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

Dilip M MenonSubscribe to Dilip M Menon

Minding One's Words

Gopal Guru makes a persuasive argument in "Freedom of Expression and the Life of the Dalit Mind" (EPW, 9 March 2013) about the need for the life of the dalit mind but weakens his argument by a puzzling misinterpretation of Ashis Nandy's statements on corruption and dalits, on which he bases his thesis.

The Many Spaces and Times of Swadeshi

This article argues that the deterritorialised politics of affinity generated by swadeshi, over and against the imagined community of the nation, was its greatest legacy. It holds that though the swadeshi agitators have been taken to task for not having a political programme to displace the colonial power through mass mobilisation, they found filiations on an emerging map of freedom the world over. Swadeshi politics thus created nodes, strategies, techniques of power and technologies of the self, and created another paradigm against the dyad of state power versus public representation that the moderates had been trapped in.

Religion and Colonial Modernity

This paper while questioning the assumption that religious imaginary preceded modernity, argues for the need to seriously address the fashioning of the caste self and a new collectivity within a religious imagining under colonialism. Colonial structures of governance often ignored the alternative realms - ties of locality and kinship often articulated in religious terms - which, emerged, opposed and even were antagonistic to the idea of a national identity. In the south, the attraction of the lower castes for Christianity was partly prompted by the need to move away from the cycle of oppression and inequality and also because the religion allowed for their entry into a wider public sphere, as individuals.

Peasants and Politics in Malabar

Peasants and Politics in Malabar Dilip M Menon 1 READ with increasing astonishment M Kabir's review titled 'Peasants and Politics in Malabar' (EPW, May 3). Under the guise of a detailed rebuttal of the arguments in my book (as evidenced in the length of the review), Kabir blandly restates the older paradigm which I had tried to qualify or contradict. His position seems to be that we know all we need to know about the social history of Malabar and no more new work needs to be done. There is no evidence of any substantial or original research in M Kabir's piece. He draws upon work (worthy for its time) done ageneration earlier by Prakash Karat and Gopalankutty and upon the trusted and well-thumbed gazetteers and colonial ethnographies. I would have called his review curiously immature and slipshod and left it at that but for the fact that his tone precludes charity on my part. My book is called charmingly, an inept and distorted narrative of half truths'; an act of bad faith only redeemed by the Mucidity of style' and the fact that it is 'highly readable'. Thank God for small mercies.

Conjunctural Community Communism in Malabar, 1934-1948

Conjunctural Community: Communism in Malabar, 1934-1948 Dilip M Menon This paper seeks to explore social relations in north Malabar in the period between 1934 and 1948 and the attempts of Congress socialism and subsequently communism to resolve the problem of caste inequality in the region. The one theme unifying these endeavours was the aspiration towards creating a community of equals. It will be argued here that the idea of community represents an aspiration and not an achieved entity; communities are always in the process of formation without reaching realisation. There can only be conjunctural creations of community when a temporary balance is achieved between diverse individual initiatives.
Back to Top