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

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Negative Returns of Ambivalence

Social movements that succeed in mobilising the masses subsequently attempt to institutionalise themselves. Moving from the domain of civil society into the realm of state politics, the leadership can change its goals and transformative priorities. This paper examines what happened to the farmers' movement (Shetkari Sanghatana) in Maharashtra between 1980 and 2014, especially after it decided to enter electoral politics and set up its own Swatantra Bharat Party. Probing its electoral performance, the paper tries to find out what happened to the mass movement, and explains why the farmers' movement that succeeded in mass mobilisation failed to convert mass support into electoral votes.

Sharmila Rege (1964-2013)

In her classroom teaching Sharmila Rege constantly focused on how the interaction of students with the lived experiences of activists in social/ protest movements and also with the masses could deepen their understanding of social reality as well as the close linkages between theory and ideology on the one hand and between theory, ideology and praxis on the other. She believed that gender studies and dalit studies were organically linked.

Practising Sociology through History

Part 1 of this paper considered those sociologists who used classical texts, i e, Indological sources, with a view to understanding contemporary social structures, institutions, and cultural practices. Part II looks at the work of later sociologists, who make up a different category: Those who take into account and narrate the historical background of the social reality that constitutes their research. This paper lays stress on the necessity of a "substantive" use of history for sociological purposes. It takes particular note of those sociologists who have used history rigorously to arrive at broader levels of explanation, generalisation and theoretical abstraction, in the process thereby ensuring a "completion" of their sociological mission. It is this process that needs to be further exploited by present day sociologists. [This is the concluding part of the paper; the first part was published last week.]

Practising Sociology through History

This paper examines, in two parts, the extent to which Indian sociologists have creatively engaged themselves in systematic use of history for understanding and explaining social phenomena. It also critically assesses the rigour with which a reconstruction of past events and experiences has been attempted so as to understand and explain the present in sociological studies in India. While reviewing seminal writings of scholars who used Indology extensively, as also those of sociologists who have attempted systematic use of history in macroanalysis, this paper focuses attention on contributions of Indian sociologists who have used the historical method rigorously in rural studies, as also in studies of social movements, agrarian structure and change, caste and analysis of industrial and urban settings. Finally, it distinguishes between "metaphoric" and "substantive" use of history and opines that the real potential of historical sociology lies in the latter. It also expresses optimism that despite the initial indifference of Indian sociologists towards history, they are now rediscovering their discipline's roots in history and are also realising its intrinsic value in generating, what Earnest Nagel (1961) called, "historical explanation". [The second and concluding part will be published next week.]

Antinomies in Ideologies and Institutions

Antinomies in Ideologies and Institutions Antinomies of Society: Essays on Ideologies and Institutions by Andre Beteille; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2000;

Joint Forest Management in UP

This article reports the experience of joint forest management (JFM) initiatives in Uttar Pradesh. Sustainable use of land and forest produce requires a change in attitudes both of government departments and the people. 'Joint' in JFM remains on paper as forest departments work for, rather than with, the people. The initiative also needs to be integrated with other rural development programmes, and to give women a larger role.

Remembering Tom Bottomore

D N Dhanagare Unlike Herbert Marcuse, Tom Bottomore always glowed with robust optimism regardless of whether he was interpreting a line of theoretical development or evaluating current political trends or organising international sociology conferences. His analysis was always backed by historical awareness, careful scrutiny of data and serious reflection. And his commitment to his distinctive version of Marxism as a form of social theory and to socialism as a political project never wavered.

1992 Drought in Maharashtra-Misplaced Priorities, Mismanagement of Water Resources

Misplaced Priorities, Mismanagement of Water Resources D N Dhanagare Why is it that conditions of water and food scarcity have become a recurrent historical pattern in Maharashtra, particularly in the less developed regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada? Why does this progressive and industrially advanced state have to suffer such an ignoble water scarcity after four decades of planned development? And, above all, why is it that chief ministers and ministers come and go, and political fortunes of parties too rise and fall, often dramatically, but the non-availability of safe and adequate drinking water to the common man and woman in rural Maharashtra continues unabated?

Social Costs of Modern Farming

Social Costs of Modern Farming D N Dhanagare Sociology of Agriculture: Technology, Labour, Development and Social Classes in an International Perspective edited by Alessandro Bonanno; Concept Publishing Co, New Delhi, 1989; pp xxii + 222 (with preface, introduction and index), Rs 200.

Sociology of a Movement

Sociology of a Movement D N Dhanagare Non-Bramhan Movement in Maharashtra by M S Gore; Segment Book Distributors (for G B Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad), New Delhi,

Rural Transition in Thanjavur

Rural Transition in Thanjavur D N Dhanagare Rural Change in Southeast India, 1950s to 1980s by Kathleen Gough; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1989; pp xix + 578 (with Glossary, Bibliography and Appendix), Rs 175.

Green Revolution and Social Inequalities in Rural India

in Rural India D N Dhanagare The green revolution has been the dominant orientation for rural development programmes in India for over two decades now. As a strategy it implied the introduction of high yielding varieties, extensive use of farm machinery, energised well-irrigation, use of high doses of fertilisers and pesticides directed at improving farm production. It was optimistically reckoned that from this would emerge lasting solutions to the perpetual problem of rural poverty and fiunger, This paper examines the extensive literature which has accumulated about the green revolu tion with a view to determine thesociety. Has the green revolution SINCE 1967 when the High Yielding Varieties (seeds) Programme (HYVP) was consciously introduced in Indian agriculture, a lot has been written for and against the green revolution. It would, however, be erroneous to equate the green,revolution with HYVP alone. The green revolution has to be understood more as a broader ideology of rural transformation whereas programmes such as HYVP, Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and the like are specific institutionalised measures for translating the green revolution ideology into practice (Parthasarathy, 1970: 1-8). Even at the risk of appearing to be stating the obvious rather simplistically, it is necessary to emphasise that the green revolution as a package (ideology and programme) is to be defined as "large scale application of modern science and technology to agriculture". The green revolution technology involved extensive use of farm machinery (as labour saving efficient devices), hybrid (high yielding) seeds, energised well irrigation (and lift irrigation), use of high fertiliser doses and pesticides, and the like. In short "extensive and intensive use of improved production technology and high yielding varieties of seeds" has been the essence of the green revolution (CSSC, 1974: 3-9).


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