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

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Wars as Sources of Meaning

The Practice of War: Production, Reproduction and Communication of Armed Violence edited by Aparna Rao, Michael Bollig and Monika Bock, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai: Foundation Books, Cambridge University Press, 2007; pp 366, $34.95.

The Politics of Ghar Wapsi

This article argues that the Hindutva drive to "reconvert" Muslims and Christians to Hinduism is essentially about shoring up the numerical strength and political power of the "Hindu community" and has little connection to religious persuasion. Converting minorities to Hinduism has always been an intrinsically violent affair and is linked to the notion of India being a homeland only of the Hindus.

The Politics of Ghar Wapsi

This article argues that the Hindutva drive to "reconvert" Muslims and Christians to Hinduism is essentially about shoring up the numerical strength and political power of the "Hindu community" and has little connection to religious persuasion. Converting minorities to Hinduism has always been an intrinsically violent affair and is linked to the notion of India being a homeland only of the Hindus.

How Is India Today?

India Today: Economy, Politics and Society by Stuart Corbridge, John Harriss and Craig Jeffrey (Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press), 2013; pp xiv + 384, £18.99 (pb).

The 'None of the Above' Option

It is unlikely that providing Indian voters with a "no vote" option will either improve voter participation or contribute to a decriminalisation of politics. Voter turnout is not an issue in the country, since over the long term it has been showing an upward trend. Criminalisation is the result of social and economic factors, and the nomination of candidates with a criminal background may not change merely by giving voters the option of saying "no". In countries with a no vote option, such votes add up to an insignifi cant number.

Partition or Consociationalism

Politics in Deeply Divided Societies by Adrian Guelke (Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press), 2012; pp viii + 178, £55 (hb).

Plagiarism and Social Sciences

Indian academic institutions have been in denial about plagiarism. There is a certain stock of unconvincing justifications given to excuse the practice. But the university community in India will, sooner rather than later, have to seriously consider the issue of academic integrity and evolve norms, guidelines and a code of conduct to curb plagiarism, and prevent studentlevel habits from moving on to plagiarised research papers.

Election Commission and Changing Contours of Politics

Looking at the past of the Election Commission, one finds that the relative calm in which it functioned earlier was the era of the one-party dominant system. With the coming of a true multiparty system, the scene has changed. Apart from the increased load of electoral work, the EC also has to deal with the changed nature of politics. Aspirations by multiple parties to attain or hold on to power have hugely increased rule-bending, rule-flouting and aggressiveness. These transformations in politics demand not only an altered approach to electoral work, but perhaps a reform in the setting up of the EC itself.

Localisation of Democracy

The Vernacularisation of Democracy: Politics, Caste and Religion in India by Lucia Michelutti,

Colonialism and Competing Identities

Colonialism and Competing Identities Brahmin and Non-Brahmin: Genealogies of the Tamil Political Present by M S S Pandian; Permanent Black, Delhi, 2007; pp xii+274, Rs 650.

Election Commission and Functioning of Democracy

The Election Commission of India is emerging as the fourth important institutional arrangement, the other three being the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. It has also been voted by the people in a countrywide poll as the most trusted of all institutions. But the EC needs to formulate a conscious policy towards democratisation and rule-enforcement if it has to become the means to the end of a fair and vibrant representative democracy.

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