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The Role Of Civil Society in Pakistan and India

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Closing & Thanks
Notes on Speakers



Civil Society in India and Pakistan, 1

Based on the procedings of the seminar "The Role Of Civil Society in Pakistan and India:
Peace, Conflict Resolution, Democracy" by Jang Group of Newspapers (Pakistan) & Friedrich/Naumann Foundation (Germany), September 12-13, 1997 at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi.

Text edited by Khurram Ali Shafique and Farida Z. Hemani

Session 1

The present state of civil society in Pakistan and India

with special emphasis on the impact of caste system and traditional values as well as social practices which impinge on respect for human dignity

S.V. Raju
Dr. Manzoor Ahmad
Dr. Sri Ram Khanna
Mr. Abdullah J. Memon
Dr. Hamza Alvi

S. V. Raju (India)

Quotes from the speaker

Under certain circumstances individual freedom must accept restrains.

Harmony and conflict are part of life – more so of life in a society. And in a complex and diverse society like India it would be utopian to look for conditions of perfect harmony.

My right to pursue my life and ambitions is restricted by the others’ right to pursue their life and ambitions. And what is true of individuals is also true of societies.

If we have been able to survive as a nation – admittedly bumbling along and way behind in economic development when compared to the communist China – I would say it is because we are a democracy [and] have the opportunity every now and then to change government. And because we are a democracy we have a vibrant civil society. We prefer this path to that of dictatorship.

If at all we are looking forward to some kind of a future, it is perhaps because of the activities of voluntary organisations.

S.V. Raju Editor, Freedom First focused on "An overview of the civil society in India: a personal interpretation." Refraining from quoting others he underlined the personal nature of his overview by stating that it has become a favourite pastime now "to quote ‘scripture’ (using the word in its secular and not religious sense) for supporting this and that view of ours without believing in that scripture ourselves, let alone practising the spirit of the scripture.

While describing himself as "a liberal with a capital L" Mr. Raju, however accepted that a liberal government must not mean a weak government, rather a government that could ensure the rule of law and create conditions where the individual citizen has the opportunities to develop and which could also attend to the basic needs pertaining to the infra-structure: primary health, energetic policies for population control and primary education. "But what we don’t desire is a meddlesome government that would keep interfering with what is the domain of the people: the domain of the civil society.

He also mentioned that different groups living in a heterogeneous society, each pursuing their own secular or religious goals, must remain prepared to make adjustments in their goals so as not to intrude upon the goals of the others – i.e. what may be described as "interdependence in freedom."

Mr. Raju’s personal overview of the Indian civil society presents the picture of an essentially open society with (1) great freedom of press ("We don’t have paparazis yet but we are not far away), (2) a system of franchise that yields generally free and fair elections (with, of course, some exceptions – particularly in what they call "bemaroo" states, i.e. Bihar, Madhiapradesh, Rajhasthan and Uttarpradesh), and (3) a reasonably good situation of law and order.

  1. On the darker side, there are other factors that constitute threat to the civil society. These are described by him as the following. Lure for power. The leaders are prepared to any degree of humiliation as long as they can ensure that they would be included in the ministry. A case in point is the Chief Minister Lallu Prasad Yadav. When he was sent to jail by a court on the charges of frauds, he had the cheek to appoint his wife as a chief minister – to ensure that upon his return he gets back his position. In another state, a couple of totally dissimilar parties were seen entering into coalition to share government on a six monthly rotation – of course, when the time came for the other party to take over after six months, the coalition ran into troubles.
  2. Large scale corruption, which has not only destroyed the credibility of the politician but of the polity itself. Candidates spend huge sums provided by businessmen who treat these sums as investments which must provide returns. "In recent years, criminals have not found it necessary to have front-men as their candidates and have offered themselves as candidates and have got elected." The press is full, not just of stories like two gangsters forming political parties in Bombay, but also of the data on criminals in all parties who have been convicted or charged but have still managed it to the assemblies.

Delayed justice and its denial to some in the jail without trial. Since the independence, the legal system has become a web of laws and by-laws so that a common citizen who goes to the court in search of justice soon finds himself in an enmesh of legal entangles that may go on for years. On the other hand there is a general disregard for the human being and his rights in a civil society "which not only results in jail without trial but also numerous custodial deaths that are often hushed up – rarely are officers tried, found guilty and punished for such deaths."

