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

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Vernacular Communism

Satyabhakta’s engagements with communist politics, the Hindi print public sphere, and workers’ movements in the Gangetic heartland often intermeshed caste, gender, and nationalism, with an indigenous communism. Signifying a strand of the Hindi literary project, he represents some of the suppressed traditions of left dissent, and takes us back to debates between internationalism and nationalism, materialism and spiritualism, class and caste. Even if his ideas were, at times, amateur, they provide us with the everyday lived realities of communist lives, and utopian dreams of equality, which need to be taken into account and historicised seriously.

Modernity and Democracy in India

Unresolved agrarian question, slow pace of industrial development and distorted economic growth of the service sector, have all led to the nature of economic development that is not symmetrical or equally poised with political democracy and rights. As long as capitalism in India remains backward to a large extent, in agriculture and industry, and as long as the distorted development continues, we will be stuck with the impasse of backward-looking nationalism and authoritarian populism. Current impasse is a product of achieving political modernity and a superstructure without its accompanying economic basis.

Electoral Alliances and Majority versus Minority Communalism

The discourse and politics of equidistance from majority communalism and minority communalism is flawed because it equates two unequal concepts. The Indian nationalist perspective on this equidistant stance focuses more on attacking minority communalism because it is perceived as a potential secessionist threat to India’s territorial integrity, while majority communalism—although it could develop into fascism—does not threaten India’s territorial integrity. The secular fundamentalist perspective, through its theoretical rejection of religious groups, ends up, in practice, reinforcing the existing power of the majority communal group. The perspective of institutionalised Hindu communalism rejects the equivalence approach on the grounds that majoritarian communalism pervades multiple institutions in India and increases the vulnerability of India’s religious minorities. It can only be defeated from an egalitarian perspective by recognising the social, cultural and political power of religion.

Sedition in India: Colonial Legacy, Misuse and Effect on Free Speech

Since its inception, Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes sedition, has been a tool in the hands of the state to curb criticism and dissent. It has been used by the colonial British government as well as by successive governments of independent India against political dissidents. */

Recasting Politics and Reimagining Islam: Beyond Contested Nationalisms in Bangladesh

Tracing the journey of Bangladesh from a secular state to an Islamic state against the backdrop of Bangladeshi Nationalism, Samia Huq discusses the potential of Islam in the everyday public sphere in light of women’s Quranic discussion circles.

Brick Nationalism: Silver Bricks or Sun Dried Ones?

While this building material supports a shiny political campaign in the form of a silver brick laid at Ayodhya, the on-ground situation of brick kilns in India remains grim, with the exploitation of both labour and the environment. To change this scenario, an array of solutions for brickmaking, including compressed stabilised earth blocks, need to be made mainstream. The decentralised, skill-based technologies in brickmaking are the answer to mitigate environmental deterioration and enhance skill development.

Much More Than a Sport

Cricket Country: The Untold History of the First All India Team by Prashant Kidambi, Gurgaon: Penguin Viking, 2019; pp 456, ₹ 599.

Influence of Virulent Nationalism on Proletarian Internationalism

This article aims to study the global trade union initiatives and their efforts besides understanding the journey of global union federations’ in wading through the forked challenges posed by globalisation on the one hand and nationalism on the other. It is not known if global union alliances are prepared to combat nationalism the way it engaged the global capital. Is the national labour movement getting enamoured and absorbed by the rising nationalism or is the independent labour movement that has gathered momentum after garnering support from transnational labour alliances getting weakened because of rising nationalism?

The Idea of a University in India

In colonial times, universities were established in India to produce graduates who would serve the interests of a colonial ruling elite. Fast-forwarding to the present times, India is witnessing a massification of higher education, with the establishment of more universities and an increase in enrolment. Under such circumstances, what merits examination is whether universities are producing knowledge for knowledge’s sake, or training individuals to fall in line with a neo-liberal nationalist agenda of economic development.

Envisioning the India of 2047

The graduates of universities eventually fit, by and large, into social positions as solid citizens. This is in spite of the deep uneasiness some of them may continue to have with the society. Many of them continue to translate their disaffection into creative and intellectual expressions within the contours of the existing order. Even the most “radical” of our universities have, over the years, produced multiple times more teachers, researchers, professionals, civil servants, journalists and development workers than they have produced anarchists and revolutionaries.

M K Gandhi on Religion and Caste: A Reading List

Not viewing religion as distinct from politics, Gandhi referred to the latter as “applied religion.” However, his religious positioning itself changed throughout the course of his life. What, then, can we make of his views on religion, and potentially, his politics?

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