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: