"When more than 2,50,000 farmers have committed suicide in the country, you know something is fundamentally wrong," said journalist P Sainath while delivering the keynote address at Malhar.
Sainath, a recipient of the Magsaysay Award, spoke of his experiences in Indian villages where farmers committed suicide and underlined the increasing inequalities suffered by the agriculture and labour class despite India's GDP growth.
Conclave 2012, titled 'Seeds of a Siege', included a panel discussion on revolutions around the world. The panelists included Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and journalist Waiel Awwad. "There is a total disconnect between the Kashmir valley, Ladakh and Jammu, which in turn increases the state's disconnect with Delhi," said Dileep Padgaonkar, chairman of a group of interlocutors between the Indian government and separatists in J&K.
"For a while, the tribal community was left alone. As soon as our country needed their land, the conflicts began," said Shoma Choudhary, editor of Tehelka magazine, as the discussion explored the tribal issues of the country.
'Beg to Differ', the last event of the day, was a moderated debate between Soli Sarabjee, former attorney general of India and Darius Khambata, Maharashtra's advocate general, on the use or misuse of judicial activism and the Right To Information (RTI) Act.