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

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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.

The Devadasi, Dharma and the State

Janaki Nair If the sphere of the family was the one over which the nationalist elite declared their sovereignty, both reform and resistance toward reform in that domain were born of the antagonism between the coloniser and the colonised. However, in large princely states such as Mysore forms of state legality remained independent of this particular dynamic. The process of modernisation was initiated by the bureaucracy itself This article delineates one aspect of this modernising process that signalled shifts in the definition of domestic and non-domestic sexuality, giving specific attention to the legal-administrative measures surrounding the gradual disempowerment of devadasis attached to muzrai temples.

Kannada and Politics of State Protection

Kannada and Politics of State Protection Janaki Nair THE recent agitation against the telecast of Urdu news in Bangalore once more confirmed that there is little to comfort those who believed that the city is immune to sectarian conflicts. Since the Gokak agitation of the early 1980s, the caste and communal disturbances of 1986, the anti-Tamil riots of 1990 and the 1992 communal riots there were already signs that when push comes to shove, the complacent Bangalorean was quite capable of disruptive and even brutal actions. This time, unlike the Gokak agitation, which mobilised people from all over Karnataka, the violent reaction to the introduction of an Urdu newscast was confined to the city of Bangalore. But what is particularly ominous about recent events is the fact that several agendas seem to have coalesced, so that the democratic content of the agitation demanding recognition and protection of the Kannada language has been entirely eclipsed, giving way to a form of fascistic chauvinism.

Nationalising Aesthetics

The Making of a New 'Indian' Art: Artists, Aesthetics and Nationalism in Bengal, 1850-1920 by Tapati Guha-Thakurta; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1992: pp xxvii + 351.

Badanavala Killings-Signs for the Dalit Movement of Karnataka

Signs for the Dalit Movement of Karnataka Janaki Nair The Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti has become a formidable organisation in the state. Relying on local resources and responding quickly to the daily abuses to which Dalits are subjected, the DSS has learnt to wield the legal-juridical machinery with some skill. This has made the Dalits the targets of new and varied atrocities and earned them the hostility of other political groupings such as the Raitha Sangha.

Feminising Winnie-Mandelas US Tour

The Mandelas' visit to the US took place within the ongoing project of the ideological production of the patriarchal black nuclear family and Winnie Mandela was presented as a powerful reminder to black women (and men) of the fruits of 'fidelity' rather than defiance.

Representing Labour in Old Mysore-Kolar Gold Fields Strike of 1930

Kolar Gold Fields Strike of 1930 Janaki Nair The historiography of the Indian working class has been exercised by question of indigenous elites 'represen- ting' stibaltern classes in colonial and post-colonial India. The 21-day general strike in princely Mysore's Kolar Gold Fields in 1930 reveals an incomplete hegemony process of outside organisations and ideology and constitutes a historical moment when the forces contesting each other to represent workers achieved a degree of unanimity on the question of who should speak for the working class. This study of the strike seeks to show why the dialectic of leaders and the led' need not be the dialectic that the historian of the working class should accept.

Raising the Ghosts of the Sixties-Racial Segregation in US

the economic cake is small and unevenly distributed and where the different communities are not equally represented in the social composition of the state apparatus it is understandable that the insecurity of the deprived communities gets converted into active resentment against centralised government. Defusing ethnic and regional tensions requires a decentralisation of administration down to the local village and mohalla levels and recognition of the cultural autonomy of all communities. Fthnic/regional tension will continue, unless the people arc empowered and organised to use their resources directly for their own welfare and to participate in the decisions that affect their immediate environment.

KARNATAKA- Zilla Parishad Elections

KARNATAKA Zilla Parishad Elections Janaki Nair KARNATAKA chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde, who consistently and for long has publicly articulated the need for the devolution of more power to the states has conclusively shown that he meant business about the devolution of power within the state. Toothless Panchayati Raj institutions have been given a fresh lease of life through Kamataka's new Act granting them wide ranging powers and the necessary finances to carry through the programmes of rural development. Towards this, the first stage of holding elections to the state's Zilla Parishads has just concluded.

KARNATAKA- Fighting for Backwardness- Venkataswamy Commission Report and After

Fighting for Backwardness Venkataswamy Commission Report and After Janaki Nair THE recent decision of Karnataka's Janata government to include both the Lingayat and the Vokkaliga communities in the list of Backward Classes eligible for reservations in educational institutions and government jobs, and to maintain the total level of reservations at 68 per cent brings the history of the State's reservation policy full circle. Quite unlike the virulent opposition to the proposed increase in such reservations in States such as Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka's recent agitation consisted entirely of the clamour of practically all castes, including the Brahmins, for the privilege of being included in the list of Backward Classes, This fight for privileges began in the first quarter of this century with the emergence of the non-Brahmin movement and was essentially a conflict between elites, a tone not entirely absent from even the recent agitation. Sixty-five years ago, a commission under the chairmanship of Sir Leslie Miller, the Chief Judge of Mysore, had recommended the reservation of 75 per cent of all government jobs for Backward Classes, which included both the Lingayats and Vokkaligas.

KARNATAKA- Terrorists Act Used against Civil Rights Activist

KARNATAKA Terrorists Act Used against Civil Rights Activist Janaki Nair UNLIKE neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, where supposed 'Naxalites' are ritually 'annihilated' in 'encounters', or are at least beaten and tortured in police custody, Karnataka has been free of such a record' partly at least because Naxalism has not held comparable appeal in the countryside here. It was something of a dubious first then when Nagari Babiah, lecturer in English at the Bangalore University, was suddenly arrested on April 23 by the Karnataka Police under the arms act and the new Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention)

KARNATAKA - Many Faces of Drought

KARNATAKA Many Faces of Drought Janaki Nair 'IF the sky fails, the earth will fail', so goes an Andhra proverb. As early as April 1985 the people of Karnataka anxiously scanned the skies, after three successive years of less than normal rainfall. For peasants in whose consciousness memories of droughts serve as landmarks, the first active response to impending hardship has traditionally been the rain-making rile, the propitiation of the rain gods, accompanied by pleas for at least the proverbial frog baths. In 1985, they were joined in their ceremonies by the state government itself, which feared the drying up of one of Bangalore's three water sources and invited the local god-man, the Shiva- balayogi, to pray on the drying tank bed. By July it was becoming clear that such pleas had failed to move the heavens, and by August the state government had given empirical recognition to drought by announcing the deficit in the number of inches of rainfall, the size of the crop failure, and acknowledging that a novel crisis had appeared


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