An in-depth study of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s life, his social and economic philosophy, contribution to social justice, his struggle for rights of weaker sections in society, and his thoughts on the legal system of India, particularly human rights and equality of all peoples.
An in-depth study of the thoughts of Babasaheb Ambedkar on the social, economic and legal system of India, this book examines the relevance of Ambedkars thoughts today when societies have disparities and are going through conflicts. It deals with aspects of Ambedkars life, his social and economic philosophy, contribution to social justice, and his struggle for rights of weaker sections in society.
The volume deals with the social condition and political rule in the pre-Buddhist era and later till the sixth century ce, the origin and flourishing of the caste system in ancient times, and untouchability. It explores the meaning of some basic terms like justice. It views the Constitutional provisions regarding ensuring equality of all peoples and abolition of untouchability and explains how Ambedkar helped to establish the Constitutional rights of the SCs and the STs and the backward classes. A special focus is on the reservation issues and the judicial stand on them. It showcases the Supreme Court of Indias reinterpretation of Ambedkars vision and philosophy of social justice in its decisions concerning reservation. It throws light on the new concept of social justice that the judiciary has emphasized over the decades with stress on positive human rights.
The Bodos (Kacharis) constitute a very important group of Indo-Mongoloid (Tibeto-Burman) people of north-east India. They are concentrated in various parts of Assam, and are considered to be one of the earliest settlers of Assam, who had built powerful kingdoms in various parts of north-east India. This book attempts to trace the history of these tribal people, their glory during the medieval period, their fall during the Mughal rule and their efforts to awaken during the British Raj. The Bodos were illiterate, slothy due to their fondness for drinking jou (rice beer), reared pigs, lived in unhealthy surroundings, which led them to be labelled as untouchables by the upper caste Hindus. Persistent and path breaking efforts made by their renowned educational, cultural and social reformer Gurudevkallicharan Brahma bore fruit and many changes were brought in the Bodo way of living, customs, religion, habits. Notable among them were his efforts to motivate his people to discard their old religion and convert to a new religion called Brahma dharma. He was instrumental in spreading literacy by convincing the colonial authorities to open schools, and in starting a magazine called Bibar. Moreover, his pioneering role in launching various unions among the Bodos is laudable. This book is a veritable ‘must read’ for all those who wish to know about the Bodos and the socio-religious-cultural transformation that took place in them and a new dawn that they had entered into.
This book is the first attempt at a systematic cultural-anthropological study of the stonemill tradition the grinding of the peasant women who singing for ages on their hand-mills have articulated tradition in their work-songs.
Tangible patrimony usually attracts attention and efforts of preservation. Intangible cultural traditions do often go with the winds of history when their social and material setting disappears. Such is the case with the songs that women in India, while grinding before dawn, have kept singing for ages on their hand-mill. Aside from the male society, they hoarded up for themselves a non-material matrimony. Today, though, motor driven flour-mills have put to rest these voices of silence, their legacy remains with them: immense and immemorial, purely feminine and oral, anonymous and personal, collective and intimate. Words from the heart, they glitter like flames in the domestic hearth. This book is the first attempt of systematic cultural-anthropological study of that unique tradition. It offers keys to apprehend it. Why should this tradition, first of all, originate from a shared compulsion to open up ones heart? This differentiates the women singers intentionality from the didactic treatment of pundits and sants who make grinding and grindmill the allegory of an advaitic bhakti. For women Lakshmis dedicated to serve the Fortune of their family and its lineage life in plenty is their raison detre. When preachers and swamis advocate a holy insensibility to earthly things and fellow human beings, the work of grinding epitome of womans office carries worldly utopias of abundance and reveals a quest for salvation through bonds of affective attachment. Eventually, the study raises radical questions on such crucial concepts as those of bhakti, tradition, the status of popular traditions versus elaborate constructs of literati. The symbolism of the stonemill in religious Marathi literature is constrasted with the experience of grinding of peasant women as the latter articulated it in their work-songs. What is sought is an epistemological insight into the cognitive processes which result in the dialectic blend of affinity and glaring inconsistency that one observes between those two levels of cultural creativity.
