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

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Rohith Vemula: Foregrounding Caste Oppression in Indian Higher Education Institutions

In April 2021, a professor from the Indian Institute of Technology verbally abused students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The incident brought to the fore conversations around caste and education. One is instantly reminded of how five years before this incident, in 2016, Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad, died by suicide. Between 2016 and 2021 itself, India lost several students belonging to Dalit and Bahujan communities to suicide as a result of caste-based discrimination. That elite Indian higher education institutions practise caste-based discrimination is nothing new. But Vemula’s death sparked a political movement. This reading list attempts to understand how and why this came to be.

Education, Assimilation and Cultural Marginalisation of Tribes in India

The cultural marginalisation of the tribal people in India through the school system in pre- and post-independence India is discussed by drawing parallels with the residential school system that existed in the United States and Canada.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021: Dravidian Politics at Crossroads

The elections to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly provide an opportunity to reassess the fault lines in the caste, religious and ethno-geographical identities in the state and their significance in electoral politics.

National Education Policy 2020

Even as the National Education Policy, 2020 talks of accessibility, there are too many visions in the document that would not allow that. It seeks to build skills for traditional vocations and for the global market. This is structured with a vision that deepens the inequalities of caste, class and gender by focusing on two types of citizens. With no vision to sustain the environment, tribal education is also weakened. Accessibility is deeply associated with nature of knowledge. With the pre­dominance of skills, the heavy base on Hindutva, and a lightness of curriculum that is yet to be defined, the NEP cannot enhance the right of citizens to know, to critically reflect and to shape the world.

How Has Women’s Participation in the Hindutva Movement Expanded Its Reach?

Women and girls participate in the Hindutva movement, espousing its exclusionary and violent practices, while simultaneously negotiating its patriarchal norms that govern their own lives.

Building a 'Hindu Rashtra' through 'Seva'

With the spectacular victory of Bharatiya Janata Party in India, the notion of Hindutva and Hindu nationalism have gained support. Malini Bhattacharjee explores the cultural appeal of the category of "seva" (service), one of the foundational pillars of the Hindu nationalist movement, and demonstrates how the political construction of seva, both as an idea and in practice, has advanced the entrenchment of Hindutva in contemporary India.

Identity and Status of the Indian Muslim

Indian Muslim(s) after Liberalization by Maidul Islam, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xxi + 313, ₹ 995.

Majoritarian Politics and the Ayodhya Verdict

The Ayodhya verdict favours politics over history. It bypasses the settled principles of legal scrutiny in adjudicating land conflicts. Such a verdict has detrimental ramifications for democracy and constitutional values.

Muslim League in Kerala

The political trajectory of the Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala displays a unique engagement of religion-based political mobilisation of Muslims withsecular–dem ocratic politics in India. In the contemporary context of aggressive Hindutva politics, the Muslim League is faced with the dual challenge of resisting majoritarian communalism while simultaneously countering new mobilisations from within the community that are based on a radical Islamic identity, but deploy explicitly secular discourses. A critical appraisal of this situation requires moving beyond the pre-occupation with the formal aspects of secularisation and instead arrive at more substantive conceptions of “being secular” that embrace deeper commitments to secularism, such as plurality and toleration .

Between Adhyatmik and Political Hindutva

In order to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda of communal polarisation, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, articulated what it called “ Adhyatmik Hindutva.” Notwithstanding the inclusive character of this conception, its electoral feasibility and social desirability remain questionable.

Probing into the Freedoms of Queer Liberation in India

Reception of the reading down by the Supreme Court of Section 377 should be more circumspect, since there is much in the decision that offers reasons for concern. Rather than making a rupture with the contemporary majoritarian political climate, the decision is, in fact, a continuation of a longer nationalist project aimed at consolidating the ideal citizen subject of the Indian nation state.

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