Dimapur, February 11: The Naga Scholars Association (NSA) organized a New Year Special Talk on ‘The troubled biography of civil society’ at School of International Studies (SIS), JNU, New Delhi on February 8. The session started with a welcome address by Dr Zuchamo Yanthan, president of NSA who also highlighted the different activities of NSA and what the association stands for.
Eminent political scientist Prof. Neera Chandhoke, was the resource person. She is also the National Fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and was Professor of Political Science at the University of Delhi. The session was chaired by Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva, Jean Monnet Chair and Director, Europe Area Studies Programme, School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Prof Neera Chandhoke gave an in-depth analysis on the origin and the importance of civil society in contemporary times. She stated that civil society does mean engagement with the political but it is away from the state. The objective of civil society associations is not to overtake the state power or to compete with the ruling power but to safeguard the constitution for larger good of the society.
When a society develops a culture of debate, the outcome will be always fruitful as debates can also be on good citizenship and how citizens can live a good life ethically, culturally and aesthetically, she said.
She stated that “Civil society is important not only for democracy but also for good life”. She argued that it is civil society which monitors government activities which lead to restraints on the abuses of the state. In this context, she highlighted how the Indian civil society today is under stress due to public space being reduced since it highlights human rights issues in Northeast, Kashmir, etc. Despite this constraint, she pointed out that civil society plays a great role in Northeast because it mediated political situations and highlighted broader social security concerns.
The session was very well summarized and coordinated by the chair Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva. The special talk was followed by discussions and a questions and answers session.
(Page News Service)