Sociology and social anthropology in India 9788131720349, 8131720349


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Table of contents :
Cover......Page 1
Sociology and Socialanthropology in india......Page 4
Copyright......Page 5
Contents......Page 6
Foreword......Page 8
Prefatorial......Page 10
Growth of Sociology in India......Page 14
Trends in Various Sub-areas: A Summary View......Page 22
Tribal Studies......Page 24
Rural and Agrarian Studies......Page 26
Political Sociology......Page 27
Women’s Studies......Page 30
Demographic Studies......Page 32
Studies on the Indian Diaspora......Page 33
Criminological Studies......Page 35
Emerging Scenario......Page 36
Teaching of Sociology......Page 37
Research in Sociology......Page 39
To wards a New Research Agenda......Page 40
Concern for the Village......Page 41
Concern for Caste......Page 43
Concern for Change......Page 45
Appendix—1......Page 51
Notes......Page 53
Bibliography......Page 56
Anthropology in India......Page 59
Teaching of Tribal Studies......Page 68
Focus in Tribal Studies......Page 70
Concept of Tribe......Page 78
Tribes in Transition......Page 81
Tribe–Caste Distinction and Relationship......Page 84
Tribes as Indigenous People......Page 89
Economic Problems of Tribes......Page 92
Impact of Development Programmes......Page 95
Tribal Policy......Page 99
Emerging Concerns......Page 101
Bibliography......Page 105
Introduction: Historical Background......Page 127
Institutionalization: Teaching and Research......Page 131
Forms of Publications......Page 132
Authorship......Page 134
Themes of the Published Studies......Page 135
Focus Population of the Studies......Page 136
Geographical Regions Studied......Page 137
Primary Categories of Analysis......Page 139
‘Old’ Questions, ‘New’ Researches......Page 142
Land Reforms and Rural Development......Page 143
The Green Revolution and the Changing Agrarian Relations......Page 145
Rural Political Process......Page 149
Crises of Agriculture......Page 152
Globalization and Agriculture......Page 154
Culture and Agriculture......Page 156
Gender, Culture, and Patriarchy......Page 158
Ecology and Environment......Page 160
Village and Agriculture in India Today......Page 161
Concluding Comments......Page 162
Notes......Page 163
Bibliography......Page 164
The Beginnings......Page 194
Teaching of Political Sociology in India......Page 195
Earlier Surveys......Page 196
Brief Account of Studies in Political Sociology up to 1988......Page 197
The Present Report: 1988–2001......Page 201
Local and National-Level Political Studies......Page 204
Election Studies and Political Parties......Page 210
Studies on Democracy, Civil Society, Ethnicity and Nation-State......Page 219
Studies on Communalism......Page 226
Emerging Trends and Gaps......Page 231
Bibliography......Page 234
Status of Urban Studies......Page 246
Research on Cities......Page 247
Urban Communities......Page 249
Urban Policies and Processes......Page 251
Urban Poverty......Page 255
Urbanization and Health......Page 257
Urban Violence......Page 259
Slums......Page 260
Urban Infrastructure......Page 263
Conclusion......Page 265
Bibliography......Page 267
Introduction......Page 273
Survey of Research in Industrial Sociology 1987–2002......Page 275
Organization of Industry: Managerial Strategies and Problems......Page 276
Entrepreneurship Studies......Page 279
Studies on Labour Markets......Page 280
Work and Technology......Page 282
Labour in the Formal......Page 284
Changing Role of Trade Unions in the Formal Sector......Page 287
Worker Cooperatives......Page 288
Labour in Plantations......Page 290
Studies on Voluntary Retirement......Page 291
Labour in the Informal Sector......Page 292
Social Security......Page 297
Women and Work......Page 298
Concluding Observations......Page 302
Notes......Page 304
Bibliography......Page 305
Introduction......Page 311
Growth of Women’s Studies and the Women’s Movement: Theory and Praxis......Page 314
Teaching of Women’s Studies in Indian Universities......Page 319
Research Trends in Women’s Studies......Page 322
Family, Marriage, and Kinship......Page 323
Family, Kinship, and External Forces......Page 332
Gender, Caste, and Communities......Page 333
Dalit Women......Page 336
Sexuality/Widowhood......Page 337
Conflict, War, Peace, Politics, and Violence......Page 338
Theoretical and Methodological Issues......Page 340
Gaps in Research......Page 343
Notes......Page 347
Bibliography......Page 348
Introduction......Page 368
Fertility Transition......Page 369
Determinants of Fertility Transition......Page 370
Regional Variations in Fertility Decline......Page 373
Proximate Determinants of Fertility......Page 378
Trends in Mortality and Health Indicators......Page 381
Causes of Death......Page 383
Notes......Page 392
Bibliography......Page 393
Introduction......Page 401
The Indian Diaspora: Reality and Concept......Page 402
Indian Diaspora in Ancient Times......Page 405
Indian Diaspora During European Colonialism......Page 406
Indian Diaspora in the Post-Colonial Period......Page 407
Survey of Literature on Indian diaspora......Page 409
Demography of Population Movements......Page 411
Causes of and Conditions for Migration......Page 412
The Changing Composition of the ‘Host’ Country......Page 413
Social Organization of the Diasporic Community......Page 414
Cultural Dynamics of the Diasporic Community......Page 415
The Question of Identity......Page 416
The Secondary Emigration......Page 417
Orientation of the Diasporic Indians to the Ancestral Land......Page 418
Impact of Emigrants on the Local Society in the Ancestral Land......Page 419
Approaches to the Study of Indian Diaspora......Page 420
Conclusion......Page 422
Notes......Page 423
Bibliography......Page 426
Introduction......Page 455
The Development Debate during the Reference Period......Page 456
Demography and Health......Page 462
Poverty and Rural Development......Page 463
Education and Human Resource Development......Page 469
Malnutrition and Public Distribution System......Page 473
Liberalization, Privatization, and Globalization......Page 475
Gender and Social Inequalities......Page 477
Role of NGOs in Development......Page 482
Development is Growth Plus Social Change......Page 483
Development is Liberation from Dependency and Exploitation......Page 484
Culture and Development......Page 485
Cultural Change Under the Impact of Modernization......Page 486
Summing Up......Page 487
Bibliography......Page 489
Teaching of Criminology in India......Page 515
Teaching of Criminology in Academic Institutions......Page 516
Sociological Content in Syllabi of Criminology......Page 517
Professionalization......Page 518
Connecting the Present Survey with Earlier Surveys......Page 519
The Present Report......Page 520
Research Trends......Page 521
Criminological Studies......Page 523
Crime and Deviance......Page 526
Criminal Justice Administration......Page 530
Correctional Administration Studies......Page 531
Victimology......Page 533
Juvenile Delinquency......Page 536
Human Rights......Page 537
Crime Prevention and Control......Page 540
Legal and Other Interventions......Page 542
Conclusions......Page 543
Research Gaps......Page 544
Agenda for the Future......Page 545
Notes......Page 546
Bibliography......Page 547
First and Second Surveys......Page 567
Perspective in the Present Survey......Page 568
Innovative Departures in the Study of Sociology of Law......Page 569
Critique of the Indian Legal System, its Legitimacy, Etc......Page 573
Studies on Lawyers......Page 578
Lawyers and Touts: A Study in the Sociology of the Legal Profession......Page 579
Sociology of Law and the Legal Profession: A Study of Relations Between Lawyers and their Clients......Page 580
Women, Crime and Law......Page 581
Lawyers, Polity, and Society......Page 582
Studies of Court Culture......Page 583
The Emergent Legal Culture in India: The Rise of Public Interest Litigation......Page 585
What is Public Interest Litigation?......Page 586
Lawyers and Public Interest Litigation......Page 587
Law Columnists and Public Interest Litigation......Page 590
Ecology-Related Public Interest Litigation......Page 591
Ecology, PIL, and Creative Expansion of the Constitutional Provisions......Page 592
PIL and the Judicial Selectivity......Page 594
Civil Society, PIL and the State......Page 595
Sociology of Law: Its Praxis, Reach, and Relevance......Page 597
Appendix 1......Page 599
Notes......Page 601
Bibliography......Page 603
The Contributors......Page 608
Index......Page 610
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Sociology and Social anthropology in india

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ICSSR SuRvey of AdvAnCeS In ReSeARCh

Sociology and Social anthropology in india

Edited by

Yogesh Atal

Indian Council of Social Science Research

Delhi • Chennai • Chandigarh

Copyright © 2009, Indian Council of Social Science Research This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior written consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser and without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.

Published by Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd., licensees of Pearson Education in South Asia. Head Office: 7th Floor, Knowledge Boulevard, A-8(A), Sector - 62, Noida, UP 201 301, India. Registered Office: 14 Local Shopping Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110 017, India. ISBN: 978-81-317-2034-9 First Impression Typeset by Digigraphics Printed in India by Repro India Ltd.

contentS

Foreword 1.

Indian Sociology: The Journey So Far and the Way Ahead Yogesh Atal

2.

446

Criminological Studies G.S. Bajpai

12.

392

Development Studies in India R.R. Prasad

11.

359

The Study of Indian Diaspora N. Jayaram

10.

302

Demographic Transition in India Leela Visaria

9.

264

Women’s Studies Abha Chauhan

8.

237

Survey of Research in Industrial Sociology Sharit K. Bhowmik

7.

185

Urban Sociology Sharit K. Bhowmik

6.

118

Political Sociology in India Surendra K. Gupta

5.

50

Rural and Agrarian Studies Surinder S. Jodhka and Paul D’Souza

4.

1

Anthropological Studies of Indian Tribes Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Sukant K. Chaudhury

3.

vii

506

Research in Sociology of Law Joginder S. Gandhi

558

About the Editor and Contributors

599

Index

601

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foreword

As an organization committed to the promotion of research in various fields of social sciences, it is the task of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) to continually monitor trends of research and identify fresh set of priorities in tune with the changing times and emerging needs of the profession. The idea of carrying out a survey of research done in various fields until the time of the founding of the ICSSR was mooted by its first Chairman, Professor D.R. Gadgil, in 1969. Following that directive, the ICSSR commissioned a series of surveys in seven major areas of social science research, namely (1) economics, commerce, and demography; (2) political science and international relations; (3) public administration; (4) management; (5) sociology, anthropology, social work, and criminology; (6) psychology; and (7) economic, human and political geography. Based on these commissioned studies, ICSSR published the first set of 25 volumes in the year 1975. Encouraged by the success of this effort and the positive response from the social science community, the ICSSR decided to conduct such periodical surveys to update the history of the growth of these disciplines in India. For various reasons, however, the commissioning and completion of the subsequent surveys could not adhere either to a common timetable, or to a common coverage in terms of time period. As a result, the various disciplines are at different stages of surveying and reviewing the work done in their respective fields in India. To rectify this deficiency, the ICSSR took steps in the year 2003 to initiate another round of surveys in different fields so as to cover the research trends in these fields up to the year 2002. This volume on sociology and social anthropology represents the fourth round of surveys covering the period since 1988. The first survey covered the entire period of research until 1969; the second survey covered the decade of 1969–79; and the third covered the period 1980–87. In all, eight volumes were published: three each for the first two surveys and two for the third. Some of the papers prepared for the third survey were independently printed because of their late receipt. The Council invited Professor Yogesh Atal to take charge of the fourth round of survey in the field of sociology and social anthropology. As the first Director of Research at the ICSSR, Professor Atal was associated with the first survey and

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Foreword

served as Member-Secretary of the Advisory Committee for the survey set up for these two disciplines. His continued involvement in the fourth survey ensured that the original concerns behind this project were fully addressed. Since no disciplinary advisory committee was set up this time, Professor Atal convened a meeting of distinguished scholars from these disciplines to give shape to the guidelines, and to identify the topics for inclusion in the survey and also their respective authors. Based on the prevailing trends of research, the meeting identified 11 areas for inclusion in the survey. These studies were commissioned in October 2003. A second meeting of authors was convened later to conduct a midterm review of the progress. Finally, upon the completion of the studies, another meeting was held in early 2007 in which some experts—other than the authors— were also invited to comment on each individual paper. The authors then did the final revisions in the light of these discussions. Besides meticulously editing these papers, Professor Atal—as the editor-in-chief—has contributed a lengthy and substantive introduction to encapsulate the long history of the development of these disciplines in India and to suggest areas that need priority attention. The entire exercise took four years to complete and another year to come out in print. But the outcome has been worth the wait. On behalf of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, I wish to put on record our grateful thanks for the dedication and commitment with which Professor Yogesh Atal managed this enormous task. For this project, Professor Atal was involved in the review of close to 3,600 studies in varied subspecialities of sociology and social anthropology, and their presentation in 11 papers contributed by distinguished sociologists and anthropologists. I also wish to thank all the authors who have made this publication possible, and those experts who participated in the meetings preparatory to this volume. The ICSSR hopes to continually receive cooperation of the academic community in its task to promote the growth of social sciences in India through its various programmes and activities. New Delhi

Javeed Alam Chairman Indian Council of Social Science Research

1 IndIan SocIology: The Journey So Far and The Way ahead Yogesh Atal

A growing discipline passes through various phases. It begins its journey as an illegitimate child; in due course, it gets institutionalized—it begins to wear a professional look; and then it starts participating in the culture of romance with other disciplines. The living discipline, thus, remains endogamous only for a little while; its strength lies in its being heterogamous.1

Prefatorial The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), soon after its inception in the late 1960s, initiated a series of surveys of research in different social science disciplines. That was the first major attempt to document the history and growth of social sciences in the country. Covering the disciplines of (i) economics, (ii) geography, (iii) political science, (iv) public administration, (v) psychology, and (vi) sociology, social anthropology, and social work, this massive exercise resulted in the publication of 25 volumes. In each of the disciplines, several authors were commissioned to write individual chapters on different sub-branches. These surveys were intended to be stocktaking exercises, indicating what has been achieved in Indian social sciences in terms of theory, methodology, and empirical evidence, and what gaps exist, which need to be prioritized for future agendas. Apart from providing the academic community a useful reference material, and an intellectual history of the various disciplines, these surveys helped the ICSSR in determining its priorities for research grants and for sponsored projects. The academic community welcomed this initiative and expressed the hope that this would be a continuing exercise. Encouraged by such overwhelming response, the ICSSR launched another programme of publishing Journals of Research Abstracts and Reviews in individual disciplines. These journals provide updates on current research and are a useful resource for any scholar interested in attempting a trend analysis. Over the years, the programme of surveys of research has somehow lost its momentum with the result that the continuity has suffered. For example, while the fourth survey results of psychology, covering the period up to 1992, has been published, in sociology and social anthropology the fourth survey covering the

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period after 1987 was not commissioned until the year 2003. In that year, the ICSSR decided to give fresh impetus to this programme by initiating the next round of surveys covering six major disciplines, namely, economics, sociology and social anthropology, geography, political science and public administration, psychology, and education. These surveys were expected to update the developments in these disciplines up to the year 2002 so that all the disciplines have a comparative benchmark. The present round of survey—which is the fourth—is intended to fill the lacunae and portray the intellectual history of sociology/social anthropology as it is shaping in India. The survey is intended to be India specific, focussing on the contributions of Indian scholars, on India or any other society, and the social scientific work on India by expatriates. The purpose of the survey is to portray the objective and quantitative growth of the discipline in India. It was not meant to be judgemental. The authors of various themes were expected to draw the emerging profile of that subspecialty rather than offer personal statements, or pass judgements on the ‘merits’ or the ‘quality’ of the publications. Covering the books and research papers, each surveyor was expected to identify the trends of research in a given specialty, indicating the themes that were losing attention and the new ones being adopted. It was hoped that such an analysis would help the author to search for factors responsible for new developments in the discipline. Couched in the framework of social science of knowledge, the survey was expected to go beyond a mere chronology of events and indicate the factors that have influenced the course of events. Apart from being a mere history of past developments, the purpose of this exercise was also to identify the gaps that exist in research—the unresearched (or little researched) topics, regions, or communities—and establish a fresh set of priorities for future research. Unlike the first round of surveys, when no databases existed, the situation today is very encouraging. The present exercise is built upon the previous surveys, treating the last survey as the benchmark. The selection of topics for the fourth round was a hilarious task. The ICSSR wanted no more than 12 studies to be commissioned. But the hope was that it would update the information on the themes covered in the previous surveys, and also include new areas which have been taken up for research during the period under survey. Fulfilling both the objectives and yet keeping to the limit of 12 essays was indeed a tall order. In the first survey (Srinivas et al. 1974), a total of 24 papers were commissioned, and these were published in three volumes. The topics covered were applied anthropology, caste, community development and Panchayati Raj, cultural/social anthropology, economic development, folklore, historical sociology, industrial sociology, kinship, material culture, political sociology, research methodology, rural studies, scheduled castes, social change, social demography, social stratification, social work, sociology of education, sociology of law, sociology of medicine, tribal ethnography, and urban studies. The listing clearly shows that much of the

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3

work was done in the areas that fall in the common territory of sociology and anthropology. The studies on social stratification had high incidence; which is why three chapters were devoted to them namely, caste, scheduled castes, and social stratification. In anthropology also, in addition to a chapter on anthropological studies, a separate chapter was devoted to tribal ethnography. The overlaps were unavoidable. Anthropological studies, for example, on caste and the villages, were covered in chapters surveying research on village studies, caste, and anthropology. The newly emerging areas like sociology of medicine and sociology of law were also given space in that exercise. The number of studies commissioned for the second survey, covering the period 1969–79, was reduced to 20. However, only 16 themes were surveyed. The four that were left out were kinship and family, Indians abroad (diaspora), medicine and health, and sociology of arts. Eleven of the areas covered and reported were the same as in the first survey. Among those that were included but could not be completed two were new, namely, sociology of arts and Indian diaspora. No information is thus available on the developments in sociology of kinship and sociology of medicine for the second period. The areas that were dropped in the second survey were applied anthropology, caste, community development, economic development,2 material culture,3 scheduled castes, social change, and social work.4 This round covered for the first time sociological theory, sociology of communication, sociology of professions, and sociology of science and technology.5 In the third survey,6 17 themes were covered. Included among these were five new areas, namely, culture and communication, old age, women’s studies, youth, and Indian diaspora—the last one was also included in the second survey but was later dropped.7 Sociology of education, political sociology, tribal ethnographies, urban studies, and sociology of religion are the five themes that have continuously been covered in all three surveys. Those that were covered in the first and the third surveys were rural development and scheduled castes. Similarly, social movements and sociology of science and technology were covered in both the second and the third rounds of the surveys. In order to identify the themes/topics for the fourth round of survey in sociology and anthropology, a meeting of some senior sociologists—in the hope that they would also be potential authors—was convened on 22 September 2003. The tabular analysis of the subjects covered in the previous surveys was presented at the meeting, and the participants were invited to make recommendations for the topics that should be included in the fourth round of survey. Reviewing the themes/topics covered in the last three surveys, the meeting decided to have the survey carried out on the following 11 themes: sociology of development and change, political sociology, rural and agrarian studies, urban studies and industrial studies, social stratification and mobility, criminological studies, population and health studies, gender studies, Indian diaspora, tribal studies; and culture and communication.

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Scholars were also identified for each of these themes, most of whom were present at the September meeting. But as it transpired, some scholars withdrew from the exercise, others continued but did not make any progress and, therefore, had to be regrettably dropped; time was wasted in finding their replacements. Even the titles of the chapters had to be changed. For example, the meeting suggested that both urban and industrial studies should be covered in one chapter, but the author found it difficult to handle them in a single exercise and, therefore, volunteered to prepare two separate chapters. We had the hardest time in three areas—the survey on social stratification and mobility, sociology of development, and culture and communication. Social stratification had to be finally dropped as no progress had been made on it despite changing twice the scholars who were to do that part of the survey. Similarly, the survey on sociology of development and change, taken so enthusiastically by a scholar, remained at a standstill until the middle of 2006, when the contract had to be withdrawn, and another scholar was approached to prepare a chapter on just developmental studies. Similarly, with no progress made on the chapter on culture and communication, despite a change of authors, the theme had to be dropped. In place of social stratification, it was decided to have a chapter on sociology of law; that too was commissioned as late as May 2006. The present survey, thus, finally covers the following 11 topics: tribal studies, rural and agrarian studies, political sociology, urban sociology, industrial sociology, women’s studies, demographic transition, Indian diaspora, studies on development, criminological studies, and sociology of law. Appendix 1 shows the different topics covered in the four surveys. Table 1.1 shows the continuity and discontinuity of the different topics. With all the ups and downs, the fourth round of the survey that was initiated in September 2003, was completed towards the middle of 2007. This story, in short, should convey to the reader how hard it is to commission a cooperative project. While every effort has been made by the editor to ensure uniformity of presentation in each chapter, the reader is sure to find deviations. Overall, the exercise has been rewarding. It has updated the story of the growth of the two disciplines in India up to the year 2002/03—in some cases even going beyond the set limit—paving the way for the fifth round. Learning from this experience, it might be advisable to routinize this exercise by developing a suitable data bank, amenable to constant updating so that delays are curtailed and continuity is maintained. It might also be necessary to review the policy of surveying research by conventional subdivisions/topics. With only 11 themes covered, it is certain that some of the areas in which Indian sociologists have contributed have been inadvertently left out. How can one ensure that the present history of the growth of the discipline documents all the developments faithfully? We have followed one approach and noted its limitations. The other possibility is to go by the list of publications of individual scholars, or of various departments,

Indian Sociology

Table 1.1

5

Frequency of coverage of different Topics in the Four Surveys

Coverage in

Topics covered

1. First survey only

Applied anthropology, caste, folklore, historical sociology, kinship, material culture, social change, social work, sociology of medicine

2. Second survey only

Sociological theory, sociology of communication, sociology of professions

3. Third survey only

Culture, communication and development, old age, youth

4. First and second surveys

Cultural anthropology, social stratification

5. First and third surveys only

CDP/ rural development, scheduled castes

6. Second and third surveys only

Social movements, sociology of science and technology

7. Third and fourth surveys only

Women’s studies, Indian diaspora

8. First, second and third surveys only

Sociology of education, sociology of religion

9. First, second and fourth only

Industrial sociology, social demography

10. First, third and fourth only

Economic development/development studies, agrarian studies

11. Second, third and fourth

Deviant behaviour/criminology

12. In all the four surveys

Political sociology, tribal studies, urban studies

and attempt a classification to identify the categories in which their work falls. Combining the two approaches is indeed a difficult and complicated exercise. This is a challenge for future surveys.

