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS), Former Chairman of the University Grants Commission as well as the Indian Council of Social Science Research and is an Emeritus Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He is an economist by training, who has worked extensively in the areas of agricultural development, economic institutions and development, poverty, social exclusion and inequality, caste and economic discrimination, labour market discrimination, higher education, human rights, and economic ideas of Ambedkar in his previous roles at JNU and as the founder director of IIDS. In 2008, Professor Thorat was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award.

Shailaja Paik is Associate Professor of History at University of Cincinnati, U.S.A., and the author of Dalit Women’s Education in Modern India: Double Discrimination (London and New York: Routledge, 2014). Paik’s current research is funded by the American Council of Learned Societies Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the Humanities-American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Fellowship. In the past, her research has been funded by Yale University, Emory University, the Ford Foundation, Warwick University, Charles Wallace India Trust, and the Indian Council of Social Sciences and Research, among others. Her scholarship and research interests are concerned with contributing to and furthering the dialogue in human rights, anti-colonial struggles, transnational women’s history, women-of-color feminisms, and particularly on gendering caste, and subaltern history.

Virginius Xaxa is presently Professor of Eminence at Tezpur University. He headed the Guwahati campus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Prof Xaxa was awarded the Ph.D. for his thesis on Agrarian Social Structure and Class Relations in North Bengal at IIT, Kanpur (1978). He held post-doctoral fellowship under Indo-French Cultural Exchange Programme at Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris (1982). He also held the Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Studies at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong. Prof Xaxa has been a member of the various committees of the Govt. of India and governing boards and advisory committees of various research institutes, universities and NGOs. Prof. Xaxa has been a member of National Advisory Council of the Government of India and the Chairperson of High Level Committee to study educational, health and economic status of the tribal communities in India

Prof. G Mohan Gopal is a leading voice on judicial reform in India and pioneered the National Court Management Systems Committee of the Supreme Court, which he also heads. Dr. Gopal currently serves as Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS.) He was the head of the National Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court of India (NJA) from 2006 to 2011. He was previously the Chief Counsel in the Legal Department of the World Bank in Washington, DC and served as an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law School, Washington, DC for nine years.

Satish Deshpande is a Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology of the Delhi School of Economics. He completed his M.A. (Economics) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and an M.A., Ph.D. in California. His research interests include caste and class inequalities, contemporary social theory, politics and history of the social sciences and south-south interactions. He is the author of Contemporary India: A Sociological View (2003) and (with Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat and Amita Baviskar) Untouchability in Rural India (2006).

Armin Rosencranz is a lawyer and political scientist and is the founder of the Jindal Global School of Environment and Sustainability, at O.P. Jindal Global University, in Sonipat, India and teaches law in the Jindal Global Law School. In 1987, he founded the international environmental NGO, Pacific Environment, which he led until 1996. He has received five Fulbright grants – two to India, and one each to Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. He has a long-standing association with Stanford University, where he served as the President of the Student Body, a Faculty Resident in an undergraduate dorm, and a Trustee. At Stanford, Rosencranz taught courses on environmental and natural resources policy and law from 1994-2012. He, along with Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, co-authored the seminal textbook on Indian Environmental Law, Environmental Law and Policy in India: Cases, Materials, and Statutes.

Rajni Soren is a lawyer and activist, who works for the Human Rights Law Network, on issues related to forest rights and practices in the Chhattisgarh HC. She is based in Bilaspur. She is also the Joint Secretary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties in Chhattisgarh. She has vast experience in human rights issues, forest land rights, and reproductive health rights. She has also assisted the Chhattisgarh HC as amicus curiae in various matters. She is a graduate of NALSAR, Hyderabad.

