Organised By New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai
Students aged 16-21 years
The pandemic has forced us to question ourselves as a society – our idea of humanity - perhaps more than any other global event in recent history. All over the world lockdowns, and health care demands have made governments react in unprecedented ways, exposing the weaknesses in predominantly democratic structures.
At this critical juncture, it is important to ask ourselves, what is democracy? Is it a system that can be easily manipulated by those in power? Do we as citizens have a say? Do we have the right to criticise the government for its actions or inactions? All these questions are now at the forefront of any national debate on governance and self-determination.
It is important to note, that democracy is a continuous process and the understanding of rights, duties, power and responsibility needs to be systematically refreshed since these notions can easily be manipulated and misrepresented due to changing socio-political realities.
The primary aim of this project is to deconstruct the different aspects of democracy for a young audience. A general understanding about democratic processes is lacking, largely due to the dearth of a balanced discourse around the topic and the rise of misinformation.
Through a series of keynote lectures, impulse and mentoring sessions, and project work - the programme attempts to explore basic notions of 'Populism', 'Representation', 'Institution', 'Press', 'Civil Society' and 'Sovereignty', which play pivotal roles in a democratic society.
The programme will allow participants the freedom to choose their own topics and mode of presentation. The project will culminate with a ‘Mock Parliament’ consisting of representatives elected from within the participants. It is hoped that at the end of the project, this group will a glimpse into the workings of a democratic system and its processes.