Communal disturbance is an issue which, according to Mr. Raju, is generally related to the first problem. "The Babri Masjid episode in my view was a calculated attempt to secure Hindu support [adopted] as a short-cut by a political party." On the other hand, as can be seen in the famous Shah Bano Case of the late eighties, "the desire to secure the Muslim vote led the ruling party – under pressure from the fundamentalist Muslims – to pass amendment in the parliament to undo a Supreme Court decision granting alimony to divorced Muslim women."

"In spite of the failing of the state, or perhaps because of the failings of the state, civil society is driving towards an increasingly participatory democracy."

As governments fail to fulfil their roles in solving these problems, voluntary organisations or NGOs are emerging in thousands "either to take on the work that the governments failed to do, or compel governments to do the work they were elected to do." The spectrum covered by these NGOs is wide: non-formal education, social problems (such as conflicts caused by the wide-spread violence), drug abuse, alcoholism, breakdown of families, health, women’s empowerment, drinking water, income-generation, re-tooling (which is becoming a very important thing in the post-liberation period), philanthropy, consumer education, consumer protection, cancer research, AIDS prevention, combating superstition, and so on… There is hardly any field of activity where you will not find one or the other voluntary organisation, and, generally, people are responding and stepping in.

A very distinct feature of the Indian civil society is the emerging role of women in solving their own and the others’ problems – many village panchayats are being run by women, and they appear to be doing a much better job than men. "It is not a meherbani that we, the men are giving them. They are now demanding it and getting it." Indeed, they are far from being proxies. Rabri Devi Yadav, the wife of Lallu Prasad Yadav, is one proof that the ingenuity required by a housewife to run a home is … being put to a very good use to run a state administration."

In case of the Dallits, Dr. Raju is of the opinion that the reservations provided by the constitution-makers for a fixed period were a good strategy for uplifting the depressed classes. Even though such reservations have now become vote-getting machines they have also helped a long-forgotten class to rise up from the dust. The President of India belongs to the depressed class, and he is also a highly qualified and competent person. Incidentally, Lallu Yadav Prasad also belongs to the same class but Dr. Raju pointed out that the charges of fraud against him should not be relevant to any discussion on the participation of the depressed classes because Brahmins like Rajiv Gandhi have also been accused of similar charges.

Trade unions – even if one may accuse them of becoming a headache for the industries – have succeeded up to a great extent in securing the rights of the labour and some of them have come up with extremely organised research on relevant issues.

The future, therefore, is hopeful. The civil society is on the rise to maintain and increase liberalism the likely outlook of the nation, even if the governments fail to do so. And the civil society itself is now being joined by those classes that have remained peripheral in the history of India: the women, the depressed classes, and the labour.

Dr. Manzoor Ahmad (Pakistan)

Quotes from the speaker

Why does the west have civil societies whereas we, in the East, have failed to develop them?

Ideologies are coercive. If you want to develop societies please for God’s sake in so far as the state is concerned try to avoid ideologies.

Civil society cannot develop if you have a basically feudal structure in a country.

This population shift [from villages to cities] has made it possible for people to speak about issues related to civil society.

Number of voluntary groups working in Pakistan is amazing. And also the number of good voluntary groups is amazing. And the type of sacrifices they are making.

I always differentiate between theologies and Islam and religion.

If intellectual activity does not start in countries like India and Pakistan then civil society does not have any future.

In a country like Pakistan when the feudals and the bureaucrats join hands together then that is the worst kind of despotism.

Dr. Manzoor Ahmad presented a backdrop to the civil society in Pakistan, more from a "conceptual" milieu than a "descriptive" one.

Even though the word "civil society" is of a more recent origin – some people say Hegel used it for the first time – nevertheless it can be dated back to the time of the Greek philosophy, where it was used basically to distinguish between different types of governments, such as the despotic government, monarchy and democracy. For instance, in a despotic government the gap between the ruler and the people is too wide and the despot rules by fiat rather than by any rule: the public is under the direct gaze of the despot. Democracies, on the other hand, are said to be the type of government where there is a middle buffer – the civil society.

Dr. Manzoor expressed reservations about some of the differences listed by other scholars between the East and the West. For instance, Edward Saeed, in Orientalism, states that the difference between the Oriental and the Occidental (Western) thinking is that the West is rational, while the East is lazy. Others have stated that the Eastern societies were "hydraulic societies" – arid areas require water management that can best be achieved through strong centralised governments. Civil societies, on the contrary, have developed mostly in bourgeoisie set-ups as a crucial requirement of those economies. According to the views presented by Max Weber, religion would be counted as one of the impediments for the development of civil societies in areas like Pakistan.

