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

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National Register of Citizens and the Supreme Court

The imminent withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by the union government in the face of strong protests by the residents of the north-eastern states is hardly a victory for constitutional principles or morality. It leaves “illegal migrants” in a continued limbo and heightens ethnic tensions in the North East. It also shifts the focus to the Supreme Court, which has taken upon itself the extremely delicate task of overseeing the preparation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam.

Identity, Contestation and Ethnic Revivalism among Nepalis in Darjeeling

Nepalis in India tend to be treated as outsiders and this has prompted the political mobilisation of Nepali identity and the ethno-linguistic movement for “Gorkhaland.” However, the struggle in the Darjeeling Hills is not for a single homogeneous identity, but a composite of diverse ethnic and caste entities. This article studies the fragmentation of ethnic identity within the movement, the resultant political changes, and the processes of negotiation in the quest for identity formation.

Rohingya Crisis: Focus on 'Intolerant Religion' Disregards Complex Moral and Policy Challenges

Identifying religious difference, and discrimination as the main culprit in the Rohingya crisis masks the economic and political interests that are profiting from their subordination and repression. It deflects attention away from state-sponsored violence, political and economic ambitions of the governing elite, and the anti-immigrant and xenophobic basis of the discrimination.

Ambedkar as a Political Philosopher

Existing studies on B R Ambedkar largely focus on his substantive religious, sociological, political and constitutional concerns, and not on the concepts he deployed for the purpose or modes of his argumentation. His body of work demonstrates that he formulated a number of concepts to take stock of the social reality that he confronted, and/or reformulated existing concepts by critically engaging with the body of scholarship available to him. With regard to the conception of the political, he advanced a comprehensive and consistent design of what it means to live as a public and how best to do so in a setting very different from the West.

Globalisation as a Messy Whole

Spectacular Cities: Religion, Landscape and the Dialectics of Globalisation by Ipsita Chatterjee; New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016; pp xvi +194, 795.

Religion, Fertility and ‘Common Sense’

The sectarian forces in India have kept politicising the population growth of Muslims not on the basis of demographic correlates but on the basis of a pernicious propaganda that stereotypes popular common sense perceptions. These ill-founded notions are so often repeated that these have become part of the popular common sense, normalising the falsification of “reality” created by sectarian forces of either religious affiliations. Why are these mythical constructions increasing despite the fact that the authentic empirical data sets—Census, National Family Health Surveys—negate the same?

A Voice to the Dalit Cause

Readings on Dalit Identity: History, Literature and Religion edited by Swaraj Basu; Hyderabad: Orient Black Swan, 2016; pp 403, 895.

The Time of Youth

Drawing on long-term multisite ethnographic fieldwork in Allahabad and Meerut, this article examines how educated unemployed young men, from different socio-economic backgrounds, struggle for employment and engage with politics and religion in the age of neo-liberalism.

Personal Names in Pakistan

The choice of personal names of Pakistani Muslims is discussed along three parameters--beliefs about names, naming practices, and the influence of Islam on both--while the religious orientation of society is manifested by the people's desire to choose names from Arabic and Persian. These names do not necessarily conform to strict Islamic norms. Such names, as well as names based on natural objects and phenomena, still remain in vogue, especially in the rural areas. The most widely held belief is that names have an effect upon personality or that they can be inauspicious.

Dirty Flows the Ganga

One of the first announcements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi pertained to cleaning the Ganga. But this is not the first time an attempt has been made to clean the river. River cleaning schemes initiated in 1974, 1985, 1993, 1996 and 2008-09 have been monumental failures. While the Prime Minister's announcement was followed by a lot of rhetoric and initial moves towards the goal were frantic, two years later, there has been little improvement in the state-of-affairs. This article looks at some of the problems that have dogged programmes designed to clean the river and suggests measures to address the pitfalls.

Is an Atheistic Defence of God Possible?

This article argues that both the arguments--that "God exists" and that "God does not exist"--fall within the realm of belief, and hence, religion; for the existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. It stresses that atheism is not a belief in the non-existence of God but an inability to believe in the existence of God. Finally, the essay sets out to examine if there can be an atheistic defence of the concept (not existence, which cannot be proved) of God, and concludes by arguing that it is the only kind of defence of God that is rationally possible.

The Republic of Reasons

Discourse within a constitutional framework alone can be the foundation for a possible solidarity in societies which are vibrant with real diversities and differences.

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