Inaugural Lecture by Sri.Gopalkrishna Gandhi(Former Governor of West Bengal)

The conference began with the inaugural lecture delivered by our Distinguished Faculty member Shri. Gopal Krishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal and an eminent officer of the Indian Administrative Service. In his lecture Mr. Gandhi touched upon various issues surrounding conflict and situated the theme in the larger context of the Indian society.

Sri Gopalkrishna Gandhi giving the inaugural address
                        Inaugural Address by Sri Gopalkrishna Gandhi

He primarily pointed out to the subjectivity involved in our responses to conflictual situations. Discussion on conflict depends on which side of the fence you are. The people on one side want economic reforms to remain, where FDI is good, where labour laws should be scraped, where solar energy maybe good for our souls but nuclear energy is the sole panacea to our problems.

However, there is the other side of the fence. While the slow growth of GDP causes concern, the dismal level of poverty alleviation measure is ignored. By citing statistics Mr Gandhi brought to light the contrasting perspective.

Moving on, with illustrations he brought out the complexity of the Indian society. India itself is a land of conflicts. It is an amalgam of the worst and the best in the country. Along with trickery and selfishness exist selflessness. The only way to avoid conflicts in such a way is to promote inclusiveness. The conflicts of our country would be far easier to resolve if left to those mandated to resolve it and if these mandated do not doddle over it.

However, he makes an exception for some conflicts where negotiation is not an option. For instance, those who discriminate against gender, those who perpetrate violence against minorities, caste conflicts do not fall under the ambit of discussion.

Mr Gandhi then emphasised on the methods and tools employed to grapple with issues of conflict. Satyagraha has been an effective means for the same. It has been used by Africans against their governments and in many other instances. However, it will always be fraught with mishandling. There is a very thin line between the ethical and unethical use of Satyagraha. The other mechanisms and institutions he described were that of the RTI, civil society organisations and the constitutional entities like the CEG, CAG and NAC.

On the issue of conflict in literature, Dalit Literature comes to the forefront. He spoke about the rising importance of the field of Dalit writing and gave examples of exceptional writers like Mahashweta Devi, and Bama.

On a closing note he identified certain important public intellectuals like Arundhati Roy and their contribution to the understanding of the larger picture of conflict. Mr Gandhi’s comprehensive lecture not only took a peek at the theme of the conference but also set the ball rolling for the rest of the sessions. In short Negotiating Conflict 2012 could not have asked for a more befitting beginning.

 

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Fractured Boundaries of Indian Writing in English

September 22,                                                       14.00 to 16.30

IC&SR Main Auditorium

The English stream of Negotiating Conflict 2012, has as its theme, “Fractured Boundaries of Indian Writing in English”. Through this theme, we try to explore the various conflicts present within Indian Writing in English today. Starting with the much deliberated upon “authenticity” debate, the conference aims to go on towards topics such as challenging the mainstream genres of literature and examining the new genres and ideas, or lack of these, in contemporary IWE. The conference would also look at IWE in the light of recent global phenomena such as globalization and the new capitalist market driven literature in India.

The conference features a keynote address, paper presentations and a panel discussion. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr.GJV Prasad.

Two students will get the opportunity to present their papers at the conference, having come through rigorous competition from literature students across the country. The selected students will present their paper and will be followed by a panel discussion, where the ideas put forward in the two papers wll be discussed by the audience, the two authors and the panel.

Check Schedule for more details.

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Aspects of Growth and Inclusiveness: the Indian Experience || The Theoretical Relationship between Economics Inequality and Social Conflict

September 22,                                                  10.00 to 13.00

IC&SR Main Auditorium.

The economics of growth has been one of the most popular and
controversial fields of macroeconomics. But, the theory has faced
major criticism due to the failure of trickle down effect. Though
currently public policies focus on inclusive growth, decades of
emphasis on growth rate has seen inequality rise across the globe.
This economic inequality is said to manifest itself in the form of
social movements and conflicts.

Living in an era when Naxalism has raised its head once again and
being a witness to global movements like Occupy Wall street, the big
question that economics stream of ‘Negotiating Conflict 2012’ attempts
to answer is: ‘Can we establish a theoretical relationship between
economic inequality and social conflict?’. Dr Partha Gangopadhyay
(University of Western Sydney) talks about ‘Economics of Conflict: Its
Uses and Abuses’. Drawing from the political philosophy of Adam Smith
and concepts like Nash Equilibrium, he combines them with his own
findings to provide us with an insight into the field of  Economics of
Conflict.

The conference also looks into the Indian model of growth and
inclusiveness.Prof. S Subramanian(Madras Institute Development
Studies) delivers a key note lecture on   ‘Aspects of Growth and
Inclusiveness: The Indian Experience’. He focuses on India’s track
record on equality (or the lack of it) in aspects of private
consumption and distribution. The address looks into some of the
instrumental ills of inequality such as inefficiency, conflict and
poor health outcomes.

Check Schedule for more details.

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