Colloquium on the Indian Liberal Tradition

Colloquium on the Indian Liberal Tradition
3 - 5 December 2010, Delhi

After the successful Bangalore Colloquium in June 2010, in partnership with Friedrich Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit, Centre for Civil Society is hosting a similar ‘Colloquium on the Indian Liberal Tradition’ at the Atrium Hotel, Surajkund, Delhi on 3-5 December.

The objectives of the Colloquium:

  • To introduce the history of Indian liberalism and illustrate that liberal ideas have been part of Indian thought
  • To understand liberal authors’ writings on creating a free and open society
  • To apply authors’ writings to understand current challenges facing India

Styled on the lines of the internationally acclaimed and much coveted Liberty Fund Conferences, the Colloquium follows a Socratic discussion format to create a conducive environment for a full and open exploration of ideas. As a result, our Colloquium is also roundtable in nature. The exchange of ideas is facilitated by a facilitator chosen to lead the discussion but who is neither a conferee nor an advocate. A set of original works based on the chosen theme are distributed well in advance and serve as a starting place for discussion. The purpose of the discussions is neither to convey doctrine nor to drive home certain conclusions. The Colloquium challenges participants to examine, refine, and extend their own ideas in the company of inquiring colleagues who also are interested in questions of liberty and responsibility.

The Indian liberal space with its long history, old defenders and emerging advocates is as diverse and wide ranging as the liberal political spectrum. While the space includes thinkers and scholars with the conscious liberal tag, there are countless others whose writings without the tag could find resonance with the liberal ethos. Therefore, studying such writers can also offer us a new lens to look at age-old questions of the role of the state, society and market.

The Colloquium will bring together 20 selected participants from think tanks, academics, media, and political parties.

The readings presently are from B R Shenoy, Minoo Masani, C Rajagopalachari, R K Amin, Dadabhai Navroji, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, B R Ambedkar, Swami Vivekananda.

Participants will receive a package of selected readings in advance. Every participant is expected to have read and reflected upon these readings before arriving at the venue. This is critical as the readings will be the core focus of discussion during the Colloquium.

Selection Process / Deadline
Interested individuals are requested to complete the application form to be submitted along with their CV latest by Thursday, 11 November 2010. The shortlisted participants will be announced on 12 November 2010.

By accepting this invitation, the applicant is committing to read and reflect the assigned readings and attend the entire Colloquium. (Arrival at 12pm on 3 Dec & departure after lunch on 5 Dec)

We will cover the meals and accommodation during the program. Participants will make their own travel arrangements.