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Can the BJP Achieve a Congress-mukt Meghalaya?

In the months leading up to the February 2018 Meghalaya state legislative elections, the Mukul Sangma-led Congress government has been plagued by a mass exodus of its legislators to the National People’s Party and Bharatiya Janata Party. This article chronicles these defections and conflicts within the party, and the political advantage they afford the BJP in its push for a Congress-mukt Meghalaya.

Perspectives on the Indian Diaspora

Politics of Migration: Indian Emigration in a Globalized World by A Didar Singh and S Irudaya Rajan, New Delhi, London, and New York: Routledge, 2016; pp xix+198, ₹ 895 .

Punjab Politics

Punjab's political dynamics is characterised by a spectrum within which there is a movement from contesting identities resulting in confrontations to these identities, through mutual accommodations and forging coalitions. It is not a linear process; it also faces reversals back to confrontations, and then moves forward again to coalitions. The identities of religion, nation, language, class and caste have been particularly at play in this dynamic arena of Punjab politics.

Engagement with Contemporary India

​ Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India edited by Knut A Jacobsen; Oxon: Routledge, 2016; pp 506, £130 (hardback).

Of Gandhi, Godse and the Missing Files

This paper revisits Indian history when a Hollywood movie, Nine Hours to Rama (1963), claiming to be "a film on Gandhi" turned out to be--much to the Indian government's embarrassment--a biopic on Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. The film, which had been provided sufficient facilities for its making by the government, triggered off a huge uproar in the public sphere and a subsequent ban on the film. It is argued that a peculiar desecration anxiety and the conjoined traumas of patricide and partition linked to the totemic figure of Gandhi engendered such an outcry in India. Similarly, apart from other political contingencies, the film and the evidence of the government's collusion in its making threatened to undermine the Nehruvian government's sovereignty by questioning the legitimacy of its claim to Gandhi's legacy and ultimately resulted in the files related to the film being untraceable in the government archival vaults.

The Gujarat Vote Share Trend Conundrum

The Bharatiya Janata Party may seem invincible in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. However, the staggering numbers in terms of the party's vote share and seats in the state assembly tell a very different tale. Right from the first time it came to power on its own in 1995, till now, this article chronicles the BJP's eventful journey in Gujarat.

Migration, Bachelorhood and Discontent among the Patidars

Juxtaposing data collected in the 1950s with data from 2013, this paper describes some of the consequences of a crisis of agriculture in India as a crisis of values and aspirations. Among a relatively prosperous Patidar community in western India, agriculture continues to be economically remunerative while farmers are considered poor. Instead, the ability to secure a job away from land, to move out of the village and possibly overseas have come to constitute new markers of status in a traditionally competitive society. The paper departs from common representations of the caste as an upwardly mobile and successful group, and focuses instead on the discontent and on those who try to achieve the new values of the caste, but fail. As a consequence of failure it shows how Patidars recur to what, from an outsider's point of view, may seem paradoxical: in order to "move up" and participate in the culture and economy of the caste, they have to "move down." In this respect, the paper also contributes to understanding the unevenness of India's growth and the contrary trends that work both to strengthen and weaken caste identity.

The Republic of Reasons

Discourse within a constitutional framework alone can be the foundation for a possible solidarity in societies which are vibrant with real diversities and differences.


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