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

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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.

Dimensions of Sexual Violence and Patriarchy in a Militarised State

Enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, and sexual violence have characterised Indian military operations in Kashmir. Of these, sexual violence has been used widely to “break” individuals and communities, and as a tool for punishing resistance against violence by the Indian state. The discourse around sexual violence, however, has always revolved around women with very little focus on men and transgender persons, given the patriarchal understanding of sexual violence and power relations. A critical part of this discussion is also looking at how the patriarchal structure of the society acts as a facilitator for the effective use of sexual violence as a tool against the people. The sexual violence that is propagated and implemented by a masculine patriarchal state can be resisted well with a deeper understanding of gender dynamics.

Migration Policy and Politics in India

India Migrations Reader edited by S Irudaya Rajan, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2017; pp x + 188, ₹ 695.

Tribal Land, Customary Law, and the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act

Tribal peoples in Manipur have been maintaining their commons under customary law. Interacting with outsiders has always led to the contestation of their customs, traditions, and beliefs. Tribal societies continue to administer their villages under customary law on the tenet of equity. Their law has even resisted the policies of Manipuri kings and the British administration. In the present day, tribal customary law stands challenged by the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960.

Anthropology of Police Authority

Provisional Authority: Police, Order, and Security in India by Beatrice Jauregui, Chicago, London: Chicago University Press, 2016; pp ix+ 205, $35 /£24.50.

Squabble over Resources in Bastar’s Forests

Blood Red River: A Journey into the Heart of India’s Development Conflict by Rohit Prasad, Gurgaon: Hachette India, 2016; pp 336, ₹ 399.

The Demand for Division of Uttar Pradesh and Its Implications

Significant interregional development disparities plaguing Uttar Pradesh today are often attributed to its large and unwieldy size. There is a strong prima facie case for the division of the state into smaller units to improve governance and development. But the demand for the state’s division, raised from time to time by all major parties except the Samajwadi Party, has presently receded into the background in the absence of mass support for it from any region. In the political discourse surrounding the 2017 UP assembly elections, it appears unlikely that restructuring of the state into manageable units will emerge as a significant issue.

Civil Society and State in Armed Conflict

Civil society plays a significant role in challenging, limiting or contesting state power. In a conflict zone like Kashmir, where the state in the guise of counter-insurgency operations violates the human rights of civilians with impunity, civil society is in direct confrontation with the state. This article discusses the evolution of civil society organisations in Kashmir, their role in the history of resistance, and their struggle to defend human rights in a repressive environment, where legal and extralegal methods are employed to co-opt them or intimidate them into silence.

Public University in a Democracy

The modern public university in a democracy faces the challenging task of producing and disseminating knowledge. Though the public character and universality of knowledge seem to be threatened today by both the state as well as the market forces, the university cannot afford to remain an apolitical institution in a democracy. There are lessons to be learnt in the debates surrounding the development of German universities and the idea of a university as the idealist philosophers have conceptualised.

Prosecution as Persecution

The court needs to protect the right to protest against the arrest of activists such as G N Saibaba, without labelling them anti-nationals. What constitutes anti-national activities has always been contested by intellectuals but accusing them of punishable offence is an attempt to silence the debate.

Empowerment through Participation

Most approaches aimed at increasing the participation of people in development assume that this will uniformly lead to the empowerment of the marginalised. This essay explores the deficiencies of the participatory approach.

Transfer of Power? Politics of Mass Mobilisation in UP

The recent electoral history of UP that has witnessed the growth of parties representing the lower and middle castes speaks of a politics of more competition and democracy. But as this paper argues, though peasant and caste mobilisation may have challenged upper caste/ class domination, this has not necessarily promoted policies of public expenditure for services benefiting the poor, nor has there been implementation of developmental programmes that address their vital concerns.

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