Dr. Manzoor’s basic disagreement with such theories is that "when they include Islam in the Orient they make a mistake." The role Islam played in Spain and the Mediterranean regions brings it out as an occidental religion rather than an oriental one. Christianity, on the other hand, can more easily be classified as an oriental religion that only in its later phase developed ideas like Protestantism, etc., which helped development of the free individual and the civil society.

The central question asked by Dr. Manzoor is this: How come that a country like Pakistan – basically a Muslim country – and other Islamic countries could not develop a civil society? The implication is that Islam being an occidental religion, the Muslim societies should have followed a similar course as the Western societies (Edward Saeed says that the clearest differentiation mark between the lazy Oriental thinking and the rational Occidental thinking is the growth of civil societies under the latter.)

One possible reason is provided by certain scholars: Muslim rule could not develop legitimate opposition. Morally it was correct to say a brave word before the monarch but theological it wasn’t very correct unless you were sure you would be able to change the society and bring order. That was a tall demand and no opposition could legitimately undertake to fulfil it.

When one comes to the situation in Pakistan, there is a peculiar syndrome to be observed. Dr. Ahmad describes it through the following parameters:

    1. Any state that is desired to be established on an ideology is likely to become coercive and intolerant, no matter what that ideology is. Even if you take democracy as an ideology it would becomes coercive and intolerant because you start looking at the world from your perspective. Then you may start movements in those countries that are doing very well – you may start insurgencies in those countries, as is happening in the world today.
    2. "Theology, when it makes goodness in a society dependant on a fiat or an order, is another reason for the non-development of civil societies in countries like Pakistan." In Islamic history a particular modality, a particular type of theology was adopted that Dr. Ahmad calls "the theology of command and obedience – that a particular thing is good because it has been commanded and another thing is unlawful or not good because it has not been commanded." (It is an old question: somebody asks in a dialogue of Plato whether something is good because God has commanded it or whether God has commended it because it is good.)
    3. Certain elements of the local society (essentially Oriental) found their way to Islam when that Occidental religion came to the regions now known Pakistan and India. The local Oriental society "was a society in which there was a caste system and the Brahmin was the ruling class." It was very conducive to the Muslim governors to adopt this feature of the local society so that they could replace the Brahmin whom every one naturally obeyed. Another Oriental aspect that Islam borrowed from the local society was mysticism. While it has its positive values it has nevertheless at least two elements that are not conducive to the development of civil society: (a) master-disciple paradigm, where the disciple has to obey whatever the master says ("You have to dip the prayer-mat in wine if the master says so"), and (b) a tendency towards inactivity, mostly through a belief in fate: if fate decides all, and if fate is inevitable, then there is no sense in organised effort to change anything.
    4. A particular type of feudalism, where the feudals were placed in their position for particular reasons. "The feudalism we have here is totally anti-democratic, anti-education, anti-everything – quite unlike the one that they had in the Britain in the good old days which, in fact, caused the industrial revolution." Micheal Foucault makes an interesting observation: power and knowledge combine together. Since knowledge is also a tool for power, especially in the modern world, the groups in power in countries like Pakistan acquire sophisticated knowledge but keep the public deprived of knowledge in order to keep them powerless. In this manner even democracies can become "very, very coercive. And coercion in democracy comes through the bureaucracy."

On the positive side, Dr. Ahmad pointed out certain things happening in India and Pakistan that auger well for the development of civil society:

    1. Demographic structures are changing. In 1947, the population ratio between villages and cities was approximately 80 : 20. Now cities contain more than 50% of the total population. Two positive results of this phenomenon are (a) an increased awareness of the issues related to the civil society, and (b) the possibility to exercise the freedom of vote.
    2. The numbers of NGOs that have come up to solve various problems is so huge that even if 70% of them could be proven corrupt there would still be a great number of the honest ones left behind.
    3. Dr. Ahmad sees judicial activism as a positive development that may contribute to the development of a strong civil society.
    4. The hold of the feudals is weakening.
    5. Dr. Ahmad points out that after the marginalisation of religious parties, a serious attempt is being made for deconstruction of theologies. Looking back at the history of the West, we notice that intellectual activity was a major factor that supported the rise of civil society. The increase in intellectual activity (symbiotic with the deconstruction of theologies) is a very strong point.

