Aligarh: “Language is something that we have invented and it is one of the greatest inventions because it exists even with its flaws,” said Prof. B Hariharan, President-Elect and presently Vice President, Shastri Indo Canadian Institute, New Delhi.
He was addressing the valedictory session of the two-day International Conference on ‘Interpersonal Communication Challenges for Indian Immigrants in Canada’ organized online by the Department of English.
Speaking on “Portability, pandemic and beyond”, Professor Hariharan said his organization facilitates communication and supports this kind of programme to help immigrants overcome issues in interpersonal communication.
The guest of honour, Reshma Rana Verma, Programme Officer, SICI, said, “In today’s globalized world, intercultural communication is a key skill to possess.” She said that the SICI offers many fellowships, scholarships and awards at various levels and people should participate in the activities pertaining to cultural exchange to enhance interpersonal communication.
Dr Faiza Abbasi, Director, UGC HRDC, AMU, who was also the guest of honour, highlighted the importance of non-verbal communication and said much of the communication is done through gestures.
Prof Shreesh Chaudhary, IIT Madras, chaired the practical session that focused on the practical problems in communication.
While speaking on the “Indian model of interpersonal communication, challenges and Indian Immigrants in Canada”, Prof Shreesh said, “Understanding is important when two persons communicate.”
Prof Shrawan K Sharma, Gurukula Kangri University of Haridwar, gave an illuminating talk on ‘Interpersonal Communicative Competence’.
Delivering a talk on “Mitigating Communication Challenges: Migrants’ Networks and Community Collaborations”, Prof KM Baharul Islam of IIM Kashipur, pointed out that linguistic challenges have been prominent and many types of research are taking place to solve these issues.
Prof S Imtiaz Hasnain, Department of Linguistics, AMU, talked on “Sociolinguistics and Interpersonal Communication Challenges” and said immigrants are treated as a static category. By and large, this neglect in sociolinguistics literature is happening in spite of the constant reminder from the post-colonialism approaches.
Dr Arjun Bhardwaj, Assistant Professor, the University of British Columbia of Vancouver, spoke on “Building diverse social networks in Canada: Challenges and Opportunities”.
Dr Mukesh Bagoria, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Delhi, shed light on the issues faced by the Sikh community in Canada and how they have dealt with those issues. Dr Bagoria pointed out: “Multiculturalism paves way for co-existence and Section 27 of the Constitution of Canada tells us about the multicultural heritage of Canada.”
Professor Mohammad Asim Siddiqui, Chairperson, Department of English, applauded the efforts of the organizers of the conference.
Professor Raashid Nehal, Conference Director, said that 52 papers were presented in five parallel sessions chaired by Prof Sami Rafiq, Prof Shah Alam, Prof Shagufta Imtiaz, Prof Aysha Munira Rasheed and Prof Samina Khan.
He said AMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor was the patron of the online conference and Dr Prachi Kaul, Director of Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Prof Faizan Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR University of Law of Hyderabad, Prof Ratna Ghosh, Professor of Education, McGill University of Montreal Quebec, Prof Syed Mohammad Hashim, Dean, Faculty of Arts, and Professor M Asim Siddiqui addressed the inaugural session, while Prof. S. Imtiaz Hasnain, Department of Linguistics, AMU, Dr Syed Mohsin Alvi, CEO and Founder of Symbian Health, Boston, Dr Abida Zameer, Consultant Pharmaceutical Companies in Greater Boston Area of Halifax, Dr Abhijit Shukla, Group Lead, Immuno Oncology-Cancer Vaccines, Johnson and Johnson of Philadelphia, Dr Sohail Qureshi, Medical Oncologist of Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, spoke on different topics in the plenary and business sessions of the conference.