The Indialogue Internship Program which has been conceived to engage with young minds and inculcate the understanding of interfaith and intercultural dialogue in them has been completed successfully. The four months long internship started on February 01, 2017 with four bright PhD and Mphil scholars – two from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and two from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) – and ended on May 31, 2017. The interns Akanksha Verma (MPhil), JNU; Khairunnisa Aga (PhD), JNU; Mohammed Shabeer (PhD), JMI; and Prince Peter (MPhil), JMI were selected from among over a dozen applicants from several universities across India.
The activities during the internship were broadly divided into three categories: Dialogue School, Delhi Visits and Networking Events.
Under Dialogue School renowned dialogue practitioners, academics and journalists were invited to give seminars and workshops to our interns. Prof M M Verma, Prof Anwar Alam, Mr Manu Singh, Father M D Thomas, Prof Madhu Khanna and Mr Nadim Asrar interacted with them separately in different weeks during the course of the internship. Some of them shared their perspective on interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and some of them made presentation on topics related to their areas of expertise.
The interns were also taught workshop on academic writing and dialogue facilitation techniques by our Research Fellow & Program Coordinator, M Behzad Fatmi.
Furthermore, two visiting research scholars from University of Cambridge, John Fahy and Jan-Jonathan Bock also joined our interns to have an interactive session with them on effectiveness and impact of dialogue activities.
Delhi Visits, as the name itself suggests, involved visits to prominent faith-based organisations, community leaders, places of worship and think tanks. Our interns were welcomed by Chinmaya Mission, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), RK Mission, Judah Hyam Synagogue, Baha’i House of Worship, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Acharya Lokesh Muni, Swami Agnivesh, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Gobind Sadan and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. With these visits, they not only learned about dialogue activities that organisations like RK Mission and Gobind Sadan run, but also the research work and programs that institutions like IDSA and ORF are conducting.
Under Networking Events our interns independently participated in various social and cultural events in Delhi in order to widen their network and make new friends.
The internship program also comprised of a visit to Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal, and concluded with a farewell dinner.