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

Articles by J V DeshpandeSubscribe to J V Deshpande

Secular Forces and Ram Janmabhoomi Movement

Secular Forces and Ram Janmabhoomi Movement BY and large, there is a reluctance among leftists to accept the extent of support for the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation. But it is necessary to realise that the agitation for a Rama temple at the disputed spot in Ayodhya has struck a responsive chord in the minds of a large majority of Hindus, The success of the BJP in the last two general elections, if nothing else, is enough to bring this out. In the last few years, both the agitation for the temple and the BJP have gone from strength to strength; so much so that in 1989 the prime minister of the day found it necessary to permit the laying of the foundation stone for a Rama temple, disturbingly close to the disputed spot.

MAHARASHTRA- Boom in Teaching-Shops

able to establish some roots. The organisation has been able to pull off many daring 'actions' because of the strong network of shelter and support it has been able to build, consequent upon its well- publicised 'constructive' activities and rather more telling interventions as the custodian of the morals of the community in the countryside. This network, for a long limited to some identifiable areas, has been expanding.

Tinkering with Higher Education

this time- While big money and muscle power wilI play a major role in the Andhra region, the gun will rule the roast in the Rayala- seema region. The portents are seen in the Cuddapah constituency where the Con- gress(l) musclcman Y S Raja Sekhar Reddy (a former minister who was involved in a shooting case in the State secretariat premises when he was holding the education portfolio) is contesting. The polling date was initially postponed from May 20 to 26 as the Election Commission thought that the constituency was 'super sensitive' and hence needed 'special' attention. It was later reverted to the original schedule after the TDP had protested against the change of dates.

Misreading Militant Hinduism

Misreading 'Militant Hinduism' J V Deshpande A DISCONCERTING feature of a good part of the recent writings on the increasing dangers of cornmunalism or more specifically, the 'rising tide of Militant Hinduism' is the somewhat easy bandying about of terms such as fundamentalism, communalism etc. Not only the practising politicians but serious journalists or academics are also found to wallow comfortably in such intellectual sloppiness. While a politician may be excused in this respect (as indeed he is in so many other respects), it is not easy to be so charitable towards those who write for a serious journal. A case in point is Sumanta Banerjee's recent article 'Hindutva: Ideology and Social Psychology' (EPW, January 19).

MAHARASHTRA-The Loyalty Test

and Ghati Mamu Bhanja in the Mantola police station area and aimed at and shot people inside their houses. The victims included Mohammad Nasim, 40, who was climbing up the stairs of his house. Even six days after the incident, blood could still be seen on the stairs. Jamal, an 18-year old boy, was shot dead while he was brushing his teeth, while Babubhai, 35, was hit by a bullet when playing with his three-year old son. According to Haji Islam Qureshi, this was a Muslim area and there had been no communal trouble there AFTER the ouster of the party's chief ministers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it was only a matter of time that a similar exercise in self-destabilisation would be carried out by the Congress(l) high command in Maharashtra also, the one remaining state with a Congress(I) chief minister. It was therefore no surprise when a well-orchestrated chorus by his own cabinet colleagues began for the resignation of Sharad Pawar. Only, this time it seems very probable that the party leadership has bitten more than it can chew.

Mass Literacy Programme A Non-Starter

other groups.Their social and economic occupation art inextricably linked up with their castes and this has driven them into a cycle of vicious' deprivation educationally and socially.

MAHARASHTRA-Development Boards a Non-Issue

Development Boards a Non-Issue J V Deshpande In the dust that is being raised over the formation of separate development boards for the backward regions of the state, the real issue of development of these regions has been pushed into the background.

