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

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The Future of Progressive Politics in India

The challenge for progressives is not mobilising those who already feel an affinity with the core values enshrined in India’s Constitution and believe in a liberal, secular, and democratic India. The challenge is to convince the silent majority of India which is either not unduly bothered about the threat posed by Hindutva or feels that these very values somehow undermine their identity and culture.

Who Is Afraid of Pakistan’s Aurat March?

Pakistan’s women are marching against patriarchy, but what is their destination and who is standing in their way? The Aurat March of 2019 faced severe backlash from both conservative as well as like-minded quarters, on account of some hard-hitting slogans and jabs raised against prevalent masculinist social norms. These have brought to the fore some paradoxes within feminist politics, which merit resolution for the sake of the emergence of stronger feminist politics in Pakistan.

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.

Sandwiched Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru’s tryst with secularism and communal politics may be enumerated through a critical rereading of the religious apprehensions expressed by the Christian community over the question of their right to propagation. Was Indian secularism an effective ideological substitute to communal politics or merely a tactical tool for achieving political gains during Nehru’s times? Nehru’s vision of secularism, in having to negotiate the politics of Hindu fundamentalism as well as Congress majoritarianism, was forced to accommodate the flavours of a majoritarian cultural climate with some preferential treatment to Hindu rights.

Charting Contemporary Sociology

Towards a New Sociology in India edited by Mahuya Bandyopadhyay and Ritambhara Hebbar, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2016; pp x + 266, ₹ 850.

Silenced and Marginalised

An attempt has been made to demonstrate the linkages between the socio-economic-cultural marginalisation of children and their educational marginalisation. This is achieved through a thick description of the living and working conditions of the children, and the interplay between the factory, residence, school, market, family and other support systems, in order to gauge the social reality of these children.

Hindi, Hindu, Horror

Filming Horror: Hindi Cinema, Ghosts and Ideologies by Meraj Ahmed Mubarki; New Delhi: Sage, 2016; pp 196, ₹ 695.

The Rediscovery of Netaji

Netaji: Living Dangerously by Kingshuk Nag,published by Paranjoy, Authors UpFront, 2016, pp 184,₹295. The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence: An Insider's Account by Madhuri Bose,Sage Publishers, 2016, pp xxx + 264,₹750.

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.

Secularising the 'Secular'

The Taj Mahal can also be seen as a religious place of worship, as the local Muslim community is allowed to offer prayers at the mosque situated inside the Taj complex. The monument is also privy to two kinds of publics - a congregation that offers prayers at the mosque, paying no attention to the central building, and a "public", which stays at the central building and seems to follow the given official meanings of the Taj as a world heritage site. Is it possible to look at the Taj merely as a secular historical monument? If yes, how can we respond to the religious meanings embedded in the very architectural composition of the buildings? Are Muslims, as a religious minority, entitled to use spaces such as the mosque in the Taj Mahal to offer congregational prayers? This article explores these questions to understand the practice and politics of "secularism" in postcolonial India.

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