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

Articles By V Sebastian

Adivasis and the Anthropological Gaze

Through the display of material culture, museums invoke not only an imagined Adivasi past, but also a fossilised vision of their cultural present. While these museums tend to fulfil a pedagogical function through the display of material cultural objects, the implicit ideology behind these exhibits has not received the attention it deserves in India. Why do ethnographic museums choose to display predominantly select groups like the tribals? Why not also display upper-caste women and men and their lifeworld? Here is where politics of representation becomes inextricably intertwined with ethnographic displays in museums. This article explores the dynamics of the anthropological gaze and how it has contributed to the construction of the Adivasis as the exotic cultural other.

Gandhi and the Standardisation of Gujarati

The process of linguistic standardisation usually sets up one dialect as the yardstick to judge the correctness of a language. It not only relegates other dialects to the periphery but also actively produces and reproduces structures of inequalities. Gandhi initiated a systematic effort to standardise the Gujarati language in the 1920s through the Gujarat Vidyapith which published a dictionary with a set of rules for correct Gujarati writing. It is this form of Gujarati that has been recognised by the state government as the standard language. This article explores the notion of language standardisation and the inherent inequalities within that process, the context of Gujarati standardisation, Gandhi's role in it, and the problems and contestations involved in the linguistic standardisation in Gujarat.