Privatisation, which is happening rapidly, may have its good and bad sides but it promises one great blessing: the replacement of bureaucratic culture with trade and industrial activities. Remembering that bureaucracy is the major channel through which coercion seeps into a democratic set-up, the importance of privatisation can hardly be exaggerated.

Sri Ram Khanna (India)

Quotes from the speaker

We will not allow our leaders to become despots.

If you define civil society as people in the quest of change in their community without having to get involved in the race for power – political power or any other kind of power – then I would I would define myself as a member of the Indian civil society trying to bring about change in what we see is wrong in our society.

India was among the top ten corrupt countries of the world in the survey conducted by Transparency International – and it was a pleasant surprise for me to find out that India and Pakistan were competing.

The NGOs working in the civil society of India have created a social space for themselves: they are heard.

When the Babri Masijid was demolished the entire civil society spoke out in one voice against that demolition. Last week the leaders of that incident have been charge-sheeted. Because there exists a feeling of not allowing the religious fundamentalism to take over and demolish the fabric of Indian society – which today includes ten crore Muslims.


Sri Ram Khanna from Delhi University described the evils of the Indian society very succinctly through the following indicators:

  1. corruption related to power quest,
  2. the extreme difference between the life styles of those who live in poverty and those who live in luxury: while some have noting to eat except wild flowers, others have enough to spend on dinners in five star hotels,
  3. the common person has no recourse: if you are not well-connected you can’t get justice;
  4. fanning of religious differences by political parties to increase their vote-banks: they work up negative emotions in two months which are difficult to quench in years and decades.

Dr. Khanna described the more than 80,000 NGOs working in India (at least twice as many good ones as the bad ones) as the only factor contributing towards development of egalitarian values. Among the examples of the NGOs’ contribution in this direction he mentioned their role in:

  1. ensuring justice for the common person
  2. increasing options for women
  3. environmental protection
  4. health care initiatives
  5. civil rights litigation – even against persons from the armed forces
  6. slum development
  7. mass education – even in domains that are generally considered to be the domains of the universities, such as science education.
  8. While describing the overall situation of the Indian civil society as hopeful, Dr. Khanna also pointed out that the South is generally stronger in this regards than the North, where a common youth would be more concerned with the immediate personal benefits rather than the long term collective gains before undertaking any kind of social service.

A special dimension of Dr. Khanna’s speech was his emotional emphasis on the human similarities between the Hindus and Muslims living in India, and between the people of India and Pakistan on the international map.

Dr. Khanna suggested that the poverty line does not divide the Muslims and the Hindus in India: the Hindus who are poor live in as much destitution as the poor Muslims. The human problems are the same.

On the international plane the newer generation, born after 1947, does not know so much about the differences that caused the partition nor do they have memories of bitterness like their elders who had witnessed the divide.

Himself born of a Hindu migrant from Rawalpindi, Dr. Khanna spoke of the days of the United India as an era that had lasted for thousands of years – and whose impact in terms of common legacies will hopefully contribute in lessening the tensions created during the last fifty years by the political leaders alone.

Abdullah J. Memon (Pakistan)

Quotes from the speaker

Why this resistance to the growth of pluralism?

Even after independence, the state remained all-pervading and overshadowed the civil society in a variety of ways.

Today in Pakistan also pressures are building up from left as well as from right to limit the role of state and to assign greater responsibility to civil society.

Abdullah J. Memon presented a brief overview of the state of civil society in Pakistan. Like the rest of the world, Pakistan also has witnessed a revigoration of the civil society since the late 70’s. "Two factors, one local and one global, have contributed to the process."

The local factor was the replacement of certain sections of the Pakistan Penal Code by the blatantly unjust Zina and Hudood Ordinance of Gen. Zia-ul-Haque. This law required a rape victim to bring four witnesses to the actual act of molestation, failing which consent was presumed on the part of the raped woman and she was liable to be prosecuted for adultery or fornication. Women form all over Pakistan came together to protest against this new law under the umbrella organisation of Women’s Action Forum (WAF). Subsequently another citizen body called War Against Rape (WAR) also came into being to provide legal and moral support to victims of raped.

