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

Articles by Rita BraraSubscribe to Rita Brara

The Item Number: Cinesexuality in Bollywood and Social Life

In trying to capture the power of Bollywood's commercial cinema, this paper looks at what is described in common parlance as an item number. The item number is a cine-segment comprising an item-girl/boy, a racy song, a vivacious dance and a surround of erotic and immanent exuberance. At one remove from the cinema hall, item numbers circulate as video clips and off-screen performances that recreate the cinesexual in social life. At this second level, the item number, re-fashioned through spectacular familial and social practices of the middle classes, draws its sense from diverse, gendered and changing micro- contexts of cine-heterosexuality.

Are Grazing Lands Wastelands-Some Evidence from Rajasthan

Are Grazing Lands 'Wastelands'?
Some Evidence from Rajasthan Rita Brara The dominant view contends that vast tracts of common grazing land are wastelands to be greened in the wake of the environmental crisis confronting the country's arid and semi-arid zones. Clearly there can be no definition of wasteland other than that which draws attention to its defining feature of uselessness. What is to be investigated then, is whether this land and its produce, if any, has a use value at all This article, based on a study in the Sikar district of Rajasthan, juxtaposes the state's view (incorporating the scientists' definition) of wastelands to the villagers' perception of the commons which draws its characteristics and validity from the shared context of local inhabitants.

Commons Policy as Process-The Case of Rajasthan, 1955-1985

This article argues that the act of translating what were common grazing lands by usage into a legal, written record through a settlement in Rajasthan led to distortions that militated against the interests of those who were dependent on its produce. Since the settlements were between unequals in political power, the juridical land-use categories grafted on common lands often became impositions. Also, the provisions of four interconnected acts that have a bearing on the subject are often mutually inconsistent. And the pre-eminence of the state in determining land-use is neither supported by principles of jurisprudence nor warranted by the commitment to help the landless.

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