History

Compassionate Listening session analysis

During the semester, you will arrange to sit and listen to someone tell you about their personal experiences as a member of another religion (not your own).  The idea is to get the “insider” perspective of a real person who can share with you, one-on-one, about their feelings, experiences, memories, and perspective. You then write an analysis of the listening session, with a focus on your own learning and insight.

1. Identify someone from a religion different from your own.

2. Set up a time to sit together without distractions

3. Conduct a “Compassionate Listening” session (using questions or freeform)

4. Take notes on your experience (reflect on your results)

5. Turn in a report via Canvas.

Examples of questions:

What was it like for you as a child to be a member of this religion?

How do you feel about other people’s reactions to you as a member of your religion?

What are some of your earliest memories participating in your religion?

Are there any friends or family members who especially affected you in your religion?

What is a strength of yours that has helped you get through your life?

In religiously and racially diverse states, the question inevitably arises as to how citizens who are different from each other in religion, race, caste, gender, etc., are to be treated, especially when they form a minority. Modern India’s motto is “unity in diversity,” and it claims to uphold full equality for all its citizens. By looking at the areas of religioncaste, and gender in both the first half of the 20thcentury and after 1947, explore, in a 1500 to 1800-word essay, various efforts made to develop the notion of the Indian “citizen” in light of “unity in diversity.” Look at each of these three areas through the prism of:

1) Governmental and administrative policies that have either helped or hindered this notion;

2) Societal behavior, attitudes, and traditions that have either helped or hindered this notion. You should develop a thesis about how successful the post-1947 Indian state and Indian society have been in turning the vision of equality with diversity into a reality.

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