Diversity and Conformity - Defining India, A Conference on Harmony

Global Dialogue Forum and Jamia Hamdard present Diversity and Conformity - Defining India

A Conference on Harmony


Venue - JAMIA HAMDARD, New Delhi

For more information contact: nisha@globaldialogueforum.org


In a nation of great ethnic and cultural diversity, India has nevertheless in the decades following  independence from British colonial rule steadfastly upheld its democratic commitment. 

This commitment is on occasion tarnished by public dissent that flares into violence, and it often involves the same diverse communities that exemplify the nation’s inclusive credentials.

This inclusivity has in the decades of independence from British colonial rule encompassed the varying hues of patriotism. 

In recent years, this patriotism appears to have developed nuanced schisms such as the nationalism that seeks a conformity of ethnic and other defining values of a wholesome civilisation. 

This conference will examine contemporary trends in India that offer a choice between firm, centrally administered authority that stresses on homogeneity of cultural and other qualities of nationhood, and regional and minorities that focus on diverse identities. 

They can be viewed as challenges to a federalism that has been one of the cherished values of the founding fathers. 

But the increasing demands for greater autonomy of states and the diverse communities have, some would argue, weakened the fabric of a united nation that believes in conformity and a strong centre.

Currently, the two sides are ranged on opposite sides in issues from minority rights and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to reforming personal laws through a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to protecting indigenous tribespeople’s traditional ways of life.

These confrontations reflect a struggle to define identity, nationalism and patriotism. Its resolution is critical in elevation India to global leadership.  

How these contradictions can be resolved is the substance of the debate.


Registration Start

Inaugural Session

Recitation from the Holy Quran by Imam of Rabia Mosque
Felicitation of Guests by Professor (Dr.) M. Afshar Alam, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard and Mr. Moses Manoharan, Chair, Global Dialogue Forum, New Delhi
Welcome address: Mr. Moses Manoharan
Keynote Address: Hon’ble Mr. Justice J.K. Maheswari, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi
Presidential Address: Professor (Dr.) M. Afshar Alam, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard
Vote of Thanks: Professor (Dr.) Reshma Nasreen, Dean, School of Management and Business Studies, Jamia Hamdard
National Anthem

SESSION I : Preserving Identity & Plurality

Chair: His Grace (Dr.) Youhanon Mar Demetrios, Metropolitan of Delhi Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Speaker: Dr. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, Padma Shri, former member of the Planning Commission of India, former Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University
Speaker: Mr. Kamal Faruqui, former Chair, Delhi Minorities Commission, is a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)
Speaker: Ms. Abirami Jotheeswaran, General Secretary, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM)
Speaker: Mr. Khurshid Ganai IAS (Retd), former advisor to the Governor, Jammu and Kashmir, previously a senior civil servant. He is recipient of the Chief Minister's Gold Medal for integrity and meritorious service.

SESSION II : Panel Discussion – Upholding the Constitution, Enforcing the Law

Moderator: Mr. Javed Ansari, eminent journalist, former Executive Editor, India Today TV
Panellist: Ambassador A.R. Ghanashyam IFS (Retd.), veteran diplomat, foreign policy analyst, former Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria
Panellist: Professor Saleena Basheer, Dean, Hamdard Institute of Legal Studies and Research, Jamia Hamdard Panellist: Mr. Saidutta Mishra, Director, Law, Institute of Company Secretaries of India
Panellist: Professor (Dr.) Arvinder Ansari, Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Jamia Millia Islamia


SESSION III : Balancing Minority Rights with Majority Responsibilities

Chair: Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, former Member of Parliament, New Delhi
Speaker: Dr. Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam, All India Imam Organisation
Speaker: Professor Sushma Yadav, Pro Vice Chancellor, Central University of Haryana, Mahendergarh
Speaker: Professor Kumar Suresh, Head, Department of Educational Administration, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration
Speaker: Ms. Kunjamma Mathew, National President, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of India Speaker: Janab Alhaj Mohammed Hafeezullah Sharief, Chairman, Khuddam Ul Ulama Welfare Foundation

Valedictory Address : The Future of the Union

Mr. Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer


For more information contact: nisha@globaldialogueforum.org