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

Janaki NairSubscribe to Janaki Nair

Constructing History

some changes, to an Indian audience. The Postcolonial Passages: Contemporary purpose of this

'Dead Certainties' and the Politics of Textbook Writing

The different state school systems have formed a crucial site where the capture and revision of school history textbooks has been carried out. Between 2002 and 2004, Karnataka has seen the rewriting, withdrawal and a second rewriting of textbooks for students in the middle school levels. While a comparison between the two textbooks shows some changes, much else remains the same - such as the treatment of gender, the inability to highlight nuances in the past and in the continued stress the syllabus places on learning by rote. The comparative analysis attempted in this article also warns that the politics of retaliation that drives textbook writing today may finally have regressive consequences on the historian's profession.

Archaeology and How a Nation Was Defined

Nation Was Defined Monuments, Objects, Histories: Institutions of Art in Colonial and Postcolonial India by Tapati Guha Thakurta; Permanent Black, Delhi, 2004; pp xxv + 404, $55 (hardbound).

Bulldozing the Past into Existence

Some scientists and spiritual leaders have become strange bedfellows in their quest for a new historical method. They are united in one very important respect: they both share the singular goal of producing a uniquely Indian antiquity, one full of dead certainties and minus the distracting quibbles of the historian.

Language and Right to the City

The crisis caused by Rajkumar's abduction has been increasingly (and dangerously) read as an 'encounter between nationalisms'. Such readings sweep complex histories out of sight, leaving the borders of the administrative state as the final space within which such identities may unfold.

New Regimes of Work

New Regimes of Work The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism by Richard Sennett; W W Norton and Company, London and New York, 1998.

Singapore Is Not Bangalore's Destiny

Town planners of Bangalore want to follow the Singapore model to take the city forward. Singapore is successful because it fashioned a future appropriate to its own circumstances. Bangalore must do the same - design its own development that is, not Singapore's.

Memories of Underdevelopment-Language and Its Identifies in Contemporary Karnataka

'Memories of Underdevelopment' Language and Its Identifies in Contemporary Karnataka Janaki Nair Kannada nationalism, like all nationalisms, attempts to produce a solidarity between all Kannada speakers in order to efface the specificities of caste and class, and pits itself against other dominated minorities rather than addressing the hierarchical division of labour that has ensured Kannada's dominated status. As long as it continues to privilege the identity of Kannada over other democratic aspirations, the movement will tend increasingly towards alignment with strident communal or anti-minority forces. The movement encompasses a range of moderate and progressive intellectual positions, which have of late been overshadowed by the more strident voices. There is the danger that in the context of the structural changes already under way, benefiting a few at the expense of the rest, the ideology of the movement while expressing genuine anxieties may tend towards undemocratic resolutions of its identity crisis.

Predatory Capitalism and Legalised Landgrab-Karnataka Land Reforms

Predatory Capitalism and Legalised Landgrab Karnataka Land Reforms Janaki Nair NOT for nothing is Karnataka's chief minister Deve Gowdacontinuously parodied in the Kannada press for having described himself as a 'son of the soil (mannina maga). Our man from Holenarsipur who comes from sturdy peasant stock may not have forsaken his severely simple dress, but may well go down in Karnataka history as the one who did more for capitalist development, and not necessarily agrarian capitalist development, than any of his predecessors. Having moved swiftly to suspend the operation of two sections of the House Rent Control Act, the Deve Gowda government has recently introduced, passed, and, without waiting for presidential sanction, decided to implement amendments to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act of 1961 (which in effect amounts to undoing the amendments introduced by the Devaraj Urs ministry in 1974, widely hailed then, and even now, as one of the more revolutionary land reform measures in the country). And it is a sign of the times, and of the formidable consensus that has been built up for the programme of economic liberalisation that, apart from ritualised opposition to the measure from predictable quarters in the assembly, there has been no large-scale political opposition or unrest in the state. Indeed it is ironic that the dalits, who were among the principal beneficiaries of the 1974 reforms, and are arguably the ones, with the bakcward classes, who will be most seriously affected by the amendments have not shown the same sustained vigour in opposing the act as they recently did in defence of a symbol, i e, during the agitation that demanded the resignation of culture minister Lalitha Naik whose son had desecrated a statue of Ambedkar.

Diagnosing Communalism

social scientists. The impact of the Indian government's recently announced policy of opening up deep sea fishing for direct exploitation by multinational companies (MNCs) on the deepening involution of artisanal fishing is an aspect of the problem faced by both sides of the indigenous fishing industrytraditional and modern -on which Nieuwenhuys' views on future trends would be of considerable interest.

Lurching to the Right-Karnataka and the BJP

Karnataka and the BJP The most optimistic way in which the BJP success in Karnataka may be read is as a stabilisation of the electoral prospects of the party in the state. In fact, the prospects of further expansion of the BJP base in the state are by no means exhausted ANALYSES of the rout of the Congress in the two southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have been somewhat overwhelmed by the scale of the TDP victory, it may be quite a while before we develop a more complex understanding of what has happened in Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, even the slickest of analyses have negotiated the Karnataka results with a few perfunctory remarks or with total silence. Clearly, the Karnataka results are less easily reduced to the enduring attractions of cheap rice, and may be an indication of the multiplicity of issues that have been considered by the electorate. While feeling optimistic about the change of guard in Karnataka, the creditable BJP win of 40 seats (up from a mere three in 1989) is cause for considerable discomfort. The most optimistic way in which the BJP success may be read is as a stabilisation of the electoral prospects of the party in the state. After all, the BJP had led in 58 assembly segments in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections and managed to win only 40 seats this time. But, for one, the Karnataka electorate has always maintained a distinction between the assembly and the parliamentary polls, so the fortunes of a party on one register do not easily translate into gains on the other. Second, the BJP wins in some segments have occurred despite, rather than because, of the fragmented nature of the choices before the electorate, and by that count are significant; elsewhere, however, even the plurality of candidates has not saved BJP candidates from losing their deposits. Where they have won, then, the-BJP's ideological appeal cannot be minimised.


Back to Top