Growth of Sociology in India It was the period of the early 1970s when the first exercise of surveys of research in the social sciences was carried out under the auspices of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. The sociology enterprise even then was already

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impressive in size. At that time, 49 universities and 34 affiliated colleges had sociology departments teaching postgraduate courses. In addition, there were 15 departments of anthropology. The number of colleges that taught sociology at the undergraduate level was even higher. In Rajasthan, for example, sociology began to be taught at the Maharana Bhopal College, Udaipur, long before the Rajasthan University had its own department. In 1969–70, postgraduate enrolment in India in sociology and anthropology stood at about 5,000, constituting 12 per cent of the total postgraduate enrolment in the social sciences.8 In sociology alone, there were as many as 352 students registered for Ph.D. courses, accounting for 16.34 per cent of the total enrolled for doctoral degrees in all the social sciences. The faculty in the postgraduate departments of sociology and anthropology numbered 362 (243 sociologists and 119 anthropologists) constituting 14 per cent of the total social science faculty. By 1971, India had already produced a total of 483 doctoral theses in sociology, social anthropology, criminology and social work. An average of 46 Ph.D.s per year is being produced in the country since 1968. Incidentally, this number does not include those who have received their degrees from abroad. Considering that sociology and anthropology were late entrants into the Indian academia, and that they arrived through different doors—philosophy, psychology, economics, human geography, and Indology—these figures suggested a phenomenal growth of the twin disciplines. The 1970s was a period of their institutionalization. While the two disciplines were facing a recognition and identity crisis, the puritans in them, on the other hand, had begun demanding separate territories for sociology and anthropology. Sociologists regarded social anthropologists as ‘intruders’ into their discipline, and physical anthropologists treated them as ‘defectors’ and ‘renegades’. Amidst all this, village studies provided a common ground for the specialists of the two disciplines. Some foreigners also joined the debate on what constitutes Indian sociology. The early issues of the journal, Contributions to Indian Sociology, then edited by Louis Dumont and David Pocock, covered this interesting development. Opinions differed on whether Indian sociology is defined as sociology for India, or sociology of India, or a sociology that is Indian as distinct from the Western sociology. Somewhere in this debate was hidden the demand for Indigenization (Atal 1981). Again, this concept was vaguely defined. Indian critics of Western sociology began to highlight the non-applicability of the theories/concepts and methodology originating in the West in the Indian setting. Others insisted on developing a different sociology for India, using the traditional concepts and ways of understanding society rooted in religious and philosophical literature. Some extremists even thought of the Bhagwad Gita’s emphasis on karma as the predecessor to do Talcott Parsons’ Action Frame of Reference!! Empirically oriented researchers followed the path of descriptive study the present through rigorous participant observation rather than bothering about theoretical formulations. The situation has changed remarkably over the years. One does not notice the kind of acrimony between sociologists and social anthropologists that prevailed

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7

in the 1960s, although there are still some proponents of this divide.9 In fact, some of India’s pioneering sociologists are those who had their degrees in social anthropology. However, it is frustrating to notice today the relative negligence of social anthropology in the departments of anthropology, which are overwhelmingly dominated by physical anthropologists. The Sagar University, under the leadership of Professor Dube, started a joint department of anthropology and sociology, but after his departure, they have become separate entities and the anthropology department there does not have any permanent faculty member in social anthropology. Anthropology departments in, Lucknow, Raipur, and Punjab Universities are, likewise, dominated by physical anthropology. In the 1970s, there were 15 departments of anthropology. The Status Report on Anthropology, published by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1982, counted 26 departments in 22 universities, two universities having two and three departments respectively. Sixteen of them were exclusively of anthropology. Six were composite departments,10 two each of sociology and anthropology, and sociology and social anthropology, and one each of human genetic, and physical anthropology, and prehistoric archaeology. At one time, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, had two anthropology departments, one of social anthropology and the other of physical anthropology and archaeology; they have now been merged into one department. Two universities had departments of social anthropology, one of anthropological linguistics and the other of human biology. There are presently 33 university departments of anthropology the most recent additions being at Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. In the area of sociology, one can discover changes on several indicators— number of departments, size of faculty, number of Ph.D.s, number of students enrolled for postgraduate courses, volume of publications, membership of the Indian Sociological Society, even the number of Research Committees (RCs) created by the ISS. The profession has grown by any indicator we may employ. It is no longer a small tribe where practitioners knew each other personally, and even familially; gemeinschaft has given way to gesselschaft. According to the University Grants Commission, sociology is currently taught in 80 universities in 25 states and Union territories; our search has added nine more to this number. These are given in Table 1.2.11 It is surprising that the UGC list did not mention Panjab University in Chandigarh, which set up its Department of Sociology and Anthropology as far back as 1960. It also wrongly mentions Jadavpur in the State of Maharashtra. Worthy of note is the fact that the list mentions only those universities that have teaching departments. There are other universities, of the affiliating type, that allow teaching at the Masters level in the colleges affiliated to it, and conduct examinations and awards degrees. A case in point is Kanpur University in Uttar Pradesh. There may be similar other cases. We will, thus, have to add the colleges that teach sociology at the undergraduate and the postgraduate level. In this list, there is mention of one Agricultural University in Orissa that teaches sociology. There are several other such institutes

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and universities in the field of agriculture and engineering and technology that have departments of social sciences with the faculty specialising in sociology/social anthropology. However, Table 1.2 gives a broad idea of the spread of teaching in sociology at the post graduate level in our institutions of higher learning. From 49 universities in the 1970s the number of sociology departments in the universities has grown to at least 89. That itself indicates huge growth in the popularity of the discipline. Add to this, the number of Institutes set up to teach management and business administration where some aspects of sociology form part of the essential core syllabus. Table 1.2

State-wise distribution of universities with Sociology departments

Name of the State / Union Territory

Number of Universities

Names of the Universities

Andhra Pradesh

7

Andhra, Hyderabad, Kakatiya, Nagarjuna, Osmania, Sri Krishnadevaraya, Sri Venkateshwara

Assam

2

Assam, Dibrugarh

Bihar

4

Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit, L.N. Mithila, Patna, T.M. Bhagalpur

Chandigarhi

1

Panjab

Chhattisgarh

1

Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla

Delhi

4

Delhi, Jamia Milia, JNU, IGNOUii

Goa

1

Goa

Gujarat

6

Bhavnagar, Gujarat (Ahmedabad), Baroda, Sardar Patel, Saurashtra, South Gujarat

Haryana

2

Kurukshetra, Maharshi Dayanand (Rohtak)

Himachal Pradesh

1

Himachal Pradesh (Shimla)

Jammu and Kashmir

2

Jammu, Kashmir (Srinagar)

Jharkhand

1

Ranchi

Karnataka

7

Bangalore,Gulbarga, Karnataka, Kuvempu, Mangalore, Mysore, Karnataka State Open Universityiii

Kerala

2

Kerala, Sri Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit

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Table 1.2 (Continued) Name of the State / Union Territory

Number of Universities

Madhya Pradesh

4

Maharashtra

10

Meghalaya Nagaland Orissa

1 1 3

Punjab Rajasthan

2 5

Tamilnadu

8

Uttar Pradesh

8

Uttaranchal West Bengal

2 4

Total

89

Names of the Universities

Barakatullah, Dr H.S. Gaur, Rani Durgavati, MG Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya Mumbai, Dr B.R. Ambedkar Marathwada, Nagpur, SNDT Women’s, Shivaji, University of Pune and Tilak Universityiv, North Maharashtra, Amravativ North Eastern Hill (NEHU) Nagaland Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Sambalpur, Utkal Guru Nanak Dev, Punjabi Jai Narain Vyas, ML Sukhadia, Rajasthan, Banasthali, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth Annamalai, Bharathiar, Bharatidasan, Madras, Madurai Kamraj, Manonmaniam Sundaranar, Mother Terresa, Gandhigram Rural Institute Aligarh, BHU, Bundelkhand, Agra, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Kashi Vidyapeeth, and Kanpurvi H.N. Bahuguna Garhwal, Kumaun Burdwan, Kolkata, Kalyani, North Bengal,vii Jadavpurviii

i. This name was not included in the UGC list. Punjab University began teaching sociology in 1961. ii. Not included in the UGC list. iii. Not included in UGC list. iv. University of Pune and Tilak University are not included in UGC list; it may be noted that Pune University has one of the oldest departments. v. The last two universities, according to Professor Bhowmik, do not teach sociology. vi. Last three not included in the UGC list. University of Lucknow had pioneered teaching in sociology. vii. Not included in the UGC List. viii. UGC list put Jadavpur in the State of Maharashtra!

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The figures for those who received Ph.D.s in sociology between 1988 – 2003 are given in Table 1.3. This suggests that, in these eight years, a total of 2,818 Ph.D.s were produced in sociology, anthropology, and social work giving an average of 176 Ph.D.s per year. Table 1.3 Year

Ph.d.s in Sociology/anthropology/Social Work 1988–2003 Sociology

Social Anthropology

Social Work

Total

1988

163

33

26

222

1989

152

22

31

205

1990

153

26

19

198

1991

100

100

34

234

1992

137

119

36

292

1993

140

132

55

327

1994

180

70

80

330

1995

91

18

12

121

1996

80

12

9

101

1997

86

29

4

119

1998

73

24

6

103

1999

43

16

2

61

2000

44

17

4

65

2001

98

14

20

132

2002

96

16

18

130

2003

145

21

12

178

Total

1781

669

368

2818

Source: compiled from various sources by the ICSSR Social Science documentation centre.

Indian Sociological Conferences Held Between 1989 and 2003 During this period, the Indian Sociological Society organized as many as 13 All India Sociological Conferences. The themes chosen for these conferences and their venues are given in Table 1.4:

Indian Sociology

Table 1.4

11

all India Sociological conferences 1989–2003

Conference

Year

Venue

Theme

XVIII

19–21 May, 1987

North Eastern Hill University

XIX

3–5 March, 1989

Haryana AgriRural Development cultutral University, Hissar

XX

29–31 December, 1993

St. Alosious College, Mangalore

XXI

19–21 December, 1994

Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Dimensions University, of Social Change New Delhi

XXII

16–18 December, 1995

Barkatullah University, Bhopal

Challenge of Change and the Indian Sociology

XXIII

23–25 November, 1996

Shivaji University, Kolhapur

Ecology, Society and Culture

XXIV

22–24 December, 1997

Osmania University, Hyderabad

Fifty Years of India’s Indepenence and Beyond

XXV

17–19 December, 1998

Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

Nation, Nationality and National Identity: South Asia

XXVI

29–31 December, 2000

University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram

Civil Society in India

XXVII

26–28 December, 2001

Guru Nanak Dev Half a Century of University, Sociology in India Amritsar (1951–2001): Challenges, Responses and Expectations

XXVIII

18–20 December, 2002

Indian Institute of Globalization and Technology, the Indian Society Kanpur

XXIX

21–23 December, 2003

M.P. University of Social Policy, Agriculture and Governance and Technology, Mobilization Udaipur

Sociology and Social Transformation in India

Identity, Equality, and Social Transformation

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The themes chosen for the various sessions of the conferences are indicative of the current interests of Indian sociologists. It may also be noted that in the 1990s, the Indian Sociological Society adopted the model of the International Sociological Association and set up various research committees. Today, they number 21. A glance through their nomenclature (see Appendix 2) will give an idea of the current research interests. However, it may be noted that not all RCs are that active.

Research Projects in Sociology Sanctioned by the ICSSR The Indian Council of Social Science Research sanctioned during the period 1988–2003 a total of 201 research projects, of which 53, representing 26.4 per cent of the total, were in the field of sociology (see Table 1.5). Table 1.5

research Projects in Sociology Sanctioned by the IcSSr

Years

Total Projects Sanctioned

Projects in Sociology

Percentage of the Total

1998–99

54

13

24.1

1999–2000

37

09

24.3

2000–01

36

12

33.3

2001–02

20

02

10.0

2002–03

54

17

31.5

Total

201

53

26.4

Avenues for Publication Today there are several avenues open for publication of sociological research. Apart from the Sociological Bulletin—the official organ of the Indian Sociological Society—and the Eastern Anthropologist—the old journal in the field of anthropology published from Lucknow by Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society established by D.N. Majumdar in 1945—articles of sociological relevance are published in various other journals, including Economic and Political Weekly. There are today several journals in the field of sociology and anthropology.12 The Indian Council of Social Science Research started the Journal of Abstracts and Book Reviews for sociology and anthropology (as it did for other social science disciplines) in the 1970s, which reproduces abstracts of articles and book reviews published in a select number of sociology-anthropology journals published in India. This journal is a handy guide for judging the trends of research. The authors of this survey have used back volumes of this journal. However, it must be

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said that the journal could not maintain its regularity for a variety of reasons, and therefore the authors tapped other sources to supplement the information.

Trends in Various Sub-areas: A Summary View We may now turn to the survey chapters and examine the key findings in each of them. Before we do that, it should be said that the authors were requested to follow a common format for the presentation of their findings so that uniformity is maintained and comparisons are made possible. The ICSSR provided the following ‘Format for Individual Chapters’: 1. Introduction 2. Growth of the sub-speciality in the country in the context of international social science, linking it with the findings of the previous surveys 3. Teaching of the sub-speciality in Indian universities (if it is interdisciplinary, mention should be made of the interfaces with other disciplines) 4. Research trends: chronological with classification in terms of areas, population groups (target audiences), and topics 5. Major landmarks and highlights of the contributions and their perceived impact 6. Research gaps and other problems (for example, publication crises, non-utilization of research findings, etc.) 7. Agenda for Future 8. Bibliography by sub-speciality, by authors in a chronological order. Every effort was made to ensure that this format was followed, although some deviations were unavoidable. It is encouraging to note that most of the participating authors yielded to the advice to tabulate the bibliographical data. However, in interpreting the quantitative information, one will have to observe some caution. The following limitations may be kept in mind: 1. Not all scholars have followed the same time frame. Some have covered studies which were carried out prior to 1988; similarly, some others have covered studies beyond the year 2002. 2. Not all the articles covered may qualify as research papers. Some of them may have been written for the newspapers, and may even be opinionated. This is more so in the case of articles related to criminology, human rights, etc. 3. The articles produced in anthologies may have been written prior to the period under survey.

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4. The books may not all be research monographs. 5. All unpublished Ph.D. theses may not have been covered in the survey. The same goes for the papers presented at seminars and conferences; such grey literature constitutes an important corpus but remains unreported. I have listed the themes of the All India Conferences of ISS, but a listing of the seminars and symposia held during the period under review could provide more information about the research trends in the profession. Table 1.6 Three-year Breakdown of Number of Studies in Various Subfields Years

Pol Soc

Ur- Indus- Dias- Tri- Cri- Ag- Deve- Wo- Demo- Total ban trial pora bal mino- rar- lop- men gralogy ian mental phic

1988–90

32

17

6

39

NA

NA

43

247

35

6

425

1991–93

32

16

14

80

44

NA

40

291

41

3

561

1994–96

14

14

26

85

106

103

42

253

51

13

707

1997–99

49

17

34

68

89

132 124

319

72

22

926

2000–02

37

15

25

77

94

202 101

340

69

12

972

164

79

105

349

333

Total

437 350 1,450 268

56 3,596

A total of 3,596 studies in 10 of the 11 fields13 covered during this period have been analysed in the various chapters that follow. There is an incremental pattern in nine areas which shows that from 425 studies in the period 1988–90, the number has gone up to 972 in 2000–02. The largest number of studies is reported in the area of development research; however, it must be stressed that this is an area where interdisciplinary perspective has prevailed; Thus, contributions are made by scholars from a variety of disciplines. And not all of such writings can strictly be called research studies.14 Nevertheless such a large volume of publications indicates that there exists a substantial readership in the development field consisting not only of practising sociologists but also of administrators and planners. In the field of criminology also as many as 437 studies have been listed. But here again, not all of them are strictly research studies—articles by police officials, judges, committed scholars—constitute the bulk. Of course, Ph.D. studies are also listed in the field of criminology but are largely unpublished. Since we do not have comparable figures for Ph.D. theses, criminological studies might show a somewhat inflated number. In other areas, the largest number of studies relates to rural and agrarian studies (350) and the Indian diaspora (349), followed by tribal communities (333) and women’s studies (268)15. There are a relatively

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smaller number of studies in the arena of political sociology (164). If one were to go by the numbers, then one would find that there are few studies in the areas of demography (i.e. sociological studies of population) and sociology of law. It is important to mention here one major development which is not easily covered by theme-specific studies. This relates to the publication of festschrifts in honour of the leading sociologists of the country. This trend is indicative of the maturity of the discipline. During the period 1992–2007, the profession has felicitated nine sociologists. A five-volume publication under the title Social Structure and Change (Shah et al. 1996) has appeared in honour of M.N. Srinivas. Recently (2007), another book honouring M.N. Srinivas and his works was published by the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal. Three books have been published in different years (Bhattacharya and Ghosh 1995; Mukherji 2002; and Kar 2005) in honour of Ramkrishna Mukherjee. Other scholars honoured during this period are S.C. Dube (Atal 1992), Sachchidanand (Upadhyaya and Sharma 1995), Rajeshwar Prasad (Pachauri 1998), Brij Raj Chauhan (Chauhan and Chauhan 1998; Atal and Mishra 2004), T.N. Madan (Das et al. 1999), Andre Béteille (Guha and Parry 1999), and Yogesh Atal (Gupta 2004). Let us now turn to individual areas.

Tribal Studies To avoid an overlap, a separate paper on tribal studies, rather than social anthropology, was commissioned, as studies by social anthropologists in areas other than tribal have been covered in this volume in other chapters. The review by Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Sukant K. Chowdury reveals that during the period covered no full-length monograph on any tribal group had appeared. Lack of good ethnographies which could match the previously done studies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is an indication of the decline of interest in the conventional field of anthropology. Of course, during this period some encyclopaedias on tribal societies did appear. Also, the People of India Project of the Anthropological Survey of India covered the tribal communities. In addition, some good pictorial, in fact, expensive coffee-table, books done by professional photographers, in league with anthropologists who provided the script have also come into the market. But most research is reported as articles and communications in professional journals such as Man in India and Eastern Anthropologist. Even here, the number of articles on the social anthropological aspects of tribals is falling. The survey revealed that only 67.11 per cent of the articles published in Man in India during 1993–2002 and 18.9 per cent articles published in Eastern Anthropologist during the period 1988–2001 related to the tribals. While interest amongst the social anthropologists in the study of tribal societies is generally declining, people from other social sciences have begun taking

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an interest in them. Thus, there are historians, philosophers, linguists, economists, legal scientists, and political scientists who have begun investigating the tribal terrain, using the approach and methodology from different that of conventional anthropology. It is also important to note that the spread of education amongst the tribals has created a group of indigenous scholars who have begun studying their own societies and cultures.16 Such scholars have not only brought in the ‘insider view’, but also made the very definition of the discipline of anthropology—as ‘the study of other cultures’—questionable. Their participation has given strength to the demand made by some leading Indian anthropologists to erase the distinction between sociology and social anthropology. If one were to strictly adhere to the definition of anthropology as the study of other cultures then the study by the natives would not qualify as anthropology. Is it not a paradox that Hutton’s or Adrian Mayer’s study of caste is regarded as anthropology, but the study of caste by Ghurye or Srinivas is considered sociology? As an important growth point, what we must take note of is the fact that both insiders and outsiders, and scholars from various disciplines, and not only the anthropologists, are now getting involved in tribal studies. There is a definite change in orientation towards tribal studies, which would hopefully enrich our understanding of the changing tribal India. The changing demographic profile of researchers doing tribal studies is also reflected in the themes covered. There are relatively few studies on tribal family and kinship, social structure, and religion. There is growing interest in tribal demography, and tribal economy in the context of national economy, tribal ecology, tribal languages, tribal women, and politics in tribal areas. The survey also suggests that the word ‘tribe’ is used in a multiplicity of meanings. The changing socio-demographic profile of the tribes defies the conventional definition of the tribe as a preliterate, forest-dwelling, primitive, animistic people living in complete isolation from the civilized world. The prefix ‘scheduled’, the assertion by several groups earlier classified as subgroups for an independent status, claims by some castes to be reclassified as tribes, the phenomenon of conversion, and the like are several factors that make the universally acceptable definition of the word tribe rather difficult. The authors of the survey have dwelt at length on this definitional crisis. Present-day tribals are not social fossils and their gradual involvement in the affairs of the national polity needs a fresh perspective to analyse the integrative processes that are at work in Indian society. The authors are making a case for a revisit of the various tribal societies to prepare monographs in a comparative framework to see how the present-day tribal community differs from the description contained in the old ethnography. Also, there is need to carry out studies of those tribal communities that have never been studied, such as the Parangipera of Orissa, the Kolgha of Gujarat, the Karaga of Karnataka and Kerala, the Maria Gond of Maharashtra (only the Maria Gond of central India had been studied earlier), and the Buxas of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Other topics which deserve to be given priority are the phenomenon of tribal migration

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as well as the little-studied aspects of tribal life such as their music, dance, art and aesthetics, and folklore.

Rural and Agrarian Studies Technically rural and agrarian studies belong to the field of rural sociology, as it has developed in India. However, the authors of the chapter do not approve of the latter appellation as it does not correspond with what falls under rural sociology in the West, particularly in the United States. There are those, however, who prefer of the use of rural sociology as an umbrella term to cover all studies done in the rural context, including agrarian studies. In India, the village became the meeting ground for sociologists and social anthropologists. On the one hand, social anthropologists found the village amenable to ethnographic research and on the other hand, unable to carry out survey research in the village setting, sociologists also employed techniques of social anthropology to investigate the village communities. In the 1950s and 1960s Indian sociology witnessed a major trend of village studies involving not only Indian scholars but also foreign social scientists, particularly from the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The introduction of the Community Development Programme in 1952 gave a further impetus to village research. Both the Planning Commission and the Ford Foundation encouraged such studies. Initially, economists began researching the agricultural aspect of the Indian economy, but later sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and political scientists (including specialists in public administration) joined this enterprise and produced important monographs based on micro-level studies. Economists had earlier done research on the problem of rural cooperatives and rural indebtedness, but with the introduction of community development their interest shifted to planning. This trend came to an abrupt halt sometime in the late 1970s. Researchers moved to the study of urban areas and the study of the processes of modernization, as a new dimension of social change. Focus on the peasant society returned but with a paradigm shift which adopted the framework of political economy. Rather than talking of the village social structure—in which the institution of caste had the central focus—scholars took the lead from Andre Béteille and began studying the ‘Agrarian social structure’. Studies of peasant movements became the order of the day and the concept of class gradually replaced the framework of caste. With a strong tradition of research on rural India, teaching of rural sociology became institutionalized not only in the departments of sociology and social anthropology, but also in the agricultural universities. It also received a spurt from the National Institute of Rural Development. Strangely, the focus on subaltern studies brought back the older concern of culture in agrarian studies. These studies also began analysing the role of the market forces, consumer culture, and the processes associated with globalization.

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This review by Surinder S. Jodhka and Paul D’ Souza of research in the period 1988–2002 suggests that a large number of single-state studies were carried out in the south, constituting 22.6 per cent of the total of 350 studies reported for this period. Another 22.3 per cent are inter-regional studies. Most of these studies are carried out in a universe larger than a single village—unlike the trend of the 1950s—and 64 per cent of them are done in single states. A solid 46 per cent studies are based either on fieldwork or on secondary empirical data. The analysis revealed that only 1.4 per cent studies have been carried out in the central regions of India. Even in the western and the north-western regions few studies have been undertaken (around 9 per cent in each region). The themes studied are agrarian relations (33.7 per cent), rural development (22.6 per cent), rural politics (17.4 per cent), gender-related issues (10 per cent), village life (6.9 per cent), caste and related issues (5.7 per cent), and others (3.7 per cent). The focus of these studies has been on land reforms, the green revolution and its after effects, agrarian revolutions, agrarian mobilization, rural political process, and crises in agriculture. A closer look at these topics would suggest that while all these contribute to our understanding of Village India, they also add to the repertoire of political sociology, economic sociology, and sociology of environment. Such an overlap is unavoidable when new areas are carved out.

