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

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The Path to a World without War

A World without War: The History, Politics and Resolution of Conflict by Sundeep Waslekar, Gurugram: HarperCollins India, 2022; pp 324, `599.

What Is New about Contemporary Indian Democracy?

The New Republic: Populism, Power and the Trajectories of Indian Democracy edited by Shray Mehta and Ravi Kumar, New Delhi: Aakar Books, 2022; pp 192, `495.

Citizenship, Nationality, Discord, Accord, and Assam

The appearance of the Assam Accord in the recent citizenship debates in India has a historical significance. Providing a critique of liberal citizenship, Assam’s journey shows how citizenship in a culturally diverse nation state like India evolved distinctively along with different identity questions. Assam, through a popular movement against “illegal” migrants, under the leadership of the educated (middle) class, asserted this identity question and tangled the Assamese nationality in the legal framework of Indian citizenship. The accord, which ended the protest, led to the first amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955 in 1985, specifically addressing Assam’s case. Drawing from vernacular literature and archival records, this paper offers a fresh perspective on the political history of citizenship in Assam from pre-independence until the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985 and its immediate implementation.

Altruistic and Monadic Liberalism 

The overwhelming question that still disturbs political theory is why some democracies accept COVID-19-appropriate behaviour more readily than others. On consideration, it would appear that there are two kinds of liberal democracies today. “Monadic democracy” prevails in those polities that came into being after overthrowing monarchy and subsequently instituting republicanism. “Altruistic democracy” is the other kind of liberal democracy that emerged after overthrowing a foreign power.

Inner Contradictions of a Hindu Nationalist

Competing Nationalisms: The Sacred and Political Life of Jagat Narain Lal by Rajshree Chandra, New Delhi: Penguin, 2021; pp xxv + 211, `599.

Religious Nationalism in India

Nation, Nationalism and the Public Sphere: Religious Politics in India edited by Avishek Ray and Ishita Banerjee-Dube, New Delhi: Sage, 2020;
pp viii + 265, 
`1,195.

India: A Plurality of Voices in Conversation and Contestation

Only after the third reading of this slim book Voices of Dissent: An Essay did its full significance become apparent to me.

Seeking Political Alternative: Perspectives on Peasants Activism in Ambedkar’s Newspaper Janata

This paper will focus on the anti-Khoti peasant agitations held in rural Konkan by consulting Ambedkar’s newspaper Janata. Through the writings of Janata, we get a clearer picture of how political activism in Konkan in the 1930s was conducted under Ambedkar’s leadership. Janata thus highlights and marks the peculiarities of anti-caste peasant activism. It also demonstrates how Ambedkar’s ideas and activism influenced the Dalit self and were simultaneously influenced by the interlocutors within and outside the Dalit community. This paper will also focus on the fascinating developments in organised Dalit politics of the 1930s. Janata’s writings mainly help track the strengths and weaknesses of Dalit radicalism in Konkan.

Ukraine War and the Perils of ‘Self-determination’

The right of “self-determination of the people” is a double-edged sword. It has been used by postcolonial nations to reclaim their territories and economy. The idea has also been exploited by the powerful countries to divide the world on ethnic and religious lines to advance their hegemony through humanitarian interventions.

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