The large-scale transfer of land from rural communities to private corporations has become a defining feature of India’s development trajectory. These land transfers have given rise to a multitude of new “land wars” as dispossessed groups have struggled to retain their land. Yet while much has been written about the political economy of development that underpins this new form of dispossession, the ways in which those threatened with dispossession have sought to mobilize have to a lesser extent been subject to close ethnographic scrutiny. This article argues that an “everyday politics” perspective can enhance our understanding of India’s new land wars, using a case from Singur as the starting point. The agenda is twofold. I show how everyday life domains and sociopolitical relations pertaining to caste, class, gender, and party political loyalty were crucial to the making of the Singur movement and its politics. Second, by analyzing the movement in processual terms, I show how struggles over land can be home to a multitude of political meanings and aspirations as participants seek to use new political forums to resculpt everyday sociopolitical relations.
Kenneth Bo Nielsen
Digital Archives and Memory Production
How can the online distribution of heritage facilitate successful forms of collective online memory production? Two online archives from India are taken as case studies to analyze practices that make online archives effective as devices for recalling and constructing the Indian past. It is not only contextual conditions of the Internet age, but also particular applied practices of presenting, communicating, and using social media that enable it. Yet, the analysis of the two recently created online archives, which are partially driven by the idea of widening access, show that they do not so much set up counterpositions to established conceptions of archives as regulating entities, but rather aim at becoming acknowledged heritage agents.
The controversy over rewriting history textbooks in India in 2000 not only revealed the divergent renditions of collective memory but also evoked decades of contention over self-representation and cultural identity. This article explores these "multiple" renderings of a "singular" past and contends the formation of "historical identities" by arguing that divergent use of reason and interpretation leads to a layered and uid Indian identity leaving it open for contestation. By situating the case of the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb within the milieu from which textbook controversies emanate, the article suggests an alternative dimension for looking at the controversy—instead of the usual binary concept of "secular" versus "communal" history. At the root of the controversy is not merely politicization but also divergent perspectives of looking at the past and the resultant rethinking and reworking of dominant notions of it.
Reflections on Relational Consent and the Rights of Infertile Women
As its main focus the article is concerned with explaining the proposed Indian Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Bill 2010 (2008), and in particular discusses some of its limitations using a relational conception of consent and autonomy. It is argued that two major limitations arise from, firstly, the way the Bill attempts to introduce ‘universal’ notions of informed consent into a cultural context of socially determined decisionmaking, resulting in the failure to safeguard the welfare of Indian surrogates. A second limitation is that the proposed law entitles only some poor women (surrogates) in India to realise access to quality medical healthcare services compared to others (poor, infertile women). Given the significant class and gender based inequalities which frame reproductive healthcare service delivery in the country, legally guaranteed access to health services for surrogates becomes a privilege where the rights of some individuals and couples to reproduce and exercise procreative agency is valued and not others. The article argues that the Bill must give due consideration to the complex, relational and highly stratified contexts in which women undertake childbearing in India to understand why legally comprehensive consent procedures can co-exist with violations of personhood in practice. Without such consideration the article suggests that injustice toward infertile women can become part of the same legal process wherein overcoming infertility is recognised as a right.
Directly Observed Treatment – Short-course (DOTS) has been promoted by the WHO globally as the preferred standard approach to tuberculosis control and treatment since the mid 1990s. In India, DOTS has been gradually implemented as a national programme since 1997, covering the entire country by 2006. DOTS is a highly complex healthcare intervention that involves universal monitoring of all patients, access to high quality drugs and the adoption of an individually supervised drug intake by patients through a system of DOT-providers. This article discusses the gradual implementation of DOTS in India as an intervention based on politically agreed 'truths' that create 'successful treatment stories' and 'defaulters', and it explores dimensions of temporality linked to the understanding of 'event' at different ontological scales from the perspectives of 'defaulters' and the health care system respectively.
The Idea of India AKHILA ASHOK
Anita Ghai. 2015. Rethinking Disability in India. New Delhi, India: Routledge.