The global factor was the awareness of such issues as (a) the damage done to the environment, (b) dissatisfaction with quality and content of development, and (c) inadequate attention to human rights generally and interests and rights of the marginalised sections of the society particularly. This led to the emergence of many NGOs working to prevent the damage done to the environment, encouraging grassroot participation in the planning and execution of development projects and safeguarding and protecting the human rights. "In this connection the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) deserves special mention for the pioneering work they have done to safeguard the interests and rights of the poor, the minorities, the women, as well as the rights of the ordinary citizens.

Mr. Memon pointed out that while the last two decades have witnessed an increase in the volume of the civil society, "the civil society in Pakistan was not absent or idle in the Colonial Period either." However, the thrust of the activities of the NGOs was altogether different in those times as well as in the years following the independence. During the Raj days, social activism tended to focus on collective services "rooted in bonds of kinship or neighbourhood and on welfare activities." There were funeral and welfare organisations generally called jamaats, organised by kinsmen or neighbours for their mutual benefits. There were also many welfare organisations, which established and managed schools, dispensaries, orphanages and hostels, etc.

There were certain areas of social activity in which the colonial government discouraged the civil society to assume a major role. One example was trade union activities. Unfortunately for Pakistan, even the native governments that came after the independence continued to look at such activities as a threat to their own authority and power. The climate therefore "proved hostile for the growth of pluralism in Pakistan," so much so that the peasantry, which was the principle interest group in the society, could never get itself organised despite dedicated and persistent efforts of some truly committed social activists.

Mr. Memon then probed into the question "Why should not the Pakistani state welcome various voluntary institutions and organisations in civil society to assume more and more such social responsibilities and functions which can be shouldered by such societies?" He mentioned two possible answers. Firstly, that this could "alter the power relation I the Pakistani society against the vested interests and in favour of the deprived sections." But a deeper analysis of this issue leads to "that perennial issue of the relationship between the state and the civil society." Mr. Memon then dealt with the historical background of this issue in some detail.

Mr. Memon proposed that the civil society was more dominant in the beginning. Various issues were "handled by autonomous institutions comprising of individuals who had fair interest in certain specific matters." As the sphere of social activity expanded with the advancement of civilisation, the interests of these various groups in the civil society began to clash with each other and led to the necessity of an intermediary power. This power was assumed by the institution of the state. Hence the state came into being for the basic purpose of conflict resolution in the civil society.

Among the various theories of state, the British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) presented the theory of a security state, involving almost complete subjection of the individual by a state who should enjoy unlimited power. As opposed to this, his country-fellow John Locke (1632 – 1704) came up with the theory of a constitutional state in which the political power would always be held on trust: those who govern civil society are trustees of the governed and, therefore, cannot exercise unlimited power.

The ever-expanding role of the state gave rise, in the late eighteenth century, to the need of putting limitations on the powers of the state – no matter whether those powers are seen as a trust or a privilege. Thomas Paine (1737-1839), another British philosopher, advocated the model of a minimum state, where the state is deemed a necessary evil and the civil and natural society an unqualified good. The legitimate state is nothing more than a delegatee of limited power brought into being for the common benefit of society: the more perfect a civil society is the more it regulates its own affairs.

Contrasting this concept of the minimum state is the Hegelian theory of the universal state. The German Philosopher Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) perceived the modern civil society as a restless battlefield where one private interest meets another private interest in a manner that tends to paralyse the societies pluralism, thus undermining the very interests of the civil society itself. Hence he professed the necessity of a supreme public authority which could check the self-crippling nature of the civil society and synthesise its particular interests into a universal political community. Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), the French historian and moderate liberal politician became a vigorous opponent of this universalist concept, which, according to him, ends up in the growth of a new kind of elected state despotism, or the "tyranny of the majority." The social life is overpowered by the political institutions – the state becomes the regulator, the inspector, the advisor, educator, the punisher, all combined in one body. Tocqueville is appalled by this development, which can sabotage the decisive victories of democratic revolution. He agrees that minimising the state powers alone cannot guarantee democratic freedom. What needs to be done in order to resist the yoke of state despotism is to distribute the power into the hands of various institutions and, at the same time, to encourage the development of civil associations.

However, from the second half of the 19th century the social systems became so complex that the dividing line between the state and the civil society became increasingly blurred. The historical factors that facilitated the domination of the state over the civil society included the ever-increasing influence of the labour movements and parties in Europe, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the two world wars and the concept of the modern welfare state.

The trend continued till the late 1970’s when the institution of the state came under attack both from the neo-conservatives as well as the progressives – though for different reasons.

