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

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Women's Property Rights in South India

The objective of this paper is to present a synthesis of the findings of ongoing research studies on women's property rights and customary practices; how these are changing as traditional south Indian society is being transformed in a process of broader socio-economic changes; and to situate these empirical studies within a larger canvas of analytical work on gender and inequalities.

Doomed to Fail-Handloom Weavers Co-operatives in Andhra Pradesh

'Handloom Weavers' Co-operatives in Andhra Pradesh Kanakalatha Mukund B Syamasundari Handloom co-operatives in Andhra Pradesh traditionally the major handloom weaving region of India are in decline. On the basis of case studies of four weavers' co-operative societies and other data the article finds that competition from powerlooms can only partly explain the decline of handloom, as there is a new and growing market for handloom. By far the more serious reason is politicisation of co-operative societies and government and bureaucratic control.

Handlooms and Empire

Cloth and Commerce: Textiles in Colonial India edited by Tirthankar Roy; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1996; pp 338, Rs 425, THE focus of this book is on the handloom sector in India during the colonial period. Articles on this theme previously published in the Indian Economic and Social History Review have been selected and arranged so that there emerges a long-term view of the Indian textile industry from the 17th century to pre-independence 20th century. The two basic premises which provide the broad contextual background for this book are: the hypothesis of

Pre-Capitalist Markets

has grown and social inequality has deepened. The author has raised a fundamental issue at the end of the book on the relevance of the state to development, which has been debated at length [Banerjee 1995]. As the author observes, the state, as an institution, is increasingly coming under attack since its coherence and accountability have diminished due to the involvement of political leaders in the 'politics of survival'.

Elites vs Subalterns or Ideology vs Methodology

Elites vs Subalterns or Ideology vs Methodology? Kanakalatha Mukund M S S PANDlAN's polemical excursions into social history, I suspect, are intended as much to provoke as to inform; certainly, his recent contribution on Tamil Cultural Elites and Cinema' (EPW, April 13) has succeeded in provoking a response from me regarding the very questionable historical methodology he has adopted to arrive at the sweeping conclusions he puts forth.

India as a Regional World Economy

Indian Merchants and Eurasian Trade 1600-1750 by Stephen Frederic Dale; Foundation Books, New Delhi, 1994; Rs 240, pp xiv + 162. (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilisation).

Complex Patterns

Artisans and Industrialisation

Port Systems in Colonial India

Ports and Their Hinterlands In India (1700-1950) edited by Indu Banga; Manohar, New Delhi, 1992; pp xiv + 385, Rs 350. TWO well known institutions, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and Indian Institute of Advanced Study, in collaboration with the Urban History Association of India sponsored a seminar in 1990 on ports and their hinterlands, and the papers presented there have now been'published in this book. As with all publications comprising papers contributed by several people, here also we have a mixed bag. I would broadly classify the contributions here 'under three categories: (i) papers which are of a good standard and relevant to the main theme; (ii) papers which are good, but not very relevant to the double theme of ports and their hinterlands; and (iii) studies which are relevant to the main theme, but are of indifferent quality.

The Bengal Weaver Revisited

Kanakalatha Mukund The Company Weavers of Bengal by Hameeda Hossain; Oxford University Press, Delhi; pp xvii + 211, Rs 150. TO students of Indian history, perhaps nothing exemplifies the impact of colonial exploitation on the indigenous economy as the decline of the Bengal muslin in- dustry, with the concomitant loss of a tradition of craftsmanship and excellence. This also marked the beginning of India's downward slide into dependence and underdevelopment, after centuries of having been a leading exporter in the international market. The explanations and analyses of the context in which these changes took place vary according to the orientation of the writer

Markets in Early Modern India

Kanakalatha Mukund Merchants, Markets and the State in Early Modern India edited by Sanjay Subrahmanyam; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1990; pp viii + 276, Rs 190.

Indian Textile Industry in 17th and 18th Centuries-Structure, Organisation and Responses

Centuries Structure, Organisation and Responses Kanakalatha Mukund In pre-industrial India textile production followed agriculture as the most productive sector, and by the early years of the 18th century it was virtually clothing the world. This paper is a study of indigenous techniques used in textile production. The structural and orgnisational features of the industry were intertwined with the technology in use, which also determined the responses of the system to the challenges of modern technology and factory production, independent of exogenous historical developments like the beginning of colonial rule. The details of techniques also contribute to an understanding of the totally different concepts and values regarding productivity and cost effectiveness in the indigenous system.

Turmeric Land-Women s Property Rights in Tamil Society since Early Medieval Times

Women's Property Rights in Tamil Society since Early Medieval Times Kanakalatha Mukund Contrary to the general notion that women had no property rights in Hindu society until the enactment of the Hindu Women's Succession Act in 1956, we find that in ancient taw and modern legal history, women's property rights have been accepted. In Tamil society in particular, we can trace a long history of women owning, controlling and disposing of personal property, while in more recent times, there is a distinctive tradition of land passing from mother to daughter in a female line of descent. The evidence suggests that there is scope for much more intensive research to establish the intra-cultural variations and regional patterns.

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