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

J J Roy BurmanSubscribe to J J Roy Burman

Stalling Vedanta

Suhit K Sen’s, “Vedanta Hymn: The Scion’s Political Gambit” (EPW, 30 October 2010) was informative and made important points. The author focuses on how the Vedanta project in Orissa was stalled on grounds of environmental degradation as well as adversely affecting the social fabric of the Kondh...

Democratic Representation

This is apropos to Bela Bhatia’s article, “Justice Denied to Tribals in the Hill Districts of Manipur” (EPW, 31 July). The article makes for interesting reading and depicts facts hitherto unknown to the “mainstream” peoples of India. Imposing district councils in the hill areas all of a sudden...

Un-making the 'Commons'

Shifting Landscapes: The Making and Remaking of Village Commons in India by Rita Brara; Oxford University Press, New Delhi; J J ROY BURMAN Rapid depletion of forests, destruction of the natural resources and the burgeoning environmental crisis has of late drawn the attention of the academics, environmentalists, activists, development workers and the NGOs world over. The present treatise under review provides a reflection of the same. Rita Brara, the author is immensely concerned about this. She stresses at the outset that the environmental concern is not to be limited only in physical terms. It needs to be looked through the edifice of social constructs. Her prime concern is about the

The Tribal Bill: A Rejoinder

There is another problem in the proposed bill particularly with regard to the The Tribal Bill: A Rejoinder J J ROY BURMAN This relates to the series of articles published in EPW (October 22 and November 19, 2005) and a memorandum submitted to the prime minister signed by a good number of academics and activists with regard to the proposed Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005. The remarks of the principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), M S Nagpur, also have been considered. I am in agreement with most of the views of the academics and the activists, but I would like to briefly deal with some of the problems inherent in a few of their submissions.

Shivaji's Myth and Maharashtra's Syncretic Traditions

Despite fears of increasing communalisation in public life and the attempt to portray Shivaji as a 'Hindu' raja, long-standing syncretic traditions observed by followers of different communities, from diverse caste backgrounds continue to flourish till date across Maharashtra. As borne out by several case studies cited in this article, Hindus and Muslims frequent dargahs, mazars and chillahs, and there are instances of temples in the Konkan region drawing followers of Islam. There are also shrines and sacred sites that possess a dual identity - they are both a dargah and a temple at the same time; deities bear both Hindu and Islamic names and priests of both communities officiate at ceremonies.

Hindu-Muslim Syncretism in India

J J Roy Burman Hindu-Muslim syncretism in India has deep cultural roots which has survived political and social upheavals. There are numerous syncretic shrines across the country which even today continue to attract people of both faiths.

Syncretic Trends in Islam

K Johri among others), and defies the simple derivations from Lewisian constructs; there is also in fact a labour market in rural agriculture, governed by both tradition and changes in practice. The Todaro type dualisms are also weak reeds for understanding urban labour markets and rural-urban migration. Studies of income distribution and poverty have not gone beyond identifying macro or regional magnitudes or demarcations the structure of the problem.to illuminate the labour market processes at work. We are thus critically lacking in information on the wage structures (given the chronic inflation, diverse payments arrangements, and pooling of wage and non-wage incomes), labour mobility, labour market adjustments to changes in economic conditions, the costs and incidence of work stoppages, economic assessments of employee provident and sickness insurance schemes and of alternatives, the scope for efficiency wages, and so forth. Policy has thus been made by fiat, with little to go on as to its probable impact or the range of options. Given the pressures, governments of course decide, as they must, but such decisions do little to settle issues or move governance to a higher level of informed action. These comments should not be interpreted as endorsing uncritical applications of standard neo-classical analysis. Given Indian conditions, it would be important that efforts at analysis go beyond skeletal theory abstracted from the social structure, but aim at integrating it in the analysis from early on (as Indira Rajaraman has done so well).

Land and Forest Issues in Akrani Villages

Land and Forest Issues in Akrani Villages THE action plan for the resettlement of the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar Project in Maharashtra indicates that 33 villages are to come under submergence. (One village had been already submerged during the monsoon in 1993.) While 10 of the affected villages fall within the jurisdiction of the Akkalkuwa taluka, 23 villages fall within the jurisdiction of Akrani taluka. Both Akkalkuwa and Akrani talukas include mountains of the Satpura range. The terrain is extremely rugged and parts of it are covered by evergreen tropical forests. The quality of arable land is in general poor and the tribals in the area eke out their living only partially from agriculture. Much of the economy is based on collection of forest produce and fishing from the rivers Narmada, Tapi and their tributaries.
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