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Co-Existence In Pluralistic Society - Book By Madanjit Kaur
Preface Of The Book 'Co-Existence In Pluralistic Society - Punjab Issues And Prospects' By Madanjit Kaur
This volume is the outcome of a short term research project entitled 'Co-existence in a Pluralistic Society : Punjab Problems and Prospects'* undertaken by me m 1985 and a National Seminar sponsored by U.G.C. on the same subject in March 1986. Four of the articles from my pen are the result of short term research project and rest of the sixteen articles are from deliberations made in the said seminar. The seminar was inaugurated by Dr. Satish Chandra, a distinguished historian and former Chairman of the University Grants Commission. In his inaugural address, Dr. Satish Chandra emphasised the need for problemoriented research. He strongly advocated that institutions of higher learning should not remain aloof in the present crisis, and that the universities should come forward to face national problems and provide guidelines for their solution. Thus the aim, scope and relevance of holding the seminar was directly related to the current Indian situation. The primary objective of this academic exercise was to understand various aspects of a wide spectrum of co-existence in our pluralistic society, to examine the practical implications of the basic issues of the Punjab conflict, to discern the causes responsible for its acceleration and to think of ways as should bring about a better understanding of the minorities.
A number of eminent scholars from various universities of India participated in the seminar. In the deliberations that followed the need for a compendium which projects various aspects of the problems and prospects of co-existence in our pluralistic society were touched upon. The problem of National Integration and, in this connection the role of religion, politics and interfaith dialogues were discussed. Special emphasis was laid on the sociocultural, ethnic, psychological and constitutional aspects of the problems of minorities in the present crisis. The present volume makes a concerted effort at focusing attention of the social scientists on the genesis and dynamics of the most sensitive border state of India.
The contents of the volume have been so designed as to identify key concepts of the problem under study and to provide a background and framework for researchers concerned with information-handling on the subject.
For a variety of reasons the printing of the proceedings of the seminar had to wait a bit too long. We are happy that this collection of valuable essays is now being made available to scholars and readers involved in research, documentation, preservation and dissemination of information of the Punjab problem and the position of minorities in India. Besides, it will enable the researchers to decide area of possibilities for future research in the total perspective of the contemporary Indian Society in which different communities live, their attitude towards one another, modes of their relationships and its impact on national life.
My thanks are due to Mr. S.S. Narula for reading proofs and providing help in preparing the index of the proceedings.
16 Feb. 1991.