CHANDIGARH: February 27, 2012: Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society, in association with Dept. of Philosophy, Panjab University flagged off a seminar on ‘Social Justice: Issues and Challenges’ at the University Campus here today. Amidst a varied audience of students, scholars and faculty, the first speaker of the seminar, Dr. Maninder Thakur, Professor at the Political Science Dept. of Jawaharlal Nehru University, elaborated on the current need for conceptualizing a new society, based on the principles of Social Justice.
Dr. Thakur pointed out the current crisis of thought and psycho-somatic problems creeping into the Indian society, through borrowed knowledge traditions of the west. He emphasized vast systems of knowledge existing in Indian Philosophical traditions, those that are still inherited by people living in the periphery, that can help cure the problems of created modernity and global capitalism. Dr. Thakur invoked the philosophies of Karl Marx, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatama Gandhi through a thought experiment, in need for creative thinking and a fresh dialog which can help demolish structures of dominance and ordered rule following. The lecture was well received by the audiences and was followed by a round of questions.
When asked about the relevance of Anna Hazare and his anti-corruption movement, Dr. Thakur replied that in this complex issue, instead of giving importance to Anna Hazare, it is important to look at the pent up anger within the Indian masses, and look at this entire movement in the context of other social movements such as Occupy Wall Street, simultaneously occurring in the West and African nations. Other sessions were held in which Prof. Renu Adhalakha from (CWDS) New Delhi spoke on Disability, Social Exclusion and Social Justice, she elaborated the argument how disability is an issue linked with Social justice but it has not been recognized by Indian constitution specifically in rights provisions as other kinds of discriminations such as caste, class, gender and color, thus there is need to establish disabilities studies in university system so that proper research can be conducted.
In another interesting session Prof. Harjinder Singh Laltu from IIIT, Hyderabad spoke on Critical Reflections on Indian Culture and Civilizational discourse . Dr. Ambuj Sharma from Critique coordinated the program and Prof. HP Sah, Chairperson, Dept. of Philosophy offered welcome address, Dr. Lallan S. Baghel, Press Coordinator Seminar informed.