Globalization as Imperialism in Pico Iyer's Video Night in Kathmandu
Malini Johar Schueller
This article teases out the complex intersections between Pico Iyer's Video Night in Kathmandu as an Orientalist travel narrative and as a treatise on the cultural flows of globalization by analyzing the politics of Iyer's adoption of a migrant, cosmopolitan persona as well as his conscious attempt to rewrite the gendered hierarchies of imperialism. It examines the unspoken privileges of whiteness and Westernness in Iyer's adoption of a decentered persona that struggles to overcome (particularly in his chapter on India) being interpellated as “Indian.” The larger purpose of the essay is to interrogate the rhetoric of cultural globalization as beyond the hierarchies of imperialism.
A case study of Indian and Pakistani school textbooks
*Full article is in English
English abstract: This article analyzes the role of school education as a medium for indoctrinating young minds through school textbooks within the framework of India–Pakistan relations. This fact is more pronounced in Pakistan, but even in the case of India, efforts are not undertaken to objectively teach subjects in a way that helps sensitize students about the India–Pakistan relationship. The author argues that the young generations in India and Pakistan largely lack a shared understanding until they undergo a process of de-learning and re-learning. Hence, the borders between India and Pakistan remained intact and militarized but definite types of borders are also created in young minds. Unless the psychological borders melt, it is difficult to imagine a porous physical border between India and Pakistan. This article attempts to understand how pedagogically the image of an enemy is created in young minds serving the purpose of the state.
Spanish abstract: Este artículo analiza el papel de la educación escolar como un medio para adoctrinar mentes jóvenes a través de libros de texto en el marco de las relaciones India–Pakistán. Esta situación es más pronunciada en Pakistán, pero incluso en la India, no se llevan a cabo esfuerzos para enseñar objetivamente temas que apoyen la sensibilización de los estudiantes sobre la relación India–Pakistán. El autor argumenta que jóvenes generaciones en India y Pakistán comparten la falta de un conocimiento compartido hasta que pasen por un proceso de des-aprendizaje y re-aprendizaje. En consecuencia, las fronteras entre India y Pakistán permanecen intactas y militarizadas, pero también otros tipos de definición de fronteras son creados en las mentes jóvenes. A menos que las fronteras psicológicas se derritan, es difícil imaginar una frontera física porosa entre la India y Pakistán. Este artículo busca entender cómo la imagen del enemigo es pedagógicamente creada en las mentes jóvenes sirviendo el propósito del Estado. Los casos de los libros de texto en India y Pakistán son presentados para comprender los diferentes tipos de fronteras prevalecientes en el sur de Asia.
French abstract: Cet article analyse le rôle de l’éducation scolaire comme un moyen d’endoctrinement de jeunes esprits à travers les livres scolaires dans le contexte des relations entre l’Inde et le Pakistan. Cette situation est particulièrement marquée au Pakistan mais y compris en Inde, aucun effort n’est mené pour enseigner objectivement des thèmes qui sensibilisent les élèves sur les relations Inde-Pakistan. L’auteur argumente que les jeunes générations indiennes et pakistanaises manquent de connaissances partagées jusqu’à ce qu’elles transitent par un processus de désapprentissage et de ré-apprentissage. En conséquence, les frontières entre l’Inde et le Pakistan continuent à être intactes et militarisées et d’autres types de frontières claires son créées dans les esprits de la jeunesse. À moins que les frontières psychologiques ne disparaissent, il reste difficile d’imaginer une frontière physique poreuse entre l’Inde et le Pakistan. Cet article cherche à comprendre comment l’image de l’ennemi est créée pédagogiquement dans les jeunes esprits et sert les intérêts de l’Etat.
Arvind K. Joshi
The aged in India have conventionally enjoyed privileges within the framework of a social economy where the needs of the old remained a moral responsibility of family, kith and kin. However the present changing times have forced a shift in the approach to old age care. The old person finds him- or herself in a sticky situation, in between an insensitive state and the demands of globalization. The present paper situates this problem within the framework of globalization and systematically measures the strategic response of the state to this daunting challenge, with respect to economic security and health care in particular. In the conclusion, the paper argues for a rejection of the conventional welfare approach and it advocates an integrated approach based on a coherent social development perspective within the valuation framework of social quality.