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Sharmila Rege

Intersections of Gender and Caste

This edition focuses on the relations between caste and gender and explores the intersectionalities involved. It includes articles exploring the politics of feminism and dalit activism located in urban spaces, in working class sites, through labour, "traditional" rituals, issues of honour and inter-caste marriage.

State Policy and the Twelfth Plan through a Gender Lens

The rapidly changing urban scenario seems to have important implications for gendering governance in Kerala. Thus, besides the different histories mediated by caste and community, the spatial location of women leaders in local governance appears to be of central importance in shaping their agency. This article which is based on the research about women leaders in local governance in Kerala in 2005-10 explores the extent to which success in local governance allowed these women entry into politics and gave them a greater presence within the public life. Generally it is seen that successful women leaders are often the bearers of a specific form of power that has been historically associated with the deployment of sentiment and affect, and ideal femininity, and that such power is understood to be crucial to local governance as well. However, an entirely different picture emerged from this study on women leaders of urban governance. Besides gentle power, successful women attribute their success equally to knowledge - of official norms and procedures.

Education as Trutiya Ratna: Towards Phule-Ambedkarite Feminist Pedagogical Practice

"New times" in the university are marked by narratives that bemoan a "decline in plurality and standards" especially in places where a new generation of scholars and students from historically disadvantaged sections in Indian society is posing challenges to the social homogeneity of the classroom, boards of studies and other academic bodies, leading to obvious frictions on issues related to standards and merit. A new generation of dalit scholarship has raised questions both about the accessibility of higher education and the limitations in making it enabling for those who struggle to gain entry into it. This has enabled an open debate on the absence of transparency in higher education and the nexus of networks of exclusion that operate formally and informally on campuses to reproduce caste inequalities in the metropolitan university.

Interrogating the Thesis of 'Irrational Deification'

Mass gatherings on significant Ambedkarite dates are seen by some as irrationally deifying Ambedkar. In fact, on these days dalit history is remembered and reinterpreted, notably through the large sale of audio cassettes of compositions from the 1930s extolling Babasaheb's struggles to the current I Love You Ambedkar collection that celebrates selfless commitment to the community.

More than Just Tacking Women on to the 'Macropicture'

This paper maps three discrete and overlapping feminist perspectives on globalisation, locating their theoretical genealogies and legacies in development studies, third world/transnational studies and post-communism transitology studies. It underlines the prominent discourses of globalisation which in outlining the econo-techno and institutional processes as having a pervasive if uneven impact, treat them as gender neutral. The paper argues that a mode of relational analysis, which makes feminist contributions distinctive, helps to make connections and trace the naturalised assumptions in the debate on globalisation. It suggests that engendering the discourse of globalisation entails more than simply tacking women on to macrostructural models of globalisation.

Popular Culture

Conceptualising Popular Culture

The sphere of cultural studies, as it has developed in India, has viewed the 'popular' in terms of mass-mediated forms - cinema and art. Its relative silence on caste-based cultural forms or forms that contested caste is surprising, since several of these forms had contested the claims of national culture and national identity. While these caste-based cultural practices with their roots in the social and material conditions of the dalits and bahujans have long been marginalised by bourgeois forms of art and entertainment, the category of the popular lives on and continues to relate to everyday lives, struggles and labour of different classes, castes and gender. This paper looks at caste-based forms of cultural labour such as the lavani and the powada as grounds on which cultural and political struggles are worked out and argue that struggles over cultural meanings are inseparable from struggles of survival.

Resources on Non-Brahmin Movement

Movement SHARMILA REGE, PRAVEEN CHAVAN Badri Narayan

'Real Feminism' and Dalit Women