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

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Modern Kerala in First Person

Writing the First Person: Literature, History, and Autobiography in Modern Kerala by Udaya Kumar, Ranikhet and Shimla; Permanent Black, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Ashoka University, 2016; pp xi + 324, ₹895.

Neither Moral Nor Policing

The police surveillance on young people in Kerala seems to have risen to new heights with active monitoring of youth lifestyles, which the police perceive to be linked to youth crime. These micro-fascisms only reveal the growing weakness of the pillars of 20th century Malayalee social disciplining. It is up to the politicised youth, however, to turn this into an opportunity for democratic transformation.

Communal Violence in Kozhikode Village

We strongly condemn the unprecedented communal violence at the end of January 2015, in Tuneri, Vellur and Kodanjeri villages, Nadapuram in Kozhikode, Kerala, in which more than a hundred Muslim families and homes were singled out, attacked, and crores worth of property destroyed. We are utterly...

Deprivation, Abjection, and Dispossession

This article critically examines the relevance of community-identities in and for the contemporary struggles of the most-disadvantaged sections through two case studies from Kerala’s working-class areas, an urban slum and a fishing hamlet, both in Thiruvananthapuram district. It draws upon local histories of these two places which trace the intertwined histories of land, politics, domestic life, and work since the early-mid-20th century. The slum emerged as individuals from different communities and faiths collected there and set up homes and families but did not automatically generate social bonds that transcended individual interests. In sharp contrast, in the fishing hamlet, contrary to the widespread belief that collective empowerment of the poor, civil and political, requires a breaking down of caste-community identities, the resistance to exploitation and dispossession was and is rooted in invocations of the “community” even as several fisher castes organised around the worker identity.

Becoming Society

In this interview, central secretariat member of the Dalit Human Rights Movement, Seleena Prakkanam talks about struggles and leadership and caste issues.

Sharmila Rege (1964-2013)

Sociologist, feminist scholar, writer and activist Sharmila Rege was successful in bringing the structural violence of caste and its linkages with sexuality and labour into the feminist discourse. She made the Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women's Studies Centre of Pune University into a vibrant hub which not only gained from other disciplines but also created a bilingual system of teaching and training along with a unique syllabus that deserves to be emulated widely.

Intersections of Gender and Caste

This edition focuses on the relations between caste and gender and explores the intersectionalities involved. It includes articles exploring the politics of feminism and dalit activism located in urban spaces, in working class sites, through labour, "traditional" rituals, issues of honour and inter-caste marriage.

Beyond Feminine Public Altruism

The rapidly changing urban scenario seems to have important implications for gendering governance in Kerala. Thus, besides the different histories mediated by caste and community, the spatial location of women leaders in local governance appears to be of central importance in shaping their agency. This article which is based on the research about women leaders in local governance in Kerala in 2005-10 explores the extent to which success in local governance allowed these women entry into politics and gave them a greater presence within the public life. Generally it is seen that successful women leaders are often the bearers of a specific form of power that has been historically associated with the deployment of sentiment and affect, and ideal femininity, and that such power is understood to be crucial to local governance as well. However, an entirely different picture emerged from this study on women leaders of urban governance. Besides gentle power, successful women attribute their success equally to knowledge - of official norms and procedures.

State Policy and the Twelfth Plan through a Gender Lens

The rapidly changing urban scenario seems to have important implications for gendering governance in Kerala. Thus, besides the different histories mediated by caste and community, the spatial location of women leaders in local governance appears to be of central importance in shaping their agency. This article which is based on the research about women leaders in local governance in Kerala in 2005-10 explores the extent to which success in local governance allowed these women entry into politics and gave them a greater presence within the public life. Generally it is seen that successful women leaders are often the bearers of a specific form of power that has been historically associated with the deployment of sentiment and affect, and ideal femininity, and that such power is understood to be crucial to local governance as well. However, an entirely different picture emerged from this study on women leaders of urban governance. Besides gentle power, successful women attribute their success equally to knowledge - of official norms and procedures.

Violence against Women

Feminist Frameworks; Building Theory on Violence against Women by Lisa S Price

The Capabilities Approach in the Vernacular: The History in Kerala

The conjoining of capacities and ability, first suggested in missionary and allied discourses, soon became fundamental to the project of Travancorean nationalism in the late 19th century through its unique nationalist developmentalism, and was taken forward by emergent communities in their negotiations with the modernising state. However, even as new avenues were opened through new capabilities, the resources, skills, and dispositions of many lower caste groups were eroded. The abilities offered to them by the state did not often match their valued dispositions, skills and knowledge. At the same time, as Kerala's gender paradox suggests, the provision of abilities to women by the state has, more often than not, exacerbated gender divisions and inequalities.

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