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

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The Past in the Present

The Present in Delhi’s Pasts by Sunil Kumar; Three Essays, New Delhi, 2002;  pp xiv + 131, Rs 140.

Identity, Hegemony, Resistance

The subject of religious conversion is rarely studied with reference to Hinduism. On the other hand, reports of adivasi 're-conversion' imply that their Hindu identity is taken for granted, justifying in turn the need for re-conversion. As a further contradiction, while Hinduisation involves their integration with the varna order, they are simultaneously regarded as outcastes - a process that involves hegemony and exploitation of the adivasis and outcastes. This paper, based on the questioning and interrogating the way conversion has been located, takes up the history of conversion in Orissa over the last 200 years

Orissa Today: Fantasy and Reality

Fantasies and communal perceptions cloud the real world of poverty, hunger and unemployment - a cruel joke in a state where more than 55 per cent of the people and 89 per cent of families live below the poverty line.

Oriya Intellectuals Then and Now

Oriya intellectuals at the end of the 19th century, though shaped by colonialism and feudalism, were more open-minded, tolerant and receptive to ideas. In comparison, today's Oriya intellectuals seem myopic, out of touch with the concerns of the masses. The situation can only improve when the marginal classes claim their place in society and among intellectuals.

Between Then and Now-Popular Memory in Orissa

Popular memory is not constant, unchanging and autonomous. Various illustrations from Orissa demonstrate that features of popular memory are open to appropriation by dominant traditions and are equally imprinted by contestations and interrogations of the power relations by the lower orders.

Of Devadasis, Tradition and Politics

religiousness rather than anti-religiousness of state and polity. This means that people should reject any politics which attempts to encourage or discourage any religion or interfere in any religious practices. Religion and religious institutions should be discouraged from supporting political parties. Everybody should respect the right of the other to follow any religion and also the right not to follow any religion. The slate would be empowered to regulate the secular activities of a religious trusts and charitable institutions. Secularism does not mean merely separation of state and religion but also that the state would not interfere in any community and would allow all identities to grow and develop without coming in conflict with each other. If true and democratic secularism has to succeed, the present hegemonistic 'secularism', which has come to mean equal respect for fundamentalists of all religion, has to be rejected and defeated. That may not be possible without defeating the class that is behind such secularism and whose purpose it serves. Thus, the struggle for establishing democratic secularism has also to be a struggle for social change. Since the ruling classes derive their legitimacy and backing from the imperialists, the struggle for SEPTEMBER 11, 1995 will go down in history as Orissa's 'black day', as reports of an 'interview' to select a devadasi for the Jagannatha temple at Puri appeared in the media. Fixed at a time when the Beijing conference was in session, this incident raises many questions about our so-called journey into the 21st century. The fact that the management of the Puri temple is under the state government since 1960 makes the situation both intriguing and ridiculous. What is striking is that the idea of holding such an interview ' is about seven years old. Moreover, the silence of the Congress(I) government regarding the matter makes it a pany to the happenings. After all, the decision to call 'suitable' candidates for the interview was taken during Janaki Ballav Patnaik's previous tenure as chief minister. Electoral considerations, with the 1996 general elections round the corner, seem to have a distinct bearing on this feature secular change will also be opposed by the global powers that be. The struggle tor secularism has to be in that respect, part and parcel of global struggle against the hegemony of the first world.

ORISSA-Beyond the Elections

Beyond the Elections The assembly elections should induce some rethinking and realignment among social and political forces in Orissa to which the election results in Bihar and the general elections due in 1996 will contribute. The Janata Dal has to decide whether to continue to reinforce the brahminical order or be associated with the forces of progress and change.

Roots of Orissa s Underdevelopment

workaround them. I can visualise enormous advantages that this work would gain from such an approach, not the least of these being the strong thread of continuity that would bind the work, apart from it becoming refreshingly original. But, would the editors have approved such an exposure of British rule in this New Cambridge history, when even the title of the book was changed from what had been announced, with no explanation?

Face of Dowry in Orissa

what was being done at the grassroots, and he (or occasionally she) would brief them. Reporters who observed these encounters may have doubted the extent of their own understanding of the rural scene, but they knew enough to recognise both that the deputy commissioner's responses were 'cursory' and that most MLAs were too ill-informfed to see how inadequate his comments were. One result was that the drought-relief programme in those days existed mainly on paper.


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