Culture and democracy
SFD in collaboration with artists and artisans from across India organises series of workshops, lectures, and performances that explore concepts of democracy, secularism and equality through art and culture. The historical context of cultural democracy will be brought back to relevance to create awareness over the pressing need to preserve, protect and promote cultural diversity, and the right to culture and faith for everyone in our society. Through these collaborations SFD will also delve into understanding the use of art and culture as an important tool in democratic governance.
SFD conducts memorial lecture series in memory of various eminent persons who have throughout their lives contributed to strengthening our democracy.
- Ajit Bhattacharjea Memorial lecture
Ajit Bhattacharjea more fondly known as Ajitda, was a veteran Indian journalist, born in Shimla and did his collegiate eduaction from St. Stephens , Delhi. He was not just an eminent and greatly respected journalist and editor of various leading newspapers such as Hindustan Times, The Times of India and The Indian Express, but also played a pivotal role in the campaign for the Right to Information and the struggle that began in central Rajasthan from its early days in 1996. He was also the editor of Jaiprakash Narain’s Everyman’s Weekly. Director of the Press Institute from 1995-2004, he was a lifelong advocate of the underprivileged Indian and an important proponent of the RTI.The first Ajit Bhattacharjea Memorial lecture was delivered by Shri Gopal Gandhi on the 1st of February 2013 in Jaipur at the Pink City Press Club on the issue of leadership in post-independent India, speaking titled “Neta, Netritva aur Netagiri.”
- P.K.Dey Annual Memorial Lecture
Air Marshal Partha Kumar Dey (Babi Dey), was known for encouraging transparency, dialogue, and debate as a means for better decision making. He believed that blanket secrecy was always a weakness, and it was important to identify the areas where transparency would be encouraged to ensure greater efficiency and a stronger and more secure nation. He also believed securing peace was the real objective of a “defence” service. In a democratic country, open debate and discussion on issues like nationalism, security and defence are as important as discussion on matters of development and politics. These deliberations are likely to foster a more mature, robust and effective framework of how a nation views its own security issues. It is hoped that this series of lectures will foster public engagement between “experts” and citizens, and build a body of knowledge which will lead to better policy-making and a more transparent, secure, and confident nation. The memorial lectures are organised by the School for Democracy and the family members of Air Marshal PK Dey. The first P.K Dey memorial lecture was delivered by Admiral Ramdas on April 2, 2016 titled “Discussing Security and Insecurity in our Democratic framework- transparency and Accountabiliy in Defence ” held at IIHS Bengaluru. The second memorial lecture was delivered by Wajahat Habibullah on the 13th of March 2017 titled “RTI and National Security: Contradiction or Confluence” also held at IIHS Bengaluru.
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