Political Sociology Empirical studies relative to villages and tribes, carried out in the mid 1950s did cover the political aspects of community life but ‘the political’ was not the key focus in Indian sociology and anthropology. This was the time when, from the study of political life, scholars moved to the arena of political sociology. This became a meeting ground for sociology and political science, which was earlier called the study of the government or politics, but its focus was non-empirical, study of constitutions and theories and ideologies. In the 1960s some scholars from both the disciplines chose to study the political process, particularly the elections, using the technique of survey research that was regarded as the specialization of the sociologists. One of the studies of the 1967 elections reviewed in a British journal was described as ‘psephological’. Since there were few studies of elections when the first ICSSR survey was carried out, the chapter on political sociology focused on other types of studies. Later reviews focused on power structure, issue of governance, and ethnic conflicts. In the present survey, the author, Surendra K. Gupta found that studies related to political sociology fall under four categories: (i) national and local politics, (ii) election studies, (iii) democracy, civil society and nation-building, and (iv) communalism. Studies in the area of political sociology constitute nearly 5 per cent of the total. As is evident from the topics, much of the work in the area of political sociology, done during the period under survey, was based on secondary data—government reports,

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content analysis, and media coverage. Intensive research in a selected community or a district which was the hallmark of the studies of the 1960s is becoming less popular. The new discipline of psephology—the term currently used for election studies of the Gallup Poll variety—has a different focus. It has combined the earlier concern of opinion polls with the newfound interest in poll predictions. Following the methodology of market research, psephologists have developed techniques such as exit polls to predict election outcomes. But such studies are reported only in the newspapers as predictions, and not as research papers. Political sociologists, on the other hand, have done analyses of elections at the state level, or at the national level, based on techniques other than survey research. Field research in this area, as in many others, is becoming less popular. During this period, scholars attempted to study farmers’ movements (also covered by agrarian studies), caste violence and Dalit politics, agitations (like the Assam agitation), linguistic nativism, role of cinema in shaping politicians, political parties (the BJP and Shiv Sena have been studied the most) and communalism. Amongst communal riots, most studies have focused on the Ayodhya episode and the demolition of the mosque and its aftermath. This chapter recommends the study of mass media, regional parties, coalition politics, and the criminalization of politics as areas which deserve high priority.

Urban Sociology There has been a long tradition of urban studies in Indian sociology. In fact, sociology at the Mumbai University—one of the first universities to start teaching it way back in 1919—owes its beginning to the urban studies programme initiated by the geography professor from New Zealand, Patrick Geddes. Concern with rural areas figured in the early years of sociology at Lucknow. But generally, sociology was synonymous with urban studies or Indology. Despite such a long tradition, it is rather strange to note that during the period covered only 79 studies were reported in the survey, an average of five to six studies per annum. Such an apparent decline in interest may be due to the fact that new specializations have developed and researches carried out in those fields, but in the urban areas they are listed under those specialisms. Thus, studies in the field of industrial sociology and criminology, for example, are mostly carried out in the urban milieu, but are not covered as part of this chapter. The studies covered in this chapter by Sharit K. Bhownik relate to city and urban communities, urban policies, urbanization and the growth of mega cities, urban poverty, street vendors, beggars, slums, urban violence, and urban infrastructure management. In the period covered, the cities that have been studied include Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Faridabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Rourkela. The study of urban communities has focused on migrant groups in urban metropolises, such as Telugu-speaking people in Pune, Tamils and Malayalis in Mumbai, the Chinese

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population in Kolkata; and castes and communities on the fringe. These have been studied in the general framework of integration. It is to be hoped the data generated by these studies will be analysed in the framework of the sandwich culture that I proposed a few years ago. I strongly believe that in a multicultural society such as India the phenomenon of sandwich cultures offers a fruitful paradigm (Atal 2001, 2004). The efforts for upward movement of the communities on the margins have also been studied in the fast-growing city of Hyderabad where such mobility is facilitated not by Sanskritization processes but by the spread of a globalizing culture. Two major books have appeared on the urbanization of the north-east. Urbanization has also been studied in the states of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. In the North-east urbanization has important implications. This area has generally been treated as a tribal zone and has always been studied from this aspect. Traditionally, Indian sociologists divided Indian society into urban, rural, and tribal, suggesting a sort of continuum. These studies reveal that the North-east has both urban and rural segments, and it certainly has some pockets of isolated tribal groups. Such a demographic composition, including the rising rate of literacy in that region, necessitates a different perspective for that region so as to devise suitable development policies. Research on urban poverty has also changed. Earlier, such studies were almost synonymous with the study of slums. Poverty is now studied with a new focus on the poor such as beggars, drought-affected migrants, political refugees, pavement dwellers, and small street vendors. Studies of slums have also unravelled the existence of slums within slums, and the role of gangsters and mafia in these areas. Those who inhabit the slums are not a homogeneous group of the poor. They also include land grabbers and illegal occupants engaged in the theft of electricity and other public property. Urban violence is also now being seen as part of the political process. Violence against different sections of society is being investigated, suggesting that a variety of factors cause violence and therefore a more variegated strategy is called for to handle the menace of rising violence, including communal violence and violence against women. Researchers have begun paying attention to problems related to infrastructure—transport, roads, housing, communication and sanitation. The growth of mega cities, million-plus cities, the processes of conurbation and suburbation, the village–city relationship, the role of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), and the spread of a consumer culture—malls and multiplexes, BPOs, the house-building industry, migrant workers, and returnee NRIs in the corporate sector—are some of the areas that will assume significance in the years to come.

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Industrial Sociology A total of 105 studies have been reported in the area of industrial sociology, constituting both research papers and books. The survey makes it clear that in this field contributions have been made not only by sociologists but also by scholars from other disciplines, as well as by authors belonging to other countries. In particular, Dutch scholars, under the Indo-Dutch Programme of the ICSSR, have done a good deal of work. Most of this work has been carried out in the state of Gujarat. Since the author, Sharit K. Bhowmik, has not analysed the bibliographic data in chronological terms, the review suggests that during this period the interest has certainly broadened to include work on the informal sector, the functioning of MNCs (multinational companies), the changing role of unions, gender disparity in the workforce, and India’s participation in the new phenomenon of outsourcing. Significant work has been carried out in the area of management strategy and related problems. For the first time this was studied in a large-scale survey of 51 organizations. While the study revealed that the employees of these organisations are concerned about their job security, safety, and monetary benefits, the clash of interests in scientific management and human relations continues to exist. Most of the industries still believe in knee-jerk responses to crises rather than promoting strategic management. There have also been studies of entrepreneurship, particularly in small-scale industries. Studies of the prominent business houses have also been undertaken. An important shift has been in regard to the study of the impact of new technology in industry which necessitated labour cuts and flexible specialization. A new theme researched by some scholars relates to the scheme of voluntary retirement (VRS). In this area, there is good scope for further research since, it is not only factory workers who are taking advantage of VRS, but people from other salaried classes as well. Some of such voluntaries retirees are said to have joined industry or corporate houses, or started their own business.

Women’s Studies The field of women’s studies is rather new. It began sometime in the mid-1970s which is why it was not covered in the first round of surveys of the research commissioned by the ICSSR.17 Following the decision by the international community to focus on women, the Government of India set up in 1971 a national committee on the status of women to prepare the national paper for presentation at the international conference on the status of women under the auspices of the United Nations. It was the work of this committee that set in motion several studies on and reviews of the existing literature relative to women. The committee approached the ICSSR for support—both financial and academic—to prepare the report. Upon the committee’s advice, the ICSSR commissioned a series of studies. It also helped the

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committee in preparing schedules and questionnaires to collect information on the status of women from diverse sources.18 Finally, it hired the Secretary of the committee, Dr Vina Majumdar, a political scientist, to assist the council in developing a programme of research on women. The Indian effort to portray the status of women was thus a part of the worldwide effort. The designation of the International Year of Women (IYW) and later the devotion of an entire decade to women by the international community occasioned a spate of studies and researches. The decade of the 1970s saw the rise of the feminist movement, which influenced not only politics but also the academia. While working to promote studies relative to women it became clear that there was a dearth not only of scholars specializing in this area, but also of data on different aspects of women’s participation in social, political, and economic life. The researchers had to select relevant material from various studies which focused on other themes or undertake fresh empirical studies. Ethnographies did discuss the roles of women in different spheres of community life but did not specifically focus on them. They were criticized for the absence of the so-called feminist perspective. The women’s studies movement that began in the 1970s has now gained a momentum of its own and today one can find several references. There are estimated to be as many as 67 centres of women’s studies in various Indian universities. In the 1990s, the Indian Sociological Society also set up a research committee on women. A consequence of this has been a rise in the number of women social scientists and women writers. There are a few men who have specialized in women’s studies. The important point to note is that the field of women’s studies remains an interdisciplinary one. Of course, the perspective of sociology and social anthropology has also enriched the emerging paradigm for gender-based analyses. During the period 1988–2003 as many as 179 books and reports were published on women. The author of this chapter, Abha Chuhan, has listed 134 articles for the period. Analysis also reveals that interest in such studies is constantly rising. There is an increasing volume of such studies in the last five years of the survey period. More than 23 themes covered in such studies have been regrouped by the author in four broad categories: family and kinship; ecology, environment, and globalization; gender, caste, and communities; and conflict, war, peace, and violence. In all these areas, authors of these studies have injected a feminist viewpoint in the sense that the studies have been conducted from the vantage point of a woman. Of course, in doing so, criticism of patriliny and male dominance has figured. The key areas investigated are women’s experiences of everyday lives, socialization of the girl child including education of girls, the menace of dowry and the problem of women’s access to property, women’s confinement to the domestic sphere, male and female sexuality and women in situations of crisses. The author has hinted about the debates surrounding conceptual and methodological issues. Scholars on women’s studies are attempting to define sexuality,

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violence against women, nature of patriliny, male power and the phenomenon of gender-based inequality. The themes suggested for priority research are domestic violence, dowry, customary and personal laws as they affect women, emotional tenor of family relations and women in situations of crises.

Demographic Studies Demography is a vast field and is covered by various social science disciplines such as economics, geography, statistics, and sociology and social anthropology. It is at times difficult to classify such studies in strict disciplinary terms. The author of the chapter on demography, Leela Visaria, is a trained sociologist, but has worked all her life in the field of demography. Her survey covers the entire period from 1971 onwards. Departing from the guidelines provided for this survey, she has traced the major trends in demographic research, highlighting the main findings and emerging hypotheses. While Visaria has covered the long period from 1971, she has referred to 54 articles, and 22 books and reports. For the period 1988–2003 her list includes only 56 publications.19 Some of these articles have appeared in edited books, mostly published abroad. Also among the books are those written by foreigners or are written as reports or discussion papers for international agencies. Those cited for findings cover the period from 1956 through 2004. However, the survey has considered 43 articles and 18 books published between 1988 and 2004. Leela Visaria’s considered opinion is that most of the significant work done during this long period was on fertility—particularly those factors that affect fertility levels. Relatively less attention was paid to mortality and other health-related matters. It is also to be underlined that no work on migration has been included. Since the sociological aspects of migration, as reflected in the study of the Indian diaspora, are covered in another survey chapter, the area not covered relates to the demographic analysis of migration. What is important to note is the point that during this period demographers focused their attention on highlighting regional variations—both inter-state and intra-state—in fertility decline, and tried to identify the factors that were responsible. Contrary to the general impression, the studies showed that such a decline has occurred not only among the educated, but among also the illiterate populations; and not only in economically developed areas but also in poor areas. Thus, no single factor can be isolated as ‘the’ factor responsible for the decline in fertility. Late marriage, an aggressive family planning programme, prolonged breastfeeding, induced abortions, women’s autonomy, husband’s outlook, etc., have played their role in different settings. Similarly, researchers have found a weak preference for sons in very low and very high fertility areas. Less than 10 per cent variation is attributable to structural economic factors. It emerges that it is politics, and not economics, that influences fertility patterns.

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A similar effort has been made by social demographers to investigate the causes/factors for the decline in the mortality rate, as also the causes of death. Researchers have gone beyond macro analyses and investigated regional variations—variations not only between states but also between different parts of a given state. They have emphasized the need for the disaggregation of data at district levels to draw accurate profiles of both fertility and mortality, and identify the causes for differentials and for incidence. The studies reveal that there is a gradual but steady shift from infectious to non-communicative diseases as the cause of death. There is an increase in the incidence of heart attacks, cancer, asthma, and paralysis due to changing lifestyles. This provides a new avenue for health research. Research on ageing is also becoming important with the rising life expectancy.

Studies on the Indian Diaspora While studies of the people of India settled abroad have a long history, research on them gained momentum only in the 1980s. For the first time, in the third round of ICSSR surveys of research in sociology, studies of this genre were included under the title ‘Indian Communities Abroad’. This was published as an independent booklet by the ICSSR in 1993; it was authored by Ravindra K. Jain who had done pioneering work on the Indians working on rubber plantations in Malaysia (Jain 1993). The present study covers the 17-year period from 1989 (the year in which Jain’s survey was concluded) to 2006. It emerges that a good deal of work was carried out in this area during the period under survey. The author of the chapter, N. Jayaram, also edited and published several of articles on the Indian diaspora, which have appeared in the Sociological Bulletin over the last 50 years. In 2001, the model curriculum designed by the Grants Commission included a course on the Indian diaspora to be offered as an elective paper. The subject has thus gained entry into the profession. Like any newly emerging field, the study of the Indian diaspora is also transdisciplinary in character. Besides historical studies of the Indian migration to distant lands, Indian diaspora has been studied following the sociocultural perspective or the perspective of political economy. In addition to Indian sociologists, scholars from other countries and those belonging to the diaspora communities have also contributed to the literature. These studies have been carried out in as many as 23 countries in different parts of the world—the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, South-East Asia, and the Pacific. Besides offering descriptive accounts, some scholars have also proposed concepts and paradigms for the investigation of this phenomenon. Researchers have employed the concepts of sandwich culture, cultural hybridity, identity, host society, and integration in a multicultural milieu. The studies have focused on the demography of population movements, causes and conditions of migration, process of emigration, socio-economic

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background of emigrants, responses of the host society, social organization of the diasporic communities, and the nature of the interactions between the diasporas and the parent society including the impact of emigration on those left behind. These studies have added a new dimension to the study of migration, and invoked the anthropological concept of culture in the context of pluri-cultural societies. There is considerable scope for a variety of studies in this domain. The phenomenon of reverse migration, studies of the diasporic communities from abroad settled in India, policy towards people of Indian origin, distant nationalism, etc., are some of the themes that deserve priority attention.

Development Studies It is not easy to isolate this field as studies on development have been carried out by social scientists from different disciplines, but mostly by economists. Development studies arrived in the field of sociology and social anthropology in the late 1950s when the country introduced the Programme of Community Development. Encouraged by the Planning Commission and the National Institute for Rural Development—earlier called the Central Institute for Training and Research in Community Development (located in Mussoorie)—sociologists from the Indian universities got involved in studies of community development projects.20 Such studies were an extension of the village studies movement that was initiated in the 1950s. This subject was taught as part of rural sociology or social change. Concepts of planned cultural change, innovation, tradition and modernity, and modernization began informing the theory of social change. While some scholars are still studying the development process at the micro level, much of current development writing is in the form of theoretical or reflective thinking. Criticism of the prevailing development paradigm, review of past development efforts, and propagation of newer strategies by the government occupy a larger space in the literature on development which is voluminous compared to other subject areas. Although the author of this chapter, R.R. Prasad, exercised constraint and did not includes publications in the bibliography, the list, still contains as many as 1450 references, of which books alone number 220. This subject has continued to engage researchers; an average of 95 entries per year is reported for the period 1988–2002. The volume of publications is larger in the later years. Of course, it must be stated that not all were written by sociologists, and not all can strictly be called research studies. There are around 24 areas related to development, in which studies have been carried out. The most studied aspects are the situation of the weaker sections, poverty, the problem of education, gender studies, decentralization, and Panchayati Raj. Naturally, these are the areas that overlap with other thematic areas and therefore cannot be isolated. The other areas that interest the researchers are health and malnutrition, poverty and rural development, education and development, child labour, rural drinking water, role of the NGOs, and the process of globalization. The interest has shifted

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from analysis of the past and the present to the designing of the future. One gets the impression that in this area there is little by way of empirical research.21 And yet, the topic is popular and is taught in courses in sociology, economics, political science, and public administration. It is also an important subject in the training of the administrators and planners and policy makers. Writings on globalization are also more in the nature of perceived dangers rather than investigations of the actually occurring consequences of this newly initiated process.

Criminological Studies Though criminology is increasingly gaining a distinct identity with the opening of separate departments of criminology or joint departments of criminology and forensic sciences, it still remains an interdisciplinary discipline in the sense that social scientists belonging to sociology, social work, and psychology conduct research on criminology-related themes, and papers on criminology are offered to students specializing in these disciplines. During the period covered under this survey, 1995–2002, as many as 437 studies were reported. However, a large number of these—60 per cent—are classified as non-empirical, which means they are not research based. This is also proven by the fact that the number of books is quite small compared to the number of articles. Many Ph.D. dissertations also remain unpublished. It can be safely concluded that while there is an increase in the number of writings on the theme of crime and criminology, they do not contribute to the corpus of theory or methodology. Written by officials of the judicial administration, police force, and by concerned public men and journalists, these writings represent opinions rather than research findings. The author of the survey chapter, G. S. Bajpai, has not, however, separately analysed the empirical and the non-empirical studies; therefore, it is hard to say which areas have been the focus of serious scientific research. Nevertheless, the tables in the chapter suggest that the bulk of the studies relate to the subfield called ‘victimology’, and the ‘crime categories’. The authors of these studies have focused on problems of drug addiction, violence—including terrorist violence, organized crime, and women criminals. Victimization of women and human rights (perhaps violation of these rights) have attracted a good deal of attention. The author has argued a case for the promotion of a research agenda in the field of criminology, and suggested topics for priority attention. There is a need to inject a good sociological perspective into our concern for human rights. It is not enough to just examine whether people are aware or not about human rights or the number of cases of violation of human rights—a task that NGOs like Amnesty International perform professionally. How social science, sociology particularly, should handle the theme of human rights is a question which needs to be resolved. Riots, communal violence, and terrorism offer good avenues for solid sociological research; but to do this the first need is to develop a good methodology so that the studies go beyond mere chronological descriptions.

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Sociology of Law Sociology of law is a newly developing speciality. While it was covered in the first and second rounds of the ICSSR surveys, it was left out in the third. Even the first two rounds suggested the potential of this subject and had very little to analyse by way of research contribution. In the early 1970s the ICSSR set up a committee of experts on ‘law and social change’22 to promote research in this area. This committee included law professionals and some sociologists, and it deliberated on the themes that could be taken up for research under the auspices of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. Not much by way of research has been done in this area as the present survey chapter by Joginder S. Gandhi, covering the entire period of the third and fourth surveys indicates. The hopeful sign is that a number of law schools have been opened in the country, and the regular universities have also introduced a full-fledged Bachelor’s programme in law. This has helped sociology gain an entry in the field of law. Thus, newly trained lawyers will have some sociological orientation. But to teach law graduates conventional courses in sociology would perhaps defeat the very purpose of their inclusion. Sociologists will have to demonstrate the utility of their discipline by providing research findings in the field of law. Anthropologists studying tribal cultures have reported on customary law and related themes. That material provides a good base to start with. But more researches are in order. The author of this chapter has indicated some areas for future research. In addition to the study of lawyer–client relationships—in which some beginning has already been made—a good deal of work can be done relating to public interest litigations (PILs), right to information, and human rights.

Emerging Scenario There is a growing recognition in India of the social sciences, including sociology. The social science vocabulary has crossed the campus boundaries and is increasingly being used by media persons and the elite of the society. Social science methodology is employed to assess public opinion, analyse electoral behaviour, and even make predictions in the political arena. Already the science of psephology has attained respectable status. Increasingly, the more articulate amongst the social scientists, including sociologists, are using the print media for propagating their views. Despite these articles being opinionated they do display sociological underpinnings. Merton’s concept of ‘role model’ and Srinivas’ coinages of Sanskritization, ‘dominant caste and vote bank’ are used as part of informed parlance outside the academia. A good deal of sociology has entered into the management curricula; the technique of focussed interview developed by Merton and Paul Lazarsfeld (Merton et al. 1990) is widely used in market research. Sociologists are quite often approached by the media for their expert

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opinion. Some sociologists are regular contributors to newspaper columns, thus influencing audience opinion. The recent instance of the ill-famed Nithari exposure of cannibalistic behaviour and the callousness of the police earned the wrath of the people and the Bureau of Police Research decided to seek the cooperation of sociologists to participate in a research investigation. There are several other instances where social science expertise is utilized. Sociology has thus arrived in India. How does it reflect in our teaching and in research?

Teaching of Sociology At the beginning to this chapter, statistics were presented to suggest the growth of the sociology enterprise in India. One indicator was its inclusion in the teaching curricula, both as an independent subject leading to a degree—M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D./D.Litt.—and also as part of the training kit of the professionals in the fields of medicine, agriculture, engineering, and even management. That it is also now included in the Higher Secondary syllabi is further proof of its growing significance and recognition. While this is happening, one also notices a certain degree of dilution within the profession. Clearly there is a trend towards vernacularization. Both teachers and students prefer to use Hindi or any other vernacular language (Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Kannad, etc.) rather than English in all their work. This is a welcome trend but it also reminds us of our failure to gauge the waves of change and develop strategies to meet the rising demand. There is a dearth of good and respectable books in the vernacular; in their absence, shoddy stuff is being marketed. I had pointed to this malaise in my 1974 essay24 but the situation has refused to improve. The Ph.D. theses that are written in Hindi, for example, seem to compete with literature and they fail miserably both as good sociology and good literature. Mere linguistic competence cannot be a substitute for solid sociological substance. Most of the textbooks, be they in English or in a regional language, written by Indians demonstrate little originality. They are either plagiarized copies of foreign textbooks, or are written as notes for passing examinations. Those who have distinguished themselves in the profession have generally refrained from writing textbooks; those who have written such books and sold several copies are unknown entities in the profession. Ideally, textbooks should be written in such a fashion that a syllabus can be prepared on their bases. But textbooks are generally written according to prescribed syllabi. Since the syllabi do not change so easily because of the bureaucratic red tape in the universities, and also reluctance on the part of many in the teaching profession for fear of becoming outdated, textbooks reinforce continuity. Similarly, there continues to be a dearth of good translations of the originals from foreign languages; of course, there are some exceptions. Sociology has grown but it is not so readily reflected in our teaching.

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Let me elaborate this point by taking the example of NCERT textbooks at the 10+2 level. With all its claims to have replaced the old textbooks prepared by the government of the day at the Centre in the late 1990s, there was hardly any novelty in the replacements and they justly earned criticism from the press. In sociology, a fresher at the level of class 11 is introduced to some mighty pioneers of sociology, both international and national. And who are they? Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber from abroad, and G. S. Ghurye, Radha Kamal Mukherjee, D. P. Mukerji, and Benoy Kumar Sarkar from India. Sarkar’s inclusion in this category may be historically correct but what impact did he make on Indian sociology? His contribution was mainly in the form of challenging some of the interpretations of Indian sacred texts by outsider. He himself did not spend much time in India, and died quiet young. Demonstrating the tendency of what Merton called ‘adumbrationism’ in academic history, attributing everything to the past where it did not belong, this (NCERT) textbook revived yet another so-called ‘pioneer’ of Indian sociology—a Kutch-born freedom fighter named Shyamji Krishna Varma. The text book tells us that he met Auguste Comte during his European sojourn. For one thing, meeting eminent people and shaking hands with them does not by itself mean much. But what is important is whether a rendezvous with Comte really did occur. Comte (born in 1798) died in 1857, the year Shyamji Krishna Varma was born: how could they have met? It is true that Varma started a journal called Indian Sociologist25 in 1905 but it was devoted to the freedom movement and social and religious reform, and not to sociology as an academic discipline. Some have called Varma a novelist; others speak of him as a Sanskrit scholar and a preacher of the Arya Samaj philosophy. But does that qualify him as a sociologist? Certainly, he is of historical importance and a good subject matter for sociological research, but to assign him a pioneering role in sociology is unnecessary. One may ask what imprint this novelist and freedom fighter left on Indian sociology that a new initiate in the discipline must know about him. There is a tradition in the West of writing about pioneers in elementary textbooks, but need we copy it? Pedagogically, it is more important to train students in the perspective of the discipline rather than introducing them to ancestors whose writings have lost their relevance. The focus should be on ideas, concepts, and frameworks rather than on individuals. The most distressing feature of our university teaching is the relative neglect of researches done within the country. Updating sociology means incorporating not only recent theoretical advances and methodological innovations—which are generally made by scholars from abroad—but also utilizing the findings of research done within the country both by Indians and by foreigners. While Indian sociologists have responded to the changing fads and fashions in research, as is evident from the topics chosen for study and investigation, there has been very little effort towards consolidating the of findings scattered in various monographs.

