Liberty and Society
Imagine a man walking in a dark alley at about 2 a.m. in the morning, there’s not a soul in sight, the man is carrying a bag with him, and as he’s walking he sees at a distance a couple of policemen walking towards him. How will he react? His reaction said, Jacob Punnoose, the litmus test for how totalitarian the government is. In a more totalitarian country the man would do everything to avoid the policemen, maybe even run. In less totalitarian countries the man would greet the policemen as they go by. The more desire of the man to avoid the cops, the more totalitarian the regime is said Mr. Punnose, who happens to be the Director General of Police (intelligence) in Kerala (India).
He was speaking on the topic of Freedom and Security at a seminar on Liberty & Society organized by Centre for Civil Society, an independent think-tank based in New Delhi. Mr. Punnose, was one of the many excellent speakers at the seminar which held from the 24-27th of January, 2008 in Cochin, a coastal city in India’s state of Kerala. Liberty and Society Seminar (LSS) is a residential seminar with an aim to engage young people with social and economic issues through an understanding of public policy. The seminars are organized annually and held in all major cities in India. The next cycle of seminars would start later in the year.
The seminar included interactive talks, documentaries, work-groups where participants are expected come up with public policy solutions for proposed problems and ‘researching reality’ a day of field research on livelihood issues. The talks were based on contemporary social and economic issues on topics addressing the poverty of India, education policy, SEZs (Special Economic Zones), the environment, etc. the seminar also included frameworks for analyzing, designing and assessing public policy, its impact and the need for policy advocacy for definitive social change.
The seminar included workshops and presentations by Parth J Shah, the president of CCS, and guest speakers included Mohan Varghese, Babu Joseph and K.M. Roy.
For more information on LSS and more please visit the Centre for Civil Society website.
Liberty & Society seminars are a popular destination for BB-ites with Libertarian leanings, some personal experiences of one of the participants for the Cochin LSS can be found here and here. Previously, Cris Lingle – an adjunct scholar of CCS gave a lecture with the invitation by Beyond Borders and Parth J Shah has conducted workshops in our Life Skills Camps.