ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Ajay GudavarthySubscribe to Ajay Gudavarthy

How BJP Appropriated the Idea of Equality to Create a Divided India

Right-wing populism has managed to turn the traditional progressive political practices on their head. The BJP began with a critique of poor implementation of NREGA through a discourse on corruption, but gradually resignified it into a critique of welfare itself; anger against growing economic inequalities leads to the election of more pro-corporate government. This article looks at the future of right-wing populism in India, arguing that instead of a moral rejection, we need to undersand the "moral structure" on which it builds its politics.

Brahmanism, Liberalism and the Postcolonial Theory

Indian academic scholarship and politics have remained caught between the triangulate frames of Brahmanism, liberalism and postcolonial theory, papering over the commonalities between the three in their "politics of accommodation," and the fact that they cumulatively privilege similar bhadralok scholarship. Indian politics today is witnessing an implosion of intra-subaltern conflicts which cannot be captured either through East versus West or subaltern versus elite kind of frames.

Centrist Polity, Decentred Politics

How has Telangana fared in the last two years? The author’s field visit suggests that water and agrarian distress continue to be an issue, with Muslims and the youth disillusioned with the government in the new state.

The Politics of Secular Sectarianism

The rise of right-wing politics in India is built on the fragmented nature of the struggles waged by the oppressed who constitute the vast majority of the population: "lower" castes, adivasis, working classes and peasants, women, religious minorities, etc. Countering right-wing political imagination would mean a dismantling of caste-, class-, gender- and religion-based oppressions. This cannot happen without forging a commonality among the oppressed which is at once non-patronising as well as self-critical.

Muslims of Telangana: A Ground Report

With the creation of Telangana, the polarisation between Hindus and Muslims has become sharper. The new aspirations of the Muslims for socio-economic benefits and political representations is being viewed by the dominant community as aggressive re-assertion by the Muslims, who were otherwise dormant and subdued in the integrated state of Andhra Pradesh.

Left Parties - Pragmatic or Dogmatic?

In the run-up to the 2014 general elections, the Left parties have hardly made their presence felt. To make themselves relevant in the prevailing socio-political climate, the Left parties will have to be pragmatic and reinvent themselves, or perhaps head towards a terminal decline.

Modernity and Godmen

Any amount of incriminating evidence does not seem to dither the followers and devotees of godmen, and they continue to invest their faith, trust and affection in them. The sociology of faith in a deeply divided and hierarchy/status-conscious society like ours needs deeper probing and public reasoning, even if this phenomenon looks beyond reason.

Telangana: Nation, State and the City

The issue of a separate state for Telangana will continue to fester even as the central government led by the Congress continues to procrastinate on a decision on it. The Congress’ electoral calculations, which seem to govern its attitude toward the issue, cannot afford to continually ignore the popular aspirations of the people in the region, as further dithering only complicates the political situation in both Telangana and in coastal Andhra.

Can We De-Stigmatise Reservations in India?

The "politics of recognition" that Other Backward Classes have set into motion has its own set of terms and dynamics that contrast well with that of the dalits' political discourse. The politics of obcs have now brought into the public domain issues that are likely to change the very terms of discourse in which the debate on reservations was pursued for the last three decades. The obc discourse on reservations has de-stigmatised policy; obcs have also articulated their demands beyond community concerns by bringing up issues related to regionalism and linguistic assertion. These can influence the very grounds on which public institutions, policy and political processes have, so far, been perceived and pursued in Indian politics.

A Memory to be Lived

the most stringent of standards. He was at A Memory to be Lived his virulent best in offering scathing criticism when the odds were high and consequences grave. The willingness to pay the Ajay Gudavarthy price was alone capable of absolving one In one of my last conversations with Balagopal, in reply to my query about what it has been like building the Human Rights Forum (HRF), as they completed 10 years, he replied that though the organisation had a presence in most of the districts of Andhra Pradesh, there was generally a decline of idealism. There was an unwillingness to launch and nurture struggles. In a more reflective mood, he later added, for movements to survive, we need some degree of innocence. It is this innocence that Balagopal seems to have well preserved with integrity, for himself. He had the rare courage of giving an issue all he had, yet make a starkly realist reading of what it is turning out to be.

Globalisation and Regionalisation: Mapping the New Continental Drift

How far have regional organisations in the south been successful in struggling against neoliberal policies initiated in the northern countries, and actively aided by the international financial institutions? How far have they succeeded in establishing an alternative global regime of development? An assessment of these regional formations in Asia, Africa and Latin America is undertaken to find whether they could fulfil the aspirations for an alternative and just globalisation.

Gandhi, Dalits and Feminists: Recovering the Convergence

The dalit/feminist critique of Gandhi and his philosophy derives from the same epistemological framework of "lived experience" that characterises Gandhian thinking and praxis as well. The "exclusive" and top-down nature in turn suggests problems in the Gandhian outlook. The emerging new identity politics (just as Gandhi's politics) is too strongly bound within experiential confines, and could only entrench the social practices which it wishes to transcend.

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