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Let me illustrate this point. Recently, the Indian Sociological Society brought out a collection of papers published in the Sociological Bulletin in a series of seven volumes26 marking the golden jubilee of the journal. It is striking to note that the work done on Caste and on Villages during the 1950s and 1960s was not chosen for a separate volume. It is possible that the Bulletin had not published much on these topics; if so, then it also reflects on the editorial policy of the journal. David Mandelbaum did consolidate such researches way back in 1972 in his book Society in India. But is there no need to update that book? How do we teach rural sociology today? Apart from Mandelbaum, A.R. Desai did yeoman service when he revised and enlarged his book Rural Sociology (1969) by reproducing all the important essays published in various journals and books relative to village India. We need to ask ourselves whether we should still depend on Desai and Mandelbaum or do we need yet another consolidation. I quote these examples to indicate how we have failed in our task of updating sociology. If we were to teach the same sociology that was taught some 30 or 40 years ago, or if we were to parochialize our sociology by reviving ghosts of least consequence from within our culture, then we are leading our discipline to a dead end. There is considerable material that Indian sociology and Indian sociologists have produced in the past five decades that must enter our curricula. It would mean a different orientation towards our peers and towards our output. This is not a prescription for insulating ourselves from the developments in our discipline elsewhere. Blind imitation of the trends abroad, or ancestor worship, or the revival of tradition cannot help us update our discipline. We need not cut ourselves off from our past, but we must condense its messages to lay the foundation for the present architecture of our discipline, and for building its future edifice.

Research in Sociology Reviewing the growth of Indian sociology and social anthropology one is struck by the phenomenon of changing foci. While the size of the social science enterprise, which includes the two disciplines of sociology and social anthropology, has considerably enlarged, one notices a relative decline in the standards of research. This fact is also noted by the editor of the second round of survey, and is clearly reflected in the essays done for the third survey. Trends in research suggest attrition of old interests and accretion of new specialisms. The review of research carried out during 1988–2002 does indicate some shifts in the emphases. One notices that studies on the tribal and rural communities, which were once the forte of social anthropologists and of empirically oriented sociologists, are today fewer in number compared to that of the 1960s. For example, the attempt to get a chapter on social stratification written for this survey failed. Similarly, the kind of election studies done in the 1960s and 1970s, what gave a stimulus to the growth of political sociology in the country, was also

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not undertaken; this sphere has been taken up by the new breed of psephologists—a subject which is not taught in Indian universities and the experts in this field are generally people from market research organizations. There is a sudden spurt in the study of the Indian diaspora as a new branch of the study of migration. But there are not many scholars who have gone abroad to do research on the diaspora. Urban and industrial sociology, criminology, demography and women’s studies continue to draw researchers. Reading the review reports one gathers the impression that Indian sociologists have not contributed much to sociological theory. Commentaries on the existing theories, following borrowed paradigms, and some inclination towards social activism seem to inform our research. It is important to keep in mind that in the enthusiasm for the ill-described concept of ‘commitment’ there is the danger of promoting the misuse of key sociological concepts. In fact efforts should be made to standardize concepts. A clear case is that of the use of the word caste that is used as a convenient term for all sorts of groupings—a gotra, a caste, a cluster of castes, a varna, and even a minority religion. In the official term ‘Other Backward Classes’, or OBC, the letter C is taken to denote Caste and not Class; such use by non-experts is understandable, but not by professionals. The same is true of the word ‘status’ which is used loosely, as in ‘Status of Women’. While scholars engaged in gender studies have come up with new concepts and perspectives, the term ‘status’ continues to be used more as a word with different meanings than as a concept. However, there is some evidence of efforts towards conceptual clarity. Some writings on secularism and globalization, for example, exhibit this trend. The concepts that are in vogue and to which Indian scholarship pays attention are migration, caste, Sanskritization, dominant caste secularism, nationality and nationalism, insulators and apertures, sandwich culture, plural society, multiculturalism, globalization, and indigenization. But these are scattered efforts and need to be consolidated. Most researches continue to be descriptive rather than explanatory. Researched who understand sociological theory or perspective and have a good command over the English language have distinguished themselves as columnists, a role, which is more in the realm of journalism than pure sociology. But they have played a welcome role in popularizing the social sciences.

Towards a New Research Agenda In developing a research agenda for the future, it will be necessary to ensure that some of the old concerns that are the strength of Indian sociology are not neglected. Village studies and the study of caste are two such concerns.

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Concern for the Village Some 50 years ago, when village studies in India gained momentum and attracted both sociologists and social anthropologists, it appeared that people were giving up the old concerns with Indology and ethnology entirely and moving towards the village instead. I described then the village as a meeting ground for the two disciplines. Of course, the anthropologists brought in their holistic perspective— treating the village as a ‘whole’, similar to the study of a tribal community—and the sociologists employed the techniques of survey research in a microcosm. Both soon realized the shortcomings of their respective approaches and grappled with the field data to come up with new theorizations. To quote Andre Béteille: The first two decades following independence witnessed the emergence and ascendance of village studies. Individual scholars published monographs and there were also anthologies such as those edited by Mckim Marriott and M.N. Srinivas, both published in 1955. The village studies of this period did not merely describe the territorial framework of social life. They analysed in detail virtually every aspect of that life: family life, kinship and caste; religion and ritual; political structures and processes; and the organization of production and economic life. These studies provided a substantial empirical basis for the understanding of Indian society as a whole.27 Concern with the village, then, was guided by two factors: (i) the need to document the existing reality before it gets changed through the waves of external influences—planned development, Westernization and modernization; and (ii) to study the process of directed cultural change and its consequences both to contribute to theory and to assist the planning process of the country. While the first led to intensive studies of single villages in the tradition of ethnography, the second factor led to theme-specific studies not only by sociologists but also by political scientists, economists, and psychologists. From static description to change in the villages, the trend moved towards the study of the processes, ‘–izations’ of various kinds: universalization and parochialization, Sanskritization and several of its variants proposed by its critics (Kulinization and Kshatriyization, for example), modernization and Westernization. Somehow these shifts in focus led people towards the city, neglecting the village. Just as villagers were migrating to the city, the social scientists also began to move out of the village. In the last two decades, one notices very little by way of village studies of the kind that were carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. This is not to deny the good work being done by some scholars in the rural areas. Rural is a broader category than the village. And the research interests in

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the rural India of today are somewhat different. The report ‘Rural and Agrarian Studies’ in this survey details the contribution of Indian sociology in this area. But this does not justify the neglect of village studies of the type that were undertaken in the 1950s and 1960s. The umbrella term ‘rural sociology’ can cover both— village studies and agrarian studies. It is clear that the village studies to be undertaken today would have a different focus. Village profiles of today’s rural India are bound to be different. Connectivity—seen in terms of rail and roads and the spread of communication infrastructure and electricity—has considerably influenced village social life, notwithstanding pockets of isolation. Literacy profiles have also changed. Rural– urban linkages today tell a different story. So is the case with politics. Processes of democratic decentralization (of which Panchayati Raj institutions are a clear manifestation) and electoral participation in Parliamentary and Assembly elections have changed even the profiles of political participation and awareness of the people residing in the rural areas. The village profiles of the bygone era do not correspond to the present-day reality. Even in those days questions were raised regarding the ‘representativeness’ of individual village studies. No one could answer then as to the number of village studies needed to draw up an all-India profile of the Indian village. In addition to the village studies done by stalwarts in the profession, the office of the Registrar-General of India commissioned nearly 800 village profiles during the 1961 Census. But no effort was made to identify the commonalities and differences. Going back once again to the individual village studies would raise the same questions: What for? How many? I personally feel that the village provides an excellent laboratory for a social scientist, and it may be a good idea to ask young initiates to study individual villages, notwithstanding the argument that nothing new would come out of it. At least it would sensitize the young scholar, and force him/her to soil his/her hands with field data. And who knows, some studies may result in serendipitous discoveries! ‘Restudies’ is another area. Earlier studies provide a good benchmark against which to calibrate the changes that the given village has experienced during the interregnum. The processes of suburbation and conurbation have transformed many of the villages in the vicinage of growing metropolitan centres. These need to be studied as a category which lies somewhere between towns and large cities. We have to approach villages and the entire rural sector with a different agenda. This would require a shift from the older paradigms of dichotomies and of isolationism attributed to rural and tribal communities. The time has come to review both the structural-functional and the Marxist frameworks in the context of the changing scenario of rural India.

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Concern for Caste A good deal has been written about caste as a defining attribute of Indian society by both Indian and foreign scholars. In the early period of the introduction of sociology in the Indian universities, courses on Indian society were fashioned as courses on the Hindu social system. In them, considerable attention was paid to the caste system—varna and jati. In the absence of dependable empirical studies, the work of Indologists was utilized for the portrayal of Indian society. But such a portrayal was based on what Srinivas characterized as the ‘book view’ and the ‘upper caste view’. Writings of the British census authorities did challenge that view and provide empirical evidence from various regions to redo the conception of caste. The series of publications of Castes and Tribes also contributed a great deal to our understanding of caste. But these were the ‘outsider views’ and carried different sorts of biases. The so-called theory books emanating from the West provided a formal distinction between ‘caste’ and ‘class’, as relevant for the understanding of social stratification. Unaware of the actual existing social reality of caste, Western sociologists found India to be a ‘classic’ example of a caste society, and gave an easy-to-remember definition of the twin concepts of caste and class : Class is an open caste; caste is a closed class! The stereotypical characterization of caste did not end even after publication of a number of well-researched fieldwork-based micro studies. Louis Dumont’s 1970 publication titled Homo Hierarchicus is a glaring example of such a dichotomization. With this coinage, Dumont distinguished the societies of the West as Homo Equalis. This one-sided accentuation gives the impression that there is a complete absence of hierarchy in the West, and also absence of equality in the Indian social system. That book earned a detailed treatment in the pages of the journal, Contributions to Indian Sociology in the late 1970s. While empirically oriented Indian sociologists devoted their time and attention to the phenomenon of caste beginning from the 1950s, they were criticized by the ideologically charged Marxists for ‘not paying attention to class’ (Saberwal 1972). Journalists and other non-empirical social scientists continue even today to emphasize the role of caste in Indian politics, and refuse to acknowledge the great changes occurring in the castes and the caste system. It would be wrong to assume that caste has ceased to exist; equally it would be fallacious to give an all-pervasive role to caste in the arena of politics. It is a pity that scores of micro-studies which contributed to the proper understanding of the phenomenon of caste in contemporary India have gone unnoticed and the stereotypes continue to prevail. In a recently published book, Caste in Question: Identity or Hierarchy, this point is strongly emphasized: ‘Fortunately, history and anthropology have provided us with so many interesting variations of fact that it is possible now to construct an analytical perspective on caste which is faithful to its multiple vocalities’ (Gupta 2004: xiii). This is a very welcome publication, representing a revival

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of interest in caste, and indicating a departure from previous studies. It is to be hoped that other efforts in this direction will be made to help construct an analytical perspective so badly needed for Indian sociology to cross a new milestone. It must, be said however, that it serves no purpose to blame the people who do not belong to the profession for misusing the concept of caste. Some sort of casteism prevails even within the profession, which forbids quoting fellow nationals, and particularly those who do not belong to the same ‘school’. As a result, the theoretical insights that have been provided by early researchers have remained more or less unutilized. It is true of course, that in the formative years of Indian sociology researchers paid more attention to ‘description’ than to conceptualization.28 But that should not become a defence for ignoring the work of the pioneers. To set the record right, let it be said that village studies of the 1950s and 1960s focused primarily on the caste as a predominant feature of the village social structure. The studies clearly indicated that while the village is a vertical unity of castes, caste is a horizontal unity spread over a number of villages. The investigation of the range of marital ties suggested that one has to go beyond the confines of a single village to understand the functioning of individual castes. But such investigations also highlighted that the castes have a regional character, although the caste phenomenon is an all-India one. The need to distinguish between caste as a system and caste as a unit was emphasized. Several scholars who found it difficult to put all the castes in the four neat categories of varna exploded the myth of hierarchy. Mckim Marriott (1959) came out with the ‘attributional’ and ‘interactional’ theories of the ranking of castes. Srinivas drew attention towards the phenomenon of the ‘dominant caste’. Scholars who employed these conceptual frameworks, and so-called theories, indicated problems in their utilization. Dispersed inequalities, conflicting claims, factionalism within castes, and inter-caste coalitions and similar other features were identified by researchers of that time. Unfortunately, all such contributions remained discrete and scattered and no efforts were made to separate them from individual studies and synthesize them in the form of a theory for wider use. If an analytical perspective on caste has to be developed, one will have to return to the older studies to select vignettes and build upon them. Earlier village studies had pointed out that what exists as a caste in a village is indeed a representation of caste—a family, or a lineage, or a group of closely linked lineages. Caste as a unit operated on a larger scale. Studies of the Chokhla in Rajasthan (Chauhan 1967; Atal 1968) and of the Kudariya in Madhya Pradesh brought home this point. What distinguishes the studies in the collection, Caste in Question: Identity or Hierarchy (Gupta 2004), is that these studies on caste have gone beyond the village, and therefore bring in a fresh perspective. Castes among the Sikhs and the Jains highlight the fact that the institution of caste is not the monopoly of the Hindus, conversion to a different religion does not mean cessation of caste. The existence of castes amongst the Muslims and the Christians

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adds more weight to the argument that caste should not be seen as a ‘cultural’ category confined to the Hindus alone, but as a ‘structural’ feature. The overall framework of a caste system in contemporary India, therefore, cannot be reduced to the Hindu system. The need continues to exist to properly conceptualize caste so that future policy relative to quotas and reservations based on the ascriptive category of caste can be objectively drawn.

Concern for Change We are living in an era of rapid social change. There is change everywhere and the pace is rapidly rising. Unless we properly understand the various processes of social change and their relative impact on the different sectors of society we will not be able to make any fruitful contribution. This is the challenge we face and we have to prepare ourselves for it. In the late 1950s, when social scientists in this country turned their attention to social change, the situation was vastly different. There was very little by way of a social theory of change. The focus on change was also very different. The theories were generally grand, talking of civilizational change, mostly originating from the West. They constructed hierarchies of society in terms of evolutionary ladders and suggested various stages of growth. Changes in the structure and functioning of non-Western societies were seen either in comparison with the advanced societies of the West, or in terms of native categories of ideal/prescribed social structures. Noticeable changes of the recent past attributable to culture contacts with the outside world were also documented. With the onset of the era of planned social change, the attention shifted to the ‘present’ and to the dynamics of the processes of the change, and the acceptance or rejection of the ‘new arrivals’ by the recipient community. These analyses were attempted in the framework of modernity and tradition with the implicit assumption that tradition represents backwardness and needs to be replaced. The persistence of tradition in such a framework represented non-change, and the recipes for change invariably included strategies to kill tradition. Theory entered into the analysis through such paradigms and efforts were made both to conceptualize tradition and to question the assumptions of modernity and modernization. Scholars found modernity in tradition and also hinted that modernization was an attempt to smuggle in Western tradition in the garb of modernity. If modernizers talked of the nondesirability of tradition, the critics of modernization highlighted the ill-effects of the process on native culture and society, and the impending dangers of neocolonialism. Somehow in the 1980s and 1990s, the focus on change shifted from the ‘present’ to the ‘future’. Change was seen not only in the context of the past or the present, but also in the perspective of the future. When the change was pastoriented, the key questions were: Who were we? Where did we come from? In

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the present-oriented context, the mode of the question changed: How do we catch up with the developed world? What is obstructing our path to development? What model to choose—socialist or the capitalist? In the future-oriented exercise of change such questions have become somewhat irrelevant. The key questions that are now being asked are where do we go from here? Do we follow the path of others? Can we develop our own blueprint and a road map? What should be our desirable future? The concern with the future has come alongside some major developments in the world as a whole. The last decade of the past century saw the collapse of the communist world accompanied by the liberalization of the economies, democratization of the polity, and globalization of our orientation. These developments have affected all societies. I regard this as the changing scenario and would advocate locating problems in this context and identifying the challenges that it poses to the social scientists everywhere, including India. I now find many talking about globalization, mainly echoing the sentiments of the activists who perceive a conspiracy of the West in the new forces of change. They may be right; but where is the basis for making such assertions? How many of us have really investigated the phenomenon empirically? Are we practising journalism or doing social science? Much of the difficulty in understanding the writing on globalization arises from a multiplicity of definitions and an absence of a paradigm. When I read about the ill-effects of globalization I fail to see the difference between the arguments that were advanced against Westernization and modernization and the arguments now being advanced against globalization. It would be wrong, in my view, to treat modernization and globalization as synonyms. Even at the risk of being criticized for ‘intellection’ let me attempt a distinction between the various phases of change caused as a result of culture contact. I would like to call them, tentatively, periods of non-dependence or selfdependence, dependence, independence, and interdependence. When societies and cultures were relatively insulated they were in the phase of non-dependence or self-dependence. Under the colonial rule, they became heavily dependent on the colonizer country, which was, for them, the only aperture to the outside world; this is the period of dependence. Attainment of independence meant opening of more apertures and getting linked with a large number of other societies in bilateral frameworks, although the former colonies still remained recipients of outside traits and complexes. Since countries began exercising their options in making such choices, this phase may be called the phase of independence. It is a different matter whether such options were proxied by ‘outsiders’ or conceived from within. The new phase of globalization is characterized by growing mutual dependence and multilaterality of relations. This is a situation of interdependence where each country has become both giver and receiver. For such interactions, the framework of hierarchy, in which a country is seen always at the receiving end, does not seem to me to be appropriate. India is already proposing to be a

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‘developed country’ by the year 2020. India is clubbed with Brazil and China as BIC or G3. How can we, in such a changing scenario, talk of the framework that puts India always at the receiving end? In the changing context, the old dichotomies are being challenged. In this regard, the case of eastern Europe is very instructive. Thinking that rapid social transformation of these countries into a capitalist mode would improve the situation, the steps that the leaders of these countries took led only to frustration. The transition economies that boasted during the socialist era of the total absence of poverty now openly acknowledge its existence and show concern over the New Poor created by the transition. The countries of eastern Europe today are facing a threefold challenge of (i) stabilizing their economies, (ii) creating new institutions for functioning in the market-led economies, and (iii) thorough restructuring of their productive capacities to increase their efficiency in a competitive global market. In this process, the models of the West have been found to be deficient. This phenomenon is discussed in my book Poverty in Transition and Transition in Poverty (Atal 1999) which analyses the situation of social transformation in six countries of eastern Europe. The case studies of these countries are quite revealing and they challenge the prevailing theories of poverty. The challenges of population growth, the environmental crisis (caused by the depletion of resources and pollution) and the globalizing influences of a dramatic revolution in the technosphere and infosphere are all influencing the architecture of human civilization. For the continuing and emerging crises in the social sphere, it is now widely realized that mere technological breakthroughs are not enough. Both for handling the existing crises of social development and resolving the problems created in the social, political, cultural and economic spheres, and for fashioning the future, the need for effective involvement of the social sciences is universally recognized. It is now clear that the future growth of knowledge depends on the ability of science and the social sciences to rediscover areas of convergence. They will have to innovatively combine different disciplines and different modes of enquiry to understand the ever-increasing complexity of our universe. This would require opening up of the sciences by breaking disciplinary boundaries and effectively pursuing not only interdisciplinary but also transdisciplinary orientation in our research and thinking. It is a call for the decolonization of the mindset and for a search for alternative models to organize knowledge. In the changed context, social sciences need no longer play second fiddle to science and technology. In fact, the spectacular achievements in the sphere of science and technology, which resulted in the IT revolution and moved the world towards an information society, have created enormous ground for the social sciences. The newly created hardware and software demand a new focus on humanware.

Research and Advocacy While these challenges concern us both as social scientists and as members of a civil society, it is important to distinguish between the two roles. Since our

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principal identity is in terms of our professional expertise, whatever we speak or write is likely to be taken as an expert view. The danger is greater when we also begin partaking as social activists. Activists indulge in advocacy, but advocacy is not research. I say this not to deny the importance of advocacy, but only to alert that advocacy may be confused with research when a person, who also plays the role of a researcher makes it. Those who have pleaded for commitment in the social sciences have led the common people believe that a social scientist is an activist, a reformer. This is a point on which Andre Béteille has similar views:29 Research has to be distinguished from advocacy. The confusion of research with advocacy, or presenting advocacy in the guise of research is not as serious a problem in the natural as in the social sciences. A scientist doing research in the field of plasma physics or molecular biology is less likely to allow his research to be governed by his urge for advocacy than a sociologist working on topics such as local government or gender disparity. There is nothing wrong with advocacy as such, provided it does not dilute the requirements of systematic research. When the course of research is governed by the urge for advocacy, the results tend to be superficial, unreliable and misleading. In the last two decades, research in sociology and social anthropology has come increasingly under the influence of advocacy. This may be seen very clearly in the field of village studies… The interest in village studies began to flag in the mid-1970s. That interest has begun to be revived, but it is now driven by a different kind of impulse from the one by which village studies were driven in their formative years… Even a casual comparison will reveal that the village studies being undertaken today lack the depth and detail of the studies of the 1950s and the 1960s. The earlier studies took time, five years or longer, for the research and the writing.30…Village studies of the earlier type were generally conducted by scholars in universities where the pace of work is relaxed, and, at least in India, the pressure to publish not very urgent. In the last 50 years, there have been shifts in the institutional setting of social science research: first from universities to research institutes and, more recently, from both to NGOs. A new way of organizing research has accompanied the shifts in its institutional setting. This is based on the time-bound research project for which specific funds are earmarked and whose expected outcome is a specific research report. In the old system, within which village studies emerged shortly after independence, research was viewed as a lifetime’s commitment that did not always lead to tangible outcomes, and certainly not at specified intervals of time. Those academics

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who failed to produce much by way of published work could always justify their existence by their teaching, and hope that their students might publish more than they had been able to do. Project research is donor driven to a large extent. Donors want concrete results, and they want them within the prescribed time limit. Part of the money that went into the universities and research institutes is now going to the NGOs which have a much stronger interest in advocacy than in dispassionate and objective research. They appear to have become the favourites of foreign funding agencies. Many of them pay well and are thus able to attract some of the best products of the universities for research in fields ranging from health and education to forestry and water management. Those who are concerned about the long-term health of their discipline cannot afford to remain complacent about this trend towards ‘result-oriented’ research, or the shift from ‘delayed-return’ to ‘immediate-return’ research.

The Way Ahead: Challenges for the Future There are five major challenges that we face today, namely: 1. Updating teaching curricula and providing them with an interdisciplinary orientation, and introducing the social sciences at the school level; 2. Consolidating the findings of research done hitherto and systematizing contributions to theory, methodology, and to the understanding of Indian society and culture; 3. Immediately attending to the current and pressing problems of the society through empirical research and participation in policy-making and plan implementation; 4. Identifying the lacunae and setting an agenda to complete the unfinished tasks; and 5. Participating in the preparation of blueprints for the future. This would require a careful review of courses in all the teaching streams. This has to be done with a view to indigenizing the social sciences; incorporating interdisciplinary orientation; and updating their contents by introducing recent developments in theory, research methodology, and integrating the findings of contemporary research. Borrowed models and methods will have to be suitably indigenized to be relevant and applicable in the Indian setting; and new concepts will have to be developed indigenously, where needed, to properly understand the Indian reality. Social science research has to move from being merely imitative to becoming innovative and rooted in Indian culture.

