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Dealing with Criticism of Mediation

Dealing with Criticism of Mediation

How did you respond to criticism of your mediation business in India?

 

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Well my reaction was, ‘You know what, I may be arrogant, but the fact of the matter is this country needs so much help in so many ways. And it’s one thing for you to tell me that I’m not needed in this country, but I’ll just turn back and ask you, if this country can manage without better processes in terms of conflict management or dialogue facilitation, then why the hell are we in the mess that we are in?’ India is the conflict capital of the world. South Asia is, it’s not just India. Whether it’s in the civic space, political conflict, or in the breakdown of the family, things are actually breaking apart at so many levels. And I personally don’t believe that we should pretend like things are better than they are. That’s disingenuous, that’s insensitive, and more than anything else it’s ostrich-like behaviour. If you love a place, if you are sensitive to people, you have to address the issues that prevents them from being as well, or, I’m trying not to use the word ‘happy’. But, as healthy as possible.

About the mediator

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Ashok is fond of saying that, while he is no Mother Theresa or Gautama Buddha, he is utterly fascinated by the intricacies and nuances of conflict resolution and peacemaking. A facilitator for 25 years, he has been called many names, including “agent provocateur.” The many hats he wears include mediator, facilitator, educator, and office clown. When asked why he does this work, he says: ‘Conflicts are early warning signals that things ar... View Mediator