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

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Politics of Culture in Maharashtra

and unnurtured. Welfare rights then make claims which supply the rights bearer with resources for higher purposes which enable self-realisation. They are meant to protect moral, physical and emotional capacities, positive rights demand action in order to secure an acceptable standard of well-being which can promote agency; at the same time it can be stressed that the assent of the individual or the group to such intervention should be secured.

Maharashtra s Women s Policy-Co-opting Feminism

Through the women's policy, the Maharashtra government is attempting to incorporate certain elements of feminist ideology and neutralise its antagonistic potential.

Understanding Violence against Dalits in Marathwada

Understanding Violence against Dalits in Marathwada Gopal Guru What are the factors which made Marathas, particularly from Parbhani, Nanded, Bheer and Osmanabad districts of Marathwada unleash a campaign of violence against dalits over the renaming of Marathwada University despite the fact that they had got a separate university sanctioned for themselves and the government's decision did not directly affect them?

Emergence of Bahujan Mahasangha in Maharashtra

Emergence of Bahujan Mahasangha in Maharashtra Gopal Guru The arrival of the Bahujan Mahasangh on the political scene in Maharashtra is an important development, for it promises to frustrate the Hindutva forces' plan to homogenise and draw bahujans into its fold THE emergence of Bahujan Mahasangh (BMS) in Maharashtra should be considered an important development in the politics of the state for several reasons. First, it has emerged at a time when the ruling Congress remains ambivalent to the growing menace of Hindutva communalism; and different dalit groups have faded into insignificance, who due to their internecine differences the left and democratic forces have become practically ineffective. Secondly, the BMS's arrival on Maharashtra's political scene promises to frustrate the Hindutva plans of homogenising the bahujans in the state. For achieving its objective, the BMS has set before itself, the rather difficult but not impossible task of demobilising the bahujans from the Hindutva forces, particularly the OBC sections who had gone to Ayodhya for constructing the Ram temple and who, back home, arc being used by these forces against the dalit masses on such issues as redistribution of government land or the renaming of Marathwada University after Ambedkar, etc.

Anchoring Ambedkar in Liberalism

public. It could even mean that the public are far more willing to live with budget deficits than their so-called political representatives. Secondly, both rejections

Understanding Communal Riots in Maharashtra

Understanding Communal Riots in Maharashtra Gopal Guru THE outbreak of communal riots in Maharashtra following the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6 stands out for three important reasons. First, after the demolition of the Masjid there was a rising tide of Muslim protest all over the stale of course with varying degree of intensity and magnitude; second, it saw the cross-sectional communalisation of the masses to the extent that some began to see in this communalisation the menace of 'Saffron Fascism', and finally, the recent developments in the state also saw the liberal and progressive forces either confused or crestfallen during the first phase of the riots. Three sets of questions arise. First, what were the factors that led the Muslims to protest? Who participated in the protest? What was the social background of the Muslim protesters? Where was the protest registered and in what form? Second, in view of the claim made by the Hindu communal forces that ail cross-sections, particularly the dalits of Maharashtra joined them against the Muslims for furthering the Hindu cause it is necessary to examine as to why these Hindutvawadi forces are trying to create an anti-Muslim image of the dalits? How are they doing this? To what extent have these Hindu communal forces succeeded in their plan to fan hostilities between the dalits and the Muslims? In the third set of question an attempt needs to be made to highlight as to how the different social forces respond to the recent communal situation in Maharashtra? What implications this communal situation had on the reorganisation and realignment of forces? These are certain issues that are looked inio in the following sections of this report (The Times of India (TOI), December 18,

Dalit Movement in Mainstream Sociology

The dominant current in sociological studies of the dalit movement views dalit protest as a necessary outcome of an obscurantist Hindu tradition with its deep-rooted prejudice against the dalits. It therefore assumes that the movement is limited to achieving the objectives of advance in socio-economic, civic and political fields within the existing order, without seeking a transformation of that society. This has constrained the understanding of the movement. Social sciences must now critically examine these assumptions and seek to study the dalit movement from below.

MAHARASHTRA-Shetkari Sanghtana and the Pursuit of Laxmi Mukti

Shetkari Sanghtana and the Pursuit of 'Laxmi Mukti' Gopal Guru The Shetkari Sanghtana has added another dimension to its programme of women's mobilisation in Maharashtra by undertaking the 'Laxmi Mukti

Trivialisation of Rural Politics-Zilla Parishad and Corporation Elections in Maharashtra

Trivialisation of Rural Politics Zilla Parishad and Corporation Elections in Maharashtra Gopal Guru THE Congress Party has been able to capture the power at all the ZPs and municipal corporations in Maharashtra either on its own or with the help of those rebel candidates (on whose support it had already counted from the very beginning) and a few independents. However, these elections have turned out to be disastrous for the opposition parties except perhaps the BJP which has made some noticeable electoral gains at the corporation level particularly in Pune and Solapur. Rebel Congress candidates and independents have emerged victorious in significant numbers at both levels.

Dalit Killings in Marathwada

Gopal Guru Dalits are now reacting more sharply than ever before to their economic and social conditions. In view of the scale and cruelty of upper caste violence and the callousness of the state on the one hand and the ineffectual politics of the established dalit groups on the other hand, dalits are taking recourse to different strategies to protect their identity and ensure their survival on more honourable and equitable terms.

Appropriating Ambedkar

Appropriating Ambedkar Gopal Guru IT is not surprising to receive reactions to my report 'Hinduisation of Ambedkar in Maharashtra' [EPW, February 16] from S H Deshpande [EPW, April 27] and Dhammachari Lokmitra [EPW, May 18] representing two different religious forces. Both of them have tried to argue that Ambedkar still fits into their scheme of Hinduisation and spiritualisation respectively. But careful and unbiased reading of Ambedkar provides a lot of scope to counter-argue that it is difficult for either Deshpande or Lokmitra to appropriate Ambedkar Because the fragile logic of their rejoinder does not seem to support their motive of co-opting Ambedkar.

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