in South Asia: Exploring the Terrain
WISCOMP in collaboration with the International Institute for Democracy
and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), an inter-governmental organisation
based in Stockholm, organised a symposium titled ‘Reconciliation
in South Asia: Exploring the Terrain’ from March 17-19,
2005 at India International Centre, New Delhi, India.
The symposium brought together over 50 senior and mid-career scholars
and professionals to reflect upon the discourses and practices of
reconciliation in the context of a plural and multicultural South
Asia. It was premised on the understanding that people and countries
are held together not simply through political institutions but also
through processes and relationships which need to be restored every
time there is a breach of peace either within or between states. The
processes of reconciliation ¾ of restoring fractured relationships
at the personal, societal, national and regional levels ¾ are
integral to conflict transformation and peace-building.
The symposium focussed on South Asian responses to protracted intra
and inter state conflicts and attempted to map the field of reconciliation.
It drew from past experiences and practices in South Asia to examine
whether it is possible to build an inclusive vocabulary on reconciliation
that resonates for the region as a whole.
The symposium was conceptualised
along three major thematic rubrics. These were:
- Mapping Reconciliation: Opening up Thinking Spaces for South Asia
- Resources for Reconciliation: Perspectives from South Asia
- Reconciliation: People, Processes and Challenges ¾ Experiences from South Asia