India: Implementing Pluralism and Democracy

India: Implementing Pluralism and Democracy

November 11—November 13, 2005

The University of Chicago Law School
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

India, the world's largest democracy, contains a plurality of religious groups that have often lived together on terms of peace and mutual respect. In recent years, however, the rise of Hindu fundamentalism has led to the demonizing of Muslims and to numerous outbreaks of violence. India's constitution provides an admirable foundation for a society based on mutual respect, pluralism, and the protection of basic rights for all. These values, however, have not yet been securely implemented in society as a whole. This conferences poses a question about India, but really it is a question that is urgent, in somewhat different ways, for almost every democracy in the world—namely, how can the values of mutual respect and toleration be implemented in such a way that they govern people's real lives in a democratic nation, not just the constitutional and legal aspirations of that nation? By bringing together scholars and public figures from a number of areas, we hope to generate new answers to this urgent question.

The conference is sponsored by the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism and the Martin Marty Center. Professors Wendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum are the principal organizers. Amartya Sen (Lamont University Professor, Harvard University, and Nobel laureate) will give the keynote address. For a list of scheduled participants and topics, click here. For more information, please contact Shaheen Haji at shaji@uchicago.edu.