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

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Scheduled Castes in Sikh Community

An understanding of the distinctive caste hierarchy in Sikhism and the new pattern of competing hierarchies, parallel to that of the Hindus, calls for insights into the dynamics of political power and economic relations both at the local and regional levels. This paper aims at exploring the trade-off between the doctrinal principles of Sikh religion and the ruling social and political interests in the context of changes in the society and economy of Punjab.

Calcutta Diary

The eerie early hours of May 19, 1993. Five intruders, Kalashnikovs already blazing, barge into a two-room bit in a house on the eastern fringes of Calcutta and, no questions asked, summarily shoot, several times over, a young Punjabi couple. The sequel of developments to this episode, 10 years ago, epitomises the current state of the democratic republic of India.

Transcreating Another Kali

Song for Kali: A Cycle of Images and Songs by Nirode Mazumdar, inspired by Ram Proshad, English translation by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Seagull Books, Kolkata, 2000; pp 53, Rs 375.

Freedom of Religion

spouse was a Christian of another sect or Freedom of Religion Jewish or a Muslim. So it essentially VASUDHA DHAGAMWAR TN Madan

Shalishi in West Bengal

Traditional community/village level dispute resolution systems still coexist with formal processes of justice and administration. The `shalishi' is one such method of arbitration in West Bengal that has been used by NGOs to intervene effectively in settling domestic violence cases. Shalishi scores over the more formal legal avenues of dispute resolution because of its informal set up. But deriving its legitimacy as it does from the conventional norms and values of the community it works in favour of keeping the family intact, often compromising feminist notions of empowerment.

Why Is Religious Conversion Controversial in India?

In Search of Identity – Debates on Religious Conversion in India by Sebastian C H Kim; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2003; pp xi+250, Rs 525 (HB).

Rights versus Representation

In the name of democracy, the constituent assembly of India adopted certain specific individual and collective rights to religion. Democracy, however, is not just about rights; another integral component of democracy is representation. This essay argues that the granting of a range of individual and collective religious rights to the minorities was used, in the constituent assembly, to justify the refusal of their demand for more adequate mechanisms of representation, for instance, for proportional representation or for reserved seats in the legislatures.

Calcutta Diary

The vocal sections of Indians have their priorities sorted out in excellent detail. The nation, the part of it that matters, lives for cricket and is prepared to die for it. Entertain no illusion, these sections do not have the slightest inclination to pledge themselves either for Iraq or for global peace.

God, Truth and Human Agency

Rethinking Social Transformation edited by Anant Kumar Giri; Rawat Publications, Jaipur, 2001; pp 407, Rs 725 (hardback).

Politics, Religion and Our Ailing Public Institutions

It would, of course, be naive to imagine that the corrosion of our political life could be arrested simply by tightening up lawenforcement. And yet one can't escape the conclusion that the accelerating erosion of our public institutions, the apathy of the judges and the death of professionalism in the civil services - particularly the last of them - are matters of far more concern than the inroads of religion into the nation's politics.

Religion and Colonial Modernity

This paper while questioning the assumption that religious imaginary preceded modernity, argues for the need to seriously address the fashioning of the caste self and a new collectivity within a religious imagining under colonialism. Colonial structures of governance often ignored the alternative realms - ties of locality and kinship often articulated in religious terms - which, emerged, opposed and even were antagonistic to the idea of a national identity. In the south, the attraction of the lower castes for Christianity was partly prompted by the need to move away from the cycle of oppression and inequality and also because the religion allowed for their entry into a wider public sphere, as individuals.

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