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Justice J.K. Maheshwari opens One-Day National Conf. on ‘Diversity and Conformity: Defining India’ at Jamia Hamdard

New Delhi, October 8, 2023: Jamia Hamdard and Global Dialogue Forum (a thinktank forum) jointly organized a one-day National Conference on “Diversity and Conformity: Defining India” at the HAH Convention Centre, Jamia Hamdard Campus here on Saturday.

Justice J.K. Maheshwari, a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court of India, inaugurated the conference. In his inaugural address, he urged individuals to play their part in creating a truly inclusive nation.

In his keynote address, Justice Maheshwari underlined the protection of the values of diversity found in the Indian Constitution, and added that it can only be sustained through inclusivity.

“In my opinion, the way forward to achieve the ends of social inclusion is not possible unless we on an individual level contribute towards a truly inclusive society,” he pointed out.

Justice J.K. Maheshwari receiving memento

He said that creating a socially inclusive society requires fostering empathy, dismantling prejudices, and championing diversity. He emphasised the importance of the Constitution of India stands as a remarkable testament to unity in diversity and inclusivity. It encapsulates the vision of its framers to build a nation that respects and embraces its rich cultures, languages, religions, and traditions,” he said.

“Theoretically, India has all the elements which are needed for a society to become completely inclusive while promoting positive diversity.” Justice Maheshwari asserted that social inclusion in the Indian society is not possible unless we on an individual level contribute towards a truly inclusive society.

Mr. Moses Manoharan, Chairman of Global Dialogue Forum, stressed, in his address, the current relevance of diversity and conformity across the world as people struggled to define what unites them, while preserving their unique identities. “The struggle encompasses distinct ethicalities, gender and ways of life,” Mr. Manoharan added.

In his presidential address, Prof. M. Afshar Alam, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard pointed out that the people of India were facing the challenge of striking the right balance between accepting diversity and promoting a national identity. “It is imperative that we recognize that diversity is not a threat to our unity, but rather, it is our strength. It is what makes us resilient, innovative, and adaptable,” Professor Alam added.

The inauguration of the conference was followed by Session-I “Preserving Identity and Plurality”, Session-II : A panel discussion on Upholding the Constitution, Enforcing the Law, Session-III: Balancing Minority Rights with Majority Responsibilities and the valedictory session. Eminent speakers addressed these sessions and panel discussions. Some of the eminent speakers and panellists include Dr. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed (former Member, Planning Commission of India); Dr. Youhanon Mar Demetrios, Metropolitan of Delhi Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church; Mr. Kamal Faruqui, former Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission; Mr. Khurshid Ganai, IAS (Retd) & former Advisor to the Governor, J&K; Mr. Javed Ansari, Former Executive Editor, India Today TV; Ambassador A.R. Ghanashyam, IFS (Retd.); Prof. Saidutta Mishra, Director, Law, Institute of Company Secretaries of India; Prof. Arvinder Ansari, JMI; Dr. Imam Umer Ahmed Ilaysi, Chief Imam, All India Imam organization and Ms. Abirami Jotheeswaran, General Secretary, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch.

Mr. Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, delivering the Valedictory Address, called for greater understanding of shortfalls in the system. He called for the celebration of other religions instead of having discussions on it. “Let us celebrate diversity. I won’t ask diversity to become unity,” he added.

The programme Conference was coordinated by Prof. Reshma Nasreen, Dean, School of Management and Business Studies. Over 200 participants registered for the Conference. Dr. M.A. Sikandar, Registrar, Jamia Hamdard and Prof. Saleena K. Basheer, Dean, HILSR shared dais with the Chief Guest at the inaugural session.

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