New Delhi, Dec 19: The afternoon session of the Ideas India 2009 saw serious discussions on the topic 'Minority Matters: Challenges and Opportunities". Discussions pertaining to reservation, Kashmir, and other related issues engaged the audience at the event organized by Aspen Institute India.
After the interactive panel deliberated on issues relating to disadvantaged sections of society, it was established that even though India has managed to handle its immense diversity, there remains a need for a 'level playing field' for minorities and disadvantaged sections of the society.
Moderating the session, Mr NK Singh, Rajya Sabha MP, pointed out that integration of minorities requires opportunities for inclusive growth and right policies.
While Ms Vineeta Shankar, Executive Director, Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation, asserted
that merely giving funds is not enough, social acceptance, tolerance and attitudinal change are also necessary to address 'deep psychological scars", Mr Ishrat Aziz, Member, National Security Advisory Board, said that political power and economic opportunities are challenges that can be addressed through a 'level playing field" for minorities.
There is much to celebrate in how India has coped with its diversity, Mr Mark Tully, former Chief of Bureau, BBC Delhi, said, suggesting that the country could give reservation to certain Muslim groups, and punish communal behaviour of authorities more strongly.
The discussion on the disadvantaged continued with the session on 'The Art of Giving'. Mr Venkat Krishnan, CEO, GiveIndia, Ms Neera Nundy, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Dasra, Ms Yashashree Gurjar, Group Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, Avantha Group among others spoke on the importance of encouraging the attitude of giving among Indians.