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

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Lakshmi against Untouchability: Puranic Texts and Caste in Odisha

The Lakshmi Purana as a literary text primarily raises issues relating to the religious rights of Dalit women in Odisha.

Muslims, Affirmative Action and Secularism

Religion-based preferential treatment in the services of the state is generally argued to be in contradiction with secularism. As a result, the Indian state has relied on a non-preference, non-discrimination framework to address the issues of backwardness and under-representation of Muslims. This article attempts to partially reconcile the contradiction between religion-based preferential treatment and secularism, and it is argued that the determination of welfare policies for religious minorities, particularly Muslims within the non-preference, non-determination framework, either has to be justified in the public philosophy of the state or social justice has to be given a relative preference to secularism, especially when the policies formulated within the non-preference, non-discrimination framework have not proven to be effective in targeting the relative backwardness of Muslims.

A Blasphemy Law is Antithetical to India's Secular Ethos

Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which is an Indian variant of the blasphemy law, violates the secular character of Constitution.

Has Disability Risen among the Elderly in India?

An analysis of disability among the elderly and its covariates during the period 2005–12 is provided using data from the two rounds of the nationally representative India Human Development Survey, conducted in 2005 and 2012. The increase in life expectancy has not translated into a healthier life, as prevalence of disabilities, their severity, and their association with non-communicable diseases have risen. Given the lack of access to assistive devices, specialised medical services, rehabilitation, and stigma attached to disability, the temptation to offer simplistic but largely medical solutions must be resisted. Instead, a multidimensional strategy is needed that helps the elderly overcome physical and socio-economic barriers as well as address the issues related to prevention and treatment of their underlying health conditions.

Does Religion Define a Citizen?

This reading list assesses the ramifications of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Cow Veneration among Meo Muslims of Mewat Presents the Complex Nature of Religious Identities

Cows, as a symbol, enforce the notion of peasanthood across the Hindu–Muslim religious divide. The current identification of cows entirely with Hinduism is only representative of colonial and postcolonial politics. The article looks at the case of cow veneration among the Meo Muslims in the Mewat region to present the complex nature of religious identities.

How Can Feminist Theology Reduce Gender Inequality in Religion?

While judgments that have granted women entry into religious spaces have been hailed as progressive, it must be remembered that religion continues to perpetrate covert forms of inequalities for women.

Ethnicity, Religion, and Identity Politics among Tribes in Jharkhand

The underlying causes for the ethnic, religious, and political divides among the tribals of Jharkhand have been examined. Tribal leaders have failed in uniting the tribal society of Jharkhand, leading to divisive and fragmented politics among them. The tribal leaders of today need to realise and understand that any further divide will weaken their collective voice and identity.

National Register of Citizens and the Supreme Court

The imminent withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by the union government in the face of strong protests by the residents of the north-eastern states is hardly a victory for constitutional principles or morality. It leaves “illegal migrants” in a continued limbo and heightens ethnic tensions in the North East. It also shifts the focus to the Supreme Court, which has taken upon itself the extremely delicate task of overseeing the preparation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam.

Identity, Contestation and Ethnic Revivalism among Nepalis in Darjeeling

Nepalis in India tend to be treated as outsiders and this has prompted the political mobilisation of Nepali identity and the ethno-linguistic movement for “Gorkhaland.” However, the struggle in the Darjeeling Hills is not for a single homogeneous identity, but a composite of diverse ethnic and caste entities. This article studies the fragmentation of ethnic identity within the movement, the resultant political changes, and the processes of negotiation in the quest for identity formation.

Rohingya Crisis: Focus on 'Intolerant Religion' Disregards Complex Moral and Policy Challenges

Identifying religious difference, and discrimination as the main culprit in the Rohingya crisis masks the economic and political interests that are profiting from their subordination and repression. It deflects attention away from state-sponsored violence, political and economic ambitions of the governing elite, and the anti-immigrant and xenophobic basis of the discrimination.

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