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

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Theories of Oppression and Another Dialogue of Cultures

One of the fi rst tasks of social knowledge in India today is to return agency to the communities at the receiving end of the system. We can do so only if we take seriously the various cultural modes of self-expression of these communities. Democracy can be a slow-moving, inept, obtuse tool in the case of small communities. But it still remains a powerful enabling device for those not pushed to the margin of desperation. Instead of shedding copious tears for the poverty and the exploitation of the dalits and adivasis, the time has come to celebrate their self-affi rmation and the enormous diversity of cultural, ecological, artistic, technological and intellectual riches they, as communities, have nurtured over the millennia.

The Idea of Happiness

The idea of happiness has changed. It has emerged as a measurable, autonomous, manageable, psychological variable in the global middle-class culture. The self-conscious, determined search for happiness has gradually transformed the idea of happiness from a mental state to an objectified quality of life that can be attained the way an athlete after training under specialists and going through a strict regimen of exercises and diet wins a medal in a track meet. Might it be that the sense of well-being of a mentally healthy person shows its robustness by being able to live with some amount of unhappiness and what is commonly seen as ill-health?

Nationalism, Genuine and Spurious

Nationalism is not patriotism. Nationalism is an ideology and is configured in human personality the way other ideologies are. It rode piggyback into the Afro-Asian world in colonial times as an adjunct of the concept of nation state. Patriotism is a non-specific sentiment centring on a form of territoriality that humans share with a number of other species. This unacknowledged difference is central to the spirited critique of conventional nationalism by Mohandas Gandhi, India's Father of the Nation, and the total rejection of nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore, India's national poet.

Sati in Kaliyuga

NEARLY twenty years ago in 1968, at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla, I made my first public presentation on sati. It was subsequently delivered as a Rammohan Roy Bicentennial Lecture at the Nehru Museum and Library, and further revised for my book, At the Edge of Psychology.1 A few years later, an empirical refutation of my position was attempted as part of a broader critique by Sanjukta Gupta and Richard Gombrich. The critique and my reply to it was published in a symposium.2 Since then I have on and off spoken in the public fora on sati and, also, tried to keep in touch with social activists worried about the occasional instances of sati in the country. At least one group of them have used my essay as a text. After the death of Roop Kanwar at Deorala, Rajasthan, on September 4, 1987, I have published two briefer essays, not so much on sati as on modern India's present response to it.3 During the twenty years, in the context of sati. I did not bear of Imrana Quadeer, Zoya Hasan, Sujata Patel and Krishna Kumar.4 It is possible that none of them was born early enough for us to hear of his or her interest in sati, and that all of them have reached adulthood at about the time Roop Kanwar died. In that case I plead guilty to the charge of suspecting that all these wor-" thies have jumped on the band wagon of the urban, decultured Indian bourgeoisie to win some easy applause at bargain price. Nevertheless, the fact remains that they have systematically distorted my position on sati. In case your readers have not read my essays on sati but only the diatribes against me, I wish to state the following:

Culture, State and the Rediscovery of Indian Politics

Culture, State and the Rediscovery of Indian Politics Ashis Nandy The relationship between culture and the state may be viewed in two ways. One is to look for the means by which culture can be made to contribute to the sustenance and growth of the state. Elements of culture which help strengthen the state are seen as good; those which do not help the proper functioning of the state or hinder its growth are seen as defective. The second way of looking at the relationship between culture and the state is to do so from the stand-point of culture. This approach may regard the state as a protector, an internal critic or a thermostat for culture, but not as the ultimate pace-setter for the society's way of life.

Entrepreneurial Cultures and Entrepreneurial Men

This paper examines, on an exploratory basis, some of the psychological and social correlates of entrepreneurship in an urban community in West Bengal and compares two caste groups within the community differing in entrepreneurial success, modernity and traditional social status

The Bomb, the NPT and Indian Elites

Ashis Nandy This paper examines the attitudes of Indian decision-makers to a nuclear armoury for the country. It is based on interviews of a purposive sample of strategic, emerging and intermediate elites. Though the sample is not representative in any strict sense, it covers a wide variety of critical men: in terms of ideology, party affiliation, strategic location in the decision-making structure and capacity to influence opinion presently as welt as in the future. In sum, the sample includes at least a majority of those whose Voices count
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