Mr. Memon concluded with a pointer to the fact that similar pressures can be witnessed as growing up in Pakistan from extremely opposite sides. While the right-wing favours privatisation and liberalisation so that the state is largely confined to the affairs of internal and external security, the left wing wants to see the weakening of the centralised and bureaucratised state so that power could be devolved to grassroot levels. This is expected to "put new life into the civil society and encourage self-reliance and client participation at the local levels."

Dr. Hamza Alvi

Quote from the speaker

Our forefathers were not HIndu-haters...

Dr. Hamza Alvi pointed out while reviewing the session that the issues have been brought out in "two quite different contexts": the system of civil society on one hand and the government on the other, and how the actions of the civil society affect the decisions of the politicians and the government.

The relationship between civil society in Pakistan and its counterpart in India: how we perceive each other and what sort of communications exist between us – and how we can develop them for better mutual understanding.


Q. How can Dr. Manzoor describe Pakistan as an Islamic state when all the religious parties were against its creation and the society itself has never given them mandate ever since?

Hameeda Khuhro, educationist and writer

Dr. Manzoor: In a sense I agree with you that Pakistan is a Muslim state [rather than Islamic] but the problem is that your country is named the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Constitution also declares that sovereignty belongs to Allah. Even those political parties who claim to be secular have to take refuge with the so-called Islam. After all, who was it to introduce Friday as a holiday, and to prohibit drinking in Pakistan?

I do not consider it an Islamic state, nevertheless, the growth of the civil society (which does not mean public in general) has been hampered by the introduction of these [Islamic] provisions into your Constitution by fiat.

Dr. Alvi: [In support of Hameeda Khuhro’s point] … There seems to be a misunderstanding among the Indian nationalist historians and equally among the religious Pakistani historians who seem to agree, quite wrongly, that Pakistan was created as an Islamic ideological state.

Dr. Manzoor Ahmad: I agree. But the problem is that [if you look at the material that the Muslim League used during its movement for Pakistan] whether those who wanted to create Pakistan wanted an ideological state or not they nevertheless caused confusion because they used the name of Islam and were playing ethnic politics… the poor person was romanticised into thinking that Pakistan would be a state where the Khulafa-i-Rashideen would be ruling. And when it came into being he realised that those who were now ruling Pakistan were neither interested in Islam nor in good governance.

I think the problem in Pakistan is not Islam at all, it is good governance. That is why I said that ideologies are coercive and, again, Islamic ideologies are also coercive.

Fundamentalism, for a fundamentalist, is that Islam is not complete without state power – a thesis accepted especially during the twentieth century even though it has existed in the earlier stages of the Muslim history.

Jinnah Sahib did not want partition between India and Pakistan – he tried his best to avoid it. Supposing he actually wanted the partition, then what he might have meant when he talked about a secular state was that Islam gives certain social values like justice and good governance.

There are strong indications in the Islamic history that the early state i.e. in the days of the Khulafa-i-Rahideen, was a secular state and not an Islamic state.

Q. If the focus of this seminar is on conflict-resolution then I would like to bring out certain issues that seem to have been side-tracked in today’s proceedings. Firstly, the two nation theory emerged because the Muslim nation perceived itself as an out-caste nation, and that two leaders did not create Pakistan, there was a huge force – the force of the people who voted in the 1946 election – that created Pakistan…Blame for the rise of BJP has been placed on Pakistan – a convenient ploy… The caste has been identified as class in modern judicial and legislative documents [of India]… The Supreme Court in 1995 defined the Indian nation as Hindutva… Mother Theresea given a state funeral but buried within the graveyard of the Sisters of Charity because of a fear of desecration of her remains

Shahida Jameel, lawyer

Mr. Khanna: The provisions made for the outcast in the constitution have really worked well as they have diminished the very reasons for which certain classes were made outcast in the first place: today the deprived classes are ruling the largest state in India.

Q. Is India a failed state in the context of state level or is India not a failed state in the context of NGOs?

Raju: There is no such thing as a failed state, there are only failed governments as they come and go. That was also my immediate reaction when I saw a feature in a newspaper with a heading ‘Is Pakistan a Failed State?

Next Session

Source: The Role Of Civil Society in Pakistan and India:
Peace, Conflict Resolution, Democracy: Procedings of the seminar
by Jang Group of Newspapers (Pakistan) & Friedrich/Naumann Foundation (Germany).
Edited by Khurram Ali Shafique and Farida Z. Hemani

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