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

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Gender Politics and Public Sphere

Shrines of Sufi saints in Kashmir are an important public space in the larger vacuum of spatial avenues for Kashmiri women. Shrines provide demarcated spaces and roles for women in its property and rituals, and facilitate religious education, socialisation, as well as political mobilisation. Despite being steeped in piety and devotion, mystic legacies and practices still pose as a relatively liberal alternative to the male-dominated public sphere in the valley. Drawing on ethnographic research, this paper seeks to unpack the gender politics in a religious public space and its ramifications for our larger understanding of the public sphere itself.

Dalit Journals in Colonial Madras (1869–1943)

The contribution of Dalit journals is virtually undocumented in the history of Tamil print media, and the only historiographic trends that have received scholarly attention so far are the Brahmin nationalist perspective and the non-Brahmin Dravidian perspective. Based on colonial records and journals, this article attempts to construct a history of Dalit journals in colonial Madras by analysing the sociopolitical contexts and the content of 42 journals published from 1869 to 1943. The wide-ranging conversations in these journals suggest that Dalits were not only active agents in creating a modern identity, questioning their marginalisation, but were also involved in knowledge production in an otherwise restricted public sphere.

Can Independent Journalism Thrive under Paywalls?

Paywalls divide the public sphere by exacerbating information inequalities and thwarting a common understanding of what constitutes a public good, thereby hurting democracy.

How is Multilingual Freelance Journalism Transforming the Media Landscape in India?

Changes in the technological landscape and the political economy of news media have opened up new spaces for freelance journalism, particularly in multilingual spaces. Freelance journalists occupy a precarious position due to their place within neo-liberal logics, but at the same time, are less beholden to many of the political, social, and commercial pressures constraining reporting and editing in big media houses. Biographical sketches of three Chennai-based freelancers demonstrate different possibilities of engaging as a freelancer across languages.

Light Shines through Gossamer Threads

Gender relations in some adivasi (tribal) societies are relatively more egalitarian than among other communities but enormous changes are now taking place in their resource base and livelihoods. How does this affect the women's spaces in the domestic and public spheres? This paper explores the process of change as a scattered semi-nomadic group of adivasi foragers come together to form a village settlement. Focusing on one family, and one woman among them, it reflects upon whether and how an indigenous democratic fabric and relative gender egalitarianism may be retained in the face of structural changes in the adivasi life worlds. Using a personal narrative, shaped by different 'dialogical levels', the paper traces the dialogical stages through which the 'story' unfolds. It suggests that the narrative as a qualitative research tool may be used to interrogate women's political spaces and to bring the family into development discourse.
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