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SASNET/UPF seminar on Exclusive or Inclusive Human Rights in India
October 16, 2014 - 19:00-21:00
Asha Mukherjee is curently a guest professor at the University of Gothenburg, that has a partnership relation to Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan. More information about Prof. Mukherjee.
In her Lund presentation, Prof. Mukherjee reflects upon the fact that it is often suggested that human rights and duties are two sides of the same coin. Yet in Indian context traditionally the dharma discourse (obligation based) and the issue of human rights have never been in the focus for discussion, nor has it been a ‘problem’ for Indian masses. In modern India human rights have been reconciled or discovered within Hinduism and its caste system which necessarily generates tension and conflict due to the complexity and multilayered structure and also since opportunities are not in abundance.
Who deserves what and who decides are extremely important questions. It is argued that in India today we face the most difficult question – how to include the excluded and how to exclude the included. At the core of the Human Rights debate there lies a need to interrogate the very being of individual, person, self and “other” for accommodating the claims and the counter claims of rights to be creatively human, the promise of mankind which gets threatened by any destructive self of the few in power either political or social or economic or religious. What we find in India today is more and more divide between the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ on the name of democracy. There is no automatic guarantee of success by the mere existence of democratic institutions, democratic institutions like that of all other institutions depend on the activities of human agents in utilizing opportunities for reasonable realization.
Venue for the seminar: Café Athen, Akademiska Föreningen (AF), Sandgatan 2, Lund.