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

Articles By Valerian Rodrigues

Politics of Defections and BJP Strategy in Karnataka

Defection and re-election of the members of the legislative assembly in Karnataka is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s larger strategy in the state. This strategy aims to broad-base the party across castes and communities and ensure its autonomy from being dependent on any of them. In the face of this strategy, the Congress has the challenge of defining its social identity.

The Call for a National Code of Conduct

What are the resources and concerns that can contribute to a substantive ethical code for the political class from the experience of the working of parliamentary democracy in India? Such a code need not put a damp squib on the ideological fervour of political parties but set them an anchor. A vibrant democratic culture is a better ground for the cultivation of social values than much preaching, be it in the classroom or in other public fora.

Changing Contours of the Political Regions of Karnataka

Media reports of the recent Karnataka assembly elections tended to see the state as made up of distinct regions and marked their boundaries to accord with the political–administrative territories prior to their unification in 1956. While a residual presence of regional identity still persists overdetermining class, caste and community relations, linguistic and speech practices, religious and cultural sensibilities, politically, the region has come to mean very different things in the electoral battlegrounds of the state. In recent years, equations across castes and communities have been recast precipitating intense social churning and political realignments within and across regions of yore.

Konkani: The Script Controversy

Written in multiple scripts ‒Roman, Nagari, Kannada, Persian-Arabic and Malayalam‒ the Kokani language today finds itself at the centre of a debate where arguments are being proposed to establish the primacy of one script over the others. The script controversy in Konkani is deeply enmeshed with issues of belonging, dignity, access to resources and the idea of nation that one wishes to cherish.

Politics and Pedagogy

School texts that teach young minds that politics is a contentious and critical but reasonable activity, that it is not merely a set of demands and commands, and that politicians have to be responsive and accountable are naturally disliked by the political class. This is the tone of all the Political Science textbooks of Standards IX-XI brought out after 2006. The nurturing of a culture of critical public opinion seems threatening to the wielders of authority. Hence, the call to sanitise the entire range of texts.