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

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Caste, Class, and Gender in Education

The Social Construction of Capabilities in a Tamil Village by L N Venkataraman, Hyderabad:Orient BlackSwan, 2021; pp 190, `595.

Political Churning in Punjab before the Elections

The assembly elections are going to be held in Punjab in February 2022. All political parties are gearing up for it. The Congress party is facing internal conflicts, whereas the Akalis are making a new alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party after breaking their alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party due to the farmers’ agitation. The incumbent Congress government has failed to deliver in terms of its promises and development. Both the Akalis and the Congress will be heavily relying on their mass base. However, a big challenge has emerged in the form of the farmers’ agitation. The Aam Aadmi Party is still struggling with its agenda and organisational basis despite being the main opposition party. The standard parameters of prediction of an election result seem to be non-functional at this moment.

 

Language Issue in Constituent Assembly Debates

The issue of the national language was one of the most contentious and passionately debated ones by members of the Constituent Assembly. The significance of this debate lies in the way the members imagined India as a nation, articulated regional and linguistic identities, and sought to build unity of purpose to lay the foundations of modern India. The debates revealed a divide between North and South India, and took on communal undertones too. The eventual choice of Hindi could be pushed through due to the numerical strength of the supporters of the language. This paper will unravel the varying standpoints of participants in this debate.

 

Ambedkar, Gandhians and the Indian Village

The paper attempts to understand the two competing models of postcolonial modernity on the issue of the village, that is, one representing a Gandhian perspective and the other a liberal Western perspective led by B R Ambedkar.

Punjab at the Crossroads

Punjab has been going through a churn in its society and its economy for some time and now its bipolar politics is being stirred with the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party. Will these socio-economic transformations be strong enough to upset the hold of the Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party alliance in the state?

Dalit Culture and Identity

Dalit castes in Punjab such as the Chamars have been attempting to create a counterculture to take on the Dalit castes in Punjab such as the Chamars have been attempting to create a counterculture to take on the dominant Jat caste. This attempt is mostly in the virtual world. In the real world the Jats and the Chamars live without any ostensible conflict. This article examines the various elements of this virtual war between the two castes, which often takes vulgar and bitter proportions.

Existence, Identity and Beyond

This paper traces the development and emergence of Punjabi dalit literature as a part of dalit assertion and effervescence in postcolonial India. Today, Punjabi dalit literature is well established despite its very short history. The two significant features of dalit literature – powerful narratives constructed about the existential conditions of the dalits and an overarching emphasis on dalit identity – are examined, so too Punjabi dalit literature in terms of the agenda of dalit liberation that is articulated in various genres.

Satyapal Dang

A tribute to the life and times of comrade Satyapal Dang, which brings to light his tireless involvement with the workers' movement over the better part of the 20th century. Comrade Dang worked for most of his life around Amritsar, and was also known for his strong stand against the Khalistani movement through the 1970s and 1980s.

Love as Rebellion and Shame

What is the relationship between cultural values and romantic love? This paper examines four texts in Punjabi literature, two medieval and two contemporary, viz, Waris Shah's Heer and Peelu's Mirza, Kothe Kharhak Singh by Ram Sarup Ankhi and Darasal by K L Garg in an attempt to answer this question. While love between a man and a woman can acquire divine status, at the same time, sociocultural norms view it as rebellion and shame/loss of honour for the woman's family. Not all cases of love marriages end up in honour killings but a love affair is perceived as rebellion by the family and community in which the latter expects the former to save its honour. Failure to do so results in a state of permanent shame and persists for generations.

An Ambiguous Actor: 'People' in the Movements

Social movements are often labelled "people's movements" though the analytical value of the expression is ambiguous in a context where the word "people" is never all-inclusive and signifies different things to different people. It would be better if we stick to a classification that situates the subject of a movement at the centre of the discourse than an umbrella term that is loosely used to cover almost anything.

Understanding the Paradox of Changes among Dalits in Punjab

A study of dalits in two districts of Punjab reveals that ghettoisation remains common (including in urban areas). While the traditional caste occupational structure has changed, this is less so among dalits in rural areas. Caste endogamy remains the norm. The study shows that casteism is powerfully embedded in the collective consciousness. The caste system is oppressive due to discrimination, exclusion, exploitation and untouchability, but at the same time it situates the dalits in the system as a collective identity. Their desire is to end all kinds of discrimination, oppression and exclusion, but not the caste system in its entirety. This is an instance of a deep-rooted internalisation of a world view. This paper is based on interviews of 1,600 dalit respondents randomly selected in Amritsar and Jalandhar districts of Punjab.

Politics of Sikh Identity and Its Fundamentalist Assertion

First it was the British who aimed to create a distinct Sikh identity, while the Singh Sabha movement sought to create Sikh 'Khalsa' identity by distinguishing it from Hindu. The Sikh political leadership in the early years of the 20th century was ambivalent in deciding who was a 'Sikh'. It was Bhindranwala and the militants in his wake, who by their construction of a singular religious identity, attempted to transform a heterogeneous Sikh community into a 'congregation'. While the latter project failed, the ambivalence of identity, however, continues in the policies of the Akali Party.

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