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

S V RajaduraiSubscribe to S V Rajadurai

Politics and the Death Penalty

Your editorial “Abolish Capital Punishment” (EPW, 3 September 2011) rightly points out the lack of sustained nationwide campaign for the abolition of this barbaric practice in our country. All the 26 accused in the Rajiv Gandhi murder case, convicted and sentenced to death by the TADA special court...

(Non)Reporting on Sri Lanka

Your editorial “The Pyrrhic Victory” (EPW, 24 January 2009) could not have been more timely, particularly in the context of three sorts of reporting on Sri Lanka in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu – the first kind comprises reports and articles, which appear in certain Tamil magazines. These are...

Karunanidhi s Birthday Gift to the People

While the rest of India has rid itself of the Draconian TADA, the people of Tamil Nadu have a new law, POTA, even worse than the former. Karunanidhi has given an indication that he would not mind leaning towards hindutva if necessary, to cling on to power. It is possible that the immediate target of the new act would be the minority community.

Bourgeois Democracy and the Left

movement as being uncritical in its language and agenda, allowing for an easy co-option by the hindutva forces. For instance, they cite Flavia Agnes as stating that polygamy and maintenance tend to be highlighted by feminists as problems of Muslim women while problems of upper caste Hindu women such as dowry are universalised as women's problems. On the contrary, as early as on 1975, the status of women report, Towards Equality, brought out by a group of feminists states very clearly that polygamy is higher among the Hindus. This has been reiterated by the women's movement right till the present times. In fact, one of the critiques of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, is that it does not recognise and thus, does not give any legal rights to the second wife, unlike the Muslim marriages.

One Hundred Years of Brahminitude-Arrival of Annie Besant

Arrival of Annie Besant V Geetha S V Rajadurai Annie Besant's arrival in 1893 lent prestige to a brahminical version of nationalism based on caste-exclusivity and aryan superiority. The Justice Party and the Self-Respect League countered this political brahminism through a cultural resistance centred around Tamil-Dravidian fraternity.

Eighth World Tamil Conference-Of Cardboard History and Discursive Space

With the divine blessings of Jayalalitha, the Eighth World Tamil Conference in Thanjavur concluded successfully, showering praise on its patroness. The distinguished participants demonstrated their scholarly disengagement from the world of realpolitik by maintaining a cautious silence about the deportation of their colleagues:

Neo-Brahminism An Intentional Fallacy

Neo-Brahminism: An Intentional Fallacy? V SURESH's lengthy exposition on 'causes and portents', with respect to the rout of the DMK in the 1990 assembly elections (The DMK Debacle: Causes and Portents', October 17) raises more questions than answers them: questions regarding the complex, uneven and capricious nature of caste-class relationships in Tamil Nadu and the ideological struggles and material bases of brahminism and the nature of resistance to domination and hegemony in a patriarchal caste society. Suresh's exposition may be seen to fall into three parts: in the first part he has assembled reasons and hypotheses as to the defeat of DMK. The second part focuses on the limitations supposedly evident in the broad-based non-brahmin consensus constructed by the Dravidian movement and articulated as a political strategy by DMK; here, Suresh attempts to analyse the contradictory and, often, antagonistic relationship that exists between the backward castes (BCs) and scheduled castes (SCs). The third part of the exposition is an attempt at a theoretical statement on the play of ideology and power in the caste system as it obtains in Tamil Nadu. We shall examine each of these arguments shortly. It seems to us that in every one of these instances, Suresh displays an amazing insensitivity to the interplay between material reality and consciousness; to the 'ripple' effects of ideology and to the mode of production (and legitimisation) of power in caste Hindu society.

Off with Their Heads-Suppression of Dissent in Tamil Nadu

criticism or permit an objective discussion of events and issues. Meetings organised by opposition left parties and groups to protest price rise, bus fare hike, meetings organised by Tamil cultural groups on the Tamil crisis in Sri Lanka, rallies that seek to explain to the masses the meaning and necessity of federalism have all been banned over the past few months and in some instances speakers at these meetings have been told what they may and may not speak. Members of a radical left group who had put up posters that referred to Jayalalitha as 'brahminicar in her politics have been arrested under TADA on the grounds that they are attempting to fan communal hatred. The PUCL report on the Mahamakam tragedy was routinely ignored by the government but soon after the report was released, Jayalalitha quickly sought to absolve herself of any blame that might attach itself to her. In a statement reeking of moral ire she warned that those who accuse her of having caused those deaths at the Mahamakam festival would be duty punished by almighty god.

Dravidian Politics End of an Era

V Geetha S V Rajadurai Its many political compromises notwithstanding, the DMK had served as the focus in Tamil public life for a range of subaltern interests to come together and articulate their concerns and anxieties. Even those who had all along been critical of the DMK, therefore, feel dejected by the bitter end to an era of Dravidian politics.

Communal Violence in Madras A Portent

A Portent? V Geetha S V Rajadurai The riots which broke out following the procession of the Veer Vinayaka idol in Triplicane recently, was in large part due to the systematically planned move by Hindu communal organisations to arouse the anger of the minority community and instigate them.
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