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

Gerald Studdert-KennedySubscribe to Gerald Studdert-Kennedy

Social Change and Political Discourse in India

Discourse in India Gerald Studdert-Kennedy A VOLUME of chapters by diverse hands is a notoriously dangerous seduction for the potential editior in the social sciences. Discrete contributions may be hung without much difficulty from a loose common thread, but for the reader there is often the disappointment of the vacancies between them, the absence of an actively shared common focus, of interaction among the contributors and of thematic development. A one-day conference (November 15) in Paris, organised by Jean-Luc Racine for the Centre d'Etudes de l'lnde et de I'Asie du Sud and supported by the Foundation Maison des Sciences de I'Homme, concerned itself with the three volumes hitherto published out of a series of no less than four from a single editor.1 These comments represent the response of one participant to the conference.

Politics, Missions, Conversions

Politics, Missions, Conversions Gerald Studdert-Kennedy The Attitudes of British Protestant Missionaries towards Nationalism in India: With Special Reference to Madras Presidency, 1919-1927 by Elizabeth Susan Alexander; Konark Press, Delhi, 1994; pp 123, Rs 145. Discoveries, Missionary Expansion and Asian Cultures edited by Teotonio R de Souza; Concept, Delhi, 1994; pp 215, Rs 300, THESE brief and unpretentious volumes are representative of a development in the literature on Christian missions in India away from a rather narrowly conceived 'church history' and towards a more detached and critical appraisal of institutions and projects of the churches in wider politic al perspective. It reflects a more self-conscious response to fundamental changes in the institutional and ideological structures of Christianity that have radically transformed its significance in the later 20th century, both as world religion and within south Asia specifically.

The Imperial Elite

cultivation, deforestation would have been much more. Nevertheless, the major reason for pressure on forests and CPRs today is not so much to raise the supply of food, as it is to provide a source of livelihood; If according to Rao himself the new technology was disappointing in terms of labour absorption, it cannot by itself have a very significant impact in preventing deforestation. This is so particularly if landless labour do not benefit much from the new technology. Moreover, the pressure of industries in seeking raw material from forests is another independent factor behind deforestation. There is thus no cause for complacency on the front of environmental degradation and the government should spare no effort in preventing it. Similarly, even if "at the present state of development", 'chemicalisation' in agriculture is no major threat compared to deforestation, the former has already shown its adverse potential, both in regard to fertilisers and pesticides. There is need for abundant caution on this front too.

Bombay in Imperial Political Economy

of his last essay where he notes that in Kerala, despite changes in rural power structure through moderate land reform, organisation of rural labour supported by measures for formal and non-formal education for the entire population, "there has been no evidence of growth in agricultural productivity as a result of such social transformation. .. the failure on this account has been largely due to inadequate understanding, on the political plane, of the imperative need for productive investment and technological change to support processes of social change" (p 221).
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