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Over the past six decades, grueling poverty, misgovernance, political manipulation of religion, gender disparities, and caste and ethnic conflicts have warped and wounded the daily life of South Asia's nearly one and a half billion people. Military build-ups with nuclear implications pose huge additional burdens and hazards. Economic advancement has been blocked, and basic rights like health, universal education and employment remain out of bounds for the vast majority of South Asia's inhabitants.

Elsewhere in the world, ethnic conflict have been encouragingly and bravely addressed – in Europe and in seemingly intractable situations in South Africa and Northern Ireland. Nearer home, Southeast Asia has witnessed a successful process of regional cooperation.

Yet South Asia remains locked in divisive conflicts. Considering that dialogue among differing points of view was espoused ages ago in the region, present-day South Asia's failure in concord is both ironical and tragic. The worst face of this discord is daily manifest in the misery and hopelessness it perpetuates among our peoples.

A Response Centre For Dialogue And Reconciliation  

Launched in December 2000, the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR) is an initiative born in the belief that the South Asian scene summarized above is unacceptable and also remediable. CDR hopes to reserve as a catalyst for internal and external peace in South Asia through the process of discourse and dialogue - a process that seeks to promote a peaceful approach to the resolution of conflict with justice and equity, and the eventual goal of reconciliation.

Several groups already exist in the region to assist in the goal of South Asian concord. But given both the enormity and complexity of the task, a body like CDR, with its perspective of justice, reconciliation and peace, hopes to play a useful role. As a fresh initiative, CDR aims to serve as a platform for those already committed to dialogue and reconciliation in the region, and also as an instrument to foster dialogue amongst the region's influential players. It is willing to support similar initiatives by other groups, organizations or individuals.

CDR's concern also extends to areas of conflict within a South Asian country - whether related to caste, religion, gender, language or other factors. CDR believes that any progress in reconciliation within a country is likely to help create an atmosphere conducive to reconciliation within the region. Equally, regional concord would help reduce confrontations within a country.

Dialogue Versus Debate  

CDR has been set up in the belief that India and her neighbours can only gain from a culture of respecting points of view that differ from their own. A culture of dialogue differs in essence from the culture of debate. Debate can succeed in sharply identifying different points of view. Dialogue goes further: it begins with an underlying goodwill to understand the other point of view. It encourages patient listening, accepting difficulties as seen from the other side, examining and where necessary acknowledging mistakes or injustices, and seeking if possible to put these right. It encourages an honest yet calm presentation of one's own point of view; and it aims at reconciling differences.

South Asia is familiar with debate. Maybe the time has now come for calm, reasoned, informed and genuine dialogue. CDR endeavours to foster and spread a desire for dialogue; to promote dialogue skills that help reduce tensions, remove hostilities and bring about reconciliation and peace; and, consequently, a secure, prosperous and meaningful life for the people of the region.


Co-operation, synergy and commitment are the watchwords underlying the CDR approach. CDR seeks and welcomes the association and participation of concerned Indian citizens and residents of South Asia, indeed, any group or organization interested in promoting amity in South Asia.

Through independent research, interviews and visits, CDR proposes to address some of the conflict situations or issues that divide South Asian societies - communal, caste or civic. Above all, CDR's attempt is to encourage voices from different sides of a conflict, internal or external, to sit together, talk - and listen. CDR will employ, and promote, sensitive listening as a technique of intervention.

• To develop contacts and friendships based on trust with all the political actors across the spectrum – from mainstream parties to separatists groups
• To facilitate dialogue meetings between individuals and groups – on inter-community and intra-region levels and bringing deeper understanding between stakeholders
• To encourage voices from different political/ideological streams of the conflict, to sit together, talk and listen to each other
• To ensure that CDR did not take sides or political positions that would erode confidence of stakeholders and harm CDR’s role as dialogue facilitator
• To work till credibility was established.
• To lead and foster initiative that genuinely create a need and understanding for honest social, political and economic dialogues
• To assist and facilitate, wherever possible, dialogues between violently torn or divided groups with a view to restoring trust
• To promote genuine respect for the right to dissent from dominant points of view and a respect for opposing points of view
• To develop the skills of dialogue: patient and compassionate listening, accepting the imperatives of truth, equity and justice, and fostering the concept of reparation, not retaliation
• To organize events and meetings and publish and disseminate material to promote these objectives.
The Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation is registered as a not-for-profit Section 25 company in Mumbai, India. It is exempted from income-tax under Income Tax Act 1961. Its founding members are professionals with experience in governance, law, journalism, human rights, conflict resolution, motivational training and community networking.
CDR - Board of Directors  
Chairman, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah
Former Chairman, National Information Commission
Dr. C. Raja Mohan
Expert on International Relations, Political analyst and writer
Mrs. Syeda Imam
Member of the National Haj Committee
Ms. Teesta Setalvad
Co-Editor, Communalism Combat, Trustee and Secretary, Citizens for Justice & Peace
Mr. Perdeep Sehgal
Chairman & MD of Sinochem, Amritsar
Dr. Atindra Sen
Retired civil servant and former Director General of Bomaby Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Ms. Sushobha Barve
With an experience in conflict-resolution in different parts of South Asia, is CDR's Executive Secretary and Program Director
Centre for Dialogue and reconciliation or CDR is an initiative that hopes to serve as acatalyst for internal and external peace in South Asia through process of discourse and dialogue- a process that seeks to promote a peaceful approach to the resolution of conflict with justice and equity, and the eve ntual goal of reconciliation.
India & Pakistan Dialogue on Regional Peace and Stability (2013-2015)  
Over the years CDR has received financial support from:  
DorabjiTata Trust
National Foundation of India
Bombay Community Trust
South Asia Women's Fund
Ministry of Human Resources
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung
European Union
British High Commission
CDR-LUMS Project  

Selecting the two themes of Education and Environment from the eight topics proposed by the India-Pakistan Joint Commission, CDR in collaboration with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, has initiated a one-year pilot project on potential partnerships between India and Pakistan in the fields of education and urban environmental protection.


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