Monday, December 31, 2007

Human Rights: Gender Perspective

Department of Philosophy on the occasion of World Human Rights Day (10th December) organized an Extension Lecture on the theme "Human Rights: Gender Perspective".
Ms Menika Thind, Research Scholar from Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Chandigarh and Ms Navneet Kaur, M.Phil student from Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences from Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi presented their views on the need to safeguard the rights of women in the Indian society.

In the first session Navneet emphasized the need to educate women in the country. She said that the girls should at no cost compromise with the education. She asked them to differentiate between their 'Desires', 'Needs' and 'Wants'. She informed the participants about the legal rights granted to the women by the state.

Menika in her presentation inspired the participants to pursue their higher education for a social cause. She quoted examples of Medha Patekar, a well known social activist of India and informed that Medha Patekar Prior becoming a social reformer, completed her M.A. in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).She left Ph. D. in the midst and got actively involved in the agitations conducted by tribals and peasants of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and is presently associated with Narmada Bachao Andolan. She also informed the participants about Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai of Kenya, who is an environmental and political activist. And who became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace." Menika said that despite all odds women has the courage and capability to transform her life and society to democracy in real sense.

In the last Ms Navjeet Kaur, Ms Manpreet Kaur, Ms kamaldeep kaur and Ms Amanpreet kaur asked significant questions. Principal Dr. Madhu Prashar appreciated the efforts of the Department in organizing the lecture. She also expressed her thanks to both the key speakers for their innovative thoughts. Mr. Ambuj Sharma highlighted the forth coming activities of the department to the participants.

Monday, December 3, 2007

National Seminar-Cum-Workshop on "Philosophy in the Age of Globalization”

National Seminar-Cum-Workshop on "Philosophy in the Age of Globalization"

Seventy Philosophy Under graduate students from Dev Samaj College for Women Ferozepur actively participated in the National Seminar-Cum_Workshop on the Topic “Philosophy in the Age of Globalization” organized jointly by Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Chandigarh and Department of Philosophy and Critique Ferozepur Chapter, Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur City on 27th November, 2007 at Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, chandigarh.

The Speakers discussed the different aspects, concepts of Philosophy relating to self and society. The students raised important questions relating to the need of philosophical thinking in the social change. Amanpreet vice Head girl of the college stressed that despite education still there are many social problems existing in the society. She said that Caste and Gender differences are the vital issues which definitely need some philosophical reflections for their understanding and change. Kamaldeep another student from the same college highlighted the importance of critical thinking in better understanding of the concepts. She said that philosophy makes you go beyond the given and reach the ultimate knowledge. In the discussion Popsy, Harpriya, Navjeet, Impinder, Sania, Sandhya, Sandeep, Preety and Kawal raised significant questions.

Chairman Dr. V.T. Sebastian, in his address appreciated the students of ferozepur for their participation in the seminar. He focused on the logical reasoning as the basic methodology of philosophy and said that the study of philosophy helps in reading, writing and analytical skills.
Principal Dr. Madhu Prashar in her message expressed solidarity with Departrment of Philosophy, Panjab University for taking keen interest and cooperation in organizing the seminar. She said that such kind of initiatives would definitly encourage undergraduates for "Higher Education"
Among others who address the participants were Prof. Reena Patra Prof. Dharmendra Goel, Prof. Rekha Jhanji, Prof. Dharmanand Sharma, Prof. Veena Kapoor, Prof. Indu Sareen, Prof. Geeta Manaktala, Dr. Asha Maudgil, Dr. H.P.Sah, Dr. Shiwani and Mr. Lallan singh Baghel from the Philosophy Department.

The interactive session bridged up the gap between the old and the younger generations of philosophers. The team of students from ferozepur was led by their teachers Ambuj Sharma and Renuka Vohra.

The students also actively participated in the Discussion “What Indo-US Nuclear Deal is All About” by Prof. Achin Vinayak, Chairman, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi, organized by ICSSR, PUTA and Critique: A Students Discussion Forum, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Prof. Randhir Singh gave the Presidential Address while Prof. Manjit Singh Secretary PUTA of Sociology Department gave the Key Note Address Besides other Ms Navjeet Kaur of B.A.III, Ms Preety Dwivedi of B.C.A.III and Ms Impinder Kaur of B.A.III of the college raised important questions. The session was chaired by Ambuj Sharma of Critique: A Student discussion Forum, Panjab University.

