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

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Genealogies of Nagaland’s ‘Tribal Democracy’

Compared to the bulky literature on caste and democracy, we still know little about the form and functioning of democratic politics amongst tribes. This is a serious lacuna, one which, at the level of sociology, impedes the kind of careful comparison that has long proven fruitful to capture the inner logic and intricacies of social life. If caste is deemed central to any understanding of contemporary Indian politics, what about those states and constituencies in which tribes preponderate numerically?

How BJP Appropriated the Idea of Equality to Create a Divided India

Right-wing populism has managed to turn the traditional progressive political practices on their head. The BJP began with a critique of poor implementation of NREGA through a discourse on corruption, but gradually resignified it into a critique of welfare itself; anger against growing economic inequalities leads to the election of more pro-corporate government. This article looks at the future of right-wing populism in India, arguing that instead of a moral rejection, we need to undersand the "moral structure" on which it builds its politics.

Tamil Politics without Caste?

Film stars Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth are gearing up for the next elections. Rajinikanth wishes to promote a politics based on spirituality, while Haasan is committed to secularism. But both of them have one aim, which is to eradicate corruption from public life in Tamil Nadu. However, this rhetoric of “corruption-free” politics is, in fact, a façade for promoting a politics that sidelines questions of caste inequalities.

Can the BJP Achieve a Congress-mukt Meghalaya?

In the months leading up to the February 2018 Meghalaya state legislative elections, the Mukul Sangma-led Congress government has been plagued by a mass exodus of its legislators to the National People’s Party and Bharatiya Janata Party. This article chronicles these defections and conflicts within the party, and the political advantage they afford the BJP in its push for a Congress-mukt Meghalaya.

Perspectives on the Indian Diaspora

Politics of Migration: Indian Emigration in a Globalized World by A Didar Singh and S Irudaya Rajan, New Delhi, London, and New York: Routledge, 2016; pp xix+198, ₹ 895 .

Punjab Politics

Punjab's political dynamics is characterised by a spectrum within which there is a movement from contesting identities resulting in confrontations to these identities, through mutual accommodations and forging coalitions. It is not a linear process; it also faces reversals back to confrontations, and then moves forward again to coalitions. The identities of religion, nation, language, class and caste have been particularly at play in this dynamic arena of Punjab politics.

Engagement with Contemporary India

​ Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India edited by Knut A Jacobsen; Oxon: Routledge, 2016; pp 506, £130 (hardback).

Of Gandhi, Godse and the Missing Files

This paper revisits Indian history when a Hollywood movie, Nine Hours to Rama (1963), claiming to be "a film on Gandhi" turned out to be--much to the Indian government's embarrassment--a biopic on Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. The film, which had been provided sufficient facilities for its making by the government, triggered off a huge uproar in the public sphere and a subsequent ban on the film. It is argued that a peculiar desecration anxiety and the conjoined traumas of patricide and partition linked to the totemic figure of Gandhi engendered such an outcry in India. Similarly, apart from other political contingencies, the film and the evidence of the government's collusion in its making threatened to undermine the Nehruvian government's sovereignty by questioning the legitimacy of its claim to Gandhi's legacy and ultimately resulted in the files related to the film being untraceable in the government archival vaults.

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