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.
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.
Public policy, having a tremendous impact on everyday life, affects men and women differently; and yet gender remains the most unattended dimension of much public policy. Gender continues to be an underdeveloped area in research and, even more, in political practice. In India, there has been progress in gendering policy with gender budgeting and training/creating awareness on gender issues, as well as (limited) gender audits at the institutional level. Still, there is far to go, as gender has not become central to policy and little inclusion has been done from the point of its ‘lived effects’.
India is going to be affected strongly by climate change, with impacts especially upon the agricultural sector and the country’s coastlines. Climate change has been on the national policy agenda since 2007, being integrated into mainstream policy framework through planning processes on national and state levels. India continues to be a major actor in the international climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Amitav Ghosh’s new book “The Great Derangement” examines climate change and climate policy from unusual perspectives. It is bound to get much international attention because it asks some fundamental new questions concerning the handling of climate change in literature and activist politics, and because it represents a well-known voice from Asia.
Civil society activists have to confront the new context of international relations and co-operation, wherein questions of foreign, security and developmental policy are becoming increasingly intertwined. Given this background, with this objective of raising interest and consciousness of these linkages, HBS India facilitates monitoring, analyses, debates, publications and seminars on the subject.
The on-going meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Conference of Myanmar is expected to bring together all ethnic nationalities and government negotiators to build a democratic federal union. A keynote addressed by former Indian Ambassador to Myanmar, Gautam Mukhopadhya at a conference on "Federalism and India-Myanmar Relations" in Mizoram.
Repression of civil society is on the rise all over the world, even in some democratic countries. Especially activists and organisations working for democracy, human rights, and social and environmental justice are under pressure. A Civic Charter, developed in consultation with civil society actors from all over the world and launched in October, aims to support civil society organizations as activists to advocate for their rights and freedom of action.