“Geo-Socio Development: Dilemmas of Democracy and Extra Ordinary Laws in India and Its Effect on Border Management”

Ambuj Sharma of the Philosophical Society presented a paper on the topic “Geo-Socio Development: Dilemmas of Democracy and Extra Ordinary Laws in India and Its Effect on Border Management” in the National Seminar on the theme BSF RESPONSE TO EMERGING THREATS INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL organized by HQ Punjab Frontier BSF Jalandhar Cantt., Punjab on 1st November, 2007 at Guru Nanak Dev University campus, Amritsar.

He divided his presentation into three part the first was what are extra ordinary laws second what are the Dilemmas of Democracy and third how an understanding of human rights can help to peace in the border region which in turn can help in socio economic development in the region.
He Highlighted that Debates surrounding extraordinary laws PDA (Preventive Detention Act) 1950, through Tada 1985, to POTO 2001 and POTA 2002 shows that it has not only resulted in gross violation of Human Rights in the areas they are implemented but the very nature of these laws questions the autonomy and liberty of an individual to a larger extent. Once a person is detained, he/she is denied bail for a minimum of one year; moreover bail would not be given if the prosecution opposed it, and unless the court was satisfied of the detainee’s innocence. He said that such laws might get further misused and innocent people might get victimized under such laws.
In the last part of his presentation he suggested to create areas of peace in the midst of conflict, imposes the principle of a common humanity, and calls for
dialogue. Limit the use of violence in the hopes of maintaining the necessary conditions for a return to peace. He also said that the younger generation can play an active role in the “Development” as they are the ones who have much optimism, role to play in curbing violence in the region.

The seminar was also addressed by Mr. A. K. Mitra, IPS, Director General, BSF, Mr. Arvind Ranjan ,IPS, IG HQ Punjab Ftr BSF, Mr. R.K. Vishwakarma IPS, DIG BSF Amritsar, Dr. S.S. Bloeria, IAS Ex-Chief Secretary, J&k , Dr. Ashok Bahuria, Dr P.V. Ramana, Mr. Vishal Chandra from IDSA, New Delhi., Maj. Gen. R. S. Paul, GOC 15 INF DIV along with Brig. Rukshit Sukesh, Mr. Sarabjit Pandher, Spl Correspondent The Hindu, Punjab and Mr. R.P. Singh Addl DIG(Ops.) HQ Punjab Ftr. BSF.

Globalization of Higher Education

Globalization of Higher Education

Philosophical Society of the College organized a seminar on the topic “Globalization of Higher Education” in which besides the faculty of the Department Ms Ruby Jager who is working as the Acting Director, Academic Support Center of the College of the Red Woods, Eureka from California, delivered a talk on the educational opportunities undergraduate students can explore after completing their studies in India. She said that “with the advent of globalization, students can look for much innovative courses and better institution for their further education. She aware the students regarding the courses College of the Red Woods is offering to the over seas students and how it can be beneficial for the students for their job perspectives. College Principal Dr. Madhu Prashar appreciated the speaker for her vast knowledge in the area and encouraged the students to take their educational activities more seriously to achieve greater success. At the end of the session Mr. Ambuj Sharma of the Department gave a vote of thanks to the speakers as well as the participants.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Senior Citizens: Family Exclusion and Responsibility

Senior Citizens: Family Exclusion and Responsibility

Philosophical Society organized a Students Seminar on the topic “Senior Citizens: Family, Exclusion and Responsibility” in which Ms Kirandeep Kaur, Ms Parminder Kaur, Rashmi of B.A.III & Kirandeep of B.A.I year presented their views on the condition of Senior Citizens in the Indian society. Kirandeep emphasize on the role youth can play in safe guarding the future of the Senior Citizens she said that it is the ethical duty of each and every person to treat senior citizens with respect and compassion. Parminder in her address brought the cases where the senior citizens are deprived of the due honour and respect in the family. She appealed to all the participants to share love and affection with their elders. Rashmi said that one cannot ignore the fact that every one, one day or another, would get old and it is the moral duty of the youngsters to look after their old parents and grand parents. She said that in the childhood most of us have been looked after by our parents and grand parents and it is truly unjust and shameful on our part if we do not care for our Senior Citizens. It is worth mentioning that in the discussion the grand parents of few students were invited and they actively interacted with the students and faculty in the discussion. At the end of the seminar the Grand parents of the students were felicitated. Mr. Kamal Kumar and Mrs. Kiran Sharma of Village Kammagar and Mr. Babu Singh of Village Badhni, Ferozepur also addressed the participants. The session was chaired by Mr. Ambuj Sharma of Department of Philosophy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Kabir and Social Change in Context to Indian Modernity"

