Democracy & Conflict

Democracy & Conflict

Democracy & Conflict

Manipuri women selling local produce at a marketplace in Northeast India. Photo By: Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network.


Democracy & Conflict

Since independence, the Indian State and society has constantly been challenged by forces of fundamentalism, violence, conflict and terror. In recent years, this development has exacerbated and undermined the process of democratization and further strengthened extremist voices within and outside the government, with varying implications for India’s diverse population. Appropriately, India’s religious, linguistic, cultural, social, economic and regional diversity provides the setting for a complex political landscape.
Given this background, the Foundation seeks to probe the inter-linkages between secularism, gender equality, human rights, peace and democracy in India in order to foster dialogue across conflict faultlines; and hence, to examine and re-validate the values of diversity and peaceful coexistence. The basic aim is to register the role of dialogue, cooperation and coexistence as indispensable instruments in resolving various conflicts and strengthening democracy in India.

The key programmatic areas include:
  • To promote social harmony among conflict affected religious groups in India
  • To promote peaceful coexistence between conflict affected ethnic communities in Northeast India
  • To contribute to the political debates at the national level to ensure, as much as possible, that it reflects comprehensively new perspectives and assessments of the ground realities of the Northeast region
  • To support exile Tibetan CSOs to effectively foster non-violent conflict resolution amongst the exile Tibetan community, newly arrived Tibetans and the host Indian community

Secularism & Inter Religious Harmony


A Critical Analysis of Fatwas Issued on Muslim Women in India

March 1, 2012 - In India, there have been some controversial Fatwas like the one against Taslima Nasreen, exiled Bangladeshi writer. This project covers an extensive assessment of various Fatwas against Muslim women and highlights whether these Fatwas are in congruence with the Quran. By Ms. Shazia Sheikh more»

Secular Perspective, October 16-31, 2011

NIC Debate On Communal Violence Bill And Recent Riots

- October 17, 2011 - After Gujarat no communal riot has taken place on that scale but to write off communalism will be a serious mistake. It continues and shall continue to be a major political challenge to Indian secularism and effective legal and political action must be taken to face this challenge. By Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer more»


JIHAD: Its Historicity and Contemporary Relevance

- March 22, 2011 - The Centre for Study of Society and Secularism has carried out a research project "Jihad, its Historicity and Contemporary Relevance" which has helped in demolishing several myths woven around the theme of jihad. Anwar Hussain, Research Fellow, CSSS more»

Governance and Politics in Northeast India


Bearing Witness: A Report on the Impact of Conflict on Women in Nagaland and Assam

- September 21, 2011 - The stories of women and their families who have suffered silently in the decades of conflict between insurgents and Indian security forces - and between the idea of India and those who sought political and cultural spaces outside of it – come alive in ‘Bearing Witness: A Report on the Impact of Conflict on Women in Nagaland and Assam’. Edited by Sanjoy Hazarika and Preeti Gill more»

Gender democracy


10 Years UN Resolution 1325

- December 20, 2010 - Ten years after the adoption of UN Resolution 1325 "Women, Peace and Security", the Gunda Werner Institute (GWI) of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in cooperation with the German Women's Security Council and Peace Women Across the Globe hosted an international conference. more»


Sharia, Fatwas and Women's Rights

- December 17, 2010 - Every now and then media reports fatwas issued by muftis in India, Saudi Arabia and other countries. One mufti in Saudi Arabia even suggested that if a Muslim woman has to keep a man for household work and interact with him though he is not mehram (from prohibited degree for marriage), she should suckle him from her breast to make him mehram. This fatwa was based on a hadith narrated by hazrat A’isha. By Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer more»

Domestic Political Trends

Research Report

Fishing in Troubled Waters

July 3, 2013 - There are several hundred prisoners caught in the crossfire between India and Pakistan. Fishermen from both countries are regularly arrested and their boats seized in the small area of water that is disputed territory between India and Pakistan, known as the Sir Creek. This publication documents the efforts to resolve the issues as part of a larger agenda to establish sustainable economic cooperation between the two countries. more»

Report and Compilation

Siachen: End to the impasse?

- April 1, 2013 - The long-standing Siachen dispute, the world's highest battleground, has taken a toll on both lives and relationships for India and Pakistan. The issue was discussed under the composite dialogue initiated by both nations. more»


Prospects and challenges for India on the Ayodhya Verdict

- November 2, 2010 - Mumbai - A group of concerned citizens gathered to discuss the verdict of the Allahabad High Court with regard to the Ayodhya dispute between Ram Janmabhoomi versus Babri Masjid in India. A number of perspectives were put forth. more»


Ayodhya Judgment – Triumph Of Faith Or Constitutional Legality?

- The much awaited judgment of Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court in the title suit filed by Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and others was at last delivered and has been welcomed by some and criticized by others, mainly by litigant parties. Those who want to see the controversy end for once and all are arguing that the judgment will help bring about resolution of the dispute as all three parties (Ram Lalla Idol has been treated by the judgment as a legal entity). Now Hindus can build a temple and Muslims a mosque, if they so desire and India can move on. By Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer. more»

Naxalism: The Maoist Conflict


Naxalism: The Maoist Challenge to the Indian State

The Naxalite armed movement challenges the Indian state since more than 40 years. It is based on Maoist ideology and gains its strength through mobilizing the poor, underprivileged, discouraged and marginalized, especially in rural India.

By Lennart Bendfeldt more»


There is a lack of will to confront the Maoist challenge holistically.

- July 29, 2010 - An Interview with Ajay K. Mehra – an expert on Maoist politics in India and Honorary Director of Centre for Public Affairs – on the roots of the Maoist revolutionary violence in India, the approach of the Government of India and the affected state governments and the Nexus between Maoists and mainstream politicians. Prof. Ajay K. Mehra more»

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