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

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Gorkhaland Redux

The setting up of the Hill Council in Darjeeling and the more recent attempts at including it under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to extend its autonomy have not met the popular aspirations of the Gorkhas. Yet the Gorkha homeland question is no longer as simple as about autonomy. Doubts remain about the representative claims of the Gorkha community over the entire Nepali population in the country.

Assertive Religious Identities

As religious chauvinism makes its presence increasingly felt in south Asia, the question of probing this 'legacy of cleaving' assumes greater importance. A recent conference studied various aspects of religious identity, and how identities were shaped and moulded in pre-modern, colonial and independent India. In pre-modern India, identities were fluid, even mutable. However, in more modern times, while attempts are made to 'shape' particular identities, identity itself can be adapted to meet changing circumstances and can sometimes be in the nature of protest.

Research in Social Science

A recent workshop brought together research scholars working on eastern India, and by presenting a diverse collection of themes in the papers, went some way towards making up for the gross under-representation of this region in social science research.

Iraq: Media Challenge

In Iraq alongside the military campaign, a media tussle emerged between some of the western channels and their Arab counterparts. Differing representations of the war in this semiotic battle not merely gave scope to varied interpretations, but also provoked controversy.

WEST BENGAL- Destitute Mill Workers Seek Support

no other alternative but to increase domestic oil prices and to reduce the demand for oil and oil products as much as possible. An all- party meeting was converted by the then prime minister V P Singh to arrive at a national consensus in the matter Rajiv Gandhi, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, declined to join in the deliberations even during that period of national crisis.

Practice of Pedagogy in Non-Formal Education

Education Anjan Ghosh In the context of the present din over Total Literacy, a small effort, discussed here, at putting into practice a critical pedagogy shows our pedagogues how to stop canting and start acting, MUCH discussion and debate has focused on alternative pedagogy in non-formal education across the world. The quest for alternative pedagogy has spanned Paulo Friere's Brazilian experiment with the 'pedagogy of the oppressed', Sylvia Ashton Warner's 'organic teaching' among the Maoris in New Zealand, to the Italian school at Barbiana. Yet how far has this rubbed off on the practice of non-formal education in India? A slim but attractively produced two- part primer in Bengali, Major Para Lekhar Khela by Sandip Bandopadhyaya, sponsored and published by Unnayan, a social action group from Calcutta, affords us an opportunity to reflect on the practice of pedagogy in non-formal education here Written specifically fur the 6-14 year old children of Unnayan's non-formal education centres located in the fringes of the city, the primer evolved through a participatory research process whereby the author initially tried out his lessons with the children in the above centres before including them in the primer. Children's suggestions and responses were kept in mind before the lessons were given final form, Often their responses were included verbatim in the text.

Left Front and Jharkhand

Anjan Ghosh The Calcutta rally of January 31 organised by the Jharkhand Co-ordination Committee was a testing time for the CPI(M). For the former it is a question of nurturing dissent into a political alternative, for the latter of maintaining its hegemony among the tribal-peasantry.

People s Power in the Philippines

People's Power in the Philippines Anjan Ghosh BOTH GPD (EPW, February 22 and March 1) and Subrata Sen (Letter to Editor, EPW, April 12) have vainly tried to square events in the Philippines to an orthodox Marxist theory of revolution and hence misconstrue its significance. History on the other hand has a strange irreverence for orthodoxies and every revolutionary situation calls for a creative adaptation of theory to political practice, inflexibilities of theory impoverishes and immobilises mass action in the hour of crisis leading to the tailing of history, not I he making of it. The political revolution which followed in the wake of the February 7 elections in Philippines exemplifies a situation of how people make history. That is why GPD's dismissive remarks about 'people's power' (EPW, March 1) are so utterly misplaced, as is Sen's invocation of "an authentic Leninist vanguard party" (EPW, April 12). in their comments on events in the Philippines both GPL) and Sen display a disregard for the concrete historical conditions in which people have to act, to uphold their hidebound theories.

WEST BENGAL- Upsurge in Mass Lynchings

In November 1985, the general index, exhibiting seasonal behaviour, fell by 1.1 per cent, bringing the inflation rate during current fiscal year so far to 3.1 per cent as compared with 5.4 per cent during April- November 1984, Incidentally, the current inflation rate is the lowest during the last seven years. On the basis of the underlying trend and the likely behaviour of prices in the rest of the year, the rise in prices during the fiscal year 1985-86 could be perceptibly lower than the previous year's inflation rate of 7 per cent, unless there is any mark up in the administered prices. This deceleration does not however signify much to the consumers, for most of the essential commodities continue to show unabated rise in prices.

Class Structure in Rural Bengal

Class Structure in Rural Bengal Anjan Ghosh Classes in a Rural Society by Pradip Kumar Bose; Ajanta Publications, New
RURAL society in India has been characterised by sharp inequalities. Village studies which constitute the staple of sociological research have highlighted primarily its caste elements. In his study Pradip Bose focuses on the rural class structure to explain the structure of rural society in West Bengal. It is based on a study of four villages in Birbhum and Purulia districts. The book developed from the author's doctoral dissertation, brings together data gathered through extended fieldwork in the villages between October 1974 and January 1976, with an additional month-long return to the Birbhum villages in March 1977 to cover the Lok Sabha elections.


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