Tarunabh Khaitan is Professor of Public Law and Legal Theory at Wadham College, University of Oxford. He is also a Professor & Future Fellow at Melbourne Law School, working on a project on the resilience of democratic constitutions, with a focus on South Asia. He specialises in legal theory, constitutional law and discrimination law. Prof Khaitan was awarded the 2018 Letten Prize, a 2 Million Norwegian Kroner award given biennially to a young researcher under the age of 45 conducting excellent research of great social relevance. He is using a part of the award towards setting up the Indian Equality Law Programme, aimed at capacity-building for early-career scholars.

Rohit De is an Associate Professor at the Department of History, Yale University. He is a lawyer and historian of modern South Asia and focuses on the legal history of the Indian subcontinent and the common law world. As a legal historian he moves beyond asking what the law was; to what actors thought law was and how this knowledge shaped their quotidian tactics, thoughts and actions. His book A People’s Constitution: Law and Everyday Life in the Indian Republic (Princeton University Press) explores how the Indian constitution, despite its elite authorship and alien antecedents, came to permeate everyday life and imagination in India during its transition from a colonial state to a democratic republic

Moiz Tundawala is an Associate Professor at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat (Haryana). He completed his doctoral studies at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences and successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled ‘In the shadow of swaraj: constituent power and the Indian political’ in April 2019. Before this in 2011-12, Moiz read for his LLM at the School of Oriental and African Studies and received the best dissertation prize alongwith Distinction in all the courses that he registered for. He had earlier completed his BA, LLB (Hons) from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in 2010. He mainly works in the intersection of Indian constitutional thought, legal and political theory, modern intellectual history and comparative public law.

Abdul Wahid Shaikh is a school teacher, activist, lawyer, and author of the book “Begunaah Qaidi" (Innocent Prisoner). He also runs a network of rights activists called 'Innocent Network India'.

Rashmi Venkatesan is an Assistant Professor of Law at National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Before joining NLSIU in 2016, she worked with international and domestic non-profits to promote better working conditions in global commodity supply chains, particularly garments, leather, and electronics. As a practicing lawyer, she has represented a variety of clients in multiple legal forums and has worked with an array of different organisations: law firms, NGOs and civil society organisations. Her research interests include Labour Rights, International Economic Law, and the impact of Development Policies.

Dr. Gummadi Anuradha is an Assistant Professor at Osmania University's College of Law. She is Telangana's first Adivasi law professor. She completed her Ph.D. from Osmania University on Tribal Property Rights. As a student, she was a well-known leader in the Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU). Along with her work as a Professor, Dr. Gummadi mentors young Tribal students from the state and provides them with guidance and assistance in pursuing higher education. She believes that legal awareness is key to bringing about justice to her community and plans on translating her doctoral thesis into Telugu in order to benefit the local population in Agency areas.

Sukanya Shantha is a senior journalist working with The Wire website. She has a master's degree in law. She writes on law and social justice. Sukanya is a recipient of 'Golpitha' award, conferred in the memory of revolutionary poet Namdeo Dhasal for her anti-caste writings. She is also a Pulitzer Center grantee.

Dr. Sameena Dalwai specializes in caste, gender, sexuality, labour and law. He monograph, “Bans and Bargirls” (Women Unlimited: 2019) analyses the legal ban on dancing in the bars of Mumbai with specific reference to caste capital of hereditary dancers. She co-edited memoirs of the 1992 communal riots in an anthology called, “Babri Masjid, 25 years on…” (Kalpaz: December 2017). She is now working on her next book- on Love Jihad and contemporary India. Dr. Dalwai is a bilingual writer and contributes to Indian Express and Lokasatta regularly. Her forthcoming Marathi book, a collection of her short pieces, is titled Bhatak Bhavani i.e. meandering woman. She has worked as a lawyer with human rights organisations in Mumbai as well as health NGOs in rural Maharashtra. She envisioned and headed Development and Human Rights Institute ( a human rights education and exposure programme for students of western universities. She is a Research Consultant with Manndeshi Mahila Bank, where she assists in research on financial inclusion of rural poor communities.