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

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Patidar Anamat Andolan

The Patels in Gujarat are reinventing their social identity to address the plight of their aspiring youth. This article traces the trajectory of their agitation and inquires into the reasons behind their protests even after coming from a position of relative social and economic privilege.

Divinity Goes Pop

Seamlessly weaving glamour, sensuousness and spirituality, Radhe Maa has redefined the spirituality market.

Vices of Bollywood

Bollywood’s reaction to the conviction of Salman Khan over the 2002 hit-and-run case shows the corrosion to artistic sensibility it has undergone under the influence of affluence.

Grade PhD Theses

That doctoral research in the humanities and social sciences in Indian universities is, by and large, of sub-standard quality is no news. While the intake of doctoral students is rising across the board, the concerned authorities in academia and government are clueless or unmindful as to how to...

BJP's Assertive Pitch

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to go alone in Maharashtra has opened up the political field and forced the traditional champions of Marathi pride to rethink their political strategy. Will this gambit by Modi’s resurgent BJP work, or will it be defeated by a reassertion of Marathi asmita ?

Bharti's Ad: A Product and a Sentiment

The gendered reading of a Bharti Airtel advertisement currently telecast across TV channels, which begins with the promise of role reversal at the workplace, is misplaced. A feminist decoding of the ad voices its dissatisfaction that the promise of role reversal is not carried through into domestic...

Social Science Writing in Marathi

A vibrant discourse in the social sciences in Marathi is conspicuous by its absence. The causes are many but primarily it is the professional ineptitude of most academicians writing in Marathi coupled with abysmal institutional support that is responsible for the sorry situation. With the exception of two research and academic bodies, the many organisations established by the Maharashtra government have either become defunct or have ceased to function effectively. Given the increasing number of students of higher education in Marathi, there is a large market waiting to be served.

Mumbai's Shattered Mirror

The incorporation of Mumbai into Maharashtra, a monolingual political unit, is an aberration in the historical evolution of the city since parts of it did not grow in overwhelmingly Marathi environs and in others the Marathi populace cohabited with other sociolinguistic groups. Marathi is not the lingua franca of a multilingual Mumbai, it has two competing languages, Hindi and English. It is against this backdrop that the alternative model of cultural exclusivism of the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena variety appeals to wide sections of the Marathi-speaking population.

Gandhi's Hind Swaraj: Retrieving the Sacred in the Time of Modernity

Gandhi's approach to history is civilisational - normative and value-centric. It is a blend of cosmological and historical time, which strongly resists the fullfledged secularising tendencies within historical interpretations. This essay revisits Gandhi's Hind Swaraj, which depicts a "clash of civilisations" between values and since it deals with normative systems it maps the political terrain differently. The attempt here is to reinterpret Gandhi in the time of modernity.

Raj Thackeray and the Danger of Competing Regionalisms

Thanks to the government of Maharashtra's soft approach, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena led by Raj Thackeray has been able to develop an aura of an anti-establishment party that espouses the legitimate demands of the Marathi-speaking population in the state. Pressure from the centre belatedly forced the state government to arrest Thackeray but the local parties are unable or unwilling to fight the MNS politically. A more dangerous and larger implication of the MNS "success" in capturing attention is that regional parties everywhere - which are yet to grow out of their region-specific outlook - may feel emboldened to bully the centre and make it a site for competing regionalisms to settle their scores.

Language, Growth and Intra-State Disparities

The article, ‘Linguistic Diversity and Disparate Regional Growth’ (August 16, 2008) made for disappointing reading. The central premise of the article linking economic growth with languages is not only fallacious, but can also be gravely misleading. Is it really the case that the non-Hindi states...

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