Nurturing dialogue in the fields of thought, action and life is necessary for promoting peace and harmony in the contemporary society marked by political, ethnic and religious conflicts. Often it is the absence and abuse of dialogue that pave way for fundamentalism, dictatorship and conflicts among individuals and groups. This was the central theme of the one day National Seminar titled, ‘Nurturing Dialogue-Forms, Persons and Institutions’, organized by Carmel College for Women, Nuvem, Goa in association with the Gyanadhara Institute of Philosophy, Orlim-Goa. The Seminar was inaugurated in the presence of Prof. Varun Sahni, Vice Chancellor, Goa University, who delivered the Keynote Address. Referring to the profound thoughts on the subject by renowned Philosophers, Charles Taylor, Ronald Dworkin and Ada Bozeman, Prof. Sahni in his address reasoned that dialogue is intrinsically important for an understanding of a person’s own identity in relation to others and that in a dialogical process every individual negotiates his dignity. Given the complexities of dialogue in social relationships, cultural transitions and in world affairs, he pointed at the need to work hard in nurturing genuine dialogue.
Earlier at the inaugural, the Principal of Carmel College welcomed the dignitaries, guests, faculty and students and expressed hope that the Seminar would help in understanding the role of education and formulation of a vision for education in its diverse fields including science, humanities, art, media and technology in nurturing a culture of dialogue for community building and peace amidst a plethora of differences. Dr. Vinoy Paikattu OP, the Director of Gyanadhara Institute of Philosophy, presented the concept note and stated the objectives of the seminar.
In the first technical session moderated by Dr. Amirthraj OP, a presentation on the metadialogical character of dialogical language was made by Dr. Victor Ferrao, Professor of Philosophy at Rachol Seminary, Goa followed by Ms. Diviya Kapur, Proprietor of Literati, making a case for the pen and the camera as tools of social change. The next session, moderated by Dr. Fr. Lyndon Rodrigues had presentations on Buddhism, pluralism and social engagement by Dr. Siddharta, Founder of Fireflies Ashram, Bangalore and on the importance of dialogue in Islam by Dr. Ahsan Jaffri, member of the Chistia school of Sufism. Dr. Anna Rovina Fernandes moderated the third session which had presentations on the dynamics of dialogue and fellowship in religious experience by Prof. Jose Nandhikkara CMI, Professor and Dean of Philosophy, Dharmaran Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore and on reclaiming dialogue in Indian Politics by Dr. Rahul Tripathi, Head, Department of Political Science, Goa University. The presentations evoked many interesting questions from the participants and led to fruitful deliberations.
At the valedictory function, the rapporteur’s report was read by Ms. Rivya Dias, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Carmel College. Dr. Mahesh Pai, Principal of Goa College of Home Science, in his valedictory address spoke about the core skills and practices that can nurture dialogue for a peaceful future. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Aldina Gomes, Head of the Department of Psychology, Carmel College.