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Dissent, Democracy and Movements for Change

Dissent, Democracy and Movements for Change

Aruna Roy
Political and social activist Aruna Roy.

India has been witnessing a series of movements for change — some have been ongoing, while others have recently gathered steam. Dissent has been expressed in myriad ways including armed rebellion in Maoist areas, peaceful mass mobilization and hunger strikes, and increased action in exposing and punishing corruption. As waves of these movements rise and ebb, how do they impact development? Do certain conditions give rise to certain forms of dissent? How can we encourage development and progress while allowing for peaceful and productive means to express grievances? Are there lessons we can learn from such movements in other countries, from the Arab Spring in the Middle East to the Wall Street protests in the United States?

Aruna Roy is one of the founders of the movement for Right to Information in India, which has been credited for getting Right to Information laws passed in several states. She is also a Founder Member of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information, which played a pivotal role in the passage of strong national legislation for the right to information in the year 2005. Roy is also the President of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW). In 2000, she was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. She has been a member of National Advisory Council 1 and 2, and played a key role in incorporating strong citizens entitlements in the RTI and NREGA. In 2010, she received the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academia and Management by the President of India. She and the MKSS Collective have also been awarded the Rule of Law Award in the World Justice Forum held in Barcelona, Spain in June 2011, and were listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the Time magazine for 2011. Roy resigned from Indian Administrative Service to devote her time to social work and social reform.

Manu Joseph is the Editor of Open magazine and a columnist for the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times. His first novel, Serious Men, is the winner of the Hindu Best Fiction Award and the PEN Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, among other prizes.

Presented in partnership with Open magazine and Jamia Milia Islamia University

This programme is part of the AsiaLive series, which features timely debates and discussions on major news events that impact Asia.

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Event Details

13 January 2012
11:30am - 1:30pm

Jamia Millia Islamia University, Dayar-e-Mir Taqi Mir, Conference Block, New Delhi