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

Articles by Usha ThakkarSubscribe to Usha Thakkar

Gandhism in the UK and US

Gandhi in the West: The Mahatma and the Rise of Radical Protest by Sean Scalmer (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press), 2011; pp vi + 248 (hardcover), Rs 795.

Gandhi's Struggle Revisited

Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India by Joseph Lelyveld (New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers), 2011; pp xv+425, Rs 699.

Being Women Councillors

Democratisation in Progress: Women and Local Politics in Urban India by Archana Ghosh and Stephanie Tawa Lama-Rewal; Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2005;

Culture and Politics

The Politics of Cultural Mobilisation in India edited by John Zavos, Andrew Wyatt and Veron Hewitt; Oxford University Press, New Delhi,
USHA THAKKAR Issues of culture and identity have acquired critical importance in postindependent India mainly due to constant interaction between newly established democratic institutions and centuries-old cultural and social traditions. Emergence of coalitional politics with the decline of single party dominance, subsequent regional and local political formations, rise of Hindu nationalism and political mobilisation of people around cultural symbols and identities now do not seem to be issues of ephemeral nature. The issues of politics and culture have come to dominate actual politics as well as theoretical debates. An understanding of the contemporary India cannot be complete without an understanding of the relation between culture and politics. This book is of immense value, as it helps us in this formidable task. Papers in the book attempt to investigate the relationship between the cultural incursions as well as the incursions of regional and local politics in the narrower sense of elections and coalitions, and draw our attention to the need to rethink the relationship between politics and culture.

Mohalla Committees of Mumbai

Mohalla committees, a civil society initiative that involved members of the police and the public, helped heal some of the severe communal wounds of the 1992-93 riots in Mumbai. The experience of the committees has important insights to offer to democracies in a plural, diverse society. In the case of Mumbai, participants drawn from the police and from among the public turned out to be not adversaries in opposite camps but partners involved in a symbiotic relationship to maintain peace and harmony in an area.

Regionalisation of Indian Politics

An important feature of the recent general election was that it was a contest not between parties as such but between preelectoral fronts and alliances. With this, the republic seems to have irrevocably entered into an era of multi-party governance wherein the once mighty Congress has been forced to reluctantly adjust to the changed scenario in which regional parties have much more say.

Politics of Gujarat

Gujarat - Political Analysis by Nagindas Sanghavi; Centre for Social Studies, Sural, pp 333, Rs 250.
THE study of the 'Union of States' is not complete without knowing the state of states. The states in India with their diversities offer exciting possibilities of explorations in the study of Indian politics. Nagindas Sanghavi brings an interesting and useful study on Gujarat, Gujarat A Political Analysis, which adds to our understanding of the politics in India. Politics of Gmirat has attracted the scholars like D N Pathak, K D Desai, Pravin Sheth, Ghanshyam Shah, Manhar Bakshi and John Wood. Sanghavi has also been a keen observer and commentator on political situation in Gujarat. So far most of his work has been in Gujarati, this study of his in English is welcome particularly now when politics in Gujarat has been taking interesting and unexpected changes.

Puppets on the Periphery-Women and Social Reform in 19th Century Gujarati Society

Women and Social Reform in 19th Century Gujarati Society Usha Thakkar A libel case was filed by Jadunathji Maharaj, a leader of the Vallabhacharya sect, in 1861 against the social reformer Karsandas Mulji for alleging that the Maharaj practised immoral behaviour towards women of the sect The arguments mobilised by the contending parties, and the judgment passed, reveal, despite their differences in interpretation of sacred Hindu texts, a common concern with the moral prescriptions of Hindu religious tradition for man-woman sexual relationship. Nowhere are women, an equally important segment to be affected by the practice, seen articulating their position. Instead the reformist discourse recasts the amorous image of the woman in the Vallabhacharya tradition into virtuous, duty-abiding wife whose sexuality continues to be controlled by patriarchal familial norms.

Women Work and Empowerment

Women in Bihar: A Study of Their Role in Tasar Silk Production by Gautam Vohra; Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1988; pp 296, Rs 150.
THOUGH the Indian constitution grants equal status to women, the reality is that justice

Women s Political Participation

made to bring out the inter-linkages of different types of taxes in terms of the various development objectives. From this point of view, the study is a fine contribution in the field of tax policy analysis. A few of the shortcomings referred to in the course of this review do not, in any way, detract from the analytical excellence and academic brilliance of the work. It is an eminently readable book and should prove handy not only to students of public finance but to fiscal administrators as well.

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