Philosophical Society of Dev samaj College for Women, Ferozepur organized a Students Seminar on the topic "Kabir and Social Change in Context to Indian Modernity". In the Seminar Ms Jagvir Kaur of B.A. III year, Ms Sandeep kaur of B.A.III, Ms Ramandeep Kaur of B.A.III Year and Ms Preeti Dwevaidi of B.C.A. I year presented their papers on the relevance of Kabir’s ideology in shaping modernity in India.
In the first session Jagvir Kaur and Sandeep Kaur highlighted the contributions of kabir to the Indian literature. They said that Kabir’s writings not only critically question the religious fundamentalism and the caste prejudices of his times but it also inspires common people to think rationally and act in the service of humanity. They claimed that Indian Modernity can be understood in the writings of Kabir who questions the existing authoritative customary norms and the approach of the religious fundamentalists in dividing the society. They asked the students to adopt critical thinking in shaping their views.
In the Second session Ramandeep and Preeti expressed their concern on the contemporary picture of the Indian Society. They said that the Indian Society is still divided on the Lines of caste and gender inequality. They alarmed the students against the religious fundamentalism and to adopt the teachings of Kabir which strengthens human rights and provide better understanding towards life.
College principal Dr Madhu Prashar appreciated the philosophical views of the students which contained the true message of the legendry social reformer. In her address she appeals for the Kabirization of the society so that masses may understand the hollowness of Dogmatism coated with superstitions. She affirmed that Kabir was and will ever remain ‘Modern’ with regard to the true and practical spiritual message he has given to the world. Quoting Kabir she said that in the present time we need to introspect towards changing our own perverse and Hypocratic attitude.
In the last session Harpriya, sandeep and Mr. Ambuj sharma did raise some important questions which were well taken by the speakers. The seminar was chaired by Ms Pawanpreet Kaur of B.A. II year who also presented the vote of thanks to near about 150 participants at the end of the seminar.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Privatization of Higher Education: Certain Voices From Below

Philosophical Society of the College organized a student’s seminar on the topic “Privatization of Higher Education: Certain Voices From Below”. In the Seminar Ms Kawaljeet kaur of B.A.III Year , Amanat Kaur of B.A.II Year ,Mandeep of B.A.II Year, Garima Singhania of B.C.A. I Year, Sannia of B.A. II Year and Manpreet of B.C.A.I Year presented their Papers on the biased attitude of the Indian Government towards the National Education Policy for allowing the Private Capitalist Giants to capture the sphere of higher education.
In the first session Kawaljeet, Amanat and Mandeep raised their concern regarding the growing marketization of the education sector which is in turn marginalizing the higher education to a certain section of people living in the society. They said that it is badly affecting the future of the students belonging to the subaltern section of the society as these students due to lack of financial resources are unable to get themselves admitted to these Rich educational institutions .
Kawal said that today education is being seen as a commodity of looks and infrastructure. If a college has much comforts to offer it is said to be the best in every terms. She questioned the very meaning of “Education” and said that today education is reachable to only those who have more money to offer. She Quoted Mr. Yogesh Snehi a historian from Amritsar that “Earlier the Social educational movements like Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj and others were started to uplift the education and especially women education in the country. Education was given even free of cost so that, people could give up old superstitions and other taboos and could develop rational and critical thinking the very soul of education. But today these educational societies have forgotten the values of its educational ideals and are busy minting huge money by formulating high fee structures which is beyond the reach of an average man. How far is it justified is again a matter of enquiry?”
In second session Garima, Sania and Manpreet stressed on the formulation of new educational policies through which Higher education should reach to all irrespective of the status and caste. They said that education should be affordable to all.
Garima suggested that more flexible fee structure should be incorporated in the Private Educational Institutions. More Scholarships and the information about the scholarships should be made available to the students.
Manpreet in her critique of privatization of education said that it is not only affecting the students but even the teaching employee working in these institutions. Contractual teaching is resulting in poor quality teaching as well as in some cases the economic exploitation of the employee at the hands of the institution. She suggested that government should introduce more regular posts in the educational institutions.

College Principal Dr. Madhu Prashar appreciated the Sensitivity of the speakers towards the deprived and subaltern student section of the society. She informed the students about the steps the college has taken in helping the financially weak students to receive higher education in the college. She herself appealed to all the private educational institutions to help such students in every possible manner.

