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

Ram PuniyaniSubscribe to Ram Puniyani

Affirmative Action, Reservation or Appeasement

Taking Sides: Reservation Quotas and Minority Rights in India by Rudolph C Heredia (New Delhi: Penguin), 2012; pp 383, Rs 499.

'Externalising' Internal Problems

Pratibha Patil, while calling for an end to the purdah system, very laudable advice, falls into the trap of popular perception that this system was introduced to protect women from the invading Mughals. The reality is, of course, quite different. Purdah was introduced much before the Mughals...

The Left and Secular Values

While there are many an aspect on which left rule in West Bengal can be evaluated, we focus over here only on its adherence to secular values. It goes without saying that West Bengal has been one state where, by and large, there has been no communal violence during the three decades of left...

A Doll's House

In two recent incidents that involved panchayats making extra-legal decisions about women's lives, the interpretation of customs and laws went against the wishes of the concerned women. In one case, Islam was quoted for the legitimacy of the decision taken and, in the other, caste traditions under Hinduism were cited. That these panchayats should resort to the customs and rules of practised religion, which are in any case disdainful of women's rights, to deliver decisions is unacceptable. The panchayats have to be brought in line with the laws of the land and the values of the Indian Constitution.

Politics of Elite and Communalism

Communalism Communalism in Indian Politics by Rajni Kothari; Rainbow Publishers, Delhi, 1998; Price Rs 245 (hard bound). RAM PUNIYANI The lopsided growth of Indian society has run through diverse channels during the last 50 years. While on one side the rise of substantial elite and middle classes has accompanied the economic policies pursued by the state, on the other side it has also resulted in marginalisation, deprivation and pauperisation of a vast chunk of rural and urban poor. The complex phenomenon of democratic and urban processes has not unfolded itself completely with the result that the oppressed and the exploited have also seen an attack on their potential democratic space. It is against this backdrop that Rajni Kothari traces the trajectory of the Indian state, the downfall of Congress, the rise of elite and middle classes and the growth of the communal virus in our society.

Taking Evidence on Communalism

Communalism Hindu-Muslim Communalism: A Panchanama by Jayant Gadkari; D D Kosambi Memorial Trust, Mumbai, 1999; pp 253, RAM PUNIYANI The issue of communal politics has been analysed from different angles. Many a scholar and social scientist has looked at the social roots of this menace and tried to unravel the causative factor of this politics. Others have focused on historical genesis of the problem. The book under review falls in the latter category. Though the post-1980 communalism as a phenomenon has some differences from the pre-partition one, most of the underlying tenets are the same. There is a superficial break in the underlying project of this politics and that causes much confusion as far as its analysis is concerned. The linkage between the post1980 and the pre-partition communal politics needs to be drawn out more meticulously to understand the
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