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

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The World's Largest Hypocrisies

The Maverick Republic: Thirty Years of Coverage by Jawid Laiq; Roli Books, New Delhi, 2002; pp xii + 240, Rs 295

Social Science Policy in the New Millennium

A recent policy workshop on social sciences in India drew attention to the need to formulate a comprehensive social science policy - one that would not only create a holistic interdisciplinary paradigm for social science research, but also encourage research in regional languages and create a relevant database.

History of Women's Rights: A Non-Historicist Reading

This essay revisits the history of the rhetoric of women's agency and rights in colonial and postcolonial India in which debates around liberalism were often played out by mobilising the language of self-sacrifice to oppose the language of self-interest. The focus is on the debates around the Hindu Code Bill, 1955-56 which gave Hindu women the right to inherit paternal property and to institute divorce proceedings.

Biotechnology: Need for Reliable Statistics

Despite efforts by various agencies to collect statistics on biotechnology, there is a paucity of reliable data leading to confounding estimates of the size of the industry. India needs to urgently evolve a universally acceptable definition and construct a framework for collecting data.

India-Pakistan Relations : Towards a Softer Border

A move towards softening the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir will be a humanitarian initiative, making it possible for divided families and villages to reach across.

Understanding Madrasas

The modern madrasas established during colonial times aimed to guard the private sphere of Muslims from modernist intrusions and within the private sphere they engaged in hegemonic representation of the Muslim masses. Contemporary madrasas continue to use the colonial dichotomy of public and private spheres to resist state intrusions in their pursuit of a particular kind of religious education. Introducing modern education in madrasas would defeat their very purpose.

Waiting To Be Heard

The Indian media experience represents a gallery of stark contradictions. Even as the government is making efforts to bridge the digital divide and take information technology to the masses, the colonial Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 continues to hold sway over the airwaves. While an apex court judgment of 1995 has endorsed that airwaves are public property, in practice, lines between public, private and community remain conveniently blurred. While private radio has made an entry into the Indian broadcast arena, community radio is yet to gain legitimacy from the law of the land.

Calcutta Diary

Since the thirties of the last century, India has witnessed a good few instances of intense sincere efforts of some somebodies to disown or step out of their bourgeois class allegiance and rush towards the proletarian heaven. It is a long and impressive list. Mohit Sen, who was felled by a massive cardiac seizure in the first week of May, was a partisan belonging to this series of ideologues who wanted to be nondescript non-kings.

India-Pakistan:The Enduring Stalemate

In the final analysis we need a political culture in both India and Pakistan that understands that sometimes nationalism is the enemy of the national interest; we need a political culture that is prepared to pay a short-run price for imagining a new architecture for the subcontinent; and we need a political culture that will allow both countries to transcend the sediments of history that are weighing them down. Unless all this changes we will remain trapped in current paradigms and assumptions which are such that only one side can claim victory, even as both have the power to destroy each other.

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