Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Questions of Ethnic Violence and Challenges Before Multicultural Ethos (6.08.2011)

“Recent innocent teenager’s killings at Oslo (Norway) have sparked again the questions of ethnic violence in the world. It seems that the murderer is not the only person responsible for the brutal crime but the ideology and the people who believe in ethnic superiority, discrimination and violence, equally, share a bigger role in the violence and crime against humanity” Said, Daljit Ami, a renowned Punjabi documentary film maker and former deputy editor of Punjabi Tribune Newspaper, in the seminar organized on Questions of Ethnic Violence and Challenges Before Multicultural Ethos by Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society: a students discussion forum of the college. Daljit Ami highlighted and briefed the students that Ethnicity as concept need to be explored and one has to question as to what is ethnic? What are the notions of Ethnic? How ethnic violence emerges as a process. He said, “In every day life many of us celebrate our birth in a particular caste, clan, society, region and religion without understanding their meaning. The thought of ‘self’ and ‘other’ continuously gets constructed and these ‘notions’ slowly and gradually evolve a politics which lead to communal or ethnic hatred and violence in societies. The time has come when the youth of the country has to critically question and reflect on these notions before making judgements.

Speaking on the occasion Jatinder Mouhar, director of Punjabi film ‘Mitti’ spoke on the relevance of films in questioning the social problems. He said that Role of films is quite significant as its reach is higher than other mode of communication. Films generally sensitize its viewers about the issues it projects so there is a need to add documentary and other films which addresses social issues in the education curriculum for pedagogic exercises and discussions.

In the seminar Amandeep and Mandeep, undergraduate students of the college asked relevant questions to the resource persons. The session was presided by Prabhpreet and chaired by Amrit of the college.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who is Afraid of Lok Pal Bill?

Critique ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society, a student’s discussion forum of the Dev Samaj College for Women organized a seminar on the theme “Who is Afraid of Lok Pal Bill?” Around four hundred students of the college actively participated and discussed at length the burning questions on the current Lok Pal Bill Debate. In the session chaired by college principal Dr. Madhu Prashar and Kamaljit Kaur of class B.A. first year, Swati, Deepali, Amrit, Richa and Cheenu expressed their solidarity with the Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi team demanding a strong Lok Pal Bill at the centre. Swati speaking on the issue said that corruption is rampant in every domain, public or private. Largely there is no transparency and effective check at the work places which makes the things worse. Deepali informed the participants that “Seventy-seven per cent of Indians -- about 836 million people -- live on less than half a dollar a day in one of the world's hottest economies. She held corruption responsible for the current state. Richa and Cheenu also underlined various cases of corruption rampant in the country. Richa raised the case of Justice Nirmal Yadav and said that the trust of common people is broken if cases of corruption is reported in the higher judiciary. It is high time when an effective lok pal bill should be introduced and passed. Cheenu said that Prashant Bhushan and many others are constantly fighting for justice and transparency and with Anna Hazare leading the voices a strong Lok Pal Bill will get introduced. Amrit said that right to information is an effective tool against corruption but Lok Pal will add more power and check towards the problem. On the occasion Amandeep, Jagpreet, Ambuj Sharma, Rashpinder Singh and many others raised important questions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Genetic Revolution and Human Rights: Exploring Moral and Social Aspects (28.03.2011)

