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

Articles by Karin KapadiaSubscribe to Karin Kapadia

Ambedkar’s Feminism

Virtually every day, the most brutal, most gruesome rapes of Indian girls and women fill the headlines. From where does this vicious misogyny come? Why are Indian boys still brought up as little kings, while Indian girls, in sharp contrast, are disciplined to be obedient domestic servants? A profound, deeply ugly bias against women pervades Indian culture, even today. Our political leaders—who are virtually all men—do nothing about it. Why should they? It benefits them, after all.

Where Marriage Is Dangerous for Women

“Better to have never been born than to be born a woman!” I have heard this sentiment expressed numerous times by low-income Dalit and lower-caste women friends of mine in Tamil Nadu. Married women in urban slums and low-income settlements have a tough time keeping their families functioning.

Reading Dalit Women: Memories of Rural Lives in Maharashtra

Reading Dalit Women: Memories of Rural Lives in Maharashtra Karin Kapadia At almost 400 pages of dense text, Sharmila Rege

'Voting for Ourselves'

Untouchable Citizens: Dalit Movements and Democratisation in Tamil Nadu by Hugo Gorringe; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2005;
KARIN KAPADIA This remarkably useful book on dalit political movements combines detailed interviews with front line dalit activists, with a perceptive analysis of the dilemmas and paradoxes facing dalit political mobilisation. The battery of references is impressive: Gorringe trawls a wideranging secondary literature in politics, sociology, anthropology and social history to make helpful comparisons. He also considers the relevance of theories analysing the new social movements and other analytical frameworks to his data.

Understanding Communal Violence

Understanding Communal Violence Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India by Ashutosh Varshney; Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2002; pp ix+382, 35 pounds (Indian edition: Oxford University Press, 2002, pp ix+382, Rs 495).

Indian Industrial Labour Today-An Agenda for Research

An Agenda for Research Karin Kapadia FROM December 10 to 13, 1997 an international conference entitled 'The World of Indian Industrial Labour' was held in Amsterdam, Supported by the American SSRC it was organised jointly by Jonathan Parry of the Anthropology Department of the London School of Economics and Jan Breman of the Centre for Asian Studies, Amsterdam. The conference proved to be immensely fruitful, with a number of very stimulating papers. Twenty three papers were presented during the four days, dealing with a wide variety of issues, both historical and contemporary. Through the questions they raised, many of the papers implicitly sketched an agenda for further research. As the papers were of great value and likely to be of considerable interest to a wide audience they are briefly reviewed here.

TIBET-Made Strangers in Their Own Land

Made Strangers in Their Own Land International Jurists' Report Karin Kapadia SIX ordinary people, one woman and five men, are on an extraordinarily brave undertaking in Delhi currently. They are Tibetans living in exile in India had undertaken a fast unto death to draw international attention to the recommendations of a recently published report on Tibet. This is the report Tibet: Human Rights and the Rule of Law by the Internationl Commission of Jurists (published in December 1997). In the words of the Tibetan Youth Congress (the largest and most active Tibetan NGO, which has played a key role in the life of Tibetans in exile), this report ''should serve as an eye-opener for all who respect human rights and freedoms. The ICJ report not only details the past and present situation of Tibet but also suggests in what capacity the UN can play a positive role in solving the question of Tibet. The recent ICJ report on Tibet has therefore given a new hope to the Tibetan people and their aspirations. It is in the light of this development that the Tibetan Youth Congress has resolved to organise an indefinite hunger sit-down at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, in the true spirit of a Gandhian non-violence movement, until the below- mentioned demands are fulfilled by, the United Nations; (1) To resume its debate on the question of Tibet based on its resolutions special rapporteur to investigate the situation

Mediating the Meaning of Market Opportunities-Gender, Caste and Class in Rural South India

Research on poverty that focuses solely on access to employment runs the risk of implicitly being an approach that neglects the gender dimension of poverty, In the context of inequitable gender relations within households, poor women may have access to employment, but still be sharply subordinated, so that they have very little control over their earnings. Women's control of their earnings or of credit cannot be awarded to them by development agencies. Such control over resources is intimately connected with gendered power relations and with perceptions of gendered needs and rights.

Housing Rights of Urban Poor-Battle for Mumbai s Streets

Battle for Mumbai's Streets Karin Kapadia Habitat II, currently going on in Istanbul, is debating the housing rights of the urban poor. Here are views of some of the poorest Mumbai 's pavement-dwellers.

Bonded by Blood Matrilateral Kin in Tamil Kinship

Bonded by Blood: Matrilateral Kin in Tamil Kinship Karin Kapadia The steady fall in status of women in upwardly mobile groups in rural Tamil Nadu and growing anti-female bias in such 'progressive' groups that are benefiting from rural development, is closely linked to the change in marriage system, within these groups, from bride-price to dowry, which in turn has greatly weakened the importance of the matrilateral affinal kin in Tamil kinship. It is the matrilateral kin who to a large degree guaranteed a woman's security and welfare and thai their marginalisation is a major reason why women in upwardly mobile groups are increasingly at risk.

Carpets of Ugly Design

Child Labour In the Carpet Industry: A Status Report by S Vijayagopalan; NCAER, New Delhi, 1993; pp 64, Rs 120.
THIS short book is based on a survey of 500 children working in the carpet industry in the Bhadohi-Mirzapur belt of Uttar Pradesh. It has a curious provenance, having been sponsored by the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Government of India. Rather tellingly, the front flap states, "Unless and until the problems of child labour are tackled on a war footing, not only the Indian carpet export trade wilt be in jeopardy, but every other export-oriented handicraft item will be suspect in the mind of the importers". However, though concern for "the mind of the importer" may have inspired this study, any study of child labour is welcome at any time, given the great importance of the issue

Back to Top