A lecture by Johanna Lokhande on the theme, Gujarat Riots 2002: Scenario 10 years Later



The second meeting of the Forum for Discussion and Exchange of Ideas was organized around a lecture by Johanna Lokhande on the theme, Gujarat Riots 2002: Scenario 10 years Later on Monday, 24 September 2012 at 4 pm. This lecture can be linked to two major debates that have been going on in many programs of the Centre. First debate revolves around a critical examination of the theories and experiences of violence and the process of peace. One may remember that General Semantics also grew out of the political and intellectual unrest caused by World War I as an inquiry into the ways of preventing mindless violence, and also as a dream of enduring peace. Gujarat in Theory and Practice is another area that our programs have been exploring. The Centre has organized several lecture/discussion programs in which the cultural, political and social aspects of Gujarat had been analyzed. Johanna's lecture looked at the nuances of violence, justice, peace, reconciliation and historical memory in the context of Gujarat. Her research in this area began when she started her career as a documentation officer at Aman Biradariís Project, Nyayagrah: A peoples Movement for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation.

Johanna shared her experience of working with the affected people mainly for legal Justice and summarized her research on the various dimension of a post conflict situation. She focused on education, women and internal displacement. Her experience especially with the process of bringing justice to the survivors was a learning experience, not just about conflict but how conflict transforms its self into different fragments. She also looked at the efforts that have gone into this whole justice process, the role of the civil society, the state, the judiciary and how the scenario has changed over the years. She observed that whether the victim transforms for the good or the worse through post-conflict processes and policies is a debatable issue. She also shed light on some of the positive impacts of advocacy and where is the Gujarati Muslim in 2012 after 10 years. In the round table discussion that followed, many issues including the cause and prevention of violence, social integration, reconciliation, and the possibility/impossibility of forgetting or forgiving were raised and debated.