The intensity and success of the recent protest campaign led by Anna Hazare in India against endemic corruption has reminded us again of the potentials of non-violent activism as a practical alternative to the politics of violence in modern day world. This seminar aims to look at the ethical, religious and social frameworks within which non-violence has been conceptualized by not only leading figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., but also by recent thinkers including Gene Sharp, who emphasize the pragmatic utility of non-violent tactics to cope with social injustice and external aggression. We will also explore the anatomy and direction of political movements in India to ascertain the political appeal of violence as also the utility and applicability of non-violent activism.

Prof. PRIYANKAR UPADHYAYA is currently the Chair-holder of the UNESCO Chair for Peace & Intercultural Understanding at the Banaras Hindu University. He has done post-doctoral studies at London University and Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars, Washington DC and holds a Ph.D. and M. Phil. Degree of Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has taught international relations & peace studies for over three decades and served as Adjunct/Visiting Professor at Concordia University, Montreal, US Air Force Academy (USAFA ). Prof. Upadhyaya has made a foundational contribution to the growth of peace and conflict resolution studies in India. He has participated in various track II dialogues between India and Pakistan and also led many global networks to promote peace studies in the region. He has published extensively in books and journals brought out by Routledge, Ashgate, Oxford University Press and Sage. Prof. Upadhyaya has received many prestigious awards in recognition of his work and contribution including the UGC Career Award (1988), Guest Scholar Award, Woodrow Wilson Centre of International Scholars, Washington DC, Faculty Research Award, Canadian Government, Senior Fulbright Award and Australia-India Council Senior Fellowship. He is regularly invited as a Visiting Faculty at the Indian Foreign Service Institute (FSI), Ministry of External Affairs, National Defense College & Naval War College, and Ministry of Defense.

Dr. ANJOO SHARAN UPADHYAYA is a Professor of Political Science and an Adjunct Professor at the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research at Banaras Hindu University. She holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Political Science and has done post-doctoral research at London School of Economics and Politics and Woodrow Wilson Centre of International Scholars (Washington DC). Apart from teaching, she has served as Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Head, Department of Political Science and Research Director, Institute of Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity (INCORE), The United Nations University, UK. She has served as a Member, International Planning Study Team, and United Nations University, Ulster University to conduct a feasibility study to create a UNU Centre for Ethnicity & Conflict Resolution. She has been a Guest Scholar at Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars, Washington DC; Member, Academic Council of the United Nations System (ACUNS); Commission on International Conflict Resolution at the Council of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), Kyoto; an Invited Subject Expert by the Ministry for Nationalities and External Relations, Republic of Daghestan. Dr. Upadhyaya has been a Visiting Professor at the Political Science department of Concordia University, University of Magdeburg (Germany) and Karlstad (Sweden). She has published extensively on themes related to issues of self-determination, ethnicity, conflict, federalism, gender and development and lectured in various centers of learning in India and abroad.