India

Doing Well and Doing Good: Creating a Successful Environment for Profitable Business

In 2007, ICfC expanded programs oriented towards business students and leaders in India. Together with our Associate Poonam Barua, Director of PAMASIA (New Delhi), we launched cooperation with the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. On May 21, 2007, Hillel Levine and Poonam Barua held an orientation session for the ISB students. This session focused on using the business skills towards resolving conflicts based on people’s identities and the necessity to cultivate social responsibility of corporations in a globalizing world that is increasingly culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse.

Read more about the orientation session on ISB website. Click here please.

ICfC is developing together with PAMASIA the Executive Education Program. In this program we offered training in corporate citizenship and social responsibility to the leaders of the top Indian corporations and business schools. In these trainings, we stress the necessity for business leaders to be involved in resolving and preventing conflicts based on people’s religions or ethnicity, in order to achieve prosperous democracy. This program is coordinated by the ICfC associate Poonam Barua in New Delhi.

DC School of Management and Technology in Pulikkannam, Kerala

The School of Management and Technology (DCSMAT) in Kerala is a young, public spirited school training some of the best students in India today to become entrepreneurs, government officials, businessmen and leaders in the third sector. The school’s founding ethos stresses the need for the students to become not only skilled managers and businessmen, but also conscientious citizens. Believing that economic progress is not possible without human development, the school promotes education in the values of democratic society, human rights, treatment of minorities, and such. Students are running a community development program, volunteering in literacy training, running a public library, and other similar activities. They continually express interest to be further involved in communities, assisting with conflict resolution and mediation of disputes caused by communal tensions and violence.

In February 2005, ICfC led three days of workshops on ethnic identity, historic memory and basic skills in research and preparation for field interviews in communities riven with tension. As a result of the workshops, a student organization was formed to pursue these topics in an ongoing project. The organization titled itself Shanti (meaning “peace” or “harmony”) and elected a chairman, Sudeep Vallathol, and a fifteen member steering committee. Shanti’s goal is to build a self-perpetuating student-run body that will train new students each semester in techniques for mediating and discussing disputed histories, researching cases of countervailing forces to communal violence, as well as outreach toward the wider public to initiate debates on communalism and multicultural solutions. In August 2005, the ICfC returned to the DC School to deliver further training and to consult with the faculty on monitoring the work of the students and helping to build networks of cooperation with learning institutions across India. Details…

Nagaland: Youth Leadership training program

Nagaland is among the least known and least traveled states in India. It is unique not only for its preservation of ancient ways in local culture and social life, but also for being the site of one of the longest insurgencies in the world, fighting first the British and later the Indian governments to achieve independence. Over 200,000 Nagas have died in armed struggle since 1947. Attempts to reach peace have culminated after the 1997 ceasefire into the Journey of Conscience, a public dialogue towards Indo – Naga reconciliation. The Naga National Reconciliation Ceremony in 2001 launched a grassroots peace movement that brought forth a generation of new leaders, seeking a peaceful solution to the Naga political issue.

The ICfC first established contact with Naga leaders through the initiation of the U.S. Department of State in August 2004. ICfC President Hillel Levine led some introductory conflict prevention and historical exploration workshops. He brought together leaders of some divided Naga factions for the first time in many years. The ICfC maintained, and continues to maintain, contacts with the leading Naga organizations, and cooperates closely with our partner, the Morung Foundation, in the city of Kohima. Projects in 2005 involved a series of meetings in Kolkata in February and an intensive training delivered by four trained ICfC mediators (Dagmar Kusa, David Baharvar, Jasmine Marwaha and Hillel Levine). The subject of the training was how to deal with disputed histories and how to establish priorities for the future of Nagaland, given the current cease-fire, the uncertainty of negotiations, and the tenuous relationship with the Government of India and the resistance forces in Nagaland. In 2006, a peacebuilding training was provided to selected young leaders from Nagaland and other northeastern territories of India, among others, in partnership with the Henry Martyn Center in Hyderabad. Details…

Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Partition of India and Pakistan

This year India and Pakistan mark sixty years since their Partition. The Partition resulted in mass-scale violence and the displacement of thousands of Muslims and Hindus on both sides. The 60th Anniversary will be one of the last when survivors will be around to recount their stories. The ICfC has partnered with the Seagull Foundation in Kolkata in designing an ongoing creative project involving students and teachers that captures the oral history of the Partition and broadcasts a message of reconciliation and togetherness. The ICfC is also working with panels of scholars, government officials, and activists that will generate expert discussion on the topics of Partition, remembrance, and cooperation between India and Pakistan around the time of the sixtieth anniversary. Other ICfC partnerships continue to bloom in India to create a peacebuilding opportunity out of the Partition anniversary. Institute Fellow Sangeeta Isvaran, an Indian dancer and activist, is helping to organize events. Details…
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