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

Vimal BalasubrahmanyanSubscribe to Vimal Balasubrahmanyan

Gay Rights in India

Even within 'progressive ' circles there appears to be ignorance and prejudice on the subject of homosexuality. None of the civil liberties groups have so far listed gay rights as an item on their agenda, although individual activists may be sympathetic. The task on hand today is to bring about the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which makes homosexuality a criminal offence.

Creating Taslimas

There are Taslimas and Taslimas. They reject what they regard as unfair. Some are believers some are not. But only the latter are publicised, and hounded. And thus is born a stereotype of the bold, brass blasphemist.

Of Holy Cows and Sacred Science

to -undertake all aspects of rehabilitation, including building houses for every one. The affected people will be empowered to undertake it themselves. Once this message is given, then the clamour for shifting will decline and the task can be handled at ease and speed, otherwise it will become a totally insuperable problem. The government should not give impression that the new place is safe and the old is dangerous. Problems of mental and physical health and debris clearance needs to be handled imaginatively and with a sense of service. Even now people arc slowly reconciling themselves to the reality and are seeing the wisdom of staying in the old village.

Choice and Dilemma of the Conscientious Activist

Conscientious Activist Vimal Balasubrahmanyan THE gender-and-development people refer to a contrast in approach for meeting 'practical ' vs 'strategic' gender needs. The former tries to 'make life easier by fulfilling perceived necessities without challenging gender roles or social structures. The latter tries to tackle injustices stemming from gender-based differences.

Teaching Women s Studies The Problems

Problems REMEMBER bow excited I was when I first came across the expression 'women's studies1. It was in the early 80s and there was this book I had picked up from the British Library, Half the Sky, acollection of scholarly articles on a variety of women's issues.Itsaid a lot of things which I recognised to be true, either because Ihad experienced it myself, or had observed it, but had never thought of analysing and articulating. It sounds dreadfully common place today to say that the personal is political but when one discovers it for the first time there is exhilaration in knowing that something which you have all the time tried to deny even to yourself is actually a valid way of looking at things. And to be told, as that book told me, that all this is 'knowledge', worthy of being recorded, researched and theorised, and actually put into textbooks, made one feel that there is some meaning to life after all. It opened up a whole new world in which the possibilities seemed infinite.

Through a Textbook, Darkly

by those such as Lutyens, brought the pro cess started by Lutyens to its logical culmination in the coercive Operation Demolition of 1975-76. While adopting some of the practical aspects of Geddes' approach, Jag Mohan seems to have missed out on its basic essence People are the centre-point for Ceddes while Jag Mohan's central concern is a respectable place for the nation, the city, by attain ing development standards set by the modern dominant west. Expressed to some extent in Geddes own words Town-planning is not mere place- planning, nor even work-planning. If it is to be successful it must be folk-planning. This means that its task is not to coerce people into new places against their associations, wishes, and interest as we find bad schemes trying to do. Instead its task is to find the light places for each sort of people; places where they will really flourish. To give people in fact the same care that we give when transplanting flowers, instead of harsh evictions and arbitrary instructions to move on', delivered m the manner of officious amateur policemen [8], This narrative leads one to conclude that the town planning concepts and technological models suggested by Ged- des with his humane, ecological approach were ignored during the colonial develop- ment of Delhi. With the taking over of the state apparatus from the foreign rulers by the Indian elite there was perceptible change. Comprehensive development for all became the goal. Many practical aspects of Geddes work were incorporated in Delhi's planned development. However the attitude of the ruling elite towards the general populace and the poor in particular remained the same. The people around whom the development was to occur were still to be governed'. They were to be baited into doing what was considered necessary for development of the city and nation by the 'masters' failing which they were to be made to do so by force.

Cakes, Ale and Ideology

Vimal Balasubrahmanyan Feminist critics seem to concentrate on fathoming and analysing what authors are trying to say, while not paying attention to what readers, especially women readers, are seeking in fiction and why and how they find what they need.

Of Frogs, Dams and Tigers

that the government-specified minimum wages (at that time Rs 10 or 5 kg of un- husked foodgrains in addition to a 'breakfast' on the field, equivalent to Rs 2) was not being paid in as many as 85 per cent of the villages of Jehanabad. And in 20 per cent of these villages the actual wages were found to be as low as 1.5 kg of rice and a meagre breakfast.

Deja Vu

Vimal Balasubrahmanyan Women Dimension on Television (Policy, Personnel and Programme) by Ila Joshi; Concept Publishers; pp 167, Rs 140. ARE media studies getting into a rut? Ila Joshi's critique of television is fine as it goes, but the nagging question which buzzed in my mind as I went through her study was: How much longer are we going to remain on this plane of media critiquing?

Needle, Thread and Drudgery

Vimal Balasubrahmanyan There is a very definite difference between promoting traditionally non-commercial crafts for commercial purposes and the Gandhian principle of not allowing machines to deprive professional craftspersons of their means of sustenance.

Right to Smoke

structure, by acknowledging the existence of OBCs could go against the interest of CPI(M). Interestingly while the CPI(M) in other states, particularly the Hindi States has been forcefully demanding implementation of the Mandal Commission report and reservations, it is not ready to concede the same in West Bengal. While the demand in other States galvanises the Marxist image of the party, its denial is a strategy here to maintain the Marxist image and character. Former prime minister V P Singh replying to the debate on the Mandal Commission in parliament, said "We consciously want to give them a position in the decision-making process of the country, a share in the power structure. So mere arguments do not stand, if we understand basically what we are aiming at and what the malady is." But his new comrade-in-arms Jyoti Basu is not ready to subscribe to his political stand.

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