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

K N PanikkarSubscribe to K N Panikkar

Statement of Historians

Concerned at the highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country, characterised by various forms of intolerance, we, as academic historians and as responsible citizens of a democracy that has greatly valued its inherited traditions of tolerance, wish to express our anguish and protest about...

Imperatives of a Left Public Sphere

A left public sphere, the site of rational debates and democratic politics, is virtually a thing of the past today. A failure to engage with traditional identities like caste and religion and the inability to grapple with the changes in the post-liberalisation era have curtailed the influence of the left.

India's Education Policy: From National to Commercial

Post independence, India's leaders, particularly Abul Kalam Azad, advocated an education policy that would be liberal and humanitarian, and set the nation on the path of progress and prosperity. This path was neither a full continuation of the colonial modern nor a restoration of the feudal-traditional. Drawing on progressive ideas from India's "renaissance" and freedom struggle within the Indian "renaissance" and nationalism, this education policy was meant to unleash the potential of India's civilisation by a process of intellectual decolonisation. Unfortunately, in the past few decades, this unfi nished agenda has been dumped by successive governments. It has been replaced by an educational policy which prioritises private profi t over public good and will encourage cultural and intellectual imperialism.

Ayodhya and Archaeology: An Open Letter

The Ayodhya judgment of the Allahabad High Court has relied on a report – submitted to it in 2003 – by the Archaeological Survey of India after its excavations on the site, as ordered by the court. As citizens of India, or persons of Indian origin, or friends of India, we demand that this report...

Statement on Ayodhya Verdict

The judgment delivered by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute on 30 September has raised serious concerns because of the way history, reason and secular values have been treated in it. First of all, the view that the Babri Masjid was built at...

Culture as a Site of Struggle

The emerging mode of historical research, either consciously or unconsciously, comes into contention at each stage with the hegemonic school of thought: the nationalist with the colonial, the communal with the secular and the post-modern with the Marxist. The changes in historiography are not necessarily a mere process of evolution, but are shaped by continuous intellectual struggles, rooted in ideological influences, political interests and material concerns. Inherent in these struggles are a variety of issues like the concept of nationalism, the future of democracy and the practice of secularism. This article explores how culture is invoked in the making of these struggles and in the process draws attention to the relationship between culture, nation and communalism.

Reflections on the Political Present

K N Panikkar Lineages of the Present: Political Essays by Aijaz Ahmad; Tulika, New Delhi, THIS collection of essays by the author of the widely acclaimed earlier work, In Theory, makes compelling reading on the political and ideological present. These essays, written over a period of 15 years, cover a very wide spectrum from democracy and dictatorship in Pakistan to a critique of Derrida's Spectres of Marx, Each of them, the author states, is an effort "to make the opacity of the present intelligible" by reflecting on the making of the present, and on "the historical sedimentation, even contradiction, that went into that making". Although they do not "observe the protocols that are proper to history as an academic discipline'', they are embeded in a view of history, firmly rooted in Marxism and critical of post-structuralist, post-modernist, sub- alternist paradigms of interrogating social reality. This theoretical engagement makes these essays a significant intervention in contemporary academic and ideological debates.

Left Cultural Intervention-Perspectives and Practice

Left Cultural Intervention Perspectives and Practice K N Panikkar A democratic culture is not given hut has to he created through a conscious process which would enable the participation of different classes in common cultural endeavours. Despite the existence of contradictions between these sections, culture is a domain in which they could and have engaged in the creation of secular consciousness.

Culture and Globalisation-A Non-Issue at World Summit on Social Development

Culture and Globalisation A Non-Issue at World Summit on Social Development K N Panikkar In the absence of an adequate recognition of the cultural dimension, the agenda of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen next month is incomplete and ineffective as far as developing countries are concerned. The National Report of India is no better. It does not go beyond listing the achievements of the state and as such is a misleading document for any meaningful discussion. For any rethinking on social development, the implications of cultural subjection have to be taken into account.

Peasant Struggles and Social Change

Peasant Struggles and Social Change K N Panikkar Peasant Struggles, Land Reforms and Social Change

Culture and Ideology-Contradictions in Intellectual Transformation of Colonial Society in India

Contradictions in Intellectual Transformation of Colonial Society in India K N Panikkar The colonial conquest underlined the weaknesses of the traditional order and the need for reform and regeneration of its institutions. Colonial hegemonisation tended to destroy the tradition itself A cultural-ideological struggle ensued on two planes simultaneously: against the ideological basis of the traditional order as well as against the colonial hegemonisation.

In Search of New Pastures

In Search of New Pastures K N Panikkar Subaltern Studies-l: Writings on South Asian History and Society edited by Ranajit Guha; Oxford University Press, 1982; pp 241, Rs 90.

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