It is realised that the synergy between local knowledge and development efforts would ensure the achievement of Millennium Development Goals. This book is an outcome of explorative research conducted on the issues of Sustainable Development by scientists of various research institutes and universities of India and abroad.
Sustainable Development is a major thrust area adopted for all development interventions initiated by different National Governments of the world as a follow up initiatives to resolutions of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The First Global Knowledge Conference at Toronto (1997) encouraged world leaders, policy makers, scientists and civil society representatives of developing countries to focus more on community-based knowledge systems and development practices and incorporate them in ongoing development initiatives for achievement of Sustainable Development. It is realised that the synergy between local knowledge and development efforts would ensure the achievement of MDGs. The forces of globalisation have affected the indigenous communities and their empowerment process in different parts of the globe. In 1998, World Bank for the first time launched the indigenous knowledge for development programme to explore local knowledge systems and development practices and integrate the best practices into the framework of Sustainable Development. Linking indigenous knowledge with Sustainable Development has been experimented across different regions of the globe. This book is an outcome of explorative research conducted on the issues of Sustainable Development by scientists of various research institutes and universities of India, Malaysia, Portugal, Switzerland, U.S.A. and Romania. It is recognized that the economic benefits and incentives associated with indigenous practices would ensure preservation of local knowledge and achievement of Sustainable Development.
The book meticulously deals with the socio-economic, political and cultural facets of the Kela life, their problems in life and how they solve them. It uncovers the romantic life of the Kelas, their family organization, gender issues, the significance and impact of their leadership and caste panchayats, their free love and divorce practices, and their simple but unique lifestyle.
This monograph provides a vivid socio-economic account of a nomadic community, the Sapua Kelas or the snake-charmers of Orissa. Of all the nomadic castes and communities of Orissa, the Sapua Kelas have, perhaps, a unique traditional social organization and interesting lifestyle. Amidst the sweeping social, economic and political changes, the Kela community has retained its features of traditional caste system and is undergoing a process of social mobility which is closely related to the traditional caste system where both endogenic and exogenic factors come to play.
The book meticulously deals with the social, economic, political and cultural facets of the Kela life, their problems in life and how they solve them. It uncovers the romantic life of the Kelas, their family organization, gender issues, the significance and impact of their leadership and caste panchayats, their harmless deceptive methods for earnings and their simple but unique lifestyle. It also delves deep into the perception of outsiders about the Kela life, especially their free love and of the non-hesitancy of the Kela women in divorcing their life partners.
This, once an untouchable communitys struggle for social mobility, is still an ongoing process. From a nomadic and semi-settled lifestyle, with the advent of the democratic institutions, the Kelas have got a new scope for political and social participation, enabling them to look beyond their traditional occupation of snake-charming, and thus attuning their lifestyle to that of the surrounding population. The book is, therefore, an attempt to show how the nomadic folk society of the Kelas is marching towards the settled life of the Indian peasantry, causing their cultural traits vanishing fast, in favour of the neighbouring culture of the other castes.
The Rabha is an ancient tribal community of the northeast area of India. With both a unique language and religion, they represent an ancient culture continuing to live in modern India; while some aspects of the Hindu religion appear to be assimilated by the community, the author is careful to note that they continue to retain much of their exclusive features, and points out some of those. The author goes to a great depth to present both the religious and social aspects of the Rabha people, and weaves a tapestry of the interrelationships between the two, which serves as the basis for the Rabha life today, as it has also functioned historically. She goes further, pointing out the changes of the Rabha that are occurring in modern Indian society, and points to some influences that modern religions are having on the traditional rituals and rites. With its in-depth study of the unique features of a little-known, ancient society of North East India, the text should be of considerable value for the sociologist, as well as the student of little-known tribal religions; it will also provide a great deal of knowledge to those who are trying to understand the changes that are taking place in modern Indian society, as well as other transitioning nations.
