Democracy & Society

Democracy & Society

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.

Digital India through a gender lens

This policy discussion paper seeks to present a critical overview of Digital India, evaluating the extent to which the outcome areas of the program address gender-transformative change. It also offers suggestions for building an enabling environment to expand opportunities and strategic life choices for women, and contributing to gender equality, as economic, social and political arenas are fundamentally redefined by digital technologies. This paper draws upon a detailed policy study titled ‘Digital India through a Gender Lens’, undertaken by the authors in 2017-18, with support from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

Occupation of the coast – Blue economy in India

The Blue Economy involves economic activity that engages with the various components of the oceans. As the Blue Economy gets underway, this research report re-visits various aspects of coastal development and weaves together a narrative of their impacts on the fishing communities.

Centrepiece: New writing and art from Northeast India

Curated and put together by writer and graphic artist Parismita Singh, 21 women writers and artists come together in this stunning collection that combines words and pictures to explore the theme of women and work in the Northeast.

70 Years of Human Rights. Indivisible. Inalienable. Universal

Introduction

70 years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We work with our partners around the world towards making democracy and human rights, dignity and freedom a reality for all. The triad of HUman Rights - Democracy- Ecological Sustainability is the basis for our work.

Section 377 is scrapped! Sexual minorities become full citizens of India

Article

Shubha Chacko is a prominent LGBTQ activist from India. On the occasion of the landmark Supreme Court judgment decriminalizing a portion of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, she writes on the long fight against section 377, the challenges ahead and what it means for the society at large.

By Shubha Chacko

"It became my mission to locate women's voices"

Interview

Urvashi Butalia is one of India’s foremost feminists. On the occasion of her receiving Germany’s Goethe Medal on August 28, 2017 in Weimar, we have talked to her about her work as a publisher, feminism, writing and politics in India.

By Dr. Axel Harneit-Sievers

Rambuai: A film on Mizoram’s “trouble years”

A new film titled “Rambuai, Mizoram’s Trouble Years” documents the story of armed uprising and violence in the state 1966-86, how finally peace was made, and how people in Mizoram today talk about this traumatic period of their history. A review by Chok Tsering.

"One cube" three, yet one!

"One Cube" Three, yet one! - is a documentary film by Pramod Dev. Depicting three women who work in export-oriented sectors of India's economy, the film shows how the demands of trade impact upon the personal, familial, social, economic and cultural aspects of the lives of the protagonists.

More on Democracy & Society

After decades of silence: Voices from Mizoram

After 20 years of violence in Mizoram, a Peace Accord concluded in 1986 and the creation of a full-fledged state provided the base for a long-term successful settlement. Margaret Ch. Zama and C. Lalawmpuia Vanchiau have reviewed publications on Mizo history over the last five decades, with a specific focus on the era of turmoil year from the 1960s to the 1980s.

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