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

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Other Than This and/or That

Communalism and the Intelligentsia in Bihar, 1870-1930: Shaping Caste, Community and Nationhood by Hitendra Patel (New Delhi: Orient Blackswan), 2011; pp x+253, Rs 645.

Gandhi's Twin Fasts and the Possibility of Non-violence

Gandhi died a sorrowful man, following his discovery that the freedom struggle led by him was not non-violent. It was passive resistance, which is always "a preparation for active armed resistance". The violence which had lain repressed had erupted on the eve of Independence. Gandhi's insight seems to have left academic wisdom and popular memory unaffected. This study of two "twin" fasts by Gandhi is part of a larger attempt to use that insight to make sense of his 30-odd years in India and of his undying faith in non-violence. It asks: Can non-violence be more than an impossible possibility?

Ambivalence of Social Consciousness

In the latter half of the 19th century, a social consciousness increasingly characterised by ambivalence began to emerge in the wake of the colonial encounter. The dominant response to the British presence came to be one that felt the pain of subjection, understood the fundamentally baneful character of the alien dispensation and paradoxically, hailed that dispensation as the harbinger of national regeneration. It produced a consciousness that recognised no incongruence between loyalism and nationalism. A similar ambivalence also manifested itself in issues like tradition, which came to be seen as â??rottenâ? but also formed a "spring of renewal". This divided view of tradition was articulated in various forms that derived from and in turn hardened prevailing community identities.

Gender Injustice: Supreme Court Mandate

The members of the committee set up to inquire into the complaint of sexual harassment at the MS University may have been innocent of the realities of women's subordination to men at home and at the workplace, but they could not have possibly misunderstood the Supreme Court's new comprehensive definition of sexual harassment.

Gender Injustice at MS University

Whatever the truth of the MS University sexual harassment allegation, the committee investigating it has proved itself negligent and worse. The committee's incompetent and biased investigation is an injustice both to the complainant - if her allegations are true - and to the defendant - if he is innocent.

Rukhmabai Debate Over Woman s Right to Her Person

Justice Pinhey's verdict rescinding Dadaji Bhikaji's claim to restitution of conjugal rights over his wife, Rukhmabai, snowballed in the late 19th century into a verbal duel between the Anglo-Indian press and the native press. While the Anglo- Indian press was exultant at the proven moral superiority of the British legal system, the native press was alarmed at the threat of socio-cultural subversion of Hindu family and society the judgment posed. Only in the writings ofMalabari and a few other reformers do we find a justification of the verdict based on native discourse of conjugal norms.

Difficulty of Understanding Gandhi

Difficulty of Understanding Gandhi Sudhir Chandra Colonialism/Tradition and Reform: An Analysis of Gandhi's Political Discourse by Bhikhu Parekh; Sage Publications. New Delhi; pp 288. hardback Rs 190. paperback Rs 85.

Of Communal Consciousness and Communal Violence-Impressions from Post-Riot Surat

Violence Impressions from Post-Riot Surat Sudhir Chandra It is not easy to offer generalisations about the way Hindus behaved during the communal riots and how they will behave in the foreseeable future. The exercise acquires an extra complexity if the speculation sought on the basis of behaviour during these difficult times relates to the future of HIP in the Indian political system, for the exercise necessarily involves projection about the likely electoral behaviour of people.

Maithilisharan Gupta and the Idea of Indian Nationalism-A Centenary Critique

Indian Nationalism A Centenary Critique Sudhir Chandra Viewed within the perspective of the evolution of Indian national consciousness, Maithilisharan Gupta's nationalist ideology would warrant the conclusion that though he was proud of his Hindu legacy and zealously promoted Hindu consciousness, he was not a communalist. He envisaged a free and ever progressing democratic India that would extend equal rights to all its citizens irrespective of their caste and creed. At the same time, however, tike most Hindus, he was heir to a historically produced complex of feelings that did not quite square with the logic underlying the vision of such an India. Nationalist Hindus of the generations of Romesh Dutt and Maithilisharan Gupta may have, as indeed they did, entertained the virtually undefined belief that Hindu and Indian were synonymous terms.

Regional Consciousness in 19th Century India-A Preliminary Note

A MAJOR, and very delicate, problom that confronts the historian of nationalism in India relates to its definition. Nationalism is seen, almost invariably, as being co-derminous with the boundaries of the Indian State. This kind of ex post facto procrusteantion of nationalism, within the Indian context, introduees extraneous factors in what ought to be an intellectual exercise: the understanding of a principle of cohesion that transcended, even as it derived from them, the traditional units of social cohesion. It negates, on political grounds, the possibility of nationalism in India being other than Indian nationalism.1 This is a problem by no means peculiar to the study of nationalism in India. Given the elusi- veness of the subjective factor that alone makes possible the transformation of a conjunction of objective factors into the phenomenon called nationalism, it has not been possible to evolve objectively valid criteria for defining nationalism. For, in its essence, nationalsim is but a subjective phenomenon produced by varying combinations of objective factors. Very often during its nascence, and at times even in its maturity, nationalism is pitted against a particular political dispensation; it is, indeed, so often produced by the very fact of a group of people beng so pitted. In such situations, particularly during the early stages of such a confrontation, the very existence of a given nationalism becomes a political issue; it is simultaneously asserted and denied by people depending upon how they are situated in or inclined towards this confrontation. Should the recognition or otherwise of specific manifestations of nationalism be dependent on political validation rather than on intellectually valid criteria?

Premchand: A Historiographic View

The work of Premchand is marked by a profound paradox. The clarity of his perception of the wretched lot of the Indian poorspecifically the kisans, contrasts with the lack of clarity in his prescription of the remedy for these iniquities. The portrayal of the conditions of the poor and the vague prescriptions for their amelioration in his early work are succeeded in his later writings by a realisation that to portray these conditions is itself to prescribe a remedy. Having, as a creative writer, portrayed reality, Premchand as the nationalist political commentator close to the Congress. though never of it, felt (especially in his journalistic writings) that he had to take into account, in suggesting remedies, the possible and the pragmatic which nay not always be the just. The revolutionary implications of his creative writings are thus tempered by an unwillingness to accept the upheaval and violence that any attempt to change the system would necessarily entail This paper traces some of these contradictory Pulls in Premchand's writings and suggests possible explanations for them.

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