With its vast religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity, India provides a remarkable example of a vibrant democracy with a complex political landscape. Since independence, India has been successful at sustaining democracy, albeit disrupted at times by communal unrest and separatist and militant movements at its peripheries. In recent years, new forms of political activism by urban middle classes and youth have emerged, focusing on issues such as good governance, gender equity and freedom of expression. India’s democratic space continues to be renegotiated all along.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation supports Indian civil society actors to create platforms for dialogue on democracy, especially including voices of those who find themselves at the periphery; geographically, socially and culturally. Among other things, HBF and its partners promote the inclusion of perspectives from India’s Northeast into the broader Indian narrative; they also work towards resolving communal tension. Another important focus is to input into ongoing processes of policy making on sexual minority rights and inclusion of gender perspectives in specific areas of globalized interaction, knowledge and production. For example, an emerging area of work focuses on the social and gender outcomes of bio-technology markets.
Overall, HBF – through knowledge generation and dissemination – seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics and developments of India’s democracy, advocating gender equitable relations and development within the society.