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While social science research is already moving towards interdisciplinarity, the teaching of the social sciences in higher education remains uni-disciplinary and does not allow much cross-fertilization which is very essential for the growth of knowledge. Such an orientation is a must for those who will be joining the faculties of professional and technical institutions and contributing to the training of the professionals. Multidisciplinary orientation in the social sciences is the need of the day. The development of a highly differentiated job market in the wake of liberalization and globalization, and the demands of socio-economic development necessitate such reorientation. Current research in sociology and social anthropology is highly diffused, underrated, and generally ignored by the potential users. While there are sporadic attempts to identify the thrust areas for research, there is a need to make this a serious and a coordinated exercise. We need to promote both micro-level studies and large-scale surveys. The good work done by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSS) through its various rounds of surveys at fixed intervals has provided useful databases to compute trends in economic behaviour. There is enormous scope for the use of census data and their re-analysis and reinterpretation. The large number of individual village studies carried out by the Census Organization in the 1961 Census provide useful material to draw up a national profile of the Indian Village: that work still remains to be done. Similarly, the large number of village studies and empirical studies on caste that marked the Indian social sciences of the 1960s and 1970s need to be carefully reviewed for drawing nationwide generalizations. Similar work on other human settlements and on specific ethnic communities will be extremely useful. There is great scope for comparative research involving more than one region of the country. Scholars from one region should be encouraged to carry out studies in another region. This would provide better insight into the nature of the social phenomena as the researchers can easily place themselves in the category of relative ‘outsiders’ vis-à-vis the native ‘insiders’. Such exercises can also be conceived as team researches involving people from different social science disciplines and belonging to different regions. There is an urgent need to explore and strengthen the action-research potential. This would entail strengthening the research facilities of institutions engaged in such research programmes and also enhancing the skills in this field. Issues relevant to the Indian society must be given central place in teaching and research. It is important to develop a fresh prioritization of the agenda for research. While doing so we must also review the manner in which our research committees function. I have a feeling that we have spread ourselves unduly thin so that very little of substance is delivered. This has largely been an imitative exercise, following the model of the International Association. In the few All India Conferences that I had the pleasure of attending after my return to India, I have been gravely frustrated. Besides inaugural sessions and the valedictories, and some special lectures,

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the rest of the time of the conferences is spent in sightseeing and entertainment programmes. The meetings of the research committees are thinly attended and the quality of papers presented there leaves much to be desired. I wonder whether we need so many committees; or can we regroup them into meaningful sizes to promote better exchange of ideas and encourage cross-cultural comparative research. As we stand today, in the midst of the first decade of the new millennium, we have a different vantage point. In the last 50 years, the social sciences in India have attained a certain maturity. During these years, the social scientists engaged themselves both in the investigation of the past by way of researches in history and archaeology and in documenting the processes of change that are altering the present. Now is the time for them to reorient their work in the light of the coming tomorrow. Rather than letting autonomous forces lead us to an uncertain future, social scientists should participate in the process to determine the country’s future destination and devise desirable paths to get there. Social scientists are called upon not only to anticipate the demands that the future society will make upon them, but also to assess the totality of the needs of society in the coming years. The future of the social sciences is linked to the future of our society. The way social sciences shape themselves, and rise or decline in their popularity, will depend on the manner in which they attend to the future needs and demands of society.

appendix—1

Table A.1

Themes of the Four Surveys

Theme

First Survey

Applied Anthropology

Yes

Caste in India

Yes

Community Development and Panchayati Raj/ Rural Development

Yes

Cultural Anthropology/ Social Anthropology

Yes

Second Survey

Fourth Survey

Yes

Yes

Culture, Communication and Development Deviant Behaviour/ Criminology

Third Survey

Yes Yes

Yes

Yes

Indian Sociology

Table A.1 (Continued) Theme

First Survey

Economic Development/ Development Studies

Yes

Folklore

Yes

Historical Sociology

Yes

Industrial Sociology

Yes

Kinship

Yes

Material Culture

Yes

Second Survey

Fourth Survey

Yes

Yes

Yes

Old Age

Yes

Yes

Political Sociology

Yes

Research Methodology

Yes

Rural Studies/ Agrarian Studies Yes Scheduled Castes

Yes

Social Change

Yes

Social Demography

Yes

Social Movements

Yes

Yes

Social Work

Yes

Yes

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Yes

Sociological Theory

Yes

Sociology of Communication

Yes

Sociology of Education

Yes

Yes

Sociology of Law

Yes

Yes

Sociology of Medicine

Yes

Sociology of Professions

Yes Yes

Yes

Social Stratification

Sociology of Religion

Third Survey

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Sociology of Science/

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Technology and Development Tribal Ethnography

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Urban Studies

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Women’s Studies

Yes

Yes

Youth Studies

Yes

Indian Diaspora

Yes

Yes

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appendix—2

Table B.1

Research Committees of the Indian Sociological Society

RC-01. Theory, Concepts, and Methodology

RC-11. Sociology and Environment

RC-02. Family, Kinship, and Marriage

RC-12. Population, Health, and Society

RC-03. Economy. Polity, and Society

RC-13. Science, Technology, and Society

RC-04 Migration and Diasporic Studies

RC-14. Culture and Communication

RC-05. Education and Society

RC-15. Social Change and Development

RC-06. Religion and Religious Communities

RC-16. Urban and Industrial Studies

RC-07. Rural, Peasant, and Tribal Communities

RC-17. Social Movements

RC-08. Social Stratification, Professions, and Social Mobility

RC-18. Sociology of Crime and Deviance

RC-09. Dalit and Backward Classes

RC-19. Ageing and Social Structure

RC-10. Gender Studies

RC-20. Leisure and Tourism RC-21. Social Problems and Marginalized Groups.

notes

1. Opening paragraph of the essay titled ‘Sociology in the Indian Campus’. Reprinted in Atal 2003 2. It may be noted that in the initial list for the first survey, this topic was not included. But when the papers were reviewed by a seminar, the then member-secretary discovered to his surprise that no study had been commissioned to S.C. Dube. To rectify the error, the ICSSR requested Dube to prepare this paper. Even the honorarium made for this work was half of what had been paid to the other authors. 3. This was included in the first survey as the Anthropological Survey of India had a major project on it. 4. In place of social work, in the subsequent surveys the theme of deviant behaviour and criminology was included. Researches done by people in the field of social work could be accommodated under the various sub-themes of sociology, e.g. industrial sociology, sociology of medicine, and social psychology.

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5. The second round of survey (1969–79) was also published in three volumes, under the editorship of J.V. Ferreira. 6. The third round of survey (1980–87) was published in two volumes, under the editorship of M.S. Gore. 7. The report on the Indian diaspora (Jain 1993) for the third survey was released as a separate ICSSR publication, and was not included in the two volumes of the third survey, edited by M.S. Gore. 8. These statistics are based on the UGC report for the year 1969–70. 9. Willy-nilly this might have also been reflected in some of the chapters in this book. But, in general, there is a trend towards interdisciplinarity. 10. According to Vinay K. Srivastava, ‘The UGC Report classified the anthropology departments in three categories, viz., integrated, fragmented, and composite. The integrated departments were those where all the main branches of anthropology were taught and researched. Those departments which imparted training in one branch, or maybe two, like the department of human biology at Punjab University (Patiala), were designated as fragmented. Composite departments had anthropology coupled with sociology’ (Srivastava 2000: 33–40). Also see Srivastava 1999; 545–52, 2004: 127–52. 11. The ICSSR obtained this list from the University Grants Commission vide their letter # 10-1/2005 (IS-VI) UGC/Misc. dated 24 January 2006, in response to a request made by the ICSSR on 27 December 2005. [It is mentioned in the Appendix that this list of the universities that is ‘as available’.] 12. It may be of interest to know that the first journal in the field of anthropology was started as early as 1784. It was called Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Other journals were the Indian Antiquary (1872), Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay (1886), Indian Sociologist (1905 by Shyamji Krishna Varma from England), The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society, Bangalore (1909), Indian Journal of Sociology (1920), and Man in India (1921). 13. Details of sociology of law publications were not analysed by the author. 14. One may also include in this category agrarian studies, as they also are mostly developmental. The number would then certainly go up much more. It can be said that developmental studies predominate sociological research in India. 15. In addition, there are 45 entries for the year 2003. 16. This is referred to by some as ‘auto anthropology’. 17. It would, however, be incorrect to say that there was no work done on women in the past. Courses on the Indian social system—in the tradition of Indology—included topics like the status of women in ancient India. They were was based on sacred texts and related only to the Hindus. In the discussion on marriage and family, and on inheritance, the gender aspect was certainly covered, and comparisons were made regarding the practices prevalent in various religious groups as well as in different tribal communities. But the ethnographies did not devote any special chapters on women. It was rare to find any full-length monographs on women. 18. My assignment with the Indian Council of Social Science Research as its first Research Director gave me the opportunity to interact with this committee and to

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assist it in its research programme. I was personally involved in the designing of the national study that was undertaken by the committee. 19. Since she has analysed the fertility and mortality trends as the principal highlights of demographic research in India, it is assumed that works on other aspects of demography, such as migration, have not been covered. Also, the works listed here may be more sociological in nature; work done by social scientists from other disciplines may not have been listed. 20. It should be stated for the record that Professor S.C. Dube played a pioneering role in promoting research on planned social change in India. His book, India’s Changing Villages (1958), was a trendsetter. Dube moved to Mussoorie as Research Director of Research at the Central Institute for Training and Research, and he encouraged with financial support various university departments to undertake research on community development programmes and projects. 21. For example, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) began publishing a journal titled Alternatives in the 1970s, which is still published regularly. 22. I had the honour of serving on this Committee as Member-Secretary, in my capacity as the Director of Research in ICSSR. 23. Reviewing the second edition, James R. Beniger of the Annenberg School of Communication, wrote: ‘Today the book may still seem fresher—and certainly more timely—than it did when first published in 1956. Researchers who use the book to rethink their current practices ought to have a leg up on those who do not.’ 24. ‘Sociology in the Indian Campus’ (Atal 1976) prepared for the 12th session of the All India Sociological Conference, Varanasi, 1974. 25. Raj Mohan Gandhi does make a reference to Varma’s encounter with Gandhi, and of his influence on Savarkar (2006:127). 26. The series is named Themes in Indian Sociology. Published by Sage, this series includes volumes on The Sociology of Gener (Rege 2003); Urbanization in India (Sandhu 2003); Sociology of Religion in India (Robinson 2003); The Indian Diaspora (Jayaram 2005); Tribal Communities and Social Change (Chacko 2005); The Family in India (Tulsi 2005); and On Civil Society (Saberwal and Jayaram 2005). 27. Personal communication dated 23 December 2005. 28. I remember even Professor Srinivas admitting at the Golden Jubilee Seminar of the Department of Sociology of the University of Mumbai that he was not a ‘concepts’ man! As a young entrant I intervened to tell him that despite such a disclaimer the fact remained that his concepts of Sanskritization and dominant caste were the only ones that had received a widespread currency and provided some sort of theoretical stimulus. 29. Personal communication of 23 December 2005 by Professor Andre Béteille, Chairman of the ICSSR. 30. He elaborated this by saying: ‘My own monograph on Sripuram took four years between the commencement of fieldwork and the publication of the book; some of my colleagues thought that I might have been a little hasty. By contrast, village

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studies that are driven by the impulse for advocacy are quick jobs. The research and writing have to be completed within a limited time frame, and close reading suggests that the conclusions follow a pre-determined course.’

Bibliography Atal, Yogesh. 1968. The Changing Frontiers of Caste. Delhi: National Publishing Atal, Yogesh. 1976. Social Sciences: The Indian Scene. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. ———. 1972. Beyond the Village. Simla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study. _____.1972. ‘Project CLAPP: Studying political behaviour in region’. In Satish Saberwal (ed.). Beyond the Village: Sociological Explorations. Simla: Indian Institue of Advanced Study. ———. 1981. ‘The call for indigenization’, International Social Science Journal, 333 (1): 189–97. ———(ed.). 1984. Sociology and Social Anthropology in Asia and the Pacific, New Delhi and Paris: Wiley Eastern; UNESCO. ———(ed.). 1992. Understanding Indian Society: A Festschrift in Honour of Professor S.C. Dube. New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications. ———. 1999. Poverty in Transition and Transition in Poverty. New York and Oxford: Bergham Books, in association with UNESCO. ———. 2001. ‘Managing multiplicity: The insider-outsider duality’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36 (36): 8. ———. 2003. ‘Managing multiplicity: The insider-outsider duality’. In A.K. Lal (ed.). Social Exclusion: Essays in Honour of Dr Bindeshwar Prasad. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company, Chap. 2. ———. 2004. ‘Outsider as insider: The phenomenon of sandwich culture’. In N. Jayaram (ed.). The Indian Diaspora. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Atal, Yogesh and Rajesh Mishra (eds.). 2004. Understanding the Social Sphere: The Village and Beyond—Essays in Honour of Professor Brij Raj Chauhan. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Avasthi, Abha (ed.). 1997. Social and Cultural Diversities: D.P. Mukerji in Memoriam. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Bhattacharya, R. K. and Ashok K. Ghosh (eds.). 1995. Sociology in the Rubric of Social Science: Professor Ramkrishna Mukherjee Felicitation Volume. Kolkata: Anthropological Survey of India. Chauhan, Abha and Aditya Chauhan (eds.). 1998. Cultural Dimensions of Social Change: In Honour of Professor Brij Raj Chauhan. Udaipur: A. C. Brothers. Chauhan, Brij Raj. 1967. A Rajasthan Village. New Delhi: Associated Publishing. Chacko, Pariaram M. 2005. Tribal Communities and Social Change. In B.S. Baviskar (ed.). Themes in Indian Sociolgy Series. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

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Das, Veena, Dipankar Gupta, and Patricia Oberoi (eds.). 1999. Tradition, Pluralism and Identity: In Honour of T. N. Madan. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Desai, A.R. (ed.). 1969. Rural Sociology in India. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. Dhanagare, D. N. 1993. Themes and Perspectives in Indian Sociology. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Dube, S.C. 1958. India’s Changing Village. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Dumont, Louis. 1970. Homo Hierarchicus:The Caste System and Its Implications. London: Wiedenfeld and Nicolson. Ferreira, J.V. 1985. Survey of Research in Sociology and Social Anthropology: 1969–1979. 3 vols. New Delhi: Satvahan Publications. Gandhi, Rajmohan. 2006. Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire. New Delhi: Viking. Gore, M.S. 2000. Survey of Research in Sociology and Social Anthropology 1980-8. 2 vols. New Delhi: ICSSR; New Delhi: Manak Publications. Guha, Ramchandra and Jonathan P. Parry (eds.). 1999. Institutions and Inequities: Essays in Honour of Andre Béteille. New Delhi: Oxford. Gupta, Bela Dutt. 1972. Sociology in India. Calcuta: Centre for Sociological Research. Gupta, Dipankar (ed.). 2004. Caste in Question: Identity in Hierarcy. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Gupta, Surendra K. (ed.). 2004. Emerging Social Science Concerns: Festschrift in Honour of Professor Yogesh Atal. New Delhi: Concept Publishing. Jain, Ravindra K. 1993. Indian Communities Abroad: Themes and Literature. New Delhi: Manohar. Jayaram, N. (ed.). 2004. The Indian Diaspora. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Kar, Samit (ed.). 2005. Globalization: One World Many Voices: Essays in Honour of Professor Ramkrishna Mukherjee. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Mandelbaum, David G. 1972. Society in India. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. Marriott, Mckim. 1959. ‘Interactional and attributional theory of caste ranking’. Man in India 39: 92-107. Merton, Robert K., Marjorie Fiske and Patricia L. Kendall. 1990 [1956]. The Focused Interview. 2nd edition. New York: Free Press. Misra, P. K., K. K. Basa and H. K. Bhat (eds.). 2007. M. N. Srinivas: The Man and His Work. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Mukerji, D. P. 1958. Diversities: Essays in Economics, Sociology and Other Social Problems. New Delhi: People’s Publishing. Mukherjee, Ramkrishna. 1979. Sociology of Indian Sociology. New Delhi. Allied Publishers. Mukherji, Partha N. (ed.). 2002. Methodology in Social Research: Dilemmas and Perspectives—Essays in Honour of Ramakrishna Mukherjee. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

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Murthy, M. S. R., R. Subramanian, P. Sumangala, and V. K. R. Kumar 2006. The Great Social Scientists of India. Chennai: Emerald Publishers. Nayar, P. K. B. (ed.). 1982. Sociology in India. Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation. Pachauri, V. K. (ed.). 1998. Social Panorama—Festschrift for Professor Rajeshwar Prasad. Agra: Y. K. Publishers. Patel, Tulsi. 2005. The Family in India: Structure and Practice. In B.S. Baviskar (ed.). Themes in Indian Sociolgy Series. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Saberwal, Jayaram, N. 2005. On Civil Society: Issues and Perspectives. Themes in Indian Sociolgy Series, ed. BS Baviskar. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Saberwal, Satish. (ed.). 1972. Beyond the Village: Sociological Explorations. Simla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Sandhu, Ravinder Singh. 2003. Urbanization in India. In B.S. Baviskar (ed.). Themes in Indian Sociology Series. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Shah, A. M., B. S. Baviskar and E. A. Ramaswamy. 1996. Social Structure and Change Theory and Method: An Evaluation of the Work of M. N. Srinivas. Vol 1. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Srinivas, M. N., M. S. A. Rao and A. M. Shah (eds.). 1974. A Survey of Research in Sociology and Social Anthropology. Vol. 2. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. Srivastava, Vinay K. 1999. ‘The Future of Indian Anthropology.’ Economic and Political Weekly 34 (9): 545-552. _____. 2000. ‘Teaching of Anthropology.’ Seminar 495 (November): 33–40. _____. 2004. ‘Anthropology in India: a comment.’ The Eastern Anthropologist 57 (2): 12752. Rege, Sharmila. 2003. The Sociology of Gender. In B.S. Baviskar (ed.). Themes in Indian Sociology Series. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Robinson, Rowena. 2003. Sociology of Religion in India. In B.S. Baviskar (ed.). Themes in Indian Sociology Series. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Upadhyaya, Vijay S., and V. P. Sharma (eds.). 1995. Contemporary Indian Society: Essays in Honour of Professor Sachchidanand. Mumbai: Asia Publishing.

2 AnthropologicAl StudieS of indiAn tribeS Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Sukant K. Chaudhury

This review of the literature on the studies of Indian tribes (published in the English language) covers the time span from 1988 to 2002. It also reflects upon the discipline of anthropology in India, wherein tribal studies continue to constitute the principal subject matter.

Anthropology in India Immanuel Kant is credited with coining the word ‘anthropology’, meaning the ‘study of Man’, or, in the contemporary gender-sensitive world, the ‘study of Humankind’. Although in the literature on the history of anthropology one comes across a tendency on the part of authors to trace its emergence to ancient and medieval thinkers such as Aristotle, Ibn Khaldun, Montesquieu, Rousseau, there is no disagreement on the point that as a professional commitment, and as a subject to be taught and researched in universities, anthropology started in the West in the second half of the nineteenth century. In this development, museums have played an unparalleled role. It was to collect artefacts to be displayed in the ethnology sections of these museums that visits to the territories of ‘pre-literate’ and ‘technologically-simpler’ societies were undertaken. It was not enough to collect artefacts for the museum, researchers gave a ‘full account of the contexts in which the tools and objects are used’ (Srinivas 1989: 71). This was the job of the ethnographer who collected the details about the artefacts and prepared a write-up on each one of them for exhibition. Certain prominent scholars of the formative era in the development of anthropology (such as Edward Tylor, Franz Boas, T.K. Penniman) were closely associated with museums (Eriksen and Nielsen 2001). The Asiatic Society of Bengal, founded in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1784 by William Jones, initiated systematic anthropological (and Indological) studies in India. Some scholars of Indian origin (such as S.C. Roy) were profoundly interested in the study of Indian tribes and castes. They conducted first-hand studies of these communities and published detailed monographs on them, which are still consulted. But anthropology became an independent university discipline when its first department was established in 1921 in the University of Calcutta. Since

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51

then a number of anthropology departments (today numbering 35) have been opened in different universities (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 2000). Although not correct, many think that a familial relationship exists between sociology and anthropology, with the result that, for instance, for civil and provincial services examinations candidates are not permitted to opt for both these subjects. If there is any kinship, it is between sociology (a ‘full’ discipline) and social anthropology (a ‘part’ discipline), and not between sociology and anthropology. In addition to social anthropology, the other branches of anthropology are physical (or biological) anthropology, archeaeological anthropology (or prehistory), and linguistic anthropology, although not all the branches are equally developed (and taught) in a department of anthropology (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1999, 2004). Because of the affinity between sociology and social anthropology, some authors do not make a distinction between the two (Srinivas 2002: 465), whilst others think that notwithstanding the overlapping between them, there are unmistakable differences in their respective practices (Sarana and Srivastava 2005), which would explain why there should be separate departments of anthropology and sociology, wherein the department of anthropology teaches social anthropology along with the other branches which collectively give identity (and separateness) to anthropology (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1999). This does not, however, imply that no mobility is possible from anthropology to sociology. In fact, many sociologists in India (to list the prominent names, G.S. Ghurye, M.N. Srinivas, S.C. Dube, R.D. Sanwal, S.D. Badgaiyan, Andre Béteille, T.N. Madan, B.R. Chauhan, J.P.S. Uberoi, Yogesh Atal) have had their basic training in anthropology. However, mobility from sociology to anthropology is not that common because anthropology departments expect their faculty members to have studied all the branches of anthropology, particularly physical anthropology. To understand the progress of any subject (or its specialization), one needs to begin with a description of the journals through which its researches and ideas are disseminated to the academic community, and also amongst the wider public. The last decade of the last millennium witnessed a consolidation of some new anthropology journals and a regular publication of some old journals. A publishing house which has made a major contribution to the publication of anthropology and anthropologically oriented journals in this decade is Old Delhi-based Kamla-Raj Enterprises. It began with the publication of the Journal of Human Ecology in 1990. In 1997, it started the Journal of Social Sciences. Although both these journals were of interdisciplinary in nature, their managing editors were (and are) anthropologists, which would explain their overall anthropological influence. Kamla-Raj Enterprises also renewed in 1999 the publication of The Anthropologist, the third journal (after Man in India and The Eastern Anthropologist) in the history of anthropology in India, founded in August 1954 by the Department of Anthropology of the University of Delhi. Its publication unfortunately was suspended in the early 1980s. In 2001, Kamla-Raj started the

