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The Gujarat Vote Share Trend Conundrum

The Bharatiya Janata Party may seem invincible in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. However, the staggering numbers in terms of the party's vote share and seats in the state assembly tell a very different tale. Right from the first time it came to power on its own in 1995, till now, this article chronicles the BJP's eventful journey in Gujarat.

Migration, Bachelorhood and Discontent among the Patidars

Juxtaposing data collected in the 1950s with data from 2013, this paper describes some of the consequences of a crisis of agriculture in India as a crisis of values and aspirations. Among a relatively prosperous Patidar community in western India, agriculture continues to be economically remunerative while farmers are considered poor. Instead, the ability to secure a job away from land, to move out of the village and possibly overseas have come to constitute new markers of status in a traditionally competitive society. The paper departs from common representations of the caste as an upwardly mobile and successful group, and focuses instead on the discontent and on those who try to achieve the new values of the caste, but fail. As a consequence of failure it shows how Patidars recur to what, from an outsider's point of view, may seem paradoxical: in order to "move up" and participate in the culture and economy of the caste, they have to "move down." In this respect, the paper also contributes to understanding the unevenness of India's growth and the contrary trends that work both to strengthen and weaken caste identity.

The Republic of Reasons

Discourse within a constitutional framework alone can be the foundation for a possible solidarity in societies which are vibrant with real diversities and differences.

Targeting Institutions of Higher Education

The ideology central to the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has no space or use for liberal thought and values. Education for such organisations means only what can be called a kind of catechism. This is a memorisation of a narrow set of questions rooted in faith and belief and an equally narrow set of answers that prohibit any doubt or deviation. Therefore, educational centres that allow questioning and discussion are anathema and have to be dismantled.

Re-Envisioning the State

Space, Territory and the State: New Readings in International Politics edited by Ranabir Samaddar; Orient Longman, New Delhi, 2002; pp 263, Rs 45

GD in Indian Business and Politics

The Life and Times of G D Birla by Medha M Kudaisya; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2003; pp xv + 434, Rs 850.

Shifting Political Equations in UP

A Congress-SP alliance may signal a new era in UP politics. Much depends however on how serious the Congress is about its recent overtures to Mulayam Singh.

The World's Largest Hypocrisies

The Maverick Republic: Thirty Years of Coverage by Jawid Laiq; Roli Books, New Delhi, 2002; pp xii + 240, Rs 295

Power Reform and Politics

WEEKLYECONOMIC AND POLITICAL Power Reform and Politics Both houses of parliament have finally passed the new electricity bill which seeks to free up distribution, the main stumbling block in the development of India

Politics of and in Literature

The National Board of Secondary Education has obviously not heard of Premchand and so when it found that a book by him had been prescribed for one of its courses, it promptly had it removed. But when writers are unconcerned about what murky deals are struck in connection with a 'vishwa' conference of and in their own language, they should not be surprised at what has happened to the Premchand text.

Disobedience and Social Sciences

One way of expressing solidarity with the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have suffered in this war is to reject offers of collaboration and support in research in the social sciences and humanities from governments that do not know the meaning of accountability.

War and Australian Elections

Australia's ruling Conservative coalition is set to reap the advantages of its recent 'tough' policies, following the September 11 strikes on the US and Australia's willing participation in the US-led alliance. Yet the ailing economy and rising unemployment remain a cause for worry as election day nears.

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