The Biotechnological or the Genetic Revolution provides enormous possibilities to human development (nutrition, medicine, industry), while at the same time, creates social-ethical apprehensions due to the dangers to Human Rights that an improper use could generate. In this respect, Department of Philosophy organized a national seminar on ‘Genetic Revolution and Human Rights: Exploring Moral and Social Aspects’ sponsored by College Development Council, Panjab university. the seminars discussed and explore the nature of Human Rights and its various issues associated with the genetic revolution and beyond. Among the resource persons Umendra Dutt, Executive Director, KHETI VIRASAT MISSION JAITU, District-Faridkot, Punjab, Professor Shalina Mehta, Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Mr. C.H. Premani, Scientist F, Computer Technology, Institute of microbial Technology, Chandigarh. Dr Meena Dhanda, Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Politics, Leverhulme Research Fellow, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, U.K., Lallan Singh Baghel, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Chandigarh., shared their wisdom with the facuty, students of the college and other participants from Faridkot, Muktsar area. Umendra Dutt presenting the Keynote address cautioned the participants about the hazards of inorganic farming and the increasing amount of the seeds of various crops which is leading to a competition and resulting in the exploitation of poor farmers and subsequently the people of the country. Professor Shalina Mehta very interestingly brought the issue of Cloning and its politics. Professor Meena Dhanda gave a multimedia presentation and raised the ethical and legal issues of Surrogate mother in the west and India. She discussed the issue at length underlining the impact of technology on Human life other human conditions and laws. Lallan Singh Baghel presented his paper on Cloning People: Rights and Beyond he tried to probe the limits of genetic engineering and its multiple implications for constructing a discourse of technology and its instrumentality thesis. He said that it revolves around 'power' and it has been used to reduce human freedom and manufactured a language of consensus about the very nature of science. He also gave a Greek Philosophic account of ‘Techne’ Technology from Platos Republic to illustrate the questions of the goals of technology. In the seminar many questions were raised by the faculty and students of the college particularly Amandeep Kaur of B.A. I year. Vote of thanks was extended by the coordinator of the Seminar, Dr. Ambuj Sharma.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

‘Reading Philosophical texts for Hope: Idea of Public Sphere in the Era of Globalization’ (08.03.2011)

‘Reading Philosophical texts for Hope:
Idea of Public Sphere in the Era of Globalization’

Department of Philosophy, Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur City, Punjab organized the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) sponsored periodical Lecture on the theme ‘Reading Philosophical Text for Hope: Idea of Public Sphere in the Era of Globalization’ on 8th March, 2010 at the Seminar Hall of the campus..
Dr. Lallan Singh Baghel from philosophy department, Panjab University delivered the lecture. Around 400 hundred students from philosophy and other departments of the college attended and participated in the discussion followed by the lecture.
In the first session Ms Sukhdeep Kaur, President Philosophical Society of the college along with Ms Rupinderjeet Kaur, Head Girl of the college and Ms Bhawana Munjal Vice President of the Philosophical Society, Ms Amandeep Kaur, General secretary of the Philosophgical society of the college and Dr. Ambuj Sharma, faculty, Department of Philosophy presented bouquet to the resource person.
Dr. Lallan Singh Baghel congratulating the participants of the Women’s Day raised the issues and concerns of the Public Sphere and Globalization with the participants. He started his presentation by defining the concept of Globalization and said that globalization is not at all the same as it appears. It centers on profit dynamics which sidelines the holistic growth of the society. Pointing on the concept of Knowledge lallan informed the participants about Plato’s views. He said that Plato held that ‘Knowledge is justified true belief’ and asked the participants to distinguish between knowledge, opinion and wisdom. He also brought the discussions of Richard Rorty about philosophy and said that Rorty focused that philosophy or any other discipline should not be confined to the parameters of its subject matter but rather work out for the development of a just society. Lallan speaking about the public sphere said that “public sphere is a sphere where every human individual carries his or her life, sometimes as a thinking being and sometimes as vegetables” Supporting his arguments he gave an example of Bhagat Singh the martyr and his opinion about the public sphere. He said that Bhagat Singh wanted a just society and adopted a method of critical reasoning in understanding human life and society.
Lallan insisted that philosophy is a critical enquiry into the nature of reality therefore formation of public sphere is essential for questioning the various issues for a better society. Lallan also philosophically explored the concepts of rights, civil society and its implications in the contemporary society. He said that the task of philosophy is to engage in dialogue about the different affairs of the world and form public opinion on grounds of reason and justice for a formation of a just society. The lecture was well received by the participants and many questions were asked by Ms Amandeep, Ms Bhawna, Ms Neha and Ms Satwant of the college. Dr. Narinder Kaur, Ms Satwant Kaur and Ms Paramveer Kaur from Punjabi Department, Ms Rubal from Economics Department, Ms Kanchan Narang From History Department, Dr. Suman Sharma from Sanskrit Department and Ms Savita fro Commerse Department also participated in the seminar. The proceedings of the lecture were conducted by Dr. Ambuj Sharma, Head, Department of Philosophy while the vote of thanks was extended by Ms Sukhdeep Kaur, President Philosophical Society of the College.
The lecture was followed by “Professor Daya Krishna Philosophy Awards” in which the students who presented papers at various students and national seminars along with the office bearers of the Critique Ferozepur Chapter and Philosophical Society, Ms Sukhdeep Kaur, President, Philosophical Society Ms Karamjeet, Co-coordinator,Ms Daljeet Kaur Co-coordinator, Ms Ramanpreet Kaur, Co-coordinator, Ms Bhawna Munjal, Vice President, Ms Ramanveer, Vice President, Ms Prabhpreet Kaur, Vice President, Ms Sumanpreet, Vice President, Ms Adeshbeer, Vice President, Ms Amandeep kaur, General Secretary, Ms Amrit Kaur, General Secretary, Ms Ramandeep kaur, General Secretary, Ms Amanjotpreet Kaur, General Secretary, Ms Amrit, Joint Secretary, Ms Kirandeep, Joint Secretary, Ms Mandeep, Joint Secretary, Ms Manjinder, Joint Secretary, Ms Jagpreet, Joint Secretary, Ms Sapanpreet, Public Relation Officer, Ms Komalpreet, Public Relation Officer, Ms Kamalpreet, Public Relation Officer, Ms Jassandeep, Public Relation Officer, Ms Sumit, Public Relation Officer along with Ms Manpreet, Ms Rajwant, Ms Bhanu Priya, Ms Amandeep, Ms Neha, Ms Amritpal, Ms Pradeep, were felicitated with the Professor Daya Krishna Philosophy Awards by College Management Secretary, Mr. M. R. Manchanda and Dr. Lallan Singh Baghel. A small cultural programme was also organized by the department students.
On the occasion Dr. Ambuj Sharma presented the Annual Department Report 2011. The event was followed by a small tea party managed by the department students.

