The role of civil society cannot be ignored as it touches upon important issues that are crippling Indian society. Keeping this in mind, the first edition of the Daring Debates was organised at Ramjas College in Delhi where the participants presented their views on the topic: Can civil society advance social change?
Ananya Nanda and Krishtijeet Das of Kirori Mal College (KMC) won the highly-charged debate.
Being organised across five cities — Kolkata, Goa, Guwahati, Delhi and Mumbai, the debates will culminate in Difficult Dialogues, an event curated by the South Asia Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Television for the Environment, to be held on January 30 in Goa.
“Civil society plays an important role in creating awareness about issues that need government attention. The moment you recognise that the pre-exisiting notions have a fault, is when social change is brought about,” says Nanda.
While presenting his views against the topic, Das said, “Civil society cannot advance any social change because it doesn’t have the mechanism to go through with it.” On similar lines, Ria Malik of Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) says, “To bring about an actual change we need government’s backing.” Contradicting this, her counterpart from the same college, Varisha Sharma said, “There have been changes in law due to the initiatives taken by the civil society.”
Janki Devi Memorial College, JGLS, Maitreyi College, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hindu College, KMC and Ramjas College participated in the event.
“The real educational challenge before the nation is this: we are currently attempting to become more and more efficient consumers of knowledge. The grind is for us to become producers of knowledge. This event is an excellent concept. Dialogues are the soul of Indian democracy, dialogues must continue,”adds Dr Rajendra Prasad, principal, Ramjas College.