[Reader-list] Workshop on Re-affirming Plurality, Seeking Justice and Democracy: Oct 12 and 13, 2009

Chintan chintangirishmodi at gmail.com
Sun Sep 20 20:36:46 IST 2009


*Re-affirming Plurality, Seeking Justice and Democracy*

Southern Regional Workshop organised by the Indian Association for Women's
Studies (IAWS) and the Centre for Women's Studies, University of Mysore,
Mysore in collaboration with the PG Department of Social Work, School of
Social Work Roshni Nilaya, Mangalore

Dates: 12th and 13th October, 2009

Venue: Auditorium, School of Social Sciences, School of Social Work Roshni
Nilaya, Mangalore

Across the country, people are asserting and expressing their rights and
freedoms as citizens, be they women who choose to spend an evening at a
public place of their choice – a pub, a garden or a seafront, men and women
who choose to migrate across the country in search of livelihood, countless
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who want a life free from
discrimination and violence.

Stifling these ordinary rights and freedoms are powerful, insidious voices
that coalesce across the spectrum. Representing a morality that is
hegemonic, intolerant and representative of conservative politics, these
forces and voices speak in unison from different institutional positions –
the state in the name of nationhood, the family in the name of values,
religion and other authorities in the name of culture, castes, communities,
and regions in the name of the `Other', market in the name of `merit' and
`freedoms'; each also variously borrowing from the others when the stretch
of diversity challenges power and control.

The plurality of our social life and the constitutional protection granted
to us as citizens, which is a unique feature of our society, is constantly
put to test. There is no doubt that it is those at the margins who are
constantly under attack and threat as they challenge the power and control
of those who continue to keep them disempowered. New and insidious ways and
means are adopted to keep people under control. New moralities are forged
that tear at a fabric of tolerance, creativity, and peace. The cultural
violence against social freedoms in South Karnataka, the pan-religious
backlash against the decriminalization of the queer communities by the
courts, the xenophobic attacks against north Indian migrants in Maharashtra,
the casteist brutalities against dignified affirmation of rights by Dalits,
are few of the instances. Countless more could be cited.

What is our response as citizens, scholars and activists? Apart from public
and systematic protests in diverse fora, we have a larger responsibility to
retaining the core of our democracy and diversity. We need to counter these
destructive efforts with examples and experiences from within our lives of
an ethic and politics of co-existence, tolerance, camaraderie, and mutuality
rather than exclusiveness, intolerance, and violence. Our vigilance should
also be evident in seeking the mechanisms of law for redress, holding the
state responsible, as well as coalescing our own efforts as scholars and

In this context the Indian Association for Women's Studies is organizing a
two day workshop in Mangalore on 12th and 13th October, 2009 in
collaboration with the Centre for women's Studies, University of Mysore,
Mysore and Roshini Nilaya, Mangalore with the idea of analyzing the issues
from the social, political, and religious perspectives and understanding the
responses to the happenings in order to identify the path that the women's
movement could take.

Workshop Coordinators

Dr. M. Indira, Mysore (IAWS Southern Regional Coordinator and Director,
Centre for women's studies, University of Mysore), with Dr. Meena Gopal,
Mumbai (IAWS Executive Committee member and SNDT Women's University), Dr.
Rita Noronha, Mangalore (Roshni Nilaya ), Ms. Sumi Krishna, Bangalore (past
President, IAWS).

For information on participation, please call or write to M. Indira by
September 26.

email <mahindira at yahoo.com>

Dr M Indira
Professor of Economics
Director, Centre for Women's Studies

University of Mysore, Manasgangotri

Mysore 570 006

Phone: 091-821-2419533( Economics)
091-821-2419819( CWS)

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