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

Articles by M S S PandianSubscribe to M S S Pandian

'Decisionism' and the Cult of Narendra Modi

The Indian electorate's endorsement of Narendra Modi is influenced by the ideology of "Decisionism" similar to that mobilised by the German intelligentsia in the 1930s to defend the Third Reich. Where could the expectations and the possible failure of the promises of Decisionism lead us to?

The Rebirth of the Gandhi Cap

Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party have given a new lease of life to the very humble Gandhi cap.

A Tamil Spring?

A new generation of college students in Tamil Nadu has taken up the cause of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. Articulate, wellinformed and uncontaminated by the influence of time-serving politicians they have successfully forced an agenda on the three main political parties in the state.

Caste in Tamil Nadu - III

Tamil Nadu has a long tradition of implementing reservations on a preferential basis for different groups. The Arunthathiyar Special Reservation Act (2009) allots the Arunthathiyars 3 percentage points out of the 18% reservation for the scheduled castes. While having benefi ted the Arunthathiyars, the Act continues to be contested by other scheduled castes.

Caste in Tamil Nadu - II

The case of violence against the dalits by the Vanniyars in Dharmapuri recently is not a sign of resurgent casteism as the media and others are claiming. The state has definitely benefited from the anti-caste movements in the past and the dalits are experiencing upward mobility. The violence is a desperate acknowledgement of the dalit reality and the inability of the intermediate castes to exercise caste power over them as in the past.

Caste in Tamil Nadu

Representations have been made by some of the political parties of Tamil Nadu to have a particular chapter in an NCERT Class IX textbook removed; the chapter is being attacked for discussing the past of the infl uential Nadars as "untouchables" and for highlighting the role played by 19th century Christian missionaries in the community's subsequent upward mobility. The present clamour for a censored caste history has a right-wing Hindu character to it. If memories of degradation are an enabling resource in producing alliances against continuing forms of oppression, in this instance erasure of such memories is what is being sought by an upwardly mobile caste.

Being 'Hindu' and Being 'Secular'

For over two decades there has been speculation in Tamil Nadu that the Hindu right would be taking over more and more of the state's political space. Despite a few minor developments, that has not happened. This is not so much due to the rationalism propagated by the non-brahmin Dravidar Kazhagam or parties such as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. It is due to their long-standing propaganda against the caste-based discrimination within Hinduism (which led to a positive representation of Islam and Muslims) and the specific style of ideological compromises made by the DMK on rationalism and atheism which have given rise to a form of Hindu religiosity among the non-brahmin Hindus in the state which is self-critical and tolerant.

Dravidian Politics and Muslims

To me, the more fundamental issue is the and capitalism are separate entities, though thought is how to defend and deepen derelationship between revolution and dein countries with bourgeois hegemony they mocracy and fight for justice, and at the mocracy. Rebellions are not aimed at demowork in harmony. Most revolutions in hissame time, resist the State and capitalism. cracy; they are aimed at the State, a state tory in their fight against state and capital that has usurped power and has become have thrown away democracy as well. The Sanjeeb Mukherjee ( fundamentally unjust. The State, democracy challenge before the people and radical teaches politics in the University of Calcutta.

Perilous Trans-Border Journeys

M S S Pandian The persistent indeterminacy of national borders and the consequent violence of the nation states in south Asia have been the theme of several books and monographs. But, as the book under review rightly argues,

Nation Impossible

Given the impossibility of the nation-form as an enabling political arrangement of our times - after all, we have experimented with it for over two centuries - the work of imagination and the work of politics need to seek newer, pluralistic and enabling forms of politics beyond the nation-form. The thought of Tagore and Periyar offers us at least two premises to re-imagine politics beyond the nation-form. First, politics has to be a perennial contestation of different forms of power by acknowledging and addressing difference as the fundamental reality of the social. Second, a politics beyond the nation has to be based on a de-territorialised imagination that surpasses the territorial parochialism of the nation-form and embraces the world as a terrain of possibilities, alliances, and constraints.

Writing Ordinary Lives

Using the "discourse of participation", and drawing from a narrative that speaks about ordinary lives, two dalit texts throw light on various practices that are the subject of interest of the social sciences. This is contrasted to mainstream epistemology that is constrained by mere objectivity, reducing, for example, the study of caste to variants rather than of the phenomenon itself.

Bombay, the Cinematic City

Bombay, the Cinematic City M S S Pandian The makeover of Indian cities since the 1990s is a story of a few being favoured and most being marginalised. No doubt, malls, condominiums, gated townships, information technology- parks, multi-lane expressways, and global brands infuse Indian cities with global urban aesthetics. Yet, the incongruity of such aesthetics is constantly disclosed by its need to coexist with the inherited city


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