This anthology explores the lived experiences and positioning of women in diverse Indian social, religious and cultural contexts. It deals with issues varying from the intricacies of the gender concepts embedded in contemporary traditionmodernity debates to detailed consideration of women currents of thought, action and life and the problem of understanding that they throw up.
The anthology Tradition and Modernity: Essays on Women of India includes essays ranging from the philosophical and analytical to the descriptive and the explorative and the experimental perspectives. It explores the lived experiences and positioning of women in diverse Indian social, religious and cultural contexts. The essays deal with issues varying from the intricacies of the gender concepts embedded in contemporary traditionmodernity debates to detailed consideration of women currents of thought, action and life and the problem of understanding that they throw up.
While a majority of the papers rightly reflect on the unequal and oppressive situation of the women in highly patriarchal and hierarchical settings, yet there are quite a few which sensitively touch upon the theme of human spirit and the beauty of love and relationships between man and woman in the midst of caste and gender hierarchies. There is reflection on the theme of the growing awareness about the women, environment and development, particularly the relationship between violence of nature and women.
This collection of writings will appeal to readers of all hues as well as students and scholars of culture and religion, in particular of India, gender equality, democracy and difference and feminist theory.
Lord Buddha, in his profound wisdom, said that for extinction of human suffering, complete annihilation of desire is the only way. This is the sacred truth of suffering.
Acarya Carvaka, equally profound in his thinking, said that life is a continuous celebration of desire. Kama (desire) and artha (wealth) are the only true goals of life. Beg, steal or borrow, but live life like a king. Enjoy life full as long as one is alive.
Who is correct? Lord Buddha or Acarya Carvaka? What is desire really meant to Indian society, religion and culture through ages?
The book tries to address these and similar questions objectively and diligently.
Inspired by her extensive travels as UNICEF’s Representative, the author has provided valuable information Þ some hitherto unknown to us Þ supported by statistics, maps and charts on the various aspects of life in the seven North-Eastern States of India in general and the plight of women in particular.
The vast socio-economic and cultural diversity of the north-east region of India remains a largely unexplored area of academic research. Within it, the status of women continues to be a neglected aspect. This book contributes to the slowly expanding body of literature on the subject of the status of women in the seven North-Eastern States of India, viz. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. The author makes a painstaking effort to put together the economic, social, educational and cultural dimensions of the plight of women in these States, in the uniquely individual ecological, historical, social and political backdrop of the region. In the process she uncovers many aspects hitherto unknown to us, and also demolishes certain standard and pre-conceived notions about North-Eastern women. We learn about the distinctive features of each State, individually, in relation to each other, and the country as a whole. Using primary and secondary sources, the author builds up a useful wealth of statistical information about the subject; the book also contains explanatory maps and charts. In all, it is a useful text not just for scholars of the North-East and Gender Studies, but also for the general readers as well.
इस पुस्तक में राष्ट्रवाद की पश्चिमी एवं भारतीय अवधारणा के अनुसार व्याख्या की गई है तथा दोनों में अन्तर्विरोधों एवं विशिष्टताओं को रेखांकित किया गया है। पश्चिम में परिप्रेक्ष्य रहित व्यक्ति की अवधारणा पर आधारित राष्ट्रवाद राजनीतिक राष्ट्रवाद के रूप में ही क्यों परिणत होता है और वह मानवतावाद के विरुद्ध क्यों प्रवृत्त है, यह इस पुस्तक का प्रथम प्रतिपाद्य विषय है। अद्वैत दर्शन पर आधारित सर्वात्मवादी राष्ट्रवाद मानवतावाद की ओर कैसे अग्रसर होता है यह पुस्तक का दूसरा प्रतिपाद्य विषय है। राष्ट्रवाद के प्रायः सभी प्रभावी विमर्शों की चर्चा के साथ-साथ यह पुस्तक भारतीय राष्ट्रवाद का एक अवधारणात्मक विमर्श प्रस्तुत करती हैए जिसे सर्वात्मवादी राष्ट्रवाद का नाम दिया गया है। इस पुस्तक में आधुनिकता को भारत विभाजन के मुख्य कारण के रूप में स्थापित किया गया है।