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

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Ambiguities and Tensions in the Missionary Enterprise in India

Mission, Religion and Caste: Themes in the History of Christianity in India by Shashi Joshi, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, 2010; pp 188, Rs 390.

Post-Godhra Gujarat

Lest We Forget History: Tracing Communal Violence in Gujarat 2002 by P G J Nampoothiri and Gagan Sethi (Bangalore: Books for Change, International Publishing House), 2012; pp xii + 156, Rs 300.

Flowing Together, Falling Apart?

Confluences: Forgotten Histories from East and West by Ilija Trojanow and Ranjit Hoskote (New Delhi: Yoda Press), 2012; pp viii + 215, Rs 300.

Ethics in Times of Transition in South Asia

Ethical Life in South Asia edited by Anand Pandian and Daud Ali (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2011; pp viii + 290, Rs 695.

Gandhi's Interrogation

The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi edited by Judith M Brown and Anthony Parel (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press), 2011; pp 273, Rs 395.

Quotas and Minority Rights: Recapturing the Constitutional Vision

The constitutional purpose of affirmative action and the preferential treatment for the deprived and the vulnerable that it implied was to address the anomalies and contradictions of our society, specifically focusing on caste, religion, and patriarchy. Caste quotas have become a quest for upward social mobility; the creamy layer of recipient communities uses them for its own partisan benefit to the exclusion of those more disadvantaged and more deserving in their own communities. Minority rights consolidate the traditional elites and religious leaders of these communities who become fundamentalist to preserve the status quo. Recapturing the constitutional vision of an inclusive and egalitarian society and a participative and integrated democracy will demand another model of development, with more fine-tuned affirmative policies and a more focused preferential treatment for the disadvantaged.

Just Ends through Just Means: Justice as Liberty, Equality, Solidarity

Our understanding of justice must be inclusive of the fourfold context, i e, justice as virtue, justice as equitable exchange, distributive justice and social justice. Thus, the virtue of the righteous person must carry over into equitable relationships, which, in turn, must sustain this virtue. Together these must facilitate just distributive social institutions and set the norms and values for just social structures, even as these structures must bring about fair distribution and just institutions, sustained by equitable relationships and personal virtue.

Remembering Is Togetherness

Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India's Present, Narratives from Orissa by Angana Chatterji

Gandhi's Hinduism and Savarkar's Hindutva

The present national crisis of violently conflicting communal identities represents a choice between the inclusiveness of Gandhi and the exclusions of Savarkar. Gandhi did not separate religion from politics. He brought a religious ethic to politics rather than political militancy into religious communities. Meanwhile, Savarkar's Hindutva ideology was narrow and exclusivist in its conflation of janma bhoomi (motherland) and punya bhoomi (holy land). In spite of its pretensions to be nationalist and modern, its militant chauvinism and authoritarian fundamentalism make Savarkar's Hindutva the antithesis of Gandhi's Hinduism. Hindutva defines India as Hindu and wants all Indians to be Hindus. In contrast, Gandhi's Hinduism gives space to all. This paper argues that the future of our multicultural, pluri-religious people can only be even bloodier with the preclusions of Savarkar's Hindutva. Only Gandhi's sarva-dharmasamabhava can possibly be an effective basis for a tolerance on which to premise a just inter-religious peace and harmony.

Conversation on Religion

An inter-religious meeting of representatives from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Yoruba religions, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Vatican City, and the Office on Inter-religious Relations & Dialogue of the World Council of Churches, Geneva...

The Dialogue of Cultures

Our political imaginations and the international arena are preoccupied with the inevitability of a clash of civilisations. While it is true that cultural and religious differences have precipitated violence, we have also witnessed a real dialogue of cultures. If conflicting economic interests and political concerns are taken to mean irreconcilable religious world views, ethnic cleansing and genocide will become the norm. We need a dialogue of culture as a prelude to a dialogue of religions, thus freeing us from the distrust of the Other.

Redeeming the Silence

A Nomad Called Thief: Reflections on Adivasi Silence by G N Devy; Orient Longman, Hyderabad, 2006; RUDOLF C HEREDIA In this collection of essays, Ganesh Devy constructs a mosaic, rather than choosing to paint a picture of the adivasi way of life. Parts of the mosaic are worked on in great detail, which in turn point to larger, open spaces for the reader to search and explore, contemplate and assimilate. Devy writes persuasively and with obvious conviction as he brings us face to face with a silence we have too long repressed. We do not seem to realise that in doing so we are inadvertently turning a blind eye to our own future. For Devy this silence has the seed of new possibilities and creative alternatives for a future that we can only hope for and reach out to, perhaps only very tentatively as yet.

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