In the last session Kamaldeep,( President of Philosophical society), Pooja, Amandeep, Ramandeep, Navdeep, Simar, Harpriya and Neha raised important questions which were well taken by the speakers. The session was chaired by Ms Popsy of B.A.II year. Among others who participated were Mr. Ambuj Sharma of Department of Philosophy and Ms Shavinder of Department of Political Science.

Glimpses of the Seminars organized by the Philosophical Society

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"God Godmen and Good People: A Journey from Spiritualism to Capitalism"

Philosophical Society of Dev Samaj College for women organized a Students Seminar on the topic “God, Godmen and Good People: A Journey from Spiritualism to Capitalism” in which Gurmeet, Manpreet, Nature, Simarjeet and Gurpreet of class B.A. First year shared their views on the concept of spirituality which is being sold by the so called Godmen or the ‘spiritual Gurus’ with about four hundred students and other participants in the college campus. They highlighted the current picture of the growing Dera culture in India where a large number of people unreasonably following the footprints of these Godmen who in reality are constructing their Capitalist empire taking advantage of the dogmatism and innocence of the illiterate people.

College Principal Dr Madhu Prashar in her key note address cautioned the students against the hidden capitalist interests of the Godmen ‘Spiritual Gurus’who are exploiting the hard earned resources of their followers. She said that these Godmen take large amount of money in cash or kind from their followers in the name of ‘Shradha’ or ‘honour’ which is further utilized by these Godmen for their self interest, in the name of social work. She also raised concern about how young women are sexually exploited by these Godmen, who are forcefully send by their parents to serve such ‘Deras’ ‘Spiritual institutions’. Dr. Prashar said that there are women and men who leave their house hold responsibilities towards their children and join these institutions. How far is it justified is again a matter of enquiry?

Gurmeet, Manpreet and Nature in their presentation outwardly questioned the very concept of faith to an institution. They said that in Spiritual Institutions or religion a person is asked to simply follow the given instructions. He or She is not allowed to reason or question the very notion of an institution or religion. They raised certain questions that how far it is justified to blindly follow any Spiritual Institution or religion?
Do we ever question who are we and what the purpose of our life is? It is reason which can definitely lead us to some answers. We live in a sociopolitical world where there is deep seated inequalities in terms of economy and other social evil of such as caste prejudices and gender inequality. They said that until these inequalities are not questioned and solved, there cannot be any human salvation possible.
Gurpreet and Simarjeet asked the people to adopt the scientific reasoning in following any religion. They said that there are many people in the country who offer milk to certain God forgetting that there are millions of children who need that milk to survive. So ‘Spirituality’ does not lie in offering milk to God but in service of humanity.
The seminar was followed by a discussion in which Avinash, Amarjeet, Navjeet and the Vice President of Philosophical Society Amanpreet did raise certain important questions which were well taken by the speakers. Among others who participated were Mrs. Narinder Deora of Department of English, Mrs. Madhu Gautam of Department of Hindi, Mr. Kuldeep Singh of Department of Punjabi,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Women Sexual Harassment: A Case Study of Plight of Indian Women Deserted by NRI husbands"

Philosophical society, (A Students Discussion Forum) of Dev Samaj College for women, Ferozepur organized a students seminar on the topic "Women Sexual Harassment: A Case Study of Plight of Indian Women Deserted by NRI husbands". Amandeep, Navjeet, Impinder, Manpreet, Kiran and Prabhdeep of the college Presented their views on the sexual Harassment, Domestic violence act and other issues concerning the miserable condition of the women living in India. Amandeep and Navjeet Questioned the patriarchical structure of the indian society which is operating and governing the autonomy of the women. They said that women still in the countryare not allowed to excercise their choice to education and even marriage which is one of the most important right. Parents generally get their daughters married to rich NRI which sometimes result in fraud marriages where the NRI husbands abandon their wives in the very country leaving them in mental torture and depression. Impinder, Manpreet and Prabhdeep cautioned the girls to register protest if they are married against their choices. They welcomed the Domestic Violence Act, which can strenghten the female voice against the dowary torture and other physical and mental violence. the session was also addressed by the college principal Dr Madhu Prashar who supported the view of the students but also cautioned that the Act may also be misused in certain cases. Dr Prashar inspired the students to be pursue their studies seriously and attain higher positions in order to uplift women empowerment. The presentations were followed by a discussion, where students actively engaged with their questions to the speakers as well as to the principal. among others who attended the seminar were Mrs Harmeet Kaur, Mrs Rajinder Kaur, Mrs Iqbal Kaur, Mr C. L. Arora, Ms Saminder and Mr Ambuj sharma.