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

Articles by Avinash KumarSubscribe to Avinash Kumar

Struggling to Break Free

Contemporary Hindi box-office hits feed outlandish fantasies to a new young middle class.

Mainstreaming Modi

Big business and mainstream media are not just hailing Narendra Modi’s arrival on the national stage, but beautifying him and making all that he represents, acceptable to the people.

Kai Po Che

The film Kai Po Che has come in for some criticism for eliding over the role of Narendra Modi in the Gujarat killings of 2002. This review argues that by faithfully recreating the social and political contexts of those times in the language of mainstream cinema, it helps remind people how dangerous is the politics that Modi represents.

Fallacy of the State in Bihar

Nitish Kumar's rule in Bihar has been lauded for the return of "law and order". An overview of some recent events involving dalits, pasmanda Muslims and the sway of landlords and their mafi a reveals that little has changed.

Debates around Authorship and Originality

This paper explores some of the debates and trends around the emergence of modern authorship in Hindi in the late colonial period. The attempt is to explore the twin processes of translation and the writing of "original works" which were seen to be constitutive in the making of the Hindi intellectual. The attempt is to also look at some of these debates through the apparent binaries of translation versus original, national versus individual, poetry versus prose and political versus literary. This often contradictory process was an outcome of a period where the idea of the "individual genius", borrowed from the west, was still taking shape.

The Battle for Land: Unaddressed Issues

The episodes of violence in land acquisition by the government, as witnessed recently in Bhatta-Parsaul in Uttar Pradesh and in other states earlier, occur because patterns of violence are inbuilt into the process. Despite a bill pending in Parliament since 2007, there has been little effort by political parties to evolve a consensus on acquisition of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. The law as at present and also the provisions of the pending bill do not leave any scope for resistance other than on the issue of compensation. The UP government's new policy on land acquisition is an improvement but more needs to be done.

Illegitimacy of the State in Bihar

The massacre on 2 October of 16 villagers in Khagaria in Bihar is just the latest of many such incidents of caste-based violence that have plagued the state for decades. The lack of commitment to land reform and towards ending caste exploitation is responsible for such violence, in which the dalit landless are invariably the victims. Caste configurations have changed, some "upper" backward castes have become more powerful but the dalit landless continue to suffer. Land is at the heart of all the struggles, which are sometimes incorrectly and lazily attributed to Naxalite action by the state administration.

Internal Classification of Scheduled Castes: The Punjab Story

Much before the question of quotas within quotas in jobs reserved for the scheduled castes acquired prominence in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab had introduced a twofold classification of its SC population. When the Andhra case went to court, Punjab had to rework its policy. It is useful to closely examine the Punjab case to see if the internal classification of SCs for quotas in jobs has served a purpose.


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