Tehelka is organising a Summit of the Powerless on 20 and 21 November 2006 at the Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi. Should you wish to attend, please register at http://www.summitofthepowerless.net/summit_registration.asp
For details visit www.summitofthepowerless.net. Given below is an introductory note and the tentative schedule.
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Summit of the Powerless
India is going through a period of great change and great upheaval. At such a time, it has become crucial to ensure that voices across the country are heard, and people are given a chance to participate in the future being newly moulded for them -- people whose lives are impacted daily by the decisions the powerful make.
To give voice to this silent majority, to find creative responses to some of the most difficult questions of our time, on November 20 –21 this year, Tehelka is hosting a visionary new forum: The Summit of the Powerless.
The core idea of the Summit is to bring together the three key stakeholders of a free society on to the same platform: money, power, and people.
Political and business leaders wield enormous power and influence over the lives of the poor. But in most forums, the converted talk to the converted: the powerful to the rich; the powerless to the powerless.
The unique idea of the Summit is to create an environment where the powerful will lend their ear to the powerless. The Summit seeks to bring the powerful into a new context. A context visually, emotionally, and conceptually constructed to be empathetic to the powerless.
The agenda? Not just to air differences, but hunt for common ground.
The broad theme for this year's Summit is Two Indias, One Future. Under this matrix, the Summit will discuss some of the most pressing issues of our time: the role of the State; the farmer crisis; the gap between rural and urban India; reservations; naxals; Kashmir; the Northeast; land usage; and a vision for more equitable cities.
Every panel in the Summit will have two or more speakers each from the grassroot, political, and corporate sectors. There will also be AVs and personal narratives in every panel. More than 50 key human rights activists, peoples' movement leaders, political, and corporate heads have already confirmed participation. Recognising the importance of such a forum, the President of India too has agreed to participate in the Summit.
Apart from the panel discussions, many important conversations, arguments, and linkages will be made possible by the Summit. It has immense potential and provides an immense opportunity.
Tehelka is inviting everybody working to create a more equitable and humane world to attend the Summit. Do come and empower the Summit with your presence.
If you can come, please register at www.summitofthepowerless.net
If you have any queries, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
And do pass the word around.
The Tehelka Team
Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief, Tehelka welcome address.
Outlines summit agenda
Keynote Address by the President of India
OPENING SESSION: Two Indias, One Future
SESSION 1 a
Farmer Suicides: Urban India vs Rural India
SESSION 1 b (simultaneous)
The Positive Model: Stories of Rural Success
Father Thomas Kocherry
SESSION 2 a
Reservations: Inclusive Progress or the Death of Merit?
SESSION 2 b (simultaneous)
Equal Education: Excellence or Prejudice?
Parth J Shah
The Indian State: Protector or Alienator?
SESSION 3 a
Naxals: Backlash of the Fourth World?
Dr Vara Vara Rao
Janak Lal Thakur
SESSION 3 b (simultaneous)
Kashmir: External Hand or Internal Haemorrhage?
SESSION 4 a
The City and the Powerless
B S Nagesh
SESSION 4 b (simultaneous)
North East: On the Map, Off the Mind?
SESSION 5 (Final)
Bollywood: Can cinema bridge the divide?