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

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Reservations and the Return to Politics

The history of reservations in India shows it to have been an instrument of governance, a mechanism for social and political representation, rather than a way of achieving social justice. A return to the foundational moment of the modern Indian nation state to examine the conditions of possibility of political self-constitution that prevailed then will set us on the right track to an understanding of the political role that reservations have played and continue to play in a polity that is divided.

Rethinking Legal Justice for Women

Rethinking Legal Justice for Women Rekha Pappu KUMKUM SANGARl's essay [Sangari 1995] positions itself as an intervention in the debate about the uniform civil code with the stated purpose of changing the terms of the discussion. Sangari seeks to undermine the centrality that the religious communities have come to acquire in the discussion regarding legal justice for women and instead makes a case for focusing attention on multiple and overlapping patriarchies. According to Sangari, a shift of focus is necessary because religious communities are invariably inimical to the interests of women and therefore cannot function as the site for initiating gender-just legal changes. On the other hand, Sangari contends, since all religious communities are themselves patriarchal with areas of significant overlap among them, targeting these multiple patriarchies would enable the drafting of gender-just common laws. Sangari's essay thus destabilises the ahistorical, monolithic concept of religious communities used in the discussion regarding the uniform civil code.
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