Democracy and Tolerance

Department of Political Science, Presidency University and Council for Political Studies, Kolkata


Call for papers

For One day Annual Conference on 18 March, 2016


Democracy and Tolerance

Concept Note

The ideas of democracy and tolerance are intrinsic to each other. In political thought the concept of tolerance represents an ideal that renders possible the recognition and coexistence of diversity in society. The idea represents a public space with recognition of universal civil and political rights that it a precondition of any democratic society.

The spirit of tolerance has been a fundamental feature of the Indian state instituted through a system of rights along with protection of interests of minorities. The Constitution of India is considered as one of the finest expositions of neutrality and tolerance, an essential condition for a multi- ethnic, linguistic, religious country. The Constituent Assembly debates reflected this attitude of the foundaing fathers of the nation in underlining diversity as a source of richness rather than as a problem.

However in recent months the values of diversity, tolerance and plurality appear to have come under challenge with instances of cultural and religious intolerance. There has been intense public debate over return of Shahitya Academy awards, re-invoking of Beef Ban and incidences of caste and religious intolerance.

Against this backdrop the seminar aims to interrogate the relationship between tolerance and democracy in India. It wants to talk about the concrete issues at stake in discussing tolerance and diversity, and addressing policy answers. Some of the issues sought to explored are:

(a) The concept of tolerance and its roots

(b) Implications of violation of the idea of tolerance for democracy?

(c) Promotion of the idea of tolerance

(d) The notion of tolerance in Indian Constitution

(e) Causes and consequences of intolerance in India

The seminar can also look into some unexplored issues, i.e. on the issue of fighting for a just cause, how relevant it is to stick to the idea of tolerance? What exactly are the arguments that defend the cause of intolerance? The aim is to address these and other related questions from an interdisciplinary perspective which will merge philosophy, history, politics and social theories.

Call for Papers

Abstracts of papers (within 200 words) along with titles are invited from young scholars (teachers of Colleges and Universities, preferably under the age of 40, researchers and advanced students) on the above theme. Interested participants are required to submit the Abstract within 26 February, 2016 (Friday) stating their affiliation and contact number by E mail to:

Dr. Zaad Mahmood (Department of Political Science, Presidency University; E mail: ) or

Dr.MadhuchhandaGhosh ((Department of Political Science, Presidency University; E mail: or

Prof.SobhanlalDatta Gupta (General Secretary, Council for Political Studies; E mail: )

Selected participants will be intimated within the first week of March, 2016. Certificates of participation and paper presentation will be issued.

How to Find Us

Presidency University
86/1 College Street
Kolkata 700073
Contact details Presidency University Students Corner