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

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Identity, Communal Consciousness and Politics

To what extent do different cross-sections of society subscribe to the communal ideologies which provide legitimacy to communal riots ? To answer this question we need to explore people's perceptions on communal divisions and related issues. An attempt is made in this paper to examine individual identity and communal consciousness and their manifestation in the political arena through a survey of people from different parts of Surat city which witnessed communal riots in December 1992 soon after the demolition of Babri masjid.

Of Reservation, Merit and Distributive Justice

Of Reservation, Merit and Distributive Justice Ghanshyam Shah The Backward Classes in Contemporary India by Andre Beteille Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1992; pp 117, Rs 110.

Tenth Lok Sabha Elections-BJP s Victory in Gujarat

Tenth Lok Sabha Elections BJP's Victory in Gujarat Ghanshyam Shah Though the Ram Janmabhoomi issue created an environment favourable to the BJP, that was not the sole reason for the party's impressive electoral performance in Gujarat. The organisational weakness of the other parties and their unsatisfactory performance in office also worked to the BJP's advantage.


Writing about Hindu-Muslim Riots in India Today Gyanendra Pandey The dominant nationalist historiography that insists on the totalising standpoint of a seamless nationalism needs to be challenged not only because of its interested use of categories such as 'national' and 'secular' but also because of its privileging of the so-called 'general' over the particular, the larger over the smaller, the 'mainstream' over the 'marginal

Limits of Political Management

Limits of Political Management Ghanshyam Shah Vallabhbhai Patel: Power and Organisation in Indian Politics by Rani Dhavan Shankardass; Orient Longman, Delhi, 1988; pp 325, Rs 175.

Middle Class Politics Case of Anti-Reservation Agitations in Gujarat

Anti-Reservation Agitations in Gujarat Ghanshyam Shah The middle class has grown in size disproportionately with economic growth in Gujarat. While their aspirations have risen, They are unable to satisfy their needs and maintain the traditional status, and therefore experience a strong sense of deprivation. This is especially true of the upper and middle caste members who are jealous of the new entrants from the traditionally low castes. The two anti-reservation agitations in Gujarat were essentially struggles within the middle class

OBITUARY-An Indian Sociologist

An Indian Sociologist Ghanshyam Shah I P DESAI, a leading Indian sociologist of the second generation and the founder- director of the Centre for Social Studies, Surat, died on January 26 at Surat. He was fondly known as 'IP' by his friends in academic circles in three continents. Out of affection and respect his students addressed him as 'Desai Saheb'. A bachelor, IP was almost a member of the families of a number of friends in different parts of the country, Europe and America. As an oriental, he never gave expression to his personal obligations and affections in public. He believed that affection had to be reciprocated with affection. All those who came close to him experienced his warmth and affection.

Caste, Class and Reservation

Caste, Class and Reservation Ghanshyam Shah WHILE rejecting the recommendations of the Mandal Commission for caste based reservation I P Desai (IP) coherently argues his case in favour of class based reservations (EPW, July 14, 1984). His argument is based on two counts. One, he believes that if the state accepts caste as the basis for backwardness, it legitimises the caste system which contradicts secular principles. Two, he observes that the traditional caste system has broken down and contractual relationships between individuals have emerged. 1 share not only his idealism but also believe that all those who believe in secular society should make efforts to strengthen the processes of class formation. I find fault with his observations and analysis. He does not pay enough attention to the prevailing identity of 'we-ness' among the members of the same caste as well as the nature of the political structure and processes. He also fails to relate his observations in the historical context to the social groups which tilt the balance against the secular forces. However, I have agreement with IP's approach and some of his observations on the changing social reality I fully agree with him when he says that there is nothing inherent in the caste system that will resist all forces of change and will perpetually determine social, economic and political action of the Hindus. No doubt, the traditional caste structure supposedly based on ideology of purity and pollution has little relevance to the present day India.1 I use the term 'caste' in this note as a social group and not as a part of the hierarchical order. The terms 'high caste' or 'low caste' are used here in the sense of purity and pollution, but partly in their historical context and partly in connection with the present overall economic and educational condition of the members of the group. The high or upper castes are those which enjoyed dominance over economic resources in the recent past before independence, and today the majority of its members are relatively well-off, enjoy dominance (not necessarily political offices) and are better educated than the members of the other social groups. The condition of the low castes is the opposite of this.

Nehru Years of Euphoria

(JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, India's first Prime Minister and "one of the most incandescent figures of contemporary histroy shared and nourished the country's domestic and foreign policies during.the first decade and a half-free India. During this period, india provided leadership to the new- ly liberated AfronAsian nations and played a major role in bringing to an end the confliets over Korea and Suez. On the domestic front, the Constitutent Assembly prepared India's constitution and the first general elections were conducted in 1952 in which almost half of the adults exercised their franchise. Other achievement included the creation of the Planning Commission, the launching or the Community Development programme, enactment of the Hindu Code Bill, integration of the princely states and the linguistic re-organisation of states. The book under on review covers the first nine years of Nehru's Prime Ministership, from August 1947 to November 1956, marking "the end of one phase and the beginning of a second, and more sombre, period".

Ideology of Jayaprakash Narayao

March 3, 1979 Informal integration, which is being put into practice by means of specific arrangements between two or more countries, in parallel with the formal processes, has expanded substantially both in terms of magnitude and in terms of the variety of arrangements for trade or the implementation of point projects. Nevertheless, such in formal actions should be not an alternative, but a complement, to action through the existing multilateral institutionalised integration processes.


Nalini Pandit Classes in Marxist theory are not mere economic categories. They are living social groups whose attitudes and responses are determined by historical and cultural factors. The materialistic interpretation of history does not imply an exclusive emphasis on the economic factor to the comparative neglect of others. The purpose of formulating a social theory is to understand the attitudes and responses of different social groups to particular programmes.

The Rural Elite

and charts related to marriage; for example, Table I is about "Distribution of Clan Marriages by Generation and Lineage", Chart III is about "Clan inter-marriage in generation II and and IV." The other charts too are not related to kinship patterns, which makes it difficult for the reader to determine what exactly the writer wants to say, when he himself is confused while referring to marriage patterns as kinship. Modernisation in the Tyabji family too has only peripherally been touched.


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