International Conference titled “Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar” to launch New Deal for India

The Government of Karnataka is organizing the Babasaheb Dr B.R.Ambedkar International Conference in Bengaluru over three days from the 21st to 23rd of July, 2017.

          The conference will host 83 international, 149 national and 80 state-level speakers including the foremost academics, activists and policy-makers. In addition, it will see participation of over 2000 participants from all walks of life.

          Human Rights advocate and activistMartin Luther King III and Shri Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President Indian National Congress and Member of Parliament, will be Chief Guests for the Conference.

          The conference is a coming together of all progressive forces committed to safeguarding the constitutional idea of India.

          The Conference will also launch the Bengaluru Declaration, which will outline specific constitutional, institutional and policy responses to concerns of equity, human rights, freedom and democracy (matters that have become especially pressing in the last three years).


Bengaluru, 8th July 2017: Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri Siddaramaiah and Dr.H.C.Mahadevappa, Hon’ble Minister for Public works Govt. of Karnataka and Convener for the conference announced The Dr.B.R.Ambedkar International Conference 2017 in Bengaluru today. 

Present at the event were Sri.Anjaneya, Sri. T.B.Jayachandra, Hon’ble Minister for Law Parliamentary affairs and Minor irrigation Sri. Krishna Byre Gowda, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Sri. Ramesh Jarakiholi, Hon’ble Minister for Small Scale Industries, Sri Priyanka.M. Kharge, Hon’ble Minister for ITBT and Tourism, Sri. Rudrappa Manappa Lamani, Hon’ble Minister for Textile and Mujarayi, Sri. Rajeev Gowda, Member of Parliament and Others.


Context for the Conference: This Conference is a watershed moment in India’s history. It acknowledges that while India has grown in leaps and bounds in the last 70 years, there is a lot more that needs to be done. It therefore leverages India’s greatest minds to further deepen the promise of the nation by addressing the needs and aspirations of all Indians. Only through this can we rise to ever greater heights.


This Conference also takes place at a time when regressive forces have been systematically attacking the idea of India. They are doing so by dismantling each one of the institutions that have led us to commanding heights, by undermining the radical welfare architecture that was laid down over the last 70 years, and by destroying the pluralistic fabric of our nation.


Today the State is (directly and indirectly) complicit in compromising the well-being of certain sections of society, and promoting development which is exclusive. The current political dispensation is misusing the hope of a better future, to further its ideological agenda. They are methodically chipping away the edifice of equity, as also of liberty, equality and fraternity.


Consequently, hatred and violence towards Dalits, Adivasis, and minorities (religious, ideological and gender) have risen exponentially. Furthermore, all those who are marginalised and vulnerable are being systematically denied access and opportunities to a better life. This poses a grave threat to India’s inclusive conception of polity and citizenship. Being at the frontline in a battle for India’s soul, it is imperative that we substantively re-think current social, political and economic paradigms, and encourage a transformative spirit in Indian politics.


In trying to understand how to make the promise of this nation equitably accessible, it is important that we continuously study why and howmarginalised groups are discriminated against or excluded. Through this Conference, we will strive to resolve all these concerns. We will form a powerful “alliance of equity” to establish the foundations of a new India for a new time.

Description of the Conference

Organised by the Government of Karnataka over three days, the Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar International Conference will be on the theme: “Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar”. Commemorating the 126th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the Conference leverages his life and work as an inspiration to critically reflect on the contemporary significance of social, political and economic justice in India, and across the world.


Speakers: Over 300 speakers, and 2000 participants of the countrys foremost activists, academics and policy-makers have already confirmed their participation. Some of the prominent speakers include:


1.     Chief Guests: Human Rights advocate and activist Martin Luther King III and Shri Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President Indian National Congress and Member of Parliament, will be the chief guests.

2.     International speakers: Over 80 international speakers have confirmed their participation. Some of the prominent ones include Prof. Cornel West, Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Prof. James Manor, Prof. Thomas Weisskopf, Prof. Upendra Baxi, Prof. Laurence Simon, Prof. Samuel Myers, Prof. Ashutosh Varshney and others.

