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

M V NadkarniSubscribe to M V Nadkarni

Crisis in Indian Agriculture

The crisis in Indian agriculture, which has been building up for decades, is not one of declining profitability but of non-viability of the bulk of landholdings. The number of these holdings is fast increasing, and even the extent of non-viable land in the total cultivable area is expanding. Merely boosting the productivity of smallholdings is not sufficient, and their non-viability hinders capital formation in agriculture. The main reason behind the crisis is that employment opportunities in non-agricultural sectors are not growing fast enough.

Reducing Caste Rivalry and Bitterness

I fully support Anand Teltumbde (June 23) in his call to revert to the original vision of reservations. This has the following implications, brought out by Teltumbde himself: (i) Reservations should not be confined to the public sector alone, but extended to the private sector too; (ii)...

Love as Path to God

Transcending Boundaries of Religions Religious Movements and Institutions in Medieval India edited by J S Grewal; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2006; pp xxv+600 (A4), Rs 1,950.

Does Hinduism Lack Social Concern?

Though secular institutions and the state have emerged as major agents of social concern and development, it is still useful to highlight the humanist role of religion in these areas. By stressing humanism and social concern as the core of religion, parochial tendencies that could lead to violence may be checked. How far does Hinduism have social concerns? This issue is examined in this article both at the level of theory or doctrine and actual practice.

Caste Punishment

Letters Corporate Greed and People’s Livelihood T hanks to the fragmented perspective of capitalism, the environment has become a separate sector, almost a global sanctuary of precious plants and animals, benignly supported by charitable MNCs. But man and environment belong together, each reacting...

Caste Myths in Hinduism

some other religions, because of its diversity, but it was certainly recognised as Caste Myths in Hinduism either Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma. In M V NADKARNI Iam grateful to Gail Omvedt for her prompt response (EPW, November 22, 2003) to my article in EPW issue of November 8, 2003. The kind of doubts expressed by her may arise in the mind of some others too, and her response has given me an opportunity to clarify my position.

Assuring Minority Rights

human rights and the need to ensure them Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy, by James Massey; Manohar, New Delhi, 2003; M V NADKARNI The hallmark of a civilised country is the regard it has to protecting the human dignity and freedom of all sections of its people without discrimination. Such regard cannot just be in theory but has also to be reflected in practice. To ensure this, a country has to evolve the necessary machinery both through its constitution and institutions suited to the genius of its people. This is a part of the drive for human development in any country. UNDP

Is Caste System Intrinsic to Hinduism?

This paper, citing evidence from the ancient scriptures, attempts to establish that Hinduism - its vedic and classic variants - did not support the caste system; it rigorously opposed it in practice and principle. Even after the emergence of the caste system, Hindu society still saw considerable occupational and social mobility. Moreover, Hinduism created legends to impress on the popular mind the invalidity of the caste system - a fact further reinforced by the constant efflorescence of reform movements throughout history. The caste system survived in spite of this because of factors that ranged from the socio-economic to the ecological, which helped sustain and preserve balance among communities in a non-modern world.

Why Is Religious Conversion Controversial in India?

In Search of Identity – Debates on Religious Conversion in India by Sebastian C H Kim; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2003; pp xi+250, Rs 525 (HB).

Ethics and Relevance of Conversions

The concern over religious conversions cannot be naively attributed to narrow-minded Hindu fundamentalism. These concerns have been expressed by as progressive and broadminded persons as Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Sir Syed Ahmed, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji went to the extent of saying that if he had the power and could legislate, he should certainly stop all proselytising. He had several convincing reasons for his persistent and dogged opposition to conversions, which are presented here. After arguing that religious and ethical grounds for conversions are weak and questionable, the article takes up the social and economic grounds for conversions and finds them equally weak and questionable. It is also argued that just as Islam and the whole Muslim society cannot be blamed for the terrorism by a fanatic fringe, similarly Hinduism and the whole Hindu society cannot be blamed for the atrocities on dalits by a few inhuman criminals. It is contended that the basic principles of Hinduism are not at all consistent with casteism and untouchability. If it is possible to quote from Hindu texts as supporting casteism and untouchability, it is equally possible to quote from Muslim texts as supporting violence against non-Muslims and inequality. But in both cases, they would be misinterpretations, for no true religion preaches violence and inhuman conduct.

Agro-Ecosystem Policy

Agro-Ecosystem Policy Towards an Agro-Ecosystem Policy for India: Lessons from Two Case Studies by A Damodaran; published for Centre for Environment Education, Ahemadabad by Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi, 2001; pp vii+188, price not mentioned.

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