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Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Sukant K. chaudhury

publication of the International Journal of Human Genetics, once again managed by an anthropologist, which would explain the overall physical anthropological nature of this journal. In 2002, it founded Studies of Tribes and Tribals devoted exclusively to the study of the tribal communities of the world, and in 2007, Studies in Ethnomedicine. Except for The Anthropologist, the other journals do not carry the word ‘anthropology’ in their respective titles, but predominantly publish articles by anthropologists and of anthropological interests, as has been noted earlier. In this decade also began the new series of the South Asian Anthropologist, a journal (edited by P. Dash Sharma) which the Sarat Chandra Roy Institute of Anthropological Studies (Ranchi) started in 1979. In 2001, the Oriental Institute of Cultural and Social Research (Allahabad) founded its journal, edited by Vijoy S. Sahay, The Oriental Anthropologist. In 2003 began The Journal of Social Anthropology, edited by R.M. Sarkar. In addition, there are journals and bulletins that some departments of anthropology (at Dibrugarh, Ranchi, Kolkata) and Tribal Research Institutes (of various states) publish. Presently, to get an idea of the anthropological researches that have been done in India, one may consult, in addition to the journals that the Kamla-Raj Enterprises publishes, the following regularly published journals arranged here in chronological order: Man in India, The Eastern Anthropologist, Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society, Indian Anthropologist, South Asian Anthropologist, Man and Life, The Anthropologist (new series), The Oriental Anthropologist, and Journal of Social Anthropology. It may also be noted that some anthropology journals (such as Journal of Social Research, Spectra of Anthropological Progress) continued with their regular publication for some years, making worthy contributions, but had to be discontinued for a myriad of reasons. The Journal of Social Research (published from Ranchi, Jharkhand), for example, which L.P. Vidyarthi started in 1958, carried several important articles on tribes that are still consulted, especially the impact of industrialization on the tribals. In recent years, attempts have been made to restart this Journal. Indian anthropologists also publish their articles in other social science journals, such as Economic and Political Weekly, Sociological Bulletin, Contributions to Indian Sociology (new series), and popular periodicals, like Vanyajati, Yojana, and Kurukshetra. In fact, Vanyajati, which the Bhartiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh started in 1951, is one of the oldest journals devoted to the issues of tribal societies, publishing popular as well as academic articles, both in Hindi and in English by authors from all walks of life. Incidentally, the term vanyajati means the ‘forest-dwelling people’. This term is also used in Hindi for tribes, suggesting that Indian tribes are forest-dwellers. Further, in the last two decades, some publishers have taken the lead in publishing monographs of varying quality on Indian tribes. One which deserves mention is the Tribal Studies of India Series launched by Inter-India Publications

Anthropological Studies of indian tribes

53

(Delhi), which has so far published more than one hundred books, principally based on fieldwork. Although some of the monographs that the Indian publishers have brought out lack a high academic standard and sophistication of language, what is important is that they provide empirical data on tribes in India. In comparison to other social science journals, anthropological and anthropologically oriented journals carry a number of articles on tribal communities. This survey, we did not come across a single issue of an anthropology (or anthropologically oriented) journal, which did not carry an article on tribespersons, whereas other social science journals hardly publish articles on tribes. However, with respect to the issues of biodiversity or eco-conservation, or those of ethnicity or national integration and nation-building, their authors (who generally are not anthropologists) may refer to the studies on tribal societies. Recently, for example, many articles are written in the newspapers (particularly, The Hindu) by non-anthropologists on the Scheduled Tribes (Soni 2005; Mudgal 2007). In other words, tribes are not entirely absent in the discourses of other social sciences, but certainly tribal studies are not at the centre. In this context, Béteille writes: Anthropology has from the beginning had a special interest in the customs, practices, and institutions of simple, primitive, or preliterate societies and cultures…They [the anthropologists] are still the acknowledged authorities, in matters of both theory and policy, on this particular segment of humanity. (1998: 187) To substantiate this point about anthropology with some quantitative analysis, this chapter begins with an analysis of articles published from 1993 to 2002—a tenyear period—in the oldest journal of India, Man in India, which Sarat Chandra Roy1 started in 1921 (Vidyarthi and Rai 1976: 13). Besides book reviews, the contributions to this journal are divided into ‘articles’ and ‘communications’, the latter being considerably shorter than the former. Further, like many anthropology journals, international as well as national, Man in India publishes articles from all the four branches of anthropology (viz., physical or biological anthropology, social and cultural anthropology, prehistory or archaeological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology). For this analysis, the articles published from 1993 to 2002 have been divided under the heads of the four branches of anthropology. In addition, one more area of interest has also been covered, namely ‘general anthropology’, which deals with the discipline of anthropology as a whole, and also, with bio-behavioural (i.e., ‘bio-social’ and ‘bio-cultural’) aspects. Table 2.1 gives the frequency of articles published during the period under survey covering different branches of anthropology. The present analysis (presented in Table 2.1) shows that 67.69 per cent of the articles and 68.49 per cent of the communications published in the journal relate to social and cultural anthropology, while 25.00 per cent of the articles and 23.28 per cent of the communications are in physical or biological

54

Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Sukant K. chaudhury

Table 2.1 Survey of Articles and communications published in Man in India from 1993 to 2002 Year

Total Write-ups

Physical Anthropology

Social/ Cultural Anthropology

Archaeo- Languages/ logical Linguistic AnthroAnthropology pology

General Anthropology

A

C

A

C

A

A

A

1993

33

11

5

2

26

9

0

1994

34

8

10

4

24

3

0

1995

25

11

10

5

14

6

1

1996

24

4

4

1

18

3

2

1997

25

9

6

1

17

8

2

1998

21

5

4

1

13

4

3

1

1999

21

8

3

1

16

5

1

1

2000

27

0

15

0

9

0

3

2001

27

5

2

0

25

5

0

2002

23

12

6

2

14

7

2

2

Total

260

73

65

17

176

50

14

2

Total in Percentage

C

C

A

C

C

2 1

2

1

1

1

1

1

2

3

3

25.00 23.28 67.69 68.49 5.38 2.73 0.76 1.36 1.15 4.10

Notes: A → Articles; C → Comments

anthropology. Together, 92.69 per cent of the articles and 91.77 per cent of the communications thus represent the two sub-disciplines of social and cultural anthropology and physical or biological anthropology. Only 5.38 per cent of the articles and 2.73 per cent of the communications are in the domain of prehistory. General anthropology is represented in 1.15 per cent of the articles and 4.10 per cent of the communications. The most minuscule representation is of linguistic anthropology: only 0.76 per cent articles and 1.36 per cent communications. This supports the observation that in anthropology departments of Indian universities, and also research organizations (such as the Anthropological Survey of India), the sub-disciplines that have an overwhelming representation are social and cultural anthropology and physical or biological anthropology. One of the oft-stated demands by anthropology departments is that all the branches of anthropology should be equally developed, and special attention should be paid to prehistory and linguistic anthropology (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1999).

Anthropological Studies of indian tribes

55

The next step in the analysis is to locate the focus of the articles and communications: first, those that deal directly with tribal societies; and second, those that use materials on tribal societies for comparison with non-tribal societies (see Tables 2.2 and 2.3). From 1993 to 2002, Man in India carried 20 per cent articles and 41.18 per cent communications which dealt with the biological features of tribespersons. By comparison, 67.11 per cent of the articles and 44 per cent of the communications were on the social and cultural aspects of tribes. In addition, 3.97 per cent of the articles used information on tribal societies for comparison with other societies. The main reason for fewer articles on the biology of tribes is that from the beginning physical anthropology has been concerned with a wide variety of communities—which they call ‘Mendelian populations’—tribal as well as nontribal, whereas Indian social and cultural anthropology has paid significantly far more attention to the study of tribes. As a result, it has been able to build up its own tradition of ‘tribal studies’ (or, what may be called tribalology). When speaking of tribal studies, what anthropologists (and other social scientists) have in mind is the ‘social anthropology and sociology of tribal communities’, although, as said previously, the other branches of anthropology have definitely studied those aspects of tribal life that are of relevance to their respective specializations. Table 2.2 Survey of Articles published in Man in India on tribes from 1993 to 2002 Year

Total Articles

Articles Exclusively on Tribes PA

SA

AA

Articles Using Tribal Studies for Comparison

LA

PA

SA

1993

33

1

2

2

1994

34

3

7

2

1995

25

1996

24

1997

9 8

1

25

5

1

1998

21

5

1999

21

9

2000

27

2001

27

1

2002

23

4

Total

260

Total in percentage

AA

2

7

13

1

1

1 1

51

1

7

1

20 67.11

50

3.97

7.14

LA

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Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Sukant K. chaudhury

Table 2.3 Survey of communications published in Man in India on tribes (1993–2002) Year

Total

Communications Physical Anthrop.

Social Archaeological Anthrop. Anthrop.

Linguistic Anthrop.

1993

11

3

1994

8

3

2

1995

11

4

4

1996

4

1

1997

9

3

1998

5

1

1999

8

4

2001

5

3

2002

12

1

1

Total

73

7

22

1

1

41.18

44

50

100

1

2000

Total in percentage

Alongside, we have also conducted a quantitative analysis of the contributions from 1988 to 2002 to The Eastern Anthropologist, the second anthropology journal that D.N. Majumdar founded in 1947 and one of the three journals (the other two being the Indian Journal of Physical Anthropology and Human Genetics and Manav [in Hindi]) that the Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) publishes (see Table 2.4). During this period, 18.90 per cent of the articles, 33.33 per cent of the shorter notes, and 18.75 per cent of the brief communications published in the journal were on tribes, and they all pertained to social and cultural dimensions since The Eastern Anthropologist publishes contributions only from social anthropology and prehistory. One of the reasons for the fewer number of contributions on tribes is that during these fifteen years, five special volumes were brought out and each one was comprised of two numbers. The special volumes either dealt with themes or were commemorative in nature: for example, the Indus Civilization (1992: 3–4); Special Issue edited by Guest Editors (1996: 3–4); Golden Jubilee Special Number (1997: 3–4); Resettlement (2000: 1–2); Muslims of South Asia (2000: 3–4); and Other Backward Classes (2002: 3–4). Except for the special volume on Resettlement (which had articles

Anthropological Studies of indian tribes

57

referring to materials from tribal communities), the other volumes did not have contributions on tribes. Table 2.4 Survey of Write-ups on tribes published in The Eastern Anthropologist from 1988 to 2002 Year & Volume

Total Articles

1988:41

19

1989:42

14

1990:43

17

1991:44

Articles on Tribes 5

Total Short Notes

Short Brief Brief Notes on Comment Comment Tribes on Tribes

8

5

7

2

3

7

6

1

1

19

3

8

4

*1992:45

9

1

6

1

1993:46

14

1

7

3

1994:47

14

1

5

2

1995:48

17

6

4

1

1

*1996:49

8

1

2

1

1

1

*1997:50

9

3

2

1998:51

19

5

5

2

1

1998:52

17

2

6

4

2

2000:54

18

3

3

*2001:55

9

1

3

1

5

1

203

38

72

24

16

3

Total in percentage 100

18.90

*1999:53

Total

2

33.33

18.75

Note: *Special numbers

Contributions based on the studies of tribal societies are central to an anthropology journal, but today’s anthropology undertakes studies of all types of human societies and institutions, reminding one of what Clyde Kluckhohn (1949) said: that anthropologists study human beings wherever they are found. This also brings to mind Claude Lévi-Strauss’ (1985, quoted in Eriksen 1995: 1) famous statement:

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Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Sukant K. chaudhury

Anthropology has humanity as its object of research, but unlike the other human sciences, it tries to grasp its object through its most diverse manifestations. What is noteworthy in a contemporary anthropology journal is that it has articles on teknonymy, social background of clerks, as well as on milk cooperatives. The June (1989) issue of Man in India (64:2), for example, carried four articles, respectively, on (i) residence in ownership flats in Calcutta; (ii) a town of Assam and its impact on the hinterland; (iii) patterns of recreation in an urban setting; and (iv) inter-generational mobility among teachers of higher educational institutions. This issue also reviewed three books, but none of them were on tribes. However, when an analysis of articles published over a period of time is attempted, one finds that notwithstanding the enlargement of the scope of anthropology to include all kinds of societies and the emergence of urban and industrial anthropologies, the study of tribes has not been ‘decentred’. Even today, as it was in the past, if there is a discipline holding the charge of tribal studies, it is anthropology, and if there are any scholars to speak authoritatively on the customs and practices of contemporary tribes and those of the past, they are anthropologists. Sociologists who have written articles on tribes happen to be those who have a background in anthropology. Hence, the first place to begin a survey of tribal studies is the set of anthropology (and anthropologically oriented) journals. This, however, does not imply that other disciplines do not have tribal experts. With the rise of subaltern perspectives in history, many historians have turned their attention to the study of tribal communities (see Ranajit Guha 1998). Anthropologists have maintained that they have always been ‘subalternists’ because of their unswerving commitment right from their formative periods to the study of the lower and marginalized strata of society which include tribes and rural people. Economists have now started paying respect to the substantive approach for the study of tribal economies that the anthropologists have popularized. Linguists, who are mainly concerned with a scientific study of written languages, have now turned their attention to the unwritten languages of ‘primitive’ communities. The students of philosophy are also documenting the ‘ideologies’ and ‘thoughts of wisdom’ of non-civilized people. The legal scientists have also paid attention to the study of the customary laws of tribes and the conflicts they have with the state laws, and in doing so they often make use of the methodology of fieldwork. In other words, the substantial impact of anthropological perspectives can be felt in other social sciences and humanities. They are all appreciative of anthropology for providing a critique of Euro-centric models and showing that there are diverse and resilient ways of human living. Anthropology is interesting because it begins with a consideration of the enormous diversity of human society and culture, where each way of living and thinking is to be understood in its context; therefore, the question of placing societies in a hierarchy of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ or ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ does not

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59

arise (Leach 1982). In this way, anthropologists have been champions of the idea of essential human equality, notwithstanding the several, and glaring, differences between societies in terms of their respective controls over resources of various kinds.

Teaching of Tribal Studies The Rajiv Gandhi University (formerly Arunachal University) at Rono Hills, Doimukh (Arunachal Pradesh), has a department of tribal studies which admits students in the M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes. The centre for distance education of this university is soon launching a correspondence course leading to a graduate degree in tribal studies. Furthermore, under the aegis of this department, anthropology is to be introduced as a separate discipline. It may be kept in mind here that 69.82 per cent of the population of Arunachal Pradesh is tribal (Mandal et al. 2002: 9). Guru Ghasidas University at Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) has a department of anthropology and tribal development which was founded in 1989. Besides these two departments, some universities (such as Nagaland University and Manipur University) have centres for carrying out research on tribal societies. Himachal Pradesh University has also set up the Institute of Tribal Studies and Research. All anthropology departments have courses on tribal societies, but whether they constitute a full paper (or a portion of a bigger paper) depends upon the total number of papers that are allotted to the degree programme. For instance, for the Master’s programme in anthropology, the University of Rajasthan (Jaipur) has ten papers to be covered in two years. One of the compulsory courses (Paper VIII) for the second year is titled ‘Indian Anthropology’, almost 70 per cent of which is concerned with the study of tribes. The Central University of Hyderabad has a Core Course (AN-423) titled ‘Applied Anthropology and Tribal Welfare’ in its second semester of MA in anthropology. Two of the optional courses for this degree are ‘Peasant and Tribal Movements in India’ (AN-549) and ‘Anthropology of Weaker Sections’ (AN-552), both dealing in a big way with tribal studies. Similarly, one of the optional papers (IX-B) for M.Sc. (second year) in anthropology (with specialization in social anthropology) at the University of Delhi is titled ‘Transformation of Tribal Societies in India’. Besides this, the first year of the Master’s programme has a half course (of Paper no. IV) on ‘Cultural Diversity in India’, one-third of which is on tribal societies while the rest is on caste and village communities. Some departments of anthropology define tribal studies as one of their thrust areas: for instance, for the department of anthropology of Pondicherry University, the thrust area comprises the study of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and rural societies. One of the thrust areas of the department of Anthropology at Gauhati University (Assam) is tribal ethnography. It is clear from the above that as the study of tribes constitutes the kernel of anthropology, the anthropology syllabi of various Indian universities will have

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courses and papers on tribes. But it is important to note that tribal studies are also included in sociology courses as well as in the civil services competitive examinations (national and provincial). For instance, among the four compulsory papers a student has to read for a Master’s in sociology at the University of Mumbai is a paper titled ‘Theoretical Anthropology’ (Paper II), which refers conspicuously to studies of tribal societies. For the second year, where a student opts for four papers, among the list of the optional papers is one on ‘Anthropology of Indian Society’ (Paper XVIII). Mumbai’s is a special case. The person who shaped sociology there right from 1924 was G.S. Ghurye—a student of the Cambridge anthropologist, W.H.R. Rivers. Nonetheless, all other universities include studies of tribal societies in their sociology courses. This largely because, in India, as noted earlier, the distinction between sociology and social anthropology is not so strictly observed as in other parts of the world. The overlapping of these two subjects owes to the nature of Indian society, where sharp and glaring distinctions between tribal, peasant and urban worlds are grossly non-existent (Atal 2003, 2006; Béteille 2000a, 2002, 2003; Vinay Kumar Srivastava 2005). The continuities between them are so remarkable that, regardless of whether one is a sociologist or a social anthropologist, one cannot claim to be studying just one type of society without taking into cognizance the other. Both tribal and peasant societies in India have been a part—a fragment—of the indigenous civilization. When one speaks of India, it is of a ‘literate civilization’, which is largely orthogenetic (Nirmal Kumar Bose 1953; Redfield 1956; Surajit Sinha, 1965). Thus, tribal and peasant myths, customs and practices, and patterns of thought have been ‘carried forward’, ‘systematized’, and ‘reflected upon’; a task which the ‘literati’ (the intellectual class of the Brahmins, Imams, and other religious specialists) have carried out patiently and diligently, over centuries, thus creating a pan-Indian tradition emerging from below, with which it could claim familial resemblance (Marriott 1955; Singer 1955–56). While studying such a society, it would be foolhardy to keep an impervious distinction between sociology and social anthropology. Thus, both sociologists and social anthropologists in India study tribes, but the difference is that while tribes are central to social anthropology they are not to sociology. This would explain, for example, why the second paper in anthropology (titled ‘Indian Anthropology’) for the civil services examination deals overwhelmingly with tribes, while the second paper in sociology (titled ‘Study of Indian Society’) has only one topic (out of 15) on tribes. In comparison to the teaching of sociology, irrespective of the faculty (science or arts) under which it is placed, anthropologes expects its Master’s students to carry out fieldwork of not less than four to five weeks, and prepare a dissertation from the empirical data thus gathered. For the Bachelor’s degree programme, the fieldwork is of shorter duration, generally of two weeks. Although fieldwork may be conducted in any social situation (peasant or even urban), anthropology departments generally prefer to organize such studies in the tribal contexts. As a

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result, students are trained to undertake tribal studies from the formative days of their career. The courses on tribal societies, like many others, include close reading of monographs. The present authors remember reading Verrier Elwin’s The Muria and their Ghotul (1947) and S.C. Dube’s The Kamars (1951) as undergraduate students. The contemporary syllabus of the paper titled ‘Transformation of Tribal Societies in India’ (in M.Sc. Anthropology, second year, of the University of Delhi) includes case studies of the Naga tribes, the Munda and the Nicobaries; however the names of the monographs to be read are not given. But the monographs that students usually read today were in fact published in the first half of the twentieth century, because, unfortunately, monographs of comparable quality and richness have not been produced in the last 50 years or so. Many writers have also noted a dreadful decline in the standard and length of the fieldwork that Indian anthropologists carry out these days, which has its implication for the quality of monographs (Béteille 1996: 234).

Focus in Tribal Studies Short profiles of Indian tribes have been provided in Sachchidananda and Prasad’s edited Encyclopaedic Profile of Indian Tribes (1996) and K.S. Singh’s mammoth volume The Scheduled Tribes (1997), besides the booklets on tribes of their respective states that the tribal research centres (14 in India) have occasionally published in the vernacular. Moonis Raza and Aijazuddin Ahmad have brought out An Atlas of Triabl India (1990), and the Anthropological Survey of India has published a Map of India’s Scheduled Tribes in 2000, and An Illustrated Atlas of the Tribal World (Mandal et al. 2002). Earlier, in 1993, under the auspices of the People of India, National Series (vol. 11), it had published An Anthropological Atlas which carries very useful information about Indian tribes, besides, of course, other communities. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Hunters and Gatherers (1999), edited by Richard B. Lee and Robert Daly, includes substantial accounts of Indian tribes such as the Birhor, the Chenchu of Deccan, the Nayak of Wynaad, the Paliyan, the Hill Pandaram of Kerala, and the Andaman Islanders. P.K. Mohanty (2004) has published two volumes of the Encyclopaedia of Primitive Tribes in India, which provide useful information on the primitive tribes, presently 75 in number. Some coffee-table books on tubes, with exquisite photographs are also available, which carry introductions by anthropologists (see, for instance, Arya and Joshi 2004; Baldizzone and Baldizzone 1993; Ceolin and Tirelli 2006; Janah, 1993). A popular textbook, reprinted several times, on the tribes of India is by Nadeem Hasnain (1991). The present survey of articles, books and reports published from 1988 to 2002 shows that the following aspects of tribes have been largely covered: 1. There are a number of articles (and books, though few in number) on the biological features of tribal people. Besides being published in Man in India, the South Asian Anthropologist, the Oriental Anthropologist,

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and the Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society, they also appear in the Indian Journal of Physical Anthropology and Human Genetics. Both environment-affected (like body growth and development) and environment-free (such as sickle cell trait, blood groups, dermatoglyphic patterns) traits have been covered in these studies (Choubisa 1990; B.M. Das 1993; Dash 1996; Naidu et al. 1990; Rao et al. 2000; Roy and Prasad 1993; Sirajjudin 1993). Effects that occur on the anthropometric measurements of people because of migration and environmental change have also been studied (Buzarbarua 1989; Haque 2002). A study has been conducted on the differences in terms of the protein calorie intake, and the growth status between tribal boys in a residential school and those living with their parents (Mohanty et al. 1990). The bio-cultural reasons of population decline in certain tribal groups have also been studied (Myka 1995). 2. Tribes have also been studied from historical perspectives (Dasgupta 1994; Ghosal 1994; Padel 1995; Sundar 1998; K.S. Singh 1998b; Kaushik Ghosh 1999). The works of archaeologists are mostly concerned with the role of tribes in the building of civilization (P. Vijaya Prakash 2000; Imam 2002) and the continuities between archaeological findings and the culture of contemporary tribes. These studies have been with the approach generally known as ethno-archaeology (Panda and Reddy 1991). K. Mohan Rao (1998) shows that Santal culture may provide certain clues for decoding the scripts on the scale of the Indus Valley Civilization. 3. The study of the indigenous concepts and myths of tribal people has been another area interest (Mittal 1993; Van Exem 1993; Nita Mathur 2001). Some (like Ferreira 1995) have noted the disintegration of the mythological heritage of people as a consequence of acculturation. People approach the world of myths (and the divinities mythically created) to seek solutions to their crises (Rath 1995). Many anthropologists have paid attention to the recording of the indigenous knowledge of tribes (Pradeep Mohanty 1994; Chandrashekara and Sankar 1999; Topal et al. 1998). 4. An area which has received a lot of attention relates to the interaction of tribes with their ecological system (Parthasarathy 1988a; Bhasin 1989; Misra 1989; Khera 1990; R.S. Mann 1990; Sudersen and Thamizoli 1995; Mahapatra and Mahapatra 1999; R.M. Sarkar 2002). Land and forest rights of tribes have also been studied (Nongbri 1988, 1997; Chaudhury 1998a; K.K. Misra, 2002a). That tribes take necessary precautions to preserve their ecosystem has been the conclusion of many studies (Suguna Pathy 1995). Demmer (2002: 260) observes that the Jenu Kurumba of the Nilgiri Hills are attributed the lowest position in

