13 October 2012
The Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts recently launched a public lecture series, “Between the Lines...Interpreting India”, to promote a culture of informed and meaningful discussions among the students and the general public on issues ranging from politics to films to culture. Every month, SSLA invites an eminent personality to come and address the audience on issues that are of socio-political and cultural importance to the country. The lecture series seeks to provide a platform to interpret India through its various facets with a clear understanding of the complexities of the issues in question. The series kick-started with Dr. Zoya Hasan, eminent academician and political scientist speaking on “Democracy and the Politics of Equality in India”.
The second lecture was delivered by Dr. Dileep Padgaonkar on “Conflict Resolution: Its Challenges and Prospects”. Dr. Padgaonkar, who served as the Chief Interlocutor appointed by the Government of India to the three-member Interlocutor Committee to resolve the Kashmir issue, presented to the audience a range of issues and factors that affect any attempt to resolve conflict in this violence torn state of India.
Beginning with why and how conflicts arise, Dr. Padgaonkar went on to talk about the flaws with all the previous solutions propounded by various groups and committees attempting to bring peace to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
He further spoke about the report that his committee proposed to the Minister of Home Affairs (MFA) of the Indian government. He addressed the criticisms that had been raised against the report and explained why it was important to uphold the confidence of the various stakeholders of the Kashmir issue.
Following the brief lecture, Dr. Padgaonkar interacted with the audience comprising of students and faculty members, and clarified issues pertaining to the “softening” of the Line of Control (LOC), the Right to Self Determination of the people of J &K, the Armed Force Special Powers Acts (AFSPA), the Indo-Pak relations and the United Nations’ stand in this regard, the role of the media in this issue, among others.