MAHARASHTRA-Zilla Parishad Game

and contributed, 83 per cent of the rise in the general index in 1990-91 as compared to 3.4 per cent in 1989-90 (Table 2). Prices of cereals were up by 4.1 per cent during the year, contrasting a fall of 2.6 per cent last year, mainly due to the increase in the prices of wheat and bajra. The increase in the prices of pulses at 3.1 per cent was lower than that of 6.1 per cent last year. Vegetables prices accelerated by 39.3 per cent as compared to a rise of 19.5 per cent last year. Prices of condiments and spices rose by 14.4 per cent during the year in contrast to a fall of 1.6 per cent last year.

MAHARASHTRA-Congress(I) Support Base Holds

uniform personal law on the Muslims. On the other hand, the Muslims were almost equally unanimous in treating a separate law as a symbol of autonomy of their identity.

EDUCATION-Teaching Teachers a Lesson

Teaching Teachers a Lesson? J V Deshpande The Maharashtra government is clearly in the mood for a confrontation with college and university teachers. Unfortunately the leadership of the teachers' movement in the state, trapped in the debris of recent ill-considered agitations, appears unlikely to be able to rise to the challenge.

Lessons of Maharashtra College Teachers Strike

with the help of the Jana Sangh. However, once Singh became assured that his chief ministership would remain intact, he deserted the alliance with Jana Sangh and walked back to the Congress. It was this manifest unreliability that persuaded Indira Gandhi not to give Singh any major political assignment. As for Shiv Chandra Jha, we have referred to how he used his position as speaker of the state assembly in connection with the amendment of Rule 6(A) of the Bihar Legislative Assembly Secretariat (Recruitment and Service Conditions) Rules, 1964. Another instance would suffice to show his penchant for using the office of speaker to take care of his political opponents. In 1987 Jha had removed the late Karpoori Thakur from the office of the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, though Thakur had the majority of opposition MLAs with him. Thakur had even paraded the ML As supporting him before the governor, but speaker Jha still did not reverse his ruling. Hapless Karpoori Thakur was fighting against the arbitrary ruling of Jha, till the fag end of his life in the highest court of the land. Jha's utter contempt for constitutional provisions was also seen when, despite the forwarding of his resignation letter to the deputy speaker by the state parliamentary affairs minister Bhism Prasad Yadav, he insisted that he had not resigned and that his resignation letter being undated, he was still the speaker And even after Jha's resignation letter had been accepted and the deputy speaker had assumed the office of acting speaker, Jha disposed of files from his residential office. Not only that, when Paswan, not finding the file pertaining to Karpoori Thakur's case enquired about it from Jha, the latter said that he did not know where the file was, though officials of the speaker's office had informed Pasv in that the file was at the speaker's resir ential office.

Diarchy in Higher Education

homes through co-operative endeavour. The result was that on the one hand the houses were built at record speed and most economically, and on the other hand thousands of refugees learnt new vocations which have sustained them since. It is difficult to imagine how that population of 50,000 would have learnt to make a living had the decision to engage contractors prevailed. Faridabad thus became another monument to Kamaladevi's foresight and un-erring capacity to reconcile practice with ideology. But her's was not to be a success story all the way. The success of industrial cooperatives (induscos, as they were popularly called) in China led her to develop a network of some twenty co-operative industrial enterprises in Faridabad as part of the rehabilitation programme. Workers actually engaged in production were trained in principles of co-operation and in the art of business management, to be the members and owners of their respective co-operative enterprises. Alas, when the workers were all set to formally take over the enterprises, the government establishment stopped the experiment in its tracks. They argued that the workers were penniless and could not be entrusted with the ownership of factories involving substantial government investment though the investment per factory was scarcely more than Rs 2 lakh. This was a crucial battle which Kamaladevi was to lose despite the support she received from other Faridabad Development Board members such as Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain, Hirdaynath Kunzru, Ashadevi Aryanayakam and Sudhir Ghosh. Finally, she gave up when even Nehru could not make the government change its rigid colonial approach towards co-operatives. The factories were auctioned away to private enterprises; and the workers, who till an hour before were still hoping and longing to become owners, were reduced to wage-earners at the will of the new owners. This was a blow

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