Centre for Study of Society and Secularism
Indian society has witnessed generations living in peaceful-coexistence, thriving in the midst of diverse communities, languages, religions, castes etc. This diversity has to be nurtured and highlighted in order to encourage the societies to embrace them which will promote lasting peace. To take a step in this direction, CSSS established and supported five peace centers headed by fellows to involve large participation of youth and communities. The peace centres worked with various sections of the society including women, journalists, activists, students to spread awareness about peaceful co-existence, syncretic culture, shared cultures and tradition of Indian society. The seven peace centers were established in Kandhamal, Raipur, Shamli, Sangli, Ahmedabad, Udaipur and Bhagalpur. The communities were involved with programs like street plays, celebration of festivals where diverse communities were brought together to give a message of mutual respect and acceptance .Celebrating historical figures-National days were also means to strengthen the idea of democracy ,equality ,secularism etc. To give more prominence to diversity and composite culture, the rich traditions of Mushaira, Qawaali and poetry were organized to bring different communities to celebrate their shared culture and history and strengthen the sense of affinity and coexistence. Progressive films were screened to introduce the communities to different perspectives and issues. The communities reached out to were fisherfolk, Dalits, Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Adivasis and Christians. Youth from schools and colleges were engaged with through activities like poster making competition, song competition, exhibitions of paintings, and peace games with children and diversity walks to different places of cultural significance. This led to very lively peace centers.