SJI participated in the international workshop, tilted “Unpacking participatory democracy : From practice to theory and from theory to practice” held from January 30-Februiary 1, 2017 in Kerala, India. This was the 2nd part of the workshop; the 1st was organized at McGill, Canada in 2016. It provided a platform for theorists and practitioners to discuss, debate, reflect and to engage on the contemporary crises in democratic practices. It addressed multiple and diverse issues such as “Beyond the vote; participation in democracy”, “Empowering the unheard; public hearings”, “Including the excluded: Understanding the other- platforms for constructive dialogue, disagreement and dissent”, “The journey of people’s sovereignty through representation; parties, people and parliament”, “culture and democracy”, Judicial accountability”, and “Accountability to the people/making power truthful”.
The workshop was preceded by two days of national conference on right to information (RTI), 10 years since its legislation. RTI activists from various states passionately shared their experiences and challenges.
Aruna Roy, 2016 Professor of Practice in Global Governance at McGill University and a founding member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (a non party people’s movement) organized the event together with Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University, McGill University, Institute of management in Government, Kerala and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Kerala.
The workshop brought together luminaries, academia, CSOs, activists, politicians, lawyers, and media fraternity from India, Canada, Philippines, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and the UK.
“Fear, distrust and money rule us” reverberated the conference and the preconference.