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

Articles By Manash Bhattacharjee

University and the Nation

If nationalist sentiments are the only and final prerogative to belong to an academic community, then it must also be reiterated, a university has no business to share these sentiments. The founding figures of JNU knew it and it is upon the entire community of students, teachers and concerned citizens to safeguard the university against such jingoistic versions of nationalism. 

'Hurt': Old Sentiment, New Claims

Hurt is the new categorical weapon against power. It has managed to divide the social, political and even aesthetic world into two camps: those who hurt and those who are hurt. The camps of hurt are social and political in nature and are fighting for new spaces. This article looks at the claims hurt is making on our political life and what a politics of hurt does to the idea of fraternity.

Nehru and the Question of National Identity

Nehru makes a conscious effort to fuse India's cultural past and modern democracy. The loosely imagined idea of India's heterogeneous past is also the basis of Nehru's idea of a national identity. Nehru's self-representation as part outsider and part insider makes him the other within Indian society. Also, crucially for Nehru, historical experiences form the only ground through which a national identity can be understood and defi ned.

Returning without Solutions

This article argues that there is something intrinsically fascist about “solutions”; a word that has turned out to be a dangerous gift from scientific imagination. Drawing on the history of Jews and Palestine as well as the Partition negotiations between Gandhi and Jinnah, it warns of the dangers of a “solution-minded” approach to the return of Pandits to Kashmir.

The Tyranny of the 'Common Man'

The term common man has swiftly shifted from having one connotation to another. The common man has become the conservative brigade that makes up the nation's moral police, and seems to be taking up the sovereign's role and vice versa, and both are out to discipline and punish the uncommon other. Democratic politics has to recognise the problem of otherness and treat it without prejudice and a partisan law.

The Imperturbable Machine

A reading of Albert Camus' refl ections against the death penalty, this article is an intervention in the debate on the legitimacy of capital punishment. With an analysis of Camus' perception of human nature in relation to society and law, the author questions a state apparatus that allows for incidents like the sudden hanging of Ajmal Kasab, and the public demand to pass the death sentence on the rapists in the recent Delhi incident.