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

Articles By Rita Kothari

The Making of ‘Sisoti’

Caste has remained implicit in Bollywood, appearing as class or as an unmarked subjecthood located in generalised north Indian identity. Through our article, we seek to understand what might be the grammar of caste representation in the film Manthan, which, in fact, is remembered more as a film about the “Amul experiment,” than about caste. How the word “society” transforms into “sisoti” in the film and how this process of translation leaves the villagers with a residual meaning are analysed in this article. This spillover of meaning eventually helps the characters deconstruct and recalibrate caste relations in the film. Chahat

Past Continuous

In the early 20th century, when K M Munshi was making a name for himself in the literary and cultural sphere of Gujarat, he was both intervening in and departing from the past. Curating elements of the past that suited his equally curated modernity, Munshi exemplifies many connections that become evident of Gujarat in the subsequent years. In this paper, we ask: “What was Munshi’s past?” In other words, whom was he responding to from the 19th century? The period of our inquiry in Munshi’s life is the one that witnessed the famous Patan trilogy. The questions are situated in both cultural history and literature.


Secular, Secularism and Non-translations

This paper traces the conceptual-linguistic journey of the term “secular” in India and shows how its entry into any discussion was accompanied by questions of ambivalence about equivalence. An anxiety around its foreignness; or its inefficacy by being both excessive and inadequate as a word can be traced through multiple sites. It proliferates, meaning many things and nothing at all. What makes it so unsettled, so polyphonic, and therefore ready to be seized? Does that have to do with being neither fully embraced nor ignored, on the threshold of language, as it were?

Interrogating Management Studies: Legacies and Preoccupations

Institutes of management in India need to produce grounded and contextualised research and pedagogy that enable both scholars and students to arrive at a more nuanced, variegated and non-elitist understanding of business practices in the Indian context. This article comments on certain absences and epistemological blocks in management studies in India. This issue is particularly crucial now, given the speed and hardnosed motivation with which management schools are proliferating.

RSS in Sindh: 1942-48

In colonial Sindh, unequal economic opportunities and widening class cleavages created ruptures in self-perception. The Sindhi-speaking Hindus and Muslims, who hitherto drew their sense of identity from territory, language and sufi masters (worshipped commonly by both communities) began to move towards polarised religious identities. The success of the Muslim League and RSS from 1941 onwards concretised the polarisation (which was neither complete nor uniform). This article builds upon the memories of some Sindhi Hindus who attended RSS shakhas in their teens and early youth and brought with them distinct memories to divided India, a phenomenon undocumented but with considerable implications for the contemporary politics of India.