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

M S PrabhakaraSubscribe to M S Prabhakara

Assam: 'Talking about Talks'

After two rounds of preparatory discussions between the ULFA-nominated consultative group and the government of India, Assam is no closer to the commencement of genuine talks. As elections loom in the state, different political groups jostle for advantage in a situation where human rights are regularly violated. The monotony of these terrible incidents means they are quickly forgotten.

The New Political Vocabulary

The characterisation of politics as a positively corrupt enterprise, unworthy of and against the interests of the great Indian people in whose name such activities are carried on, is a sinister agenda of seeing politics and public affairs as infected isolates, which need to be and indeed can be dispensed with and eradicated.

Is North-East India Landlocked?

The very concept of a land-locked state as well as the underlying assumption that having a 'closed border' is somewhat of an impediment to growth can be questioned. While the supposed landlocked status of the north-east region as a whole has received a lot of attention, a related feature of the region, that many of its smaller components are internally locked and so face some formidable problems, has hardly received any attention. While whether the north-east is landlocked or not may be a matter of perspective and interpretation, the most emphatically undeniable reality is that the seven constituent states of the region are internally locked - themselves locked and locking out others, unable to connect with each other physically in terms of poor transport links, and more seriously, unable to make connections intellectually and emotionally with their closest neighbours, or even with and among their own people.

Necessity, Choice and Behaviour

The vulgarisation of rational political choice that is dictated by necessity and informed by a value judgment of the performance of a political party in office, to behaviourist mystique, ignores that politics is necessarily a complex, messy and unpredictable process. While the political choices are rational, the political process is not always so.

Victims as Victors

Party. Victims as Victors Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Time by Elinor Sisulu, David Philip; Cape Town, 2002; M S PRABHAKARA Aremarkable life came to an end, in the fullness time, recently. Walter Sisulu, one of the heroic leaders of militant resistance to colonialism and apartheid in South Africa, died at his home in Johannesburg on May 5 this year, a few days short of his 91st birthday. This biographical study of Walter Sisulu and his wife, Albertina, was published just after the 90th birthday of Walter. Written by their daughter-in-law, it is both a labour of love and a well researched and splendidly written work.

India and South Africa

This essay discusses some aspects of India-South Africa relations and the role of South African Indians, who more accurately should be described as South Africans whose ancestors were of Indian origin, as well as the role of India and Indian political leaders in the liberation struggle in South Africa. It also touches on some problematic aspects of nationality formation in South Africa, the similarities and differences of this process in India and South Africa and the cautionary lessons that South Africa may usefully learn from the Indian experience.

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