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

Articles by Janaki NairSubscribe to Janaki Nair

Histories of Love and Revolution

Revolutionary Desires: Women, Communism, and Feminism in India by Ania Loomba, Routledge, Special Indian Edition, 2019; pp 321 + ix, ₹ 555.


The Provocations of the Public University

What are the pasts and futures of the public university in India? This question has come to the fore over the last year, when a series of events at some of India’s leading public universities and institutions brought a new focus on the achievements and problems associated with these spaces of higher education. This article argues that any insightful assessment of the public university in India today must take account of its histories, its achievements, and its possible futures. That alone will go a long way towards asserting its continued and vital relevance in a society such as ours.

Indian Urbanism and the Terrain of the Law

In the controversies around, and legal and political challenges to, the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor being constructed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises, one can see signs of a new historical stage and urban form. Court judgments between 1997 and 2006 relating to land acquisition for infrastructure projects such as NICE tell us about the new urban form, which the courts feel obliged to bring into being, displaying a proselytising zeal in promoting corridor urbanism. The corridor project has seized hold of the planning, bureaucratic, and judicial imagination in ways that signal a consensus about the imperatives of rapid capitalist growth, uncontaminated by any early postcolonial notions of developmentalist growth.

Dirty Minds

Nowhere does the habitual or characteristic mental attitude implied in the term “mindset” appear more debilitating than in the Indian outlook towards garbage.

M S S Pandian and His Critical Pen

How does one speak about a figure who has in equal measure been lionised, vilified, celebrated, denigrated, by all those whom he wished to influence, convert, contest, teach or quite simply annoy? How, except by admitting that he succeeded in doing all of the above.

Who Will Educate the Educators?

While Delhi University is facing the wreckers' ball, the Ambedkar University, Delhi has become a viable, vibrant space of thinking and learning. The new political masters must simultaneously perfect the art of judicious intervention to save the former and the craft of withholding the temptation to interfere with the latter.

The Peacocks of Kerehalli

Do we have the intellectual resources to comprehend the transformations that are upon us, especially in our villages? A snapshot of a village in Karnataka illustrates the complex and contradictory processes of resistance and engagement in the prodigious development of capitalism in India.

The 'Composite' State and Its 'Nation': Karnataka's Reunification Revisited

Has the idea of the linguistic state been rendered increasingly irrelevant or less pertinent in the current stage of capitalist development? The unfolding political scenario in Karnataka calls for a return to its founding moments as a linguistic state. In the early 1950s, Kengal Hanumanthaiah developed the idea of a "composite state" partly in order to channelise the discontent within Mysore about the possible loss of (caste) power but equally to provide an alternative matrix (that of development) within the expanded state. What were the roots of that alternative to the (linguistic) state that was being imagined, and have the recent political developments been a realisation of that imagined "composite state" or its demise? This article attempts to frame these questions through a return to the legislative assembly debates of the early 1950s.

The Troubled Relationship of Feminism and History

Why has history remained somewhat impervious to the questions raised by feminist interventions, while other disciplines have felt the imperative of a turn to history in general and feminist historiography in particular? This paper reviews both older and more recent contributions to the field of history to trace the dominant frames within which the methods and critiques of feminism have been accommodated.


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