3.     National speakers: Over 140 national speakers have confirmed their participation. Some of the prominent ones include Prof. Sukhadeo Thorat, Smt. Aruna Roy, Shri Nikhil Dey, Prof. Shiv Vishvanathan, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Shri K. Raju, Shri Salman Khurshid, Shri Prakash Ambedkar, Prof. Rajeev Gowda, Shri Anand Teltumbde, Shri Wilson Bezwada, Prof. Aakash Rathore, Prof. Valerian Rodrigues, Prof. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Prof. Neera Chandoke, Prof. Satish Deshpande, Prof. Prabhat Patnaik and others.

4.     State speakers: Over 80 speakers from Karnataka have confirmed their participation. Some of the prominent ones include Shri Devanuru Mahadeva, Prof. G.K.Govinda Rao, Dr. Siddalingaiah, Prof. K. Maralusiddappa, Prof. H.G. Siddaramaiah, Prof. Rajendra Chenni, Prof. Ravivarma Kumar, Prof. Chadrashekar Kambara, Prof. K.B.Siddaiah, Prof. Mallika Ghanti, Shri. Dinesh Amminmattu, Smt. Gowri Lankesh, Prof. Rahamath Terekere, Justice Nagamohan Das, Prof. Mogahalli Ganesh, Smt. B.T. Lalitha Naik and others.

Themes of the conference: The Conference will encourage a wide inter-disciplinary engagement among academics, scholars, activists and policy-makers on the sub-themes outlined here below:

1.     Idea of Justice (a) Social justice and human equality (b) Justice and the market (c) Justice and culture (d) Justice, exclusion and marginality 

2.     Political Justice (a) Nationalism and the idea of India (b) Nation-state, citizenship and sovereignty (c) Democracy and representation (d) Rights, constitutionalism and rule of law

3.     Social Justice and Social Context (a) Caste, class and identity (b) Marginality, degradation and exclusion (c) Categorizing the disadvantaged and public policy (d) Social movements and social transformation

4.     Economic Justice (a) Constitutionalism and the market (b) Development and redistribution (c) Equity, marginality, and affirmative action (d) Environmental concerns and social justice.

5.     Social Justice and the Cultural Domain (a) Religion and social justice (b) Religion and communalism (c) Secularism and cultural pluralism (d) Cultural dominance and the cultures of the marginalized.

Outcomes of the Conference

Bengaluru Declaration; NEW DEAL for India: Like the National Planning Committee of 1938 (which laid the foundations of who we are, and who we can be), this Conference will substantially re-think current social, political and economic paradigms. India’s best minds will comprehensively assess the contemporary challenges and opportunities that India faces. We will do so to further deepen the promise of India for all, especially the marginalized and vulnerable sections of society.


At the end of the conference, the Karnataka Government will launch the Bengaluru Declaration, which will outline specific constitutional, institutional and policy responses to the concerns of social justice, human rights, freedom and democracy. This visionary blueprint will respect, protect and further the collective aspirations of ALL Indians. In doing this, it will pave the way for both Karnataka and India to rise to ever-greater heights.


Umbrella platform for progressive forces: This conference is also an umbrella platform for all progressive forces committed to safeguarding the idea of a pluralistic and democratic India. The underlying idea that the Conference emphasises is that, as a people, we are stronger together, and because of each other. We use our different approaches and ideas to become more than our individual parts. This means that we grow together, and that no one can be left behind. This is how India has grown in leaps and bounds in the past 70 years.


This is precisely how our founders (including Dr. Ambedkar, Pandit Nehru, Jagjivan Ram, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Sarojini Naidu, Mahatma Gandhi and others) built this country. Coming together to build a better India is what we will be recreating at this Conference.


Comprehensive portal on Dr. Ambedkar & work on Dalit, Adivasi and minority issues: We have also launched Quest for Equity (, which aims to be the definitive portal on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as well as work/data on Dalit, Adivasi and minority issues. The website contains over 300 archival photos of Dr. Ambedkar, 97 scans of his correspondence, a copy of the original Constitution of India and the full transcripts of the Constituent Assembly debates. In addition, it hosts the most comprehensive longitudinal information on the SC/ST communities, as well as over 200 papers and reports of diverse scholars and organisations working on issues of inequality, discrimination, poverty etc.


Overarching objective of conference: Along with the leaders of our Nation, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar strongly believed that no matter who you are, or where you come from, you deserve equal and equitable access to the great vaults of this nation.

This conference aims to bring this ideal alive, and redirect the nation to once more blossom as a beacon of hope and inspiration the world over.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s