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

Articles by Surinder S JodhkaSubscribe to Surinder S Jodhka

The Other Side of Development

1)From Past to Present by Jan Breman; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2007; 2)The Poverty Regime in Village India by Jan Breman; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2007;

Perceptions and Receptions: Sachar Committee and the Secular Left

It is in the larger context of the changing nature of the political process in India that we need to locate the real significance of the Sachar Committee report and the kind of response it has received from different political formations, including the secular left. Perhaps more important than the data that it has been able to marshal in support of its formulations on the development deficit among the Indian Muslims is the manner in which it has dealt with the subject.

Interrogating Caste and Religion in India's Emerging Middle Class

The paper is based on a questionnaire study of caste and religion among university students in three of India's leading universities - in short, representatives of India's new middle class. Using an extensive battery of agree-disagree items, two major scales concerning ideological attitudes towards caste, on the one hand, and personal involvement with caste, on the other, are generated. After demonstrating that it is commonplace for these students to be opposed in principle but involved in practice, the paper relates the scales to independent measures of caste, class and religious background. The pattern of ambivalence and uncertainty revealed among these student respondents appear to reflect a pattern similar to what is perhaps emerging in the society at large.

Beyond 'Crises'

Though a large proportion of Punjab's population continues to live in rural areas, the so-called traditional structure of the village has seen many fundamental shifts during the period following the green revolution. The internal differentiation along caste and class lines that the farming sector has experienced during the green/post-green revolution periods has weakened the latter's position in regional and national politics. The weakening of farmers' movements and the marginalisation of the agrarian agenda need to be understood in the context of this fragmentation of the agrarian communities.

Debates on Reservations

a position in favour of extending the pro- Debates on Reservations Reservations and Private Sector: Quest for Equal Opportunity and Growth by Sukhadeo Thorat, Aryama and Prashant Negi (editors); Indian Institute of Dalit Studies and Rawat Publications, New Delhi, 2005; pp xvi+424, Rs 775.

Return of the Region: Identities and Electoral Politics in Punjab

During the 1980s religion had virtually become the sole axis of politics in Punjab. Revival of 'normal politics' and the electoral process during the 1990s has brought the issues of regional identity and economic interests of different social classes back to the fore. This paper attempts to locate the political context of the one-sided decision of Punjab government to annul its agreement of 1981 with the states of Haryana and Rajasthan on distribution of river waters. Without going into the immediate questions of 'legality' and its implications for the digging of the Satluj-Yamuna Link Canal (SYL), the article looks at the issue in the broader context of changing political alignments in the state's politics.

Indian History and Sikh Studies

and Sikh Studies The Khalsa and the Punjab: Studies in Sikh History, to the Nineteenth Century edited by Himadri Banerjee; Indian History Congress and Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2002; pp xxxiii + 192, Rs 375.

Caste Tensions in Punjab

The recent incidence of conflict involving members of the landowning caste of jats and the scheduled caste of â??ad-dharmis' in the Talhan village of Punjab is far from a typical case of caste violence or 'dalit oppression' frequently reported from other parts of India. Instead, it ought to be viewed as a case of 'dalit assertion' for equal rights and a share in the resources that belong commonly to the village and had so far been in the exclusive control of the locally dominant caste, the jats. Further, notwithstanding the rather peculiar and complex nature of the Talhan case, this could mark the beginning of a new phase in the history of caste relations in Punjab. Though the issues are varied, there seems to be an underlying pattern in several other cases of conflict being currently reported in the state.

Revisiting Agrarian Bihar

Social Power and Everyday Class Relations: Agrarian Transformation in North Bihar by Anand Chakravarti; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2001; pp 311, Rs 525.

Cow, Caste and Communal Politics

While the killing of five dalit men near Jhajjar town in Haryana in October last year appears on the face of it as another case of atrocity against dalits by upper caste Hindus, it points to many emerging or possible political alignments in the state and reflects the simmering tensions in Haryana society.

Nation and Village

Scholars of modern Indian history have often pointed to the continuities in the colonial constructs of Indian society and the nationalist imaginations of India. The village was an important category where such continuity could be easily observed. However, a closer reading of some of the leading ideologues of nationalist movements also points to significant variations in their views on the substantive realities characterising rural India. Focusing primarily on writings of Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar, the paper attempts to show that though the village was a central category in the nationalist imaginations and there was virtual agreement that it represented the core of the traditional social order of India, the attitudes of the three leaders towards village society varied considerably. The paper tries to show that while for Gandhi the village was a site of authenticity, for Nehru it was a site of backwardness and for Ambedkar the village was the site of oppression

Caste and Untouchability in Rural Punjab

Despite having the largest proportion of scheduled caste population in India, Punjab has rarely been seen as a relevant case for conceptualisation of the caste system and the changes taking place therein. Though some aspects of caste in Punjab have been studied, there has virtually been no detailed empirical documentation of the practice of untouchability in rural Punjab. Based on an extensive field-study, this paper provides a broad mapping of the prevailing caste relations and the practice of untouchability in rural Punjab. The study focuses specifically on the process of change, particularly in the context of agrarian transformations that the Punjab countryside has experienced in the wake of the success of green revolution technology. The paper also argues that the processes of change could be meaningfully captured through the categories of 'dissociation', 'distancing' and 'autonomy'.

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