Friday, February 11, 2011

National Seminar on Democracy, Resistance and Globalization (9- 10 Feb, 2011)

Department of philosophy, Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur in collaboration with Department of Philosophy, Panjab University organized a national Seminar on ‘Democracy, Resistance and Globalization’ at Department of philosophy, Panjab University Chandigarh on 9th and 10th Feb, 2011. Dr. Shiwani Sharma of Philosophy department presented the welcome address.
Addressing the participants which included seventy undergraduate students from Dev Samaj College for women, Ferozepur City, Dr. Dharmendra Goel, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Department said, “Resistance is an indispensable part of democracy. Resistance is a dialogue, a fundamental right of expression which sustains the very notion of democracy. It is absolutely necessary to submit resistance if there is any violation on part of any individual or institution against the laws and the essential norms of democracy. Gandhi’s Civil disobedience or Satygraha without violence against the establishment, French resistance against the Nazi in the early fourties of the twentieth century are classic examples of the resistance.”
Professor Shalina Mehta from Anthropology Department, Panjab University, focused on tribal issues and democracy. She said that Indian society is not a homogenous society and the issues of development of the urban and the tribal are different. She said that the issues of tribal do not get proper government attention and the people who work for tribal rights face the highhandedness of the government and its officials on different fronts.
Lallan Singh Baghel of Philosophy Department, Panjab University, philosophically elaborated the notions of resistance and democracy. He said that resistance is a concept which aims at bringing real problems of the society to the attention of the government and demands its immediate solution.
Rajeev Godara from Sampooran Kranti Manch, Haryana, speaking on the Role of resistance in democracy said that Dr. Binayak Sens' arrest is a big jolt to the law and democracy of India He further said that Binayak Sen is a world acclaimed human rights worker who dedicated his entire life to work for the underprivileged in the country and his resistance to the governments' unfair policies for the tribals has cost him life imprisonment. Rajeev emphasized a need to build an atmosphere where the government should be accountable to public views and resistance against its policies, laws and other issues of development.
On the second day of seminar, Dr. Prem Singh from Delhi University talked about the nature of democracy and nature of peoples' movements. He based his lecture on the main theme of decentralization of the government and maintained that all the movements working in favour of democratic ideals have to come together to minimize the loss, the movements are suffering due to the contradictions which favors the oppressive regimes.
All the lectures were followed by serious discussions during which the students raised some intriguing questions with respect to the current nature of Indian state and its democratic profile. The seminar was coordinated by Dr. Ambuj Sharma, Asst. Professor Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur and coordinator of the Critique Ferozepur.