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the hierarchy because of their closeness to the forest and lack of property. However, this view is not shared by people who think that closeness to the forest means independence and sovereignty rather than inferiority. 5. Tribal demography is are area of research which that has engaged both social and physical anthropologists (Harish C. Srivastava 1990; Nautiyal and Srivastava 1993; Sujit Som 1993; Mutum Bokul Singh 1995; Bhattacharya and Bhattacharya 1996; Saha and Saha 1998; Samal et al. 1999; Pandey et al. 2000; Dash and Kanungo 2002). Some anthropologists have worked on the decline of the population in some tribes (Sujit Som, 1995; Misra, 2002b). In their study of the demographic parameters of the Gonds, Banerjee and Bhatia (1988) find that these people show the characteristics of the first stage of demographic transition, i.e. high birth rate with high morality. Deka et al. (2000) have investigated the effects of antigenic incompatibility on the reproductive performance of tribes from Orissa. Pandey and Tiwary (1996) find that the total fertility among the Hill Korwa was about half (2.9 per cent) of what it is among the nonprimitive tribal (5.3 per cent) and rural populations (5.9 per cent). 6. Areas which have been extensively covered are the characteristics of tribal social organizations and relations among the people in a given context (Patnaik 1989a; Dasgupta and Sarkar 1990; Kapoor et al. 1990; Prasad and Mahto 1991; W. Nabakumar Singh 1993; S. Maiti 1994; Sengupta 1994; R.S. Mann 1998; Basu 2000). In comparison to other aspects, studies or political institutions are fewer in number. Not many works are available on the traditional institutions of justice and maintenance or order (for some, see N.K. Das 1993; J.M. Sarkar 1996). Vishvajit Pandya’s work (1990, 1993, 1999) on the tribal communities of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is of great empirical and theoretical significance. An interesting work published in this period is on the institution of a youth dormitory found among the Muria of Bastar (Gell 1992). Mohan Rao (1988) describes the nature of ceremonial friendship among tribespersons of Andhra Pradesh. He shows that non-tribal people use this institution to exploit tribespersons, especially their women. It is an important reason for the illegal transfer of land from tribes to non-tribes. Some anthropologists have also studied the condition of the elderly in tribal societies (Toppo 2000). 7. Some authors have also worked on tribal personality, using models from psychology and psychological anthropology (Mrinmayi Ray 1988; Banerjee 1991). Vinita Narain and Lakshmi (1994) applied Rastogi’s Self-Concept Scale to the Santal women labour force. Alok Rath and D.B. Giri (1998), for instance, in their study of the Juangs, found that the traditional attire of these tribespersons was banned in 1871. As a consequence, they started suffering from ‘psychological and spiritual

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shock’, which multiplied manifold when certain mishaps occurred in their society, such as tiger attacks, poor harvests, and epidemics. 8. Sexual behaviour has also been the focus of some studies, especially against the background of the rise of the cases of HIV/AIDS among tribal communities (Chowdhury 1994). Bhaskar Singh and Abhik Ghosh (1999), in their study of the Bhils of Udaipur, document the abject poverty of these people as the main cause behind prostitution. They do not find any difference in the sexual behaviour of Animistic and Christian Bhils. 9. A few studies are also available on tribal kinship, family types, and patterns of marriage (Khan 1990; Bhandari 1992, 1996; Debesh Roy 1995; Nishi Singh 1995; Mutharayappa 1997). R.S. Mann (1990) finds that with respect to polyandry in Ladakh, there is change and readjustment. Babul Roy (2002) observes that the Dimasa Kacharis of Assam exhibit a transitional stage between the matrilineal and patrilineal descent systems. Deb Roy (2002) notes that in spite of adapting to Christianity in the mid-nineteenth century, the Garo have continued to be matrilineal. Some works have also been done on the patterns of socialization, child-rearing and motherhood practices (Barua and Bora 1999; Medhi 2001). 10. Tribal economy is represented in a good number of works (S. Bose 1991; Nandita Singh 1997, 1999a; Mukherjee and Khatua 1998; Chandrashekara and Sankar 1999; Pradeep Mohanty 1999). Inequality and stratification among tribes has also been studied (Chakrabarti 1988; Misra 1991). An important observation here is that economists, who are generally thought of as being concerned primarily with economies of complex, market-oriented, and monetized societies, have undertaken some of these studies (S.N. Mishra 1990, 1998). There are also studies of starvation among tribes (Saheb and Begum 1990). 11. Some sensitive accounts of forest villages are also available (Jahagirdar 1994). R.R. Prasad and M.P. Jahagirdar (1993) note that there are about 5, 000 forest villages, inhabited by about 2,000 families. These villages, unlike revenue villages, are not meant for extending cultivation. Severe exploitation of forest villagers continues because forest departments and contractors have first claim to their labour on payment at the market rate. The villagers are not expected to seek employment without prior permission from the forest department and they can be summarily evicted for non-compliance. 12. An area which has received considerable attention is of land-alienation and bonded labour, although studies pertaining to this are fewer in comparison to studies reported in earlier survey reports, which is an indication of a slight improvement in these problems (A.R.N. Srivastava 1988; Deogaonkar 1990; Bhandari and Bhattacharya 1996).

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13. Tribal religion (including rites of passage) is another area of interest (Venkatesan 1989; Nita Mathur 1992b, 1996; K.S. Singh 1993c; Padmavathi and Sridhar 1994; Aparajita 1995; Misra 1998; Pradhan 1998; Bhola Nath Ghosh 1999; Sundar 2001a). There are some works on witchcraft in tribal areas (Bhowmick, 1999; Sundar, 2001b). The impact of Christianity on the tribals has also been studied (Buddhadeb Chaudhuri 1992; Chaube 1999; Hardiman 2002). Some researchers have also looked at the impact of Jainism on the tribes (Humphrey 1991; Laidlaw 1995). 14. Education in tribal areas has attracted many students of tribes (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1991b; Singh and Mahanti 1997; Jaganath Pathy 1999a, b; Bhowmick and Bhowmick 2000; Xaxa 2001). Insightful works are available on the working of schools in tribal areas (Chakravarthi and Singhrol 1988; Ratha and Behera 1990). Some studies conclude that the health profiles of tubes people can be improved by educating them (Pandey et al., 1999). Rita Sinha (1996) submits that the most important aspect in education is the development of a relevant curriculum which meets the learning needs of specific groups. She calls it a ‘localized curriculum’ or the ‘tribalization of education.’ 15. A recent area of research in tribal studies, not much represented in earlier surveys, is the study of tribal women, the processes of production and reproduction (Behera and Nanda 1990; Mandal and Sahoo 1992; Mehrotra 1990, 1992; Jena 1994; Sampa Sarkar 1994; Saraswathi 1995; Kamlesh Mann 1996; Rath and Ashraf 1997; Sameera Maiti 1999; Chaudhury 2000; Dipali G. Danda 2000; Pakyntein 2000; Sonowal 2000). In fact, L. P. Vidyarthi (1972: 102) had noted in the first survey report that the only work available on tribal women was that of Leela Dube (2001), and that too was unpublished at that time. Similarly, Sachchidananda (1985: 102), in the second survey, observed that there was just one book on tribal women. 16. The health and illness profiles of tribes have been greatly documented, a research commitment that owes its rise to the expansion of medical anthropology in India (P.C. Joshi 1988, 1999, 2000; Vibha Joshi 1989, 1990, 2001; Kurian and Tribhuwan 1990; Imam 1993; Kar 1993; Sharma and Malik 1993; Swarankar 1995; Abhik Ghosh 1996; Rajaratnam et al. 1997; Barua and Phukan 1998; Dutta 1999; Khatua 2001). The nutritional status of women has also been the focus of physical anthropological studies (Karmarkar et al. 1995). Certain pharmacological aspects of tribal herbal medicine have also been studied (see Prabhakar Joshi 1995). 17. Some research works have dealt with the material culture of tribes (Mittal 1993; Bharati Devi 2002). Marwah and Srivastava (1992), in

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their work on the gates erected at the entry point of a khel (a subdivision of a village) of Angami Nagas, tried to work out the principles of social structure from the motifs and patterns engraved on the gates. The main point in these studies is that, besides being interesting, the study of material culture can illuminate the underlying principles of the structure of a society. 18. Forms of art, aesthetics, and entertainment in tribal communities have also been studied (Sudhakar Rao 1997). Some interesting work has been done on the Nags (Ganguli 1993; Amit Ray 2001). Julian Jacobs et al. (1990) document the outcome of the Cambridge Experimental Videodisc Project on the Nagas. Their study also comprises fieldwork material, including photographs taken by the pioneering researcher, Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. 19. Tribal languages and bilingualism (and multilingualism) have been the focus of works in linguistic anthropology (Trivedi 1991; Manoharan 1989, 1999; Ishtiaq 1999; Senkutthuvan 2000). Krishna Nandan Prasad’s (1990) study of the Ho reveals that there is more bilingualism in men (as high as 85.91 per cent) than in women. Young people are more bilingual than the old. Female bilingualism was found to be highest in the below-nineteen age groups. Language and linguistic expressions which outsiders use for tribes have also been analysed (Sreenathan 1998a, b). 20. The pattern of crime in tribal areas has been well-researched (SinhaKirkhoff 1998). Drug addiction among tribal communities has also been studied (Serto 2000). Some scholars have taken up the study of Ex-Criminal Tribes (or ‘Denotified Communities’) (Abraham 1999; Bhowmick 1990, 2001; Radhakrishna 2001; Bokil 2002). The conclusion of these studies is that communities were constrained to take up a career in crime when their traditional modes of production were jeopardized. Even after the Acts conferring criminal status on tribes were repealed, the dishonoured label of criminality continues and discrimination against these communities continues. It is this discrimination that needs to be combated socially. Only then will the communities be able to lead a respectful existence. 21. The analysis of the impact of industrialization and development on tribes has attracted a large number of students of tribal studies, often from other disciplines (P.R.G. Mathur 1989; Mehta 1992; Aparajita 1994; Behera 1996; Debesh Roy 1996; Nandita Singh 1998, 1999b). The migration of people as a response to industrialization has also been investigated (Bates and Carter 1992; Amar Nath Pal 1995; Venkata Rao 2001; Panda 2002). Issues of displacement of tribal people have also been studied in detail (Sah 1995, 1998; Patnaik 1989b, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001; Hakim 2000; Saksena 2000). Some studies show the positive impact of

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industrialization on tribes. For instance, Amitabh Sarkar (2001) shows that the Dhodia have become economically well off because of industrialization, and have adjusted well to the new behaviour. T.K. Som (1988) has studied the impact of the rubber plantation industry on the Riang economy, and has found that it has changed people’s attitude towards income and work. They consider the industry as being benevolent to them, and ‘work there with joy and satisfaction’. 22. Related to the adverse impact of development programmes on tribes are the studies on the rise of ethnicity among them (Ajit K. Danda 1988a, b, 1991, 1992, 2001; Subba 1992; N.K. Das 1994; Suresh Sharma 1994; Misra 1995; Bailey 1996). How this has contributed to the emergence of ethno-political movements is another area interest where both historical and ethnographic work has been done (Paul 1989, 1991, 1995; Ajit K. Pandey 1994; Tanika Sarkar 1994; Jha 1999). A study of note on tribal insurgency is by S.R. Bhattacharjee (1989). 23. An impressive number of studies have been done on the changes occurring in tribal societies. These studies examine the interplay between endogenous and exogenous factors Ajit K. Pandey 1991; Bhattacharya 1996, 1998). An entire volume has been devoted to the changes that have taken place among the Jarawas of Andaman Islands due to contact with non-tribals (Mukhopadhyay et al. 2002). Tribal migrants, to urban settings is another area under investigation (Gregory 2000). The concept of cultural creolization has also been examined (Ghosal 2001). Bikram Naryan Nanda (1994) analysed the gradual transformation of the Bonda highlanders from subsistence economy to agricultural economy. The impact of Panchayati Raj in tribal areas has been the theme of some researches (Jaganath Pathy 1998; Mahi Pal 2000). The emergence of tribal elites has also been studied (Misra 1994), along with the formation of classes among tribes (Pradip Kumar Bose 1999). 24. A discussion of tribal policy, tribal sub-plans, and the issues of tribal welfare has also been attempted (Mehta 1988; Channa and Srivastava 1990; Nita Mathur 1992a; Roy Burman 1994b; Bhandari and Channa, 1997; Chaudhury 1997; Amit Prakash 1999; Reddy 2001). Some authors have examined the relationship between tribes and the state (Pfeffer 1998). These works argue that there should be a policy for tribal communities. We should not begin with the preconception that change is anathema to tribes. K.S. Singh (1990) shows that the tribals ‘adopt any technology as long as it meets their needs’ with no traditional beliefs and rituals obstructing their way. Rajat Kanti Das (1994) shows that the tribes of north-east India are quick to accept modern technological equipment, luxurious items, things of practical value, and recreational objects. In the context of directed and planned changes, the studies submit

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that the dimension of peoples’ culture should always be kept in mind. Development and change will be successful when they are compatible with culture. 25. There are works of theoretical significance dealing with issues like the concept of tribe, its relationship with caste society, the significance of the category of ‘indigenous people’, etc. (Harsh 1999; Roy Burman 1994c, 1997a; Xaxa 1999a, b). Jawaharlal Nehru’s contribution to tribes is also well documented (K.S. Singh, 1988a, 1989; Mann and Mann 1989a; Shashi 1990; Sachchidananda 1999). Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf’s contribution to the development of tribes has been reviewed (Venkata Rao 1996; also see Fürer-Haimendorf and Fürer-Haimendorf 1991), and a biography of varrier Elwin has also been published (Ramachandra Guha 1999). Tanka B. Subba (1994) has compared the views of Elwin, Fürer-Haimendorf, and Rustomji on the development of Arunachal Pradesh. The models generally used in anthropology have been critically examined against data from tribal societies (Channa 1988, 1990; R.S. Mann 1988). A distinguishing feature of this period is that there is a tremendous increase in the number of tribal scholars and anthropologists carrying out studies on their own respective societies. The tradition of studying one’s own society—or, what has come to be termed ‘native anthropology’, ‘auto-ethnography’, or ‘anthropology at home’—is quite old, but it was largely confined to literate communities whose scholars wrote on their respective peoples. Being preliterate, it was unexpected that the tribespersons would write about their own society and culture; and anthropology was defined as the study of ‘other cultures’ carried out by ‘non-tribal outsiders’, mostly ‘white men’. At that time, in the formative stages of anthropology, no one imagined that a time would come when ‘tribesmen’ would not only write about their societies and cultures, but also critically examine studies done by ‘outsiders’, finding erroneous interpretations and appalling mistakes in their writings, and, at the same time, defending some of their traditional practices (see Ruivah 1993 and its review by Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1995 and 1996; Munda 2000). Some communities, generally not listed as scheduled tribes, have also founded their own ‘anthropological societies’ to take up their respective cases and provide ‘internally generated’ information about their own community (see Mate 1997). Some concerned people have started a journal titled Naga Journal of Indigenous Affairs, the first issue of which was released in 2002. Another group launched a Hindi periodical, Dalit Adivasi Samvad, in 2003. All this has important implications for the ‘we’ and ‘they’ distinction in anthropology. Secondly, the present survey shows that the areas purported to be of applied value have received larger attention than those supposed to be essentially of theoretical importance. Thus studies on kinship and religion are significantly far fewer than studies of issues of demography, health and illness, or environment. Because of the concerted research efforts of different institutions (such as universities, the

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Anthropological Survey of India, and other research institutions), almost all tribal areas in India have been explored. One of the achievements of ‘native anthropology’ is that those communities, especially in north-east India (such as Anal Naga, Mate, Maring Naga), that until now had remained unstudied are being researched. Certain tribal areas—especially in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan—are going to be the favourite spots for study in the future as fieldwork becomes increasingly difficult in those tribal regions that have come under the grip of the insurgent and Naxalite movements.

Concept of Tribe While scanning writings on tribes, one will come across authors who are not concerned with ‘what one means by tribe’. Here, it is relevant to quote Atal’s observation made as far back as 1963: Despite [social anthropology’s] primary concern with tribal societies, it has not been able to develop a universally applicable definition of the term ‘tribe’. An issue emerging clearly in the present survey of writings on tribes (from 1988 to 2002) is the concern of anthropologists with the definition and concept of tribe. Anthropologists make a distinction between the concepts of ‘tribe’ and ‘scheduled tribe’. While tribe is an anthropological concept referring to a particular type of society, in contrast to societies known as ‘caste’, ‘peasant’, and ‘urban’, scheduled tribe is an administrative and political concept (Verma 1990; Sachchidananda 1992). The concept of scheduled tribe applied is not only to individual communities but also to whole territories (such as Kinnaur, Jaunsar-Bawar, and Pangwal) where all people irrespective of their status have been declared as tribes. A similar situation is found in Ladakh where all the other communities, except one, have the status of scheduled tribe. It is well known that the Constitution of India does not define the term scheduled tribe; Article 366 (25) refers to scheduled tribes as those communities that are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution (K.S. Singh 1985). Many authors have noted the scramble among many nontribes to be included in the list of scheduled tribes (see K.S. Singh 1993a:12). Besides the advantages that come with scheduling, the label ‘tribe’, by comparison to scheduled caste, does not carry any stigma. Because of such inclusions, the population of scheduled tribes has steadily increased, especially in the decade 1971–81. However, it should be noted that seven tribes (Malaiarayan and Palliyan of Kerala; Bharwad of Gujarat; Naga of Meghalaya; Noatia of Tripura; Onge of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; and Kathodi of Dadar and Nagar Haveli) have shown a continuous decline in their population. This decline has resulted from the operation of a number of factors, such as high mortality, poor health standards, and also the migration of people to other areas where they are not scheduled. The

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process of exclusion may work theoretically, reducing the number of people in a tribal group, but the cases of inclusion far outnumber those of exclusion. However, little disagreement exists with respect to the meaning of the term scheduled tribe, which is a constitutional term. There exists an all-India list of these communities who are entitled to a set of privileges under the policy of compensatory discrimination. In its People of India Project, the Anthropological Survey of India prepared an initial list of 6,748 communities in India and investigated and described 4,635 of them. Of these, 461 were tribal having 172 segments (K.S Singh, 1993a:12) and comprising 8.1 per cent of the total population of the country. Many of these segments are ‘as good as discrete categories’ (K.S. Singh 1997:2). The total number of tribes, their groups and segments including territorial units, that the Peoples of India Project studied was 635 (K.S. Singh 1993b). But different sources give different numbers of communities classified as scheduled tribe. The revised version of Nirmal Kumar Bose’s Tribal Life in India, published in 1971, list 300 communities, while the Draft of the National Policy on Tribals, issued in February 2004, records 698 scheduled tribes. The second Draft of The National Tribal Policy, circulated in July 2006, while not committing itself to a particular number, notes that there are ‘nearly seven hundred State-specific Scheduled Tribes’. More confusion is created when two different sources give different sets of the number of tribes in a state: one source counts sub-tribes as tribes, whereas the other lists only tribes. For instance, according to the Annual Report (2002–03) of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, Arunachal Pradesh has 16 tribes, whereas the Anthropological Survey of India’s India: An Illustrated Atlas of Tribal World (December 2002) gives a list of 97 tribes in that state. For those unconcerned with the definition of tribe, debates on the concept of tribe are perennial if not entirely futile. These investigators call the communities they study ‘tribes’ if they are designated as scheduled tribes in a government notification, or it the scheduled tribes are referred to as ‘tribes’, whether or not they have the characteristics attributed to a tribe (Mahapatra 2006:1). Thus, a study of the Gujars and Bakarwals (of Jammu and Kashmir) done prior to 1991 was not conceived as a study of tribal communities; later, however there communities were given the status of scheduled tribe, and so the study of the Gujars and Bakarwals has become a tribal study. The problem arises when one studies the Rabari, who are a scheduled tribe in Gujarat and the Other Backward Class (OBC) in Rajasthan (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1991a). Roy Burman (1994c) has given many examples of such communities which are ‘tribe’ in one state and ‘caste’ in another. Because of these confusions, many authors begin not with ‘tribe’ but ‘scheduled tribe’, and when they use the word ‘tribe’, they do not imply an anthropological appellation but an administrative designation of a community. Virginius Xaxa (1999b:3589) also notes that Indian academicians and administrators have been more concerned with the ‘identification of tribes than with their definition’.

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In comparison to those who do not go into the labyrinth of definitions, there are others who define a tribe before they proceed with their specific study. Buddhadeb Chaudhuri (1992: vii), who edited a set of five volumes comprising 143 articles, titled Tribal Transformation in India, defined tribe in his introduction in the following words: Anthropologically, a tribe is a social group, the members of which live in a common territory, have a common dialect, uniform social organization and possess cultural homogeneity having a common ancestor, political organization and religious pattern. Paul Hockings (1993: 355) has offered the following definition: …a tribe is a system of social organization which embraces a number of local groups or settlements, which occupies a territory, and normally carries its own distinctive culture, its own name, and its own language. In another influential publication on ethnicity, J. Milton Yinger (1997: 22) has formulated the following definition of tribe: …it is small, usually preliterate and preindustrial, relatively isolated, endogamous (with exogamous sub-tribal divisions), united mainly by kinship and culture, but in many places also by territorial boundaries, and strongly ethnocentric (‘We are the people’). S.C. Dube (1998: 4–5) has given a set of six characteristics which can serve the useful purpose of developing a concept of tribe: 1. The community’s habitation of a particular territory dates back to an early period. They may be the original dwellers of a habitat, but in case they are not, they are among the oldest inhabitants of the land. 2. Generally they dwell in the isolated hills and forests. 3. Their sense of history is shallow. The remembered history gets merged with mythology. Some tribes have their own genealogists who have records of interesting anecdotes and the past. 4. The level of techno-economic development among them is low. 5. They are distinct from other societies in terms of their cultural ethos, language, institutions, beliefs, world view, and customs. 6. They are generally non-hierarchic and undifferentiated, although there may be some exceptions of societies that have landed aristocracies or the class of gentry.

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All these authors have placed emphasis on the cultural uniformity of a tribe, which becomes the raison d’etre of its identity and ethno-political movement, if it materializes in future. A tribe is able to maintain its ‘homogeneity’ not only because of its concerted efforts, in a system of opposition, against the outsiders, but also because of its relative isolation from other communities and the wider world. However, these authors (and many others who have tried to define tribe) also think that one will not come across a community labelled as ‘tribe’ (or ‘scheduled tribe’) having all the characteristics that are delineated for defining a tribe. Basically, what we wish to highlight is the hiatus between the definition of tribe, given in theoretical terms, and the empirical reality of the communities which are classified as tribes or scheduled tribes. The definition an author proposes may apply to the tribespersons he or she studies, but it may not have a larger coverage. To put it in other way: in most cases, the definition emerges from one’s study, against the background of the society one has studied, but its cross-cultural validity may always be doubted. André Béteille (1992) has made one of the important contributions to the concept of tribe. Earlier, in his articles published in 1960 and 1980, he had argued in favour of a historical approach which would help in understanding the transformation of tribes as a result of which they came to deviate substantially from their ‘ideal type’ definitions. According to him the concept of tribe will be different where tribes and civilizations coexist. In such situations, when anthropologists speak of tribes, they mean communities of people who have remained outside of the state and civilization, whether out of choice or of necessity. That was the reason, it is supposed, for calling them ‘non-civilized’, but certainly not ‘uncivilized’. In India, ‘they all stood more or less outside of Hindu civilization’ (Béteille, 1992: 76). In anthropology, the concept of civilization has been understood in terms of first, the ‘practice of reading and writing’ (as in the work of Lewis Henry Morgan 1977), and second, the presence of a ‘great tradition’ (as defined by Robert Redfield 1947). By definition, tribes have their own localized ‘conventionalized ways of behaviour’, i.e. the ‘little tradition’, and lack the ‘practice of reading and writing’. That is why they have been called ‘preliterate’. So, if tribes are defined as ‘non-civilized’, it is because they are preliterate and have their own localized tradition, which has varying relations and connections with the tradition of the outside world. Béteille (ibid.) suggests the ‘permeability of boundary between tribe and non-tribe’, the implication of which is that one should ‘adopt a flexible rather than a rigid attitude towards the definition of tribe.’

Tribes in Transition Some authors have examined the communities they have studied from the perspective of the definition of tribe in currency at that time in anthropological literature. For example, after conducting an intensive study of the Toda of the

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Niligiri Hills for several years, the conclusion that Anthony Walker (1998) arrived at about them is worth considering. He accepts them as a scheduled tribe, since the Government of India has classified them thus for receiving benefits and privileges under the policy of compensatory discrimination. But grave confusions prevails when the Toda are designated as a ‘tribe’ in the sense in which this term has been used in anthropological and sociological literature. In comparison to ‘tribe’, Walker (ibid., 150) finds that the term ‘caste’ has a ‘considerable value’, for it helps in placing them in the context of the south Indian cultural matrix, to which they actually belong. In his work on the Badaga of the Nilgiri Hills, Hockings (1993) says that instead of focusing on a unit and labelling it, one must look at the entire system of which the unit is part. It is important to keep this in mind because the Badaga have been called ‘tribe’, ‘caste’, and ‘Hindu race’ in the literature on them starting from 1922. Since 1990 they have been demanding the status of a scheduled tribe, which so far has not been accorded to them (Hockings 1999: 29). Migrating to the Niligiri Hills from the plains to the north, the Badaga are an example of a society which was a caste group before its peregrinations and which then adopted a tribal model and began its regular interaction with the Toda, the Kurumba, and the Kota, the scheduled tribes of the Nilgiri Hills. The interactions between them have often been described in ethnographic literature as being modelled after the caste system. Following this, Hockings (1993: 361) treats the Nilgiri peoples as a ‘case of a caste society’ comprising ‘several distinct indigenous cultures’ who have their ‘respective origins in pre-caste social formations’. The important point is that individually these ‘indigenous cultures’ cannot be described as castes, so the toda, Kota, Kurumba, and Badaga interact like castes, but in themselves none of them is a caste. Hockings (ibid.) thinks that the ‘difference between the Niligiris and other caste societies lies in the content of the culture rather than the structure of the society.’ What one learns from Hockings (1989, 1993) is that the question of classifying a society as ‘tribe’ (or ‘non-tribe’) distracts one from studying the dynamism of society, where none of the societies in the contemporary world are ‘isolated’ but are involved in a field of ceaseless interactions and exchanges with other peoples, building up their identity and self-perception. Far from being like ‘rocks’, communities are ever dynamic. Lying at the interfaces of several cultures, the elements of which they gradually imbibe and make their own by changing their morphology, they may defy a straightjacket classificatory scheme. The concern with taxonomy (whether ‘tribe’ or ‘non-tribe’) rather than the processes that connect different communities will lead to the “old, ‘butterfly-collecting’ tradition”, the weaknesses of which Edmund R. Leach (1961) had already exposed. These ideas reverberate in a study by Subhadra Mitra Channa (1998, 2002a) on the Jad of Harsil (a community included within the generic category of Bhotiya, one of the five scheduled tribes of Uttarakhand). She notes that the term outsiders (including the government officials) use for them is jan-jātia (meaning the ‘kind

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of people’)—a Hindi term supposed to be the equivalent of ‘tribe’—because, for them, they are a ‘Bhotiya jan-jāti’. However, many Jad, especially the women, are not even aware that this term is used for them in the administrative discourse. They do not subscribe to any clearly bounded social category—for example, Hindu or Buddhist—as will be presumed when one describes a tribe as a ‘closed cultural group’ (or what has been termed ‘cultural isolate’). Rather, the Jad situate themselves betwixt and between the categories of Hindu and Buddhist. The life of the Jad is centred in pastoral activities. Not only do they have to consider their own adaptation to the environment as human beings but also of their animals. They shift from one location to another as an adaptive strategy to the ecological cycle. The points between which the Jad movement takes place are fixed within the space of which they collectively make all kinds of adjustments. Against this background Channa (ibid. 136) asserts that the Jad is a ‘mode of adaptation’, a way of life rather than a bounded unit as a tribe is understood. It is imperative then that people are defined, designated, and understood in ways that are different from those that the conventional scholarship has so far adopted. Against the background of changes that have occurred, these communities, which at one time could be comfortably labelled as ‘tribes’, may now be called ‘tribes in transition’, a phrase that Desai (1969) originally coined, which is now accepted in many writings (see Chaudhuri 1992; Dube 1997). Another suggestion is that the label ‘tribe’ (and also caste) should be avoided as far as possible, since they have been used too loosely in India (for a discussion, see Hockings 1993: 353; Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1990, 1994a). Or, they may simply be called ‘communities’ (samudāya), as proposed to by the director of the People of India Project (1985–93) of the Anthropological Survey of India, with this word suffixed to their name (for instance, ‘Santal community’, ‘Birhor community’, ‘Seharia community’) (Béteille 2000b:169). The word ‘community’ may also be used for caste people or urban neighbourhoods. Many anthropologists say that in contemporary times, the term ‘tribe’ has become as pejorative as were the terms like ‘primitive’, ‘savage’, ‘rude’, ‘noncivilized’, and several others of the same type, in the mid-twentieth century, which subsequently went out of currency. Today, when these terms are used, it is always within quote marks, for they are value-loaded, indicating the special meaning that was once attributed to them, a meaning for which contemporary scholars hold no sympathy (Jaganath Pathy 1989). However, some anthropologists continue to describe contemporary tribal societies in the same image, as was the practice of classical evolutionists who thought that these communities were the ‘social fossils’ or ‘remnants of the antiquity’, a study of which would illuminate the earlier stages of human existence. For an example, one may refer to the following excerpt from an article on the Onge of the Andaman Islands: ‘The Onge are paedomorphic not only in physical appearance but also in their behaviour’ (Shrivastava 1993: 347). Therefore, there are debates on whether one should continue to use the word ‘tribe’ or think in terms of alternatives to this, such as ‘community’. Some

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think that one of the best alternatives is the term ‘ethnic group’ (see Buddhadab Chaudhuri 1992), which, defined after Fredrik Barth (1969, 1981) means a largely self-perpetuating group in biological terms, sharing the same descent, real or putative, which has a set of similar fundamental values realized in cultural forms. The members of an ethnic group usually have the same field of communication and interaction, speaking the same (or similar) language and understanding its cultural nuances. They also have a discernible sense of identity by which they distinguish themselves from other categories of the same order. Jaganath Pathy (1988, 1989: 356), however, prefers the term ‘ethnic minority’ because tribes are always subordinated to the majority. They have always sought to restructure the ‘relations of domination and discrimination’ and bring to an end the system of exploitation. In doing so, tribes have endeavoured to preserve their distinct cultural features and survival resources (Jaganath Pathy 1999a). Moreover, it may also be noted that the term ‘ethnic group’ has also been used as a generic category for castes as well as ‘religious communities’ (see Gupta 1997; Varshney 2002). Other terms suggested for tribes are ‘autochthones’ and ‘indigenes’, the discussion of which will be taken up later. However, none of these alternative terms could attain the same level of popularity and acceptance as did the term ‘tribe’, which, notwithstanding the polemics surrounding it, is still the most widely used social category to describe certain types of societies. Today, when anthropologists use the word ‘tribe’, they mean (1) the communities included in the list of the scheduled tribes; (2) the communities that were relatively isolated at one time and later had their integration with the outside world, but have continued to call themselves tribe because of their vested interests; and (3) the communities that still dwell in remotely situated forests and hills and are backward in terms of the indices of development, although they may not have yet found a place in the list of the scheduled tribes.

Tribe–Caste Distinction and Relationship One of the main areas of interest in tribal studies in the past, which was adequately covered in the earlier surveys of research in sociology and social anthropology of the ICSSR, was the relation between tribes and castes. That tribes in many parts of India where they had relations of give-and-take with multi-caste villages were getting transformed into castes was an important finding of the empirical studies. It obviously implied that there were salient differences between the tribe and the caste, which authors in the past had carefully tried to delineate (see, for instance, Atal 1963; Surajit Sinha 1965; Mandelbaum 1970; Soni 1993; Unnithan-Kumar 2001). In these studies, tribe and caste were viewed not only as ideal types but also as polar categories, the two ends of a continuum; the model thus obtained was meant to aid one’s understanding of an ethnographic situation, where both these types were unremittingly in a state of interaction and exchange. As a consequence,

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tribes were gradually, and more frequently, taking up the characteristics of castes because, as the studies showed, of the advantages associated with the superior form of economic production and division of labour that caste system provided (Nirmal Kumar Bose 1953, 1975; Dumont, 1980). However, the opposite movement—from caste to tribe—also took place, but not many examples are available to substantiate this; one oft-cited example is of the Badaga of the Niligiri Hills. The problem with respect to the tribe-caste distinction at the empirical level surfaces because there is no indigenous term for tribe. The social and cultural continuities between tribes and castes are so great that it becomes virtually impossible to distinguish one from the other. The situation in India is different from what one finds in the USA, New Zealand, and Australia, where marked differences exist between the White colonizers and the ‘indigenous tribal populations’. In this context, S.C. Dube (1998: 4–5) notes: ‘Their [Tribals’] position, however, cannot be compared to that of Australian aborigines, American Indians or native Africans.’ Denis Vidal (1997:113) writes: ‘In Sirohi [Rajasthan]…the same generic term (jati) was often used to refer indiscriminately [to] the castes or tribes.’ The Hindi and Sanskrit terms (such as jana, adimjati, adivasi, vanvasi, vanyajati, janajati) or Persian terms (such as qabila, qabilewale) in vogue for tribes have been used for them by outsiders; none of them are indigenous (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1994b). David Hardiman (1987, 1998) notes that in Gujarat, terms like jangli-jati (the ‘kind of forest dwellers’) and kaliparaj (the ‘black people’) were used for tribes. Since the tribes found these terms ‘hardly flattering’, the Gandhian social workers coined equivalent terms like raniparaj, vanyajati, and girijan, all implying tribes as the ‘noble denizens of the forest’ (p. 14). Contrary to the terms that the outsiders have improvised for them, tribes refer to themselves by their respective names (like Baiga, Seharia, Gaddi), or by the generic term jati, or the hybrid term ‘Adivasi jati’ (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1994a). The word jati should be defined as meaning ‘kind or type’ rather than ‘caste’, because it is used in a variety of other contexts such as humankind (manushya jati), gods and demons (devta jati, danav jati), gender (the ‘caste of women’, stri jati), the ‘category’ of animals or plants (pashu jati, vanaspati jati), and also for foreigners (like the ‘caste of English people’, Angrez jati). In some cases, the names by which the tribes in an area are known to the outside world are in fact not the indigenous names by which they know themselves and by which they would like to be known. M. Sreenathan (1996) has substantiated this with the tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. For this reason some authors think that the term ‘tribe’ is a colonial construct, in the sense that the British administrators improvised and used it for distinguishing between the different populations in India. K.S. Singh (1998a: 8) writes: The tribe is a colonial concept, an Anglo-Saxon word, defined for the first time in the Census of 1901, in contradistinction to caste. The notion of tribe has evolved over the censuses, from a hill and

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forest tribe, to a primitive tribe, to a backward tribe, and finally, to the scheduled tribe. Susana B.C. Devalle (1992) made an important work in this context. Focusing on Jharkhand, the author concluded that ‘tribe is essentially a construct’, and is a ‘colonial category’. There were no tribes in Jharkhand until the European understanding of the Indian reality constructed them, and the categories thus devised later received administrative sanction. The characteristics attributed to tribes (such as ‘egalitarianism’, ‘subsistence economy’, ‘little or no external control’, ‘autonomy and isolation of such a unit’), Devalle argued, are not found among Jharkhand’s people, known as adivasi, nor were they found in the past. According to Devalle, the ‘myth of the tribe’ was a colonial invention with the explicit aim to serve certain specific imperial interests. The category of tribe (in opposition to caste) operated as a device to catalogue the conquered population, thus sowing the seeds of divisiveness and fissiparity. The tribes were also perceived as an undifferentiated mass from which labour and revenue could be extracted. Moreover, the identification of tribes would lead to the colonial efforts of ‘civilizing them’, since many of their cultural traits, the administrators felt, needed to be eradicated once and forever, like shifting cultivation (because it destroyed forests), marriage by capture (because it amounted to abduction), drinking (because it vegetated peoples’ existence), etc. In a nutshell, the concept of tribe does not have a reality of its own; it attained its reality because of the force of the colonial legitimizing ideology. The view that the concept of tribe is colonial has come under critical scrutiny in several writings. One of the major submissions is that when the colonial administrators used the term ‘tribe’ they did not give it the same meaning as do many anthropologists now. Also, the colonial state did not have a fixed meaning for tribe. That there were economic and political motivations behind creating the concept of tribe may not be a tenable argument (B.B. Chaudhuri 1997). It is against the background of the contemporary understanding of the colonial state that we think it is. It may not have been what the colonial powers had in mind when they catalogued Indian society into castes and tribes. To put it differently, the current ‘orientalist discourse’ has considerably influenced the idea of the ‘myth of the tribe’. An important publication on the issue of tribe and caste, an outcome of a seminar, was From Tribe to Caste (1997), edited by Dev Nathan. Many authors in Nathan’s edited volume submit that although a specific term for tribe—an ironclad, clear term, one that anthropologists would ideally like to look for—may not be found, but definitely there are ideas about tribes in earlier Indological writings. There are definite accounts of people who were not part of the caste system, and they looked quizzically at Hindu pilgrims on their way to shrines located in far-off places as they travelled through their territories (Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1990). About the Jad, Subhadra Mitra Channa (2002b: 67) writes:

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[They] were a mountain people who had only marginal contact with the mainstream populations of the plains of India. ‘Sitting on the roadside to watch the pilgrims go by’ is a graphic description of the nature of interaction at that time with the Hindu majority. The Jads, however, derived a large part of their income from the pilgrims by providing them with transport by way of the animals they raised and also, by acting as guides and porters. These people, ‘outside the caste system’, were treated with both reverence as well as contempt. In many situations they were employed to guard the troves of princes and emperors (as was the case with the Mina of Rajasthan) because they were regarded as incredibly honest, strong, loyal, and committed (Mann and Mann 1989b; Smith 1991; Vinay Kumar Srivastava 1994c). They were (and are) considered as the storehouses of knowledge pertaining to the supernatural and herbal healing, and they also supplied forest products, honey, shellac and wood, even elephants, to multi-caste villages. Studies document that the habits of tribespersons, their non-observance of the mores of purity and impurity, laxity in sexual behaviour, and their rituals involving sacrifices and liquor-oblations, have often raised the eyebrows of Hindu communities as an outcome of which they were assigned a low status. Many tribal communities adopted a way of life akin to that of the high castes, because they were ‘claiming equality of status with high caste Hindus’ (Hardiman 1994:214). Several movements came up in tribal areas, some of which were initiated by Hindu leaders, which strictly emphasized adherence to the values of purity. For instance, a Gandhian, a person of the Oswal Vaisya caste, named Motilal Tejawat of Udaipur, started a movement among the Bhil to adopt violent means to fight for their agrarian demands, at the same time exhorting to them to lead a pious life. When visiting Tejawat, the tribal people made him offerings of coconuts and rupees, quite like the venerative behaviour of people in temples or in the courts of local princes and chiefs (C.S.K. Singh 1995). Another example is of a Rajput called Anup Das, who founded an association called the Anup Mandal with the intention of fighting the exploiters of lower castes and tribes—the Vaishya (Baniya). He also began to dress as a religious renouncer. His most vocal and ardent supporters hailed from artisan communities (notably Suthar, the carpenters), who often cultivated small plots of land besides carrying on their trade; but many tribesmen from the community of Girasia also joined him (Laidlaw 1995; Hardiman, 1996). These examples show the enduring relations between tribes and castes, even when each continued to maintain its respective identity and boundaries. An important approach to tribe-caste relations may be located in Vidal’s work (1997). He writes that the examples of societies from western India and the Himalayas, with which he is familiar, suggest that tribes cannot be understood as separated from caste, but should be analysed in terms of how they have been able to maintain their autonomy within the wider society that includes castes as well.

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Tribesmen controlled the borders between kingdoms and also the areas that could be termed as ‘no-man’s-land’. They played a key role in the dynamics of political authority, and each contending party (the nobles and rulers) tried to mobilize support. This would explain the support the leaders of the two movements from Rajasthan, Tejawat and Anup Das, enjoyed from the tribal people. In contemporary India the process of transforming tribes into castes has almost stopped, although tribal communities living in close contact with caste villages may be consciously or unconsciously adopting some Hindu customs, ideas of cosmology, practices, and lifestyles (Buddhadeb Chaudhuri 1992: vol. 5), but this in no way changes their perception and expression of tribal identity. In other words, adopting (and adapting to) another religion does not conflict with their tribal individuality (Chakravarty 1996). Tribes which had adopted a caste identity in the past are concertedly giving it up, steely reinforcing their own ‘tribal image and distinctiveness’ (Xaxa 1999a). This explains the decline in the studies of the tribe-caste continuum and the increase in the studies of tribal ethnicity in the last 15 years (see Bhadra and Mondal 1991; Sharma 1996). In addition, some other researchers have also studied the tribe-caste interaction. In their survey of 22 major temples spread over 11 districts of Karnataka, B.B. Goswami and S.G. Morab (1988) found that their functionaries hailed from both tribal and caste communities: for example, the men of Koraga tribe are temple-musicians. Relations similar to jajmani (patron-client), which have been described as an important trait of multi-caste villages, have been found to exist in tribal areas as well: for example, D.B. Negi (1990) describes this system, locally known as binanang, in Kinnaur where the tribal communities are broadly divided into two categories. The ‘upper castes’, called Khosia, consist of Rajputs (or Kanets) and Jads, while the ‘lower’ known as Beru, meaning ‘outsider’, comprising the Domang, Ores and Chamang are generally regarded as the ‘Harijans of the area’. It is between these communities that the binanang ties obtain. As Brahmin priests never settled here, the Buddhist priests (called lama) perform religious functions for them. There have been many examples of tribal deities accepted in Hindu villages. Chitrasen Pasayat (1995) describes the case of one such deity called Bhim, whose worship has been admitted into the local Hindu village of Gainpura (Sambalpur, Orissa), without bringing about any significant change in either the tribal or the caste Hindu society. Other studies have also arrived at a similar conclusion (K.S. Singh 1988b). For example, Hardiman (1995) shows that even when the ‘egalitarian society’ of Bhils was interacting with the ‘hierarchical society of the Jain merchants’ (shahukars), the internal organization of neither underwent a fundamental change. In Gainpura, the important fact is that the tribal deity was initially accepted without any drastic changes in its core elements (Pasayat 1995). Later, the caste folk gave a Hindu status to the deity, changing its ceremonial process according

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to Sanskritic Hinduism and creating a myth for its position in the existing society. Pasayat considers this a process of the Tribalization (of the Hindu village) followed by Sanskritization (of the deity). This case can also be treated as an example of what Marriott (1955) has called, in the context of his study of Kishangarhi village of Uttar Pradesh, the process of Universalization. Changes in tribes resulting from their long-term interaction with peasants (who in many cases are caste Hindus) have been the theme of many studies, which are also concerned with the processes of de-tribalization (see S.N. Mishra 1998). These works lend support to the point that tribal economy and culture are becoming integrated with the non-tribal population. This process has been taking place from time immemorial, although its speed has increased since the latter half of the twentieth century. Roy Burman’s view (1994a) is that tribes in India were never isolated from the outside world, as was generally imagined. They have always been in contact with the outside world, including the communities described in anthropological literature as typical examples of isolated tribal existence: For instance, the Jarawa’s use of iron in the last century shows their enduring relations with other people (Ujjwal Mishra 2002:19). On the contrary, B.K. Roy Burman (1994c) says that their isolation increased because of the oppressive British Empire and its diabolical policy to colonize their territories and bring their traditional resources and life-support systems under their control. Tribespersons fled to un-surveyed territories to escape the tyrannous rule. It was perhaps because of the process of integrating tribes with non-tribes (who were predominantly Hindu), and of tribes taking on the characteristics of caste, that Ghurye— whom Elwin called an ‘anthropological quisling’—described tribes as ‘backward Hindus’ (K.S. Singh, quoted in Momin 1994: 298; K.S. Singh 1996).

Tribes as Indigenous People An extremely important aspect of tribal studies conducted in the last 15 years has been the debate around the concept of ‘indigenous people’. It was thought that the use of this term rather than tribe would certainly be better, but it created more confusion, with some arguing in favour of Indian tribes as indigenous people, while others opposed it (see Xaxa 1999b for a review of both the points). A notion similar to ‘indigenous people’ has always been present in India, conveyed by the respectable concept of adivasi (‘pristine’ or ‘original’ settlers). However, it was never a moot issue and perhaps anthropologists never thought of ascertaining the claim of tribes as ‘autochthones’ of the country. Generally it was in the context of B.S. Guha’s classification of Indian races that one encountered the idea of Negrito as the autochthonous people of India (Bhattacharya and Sarkar 1996). That India was not an ethnic vacuum was an oft-repeated statement, but who the original settlers were was a vexatious question on which there was no easy consensus. Ethnologists, principally from the background of physical anthropology, did concern themselves with the issues of autochthones in India

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(see Kalla 1994), but for social anthropologists, almost overtaken by the tide of structural-functionalism in the latter half of the twentieth century dealing with societies ‘here-and-now’ rather than with what they were in the past, the questions of origin, though important, could not be answered since suitable evidence did not exist. The paradox was that though social anthropologists were conducting synchronic studies of tribal societies, they did not object to their being called adivasi in governmental, anthropological, and popular literature. The term ‘indigenous population’ came about in 1957 when the ILO (International Labour Organisation) adopted the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Conventions (no.107) (Roy Burman 1994a, 1995a, 1997b, 2003). The convention first spoke of tribal and semi-tribal populations, and then of ‘indigenous population’ as a ‘population of special category analogous to the tribal and semi-tribal populations’. The aim of the original convention was to protect and integrate indigenous and other tribal and semi-tribal populations in independent countries. However, notwithstanding the many positive stipulations, the ILO convention of 1957 was criticized for its ‘ethnocentric bias and patronizing attitude’ (Roy Burman 1995a: 7). Accordingly, the ILO adopted a revised Convention 169, where the concept of indigenous has been overtly de-linked from the concept of tribe, though by implication they have been treated as analogous (Roy Burman 1997a). Tribes were defined in this convention as those people whose ‘social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community’ and who regulate them ‘wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws and regulations’ (Roy Burman 1995b: 7). The ‘indigenous people’ are described as those who have descended from the populations that inhabited the country (or the geographical area to which the country belongs) at the time of conquest, or colonization, or the establishment of the present political boundaries. In addition, they live according to their own social, economic, and political institutions. In other words, tribes and semi-tribes (those who are fast-changing, almost on the verge of losing their identity) are analogous to indigenous people, although different from them because they constitute a distinct international category (Xaxa 1999b: 3590). Indigenous people are the descendants of those who lived in the country to which they now belong before colonization or conquest by people outside the country or the geographical region. Once under colonial rule, these people were marginalized, exploited, oppressed, and in some cases deliberately exterminated or used for experimental purposes. In spite of their interaction with the colonizers, or those who enjoyed their patronage, the indigenous people have been able to retain their culture and its institutions, and it is according to them that they principally live. Although taken up at the level of the international institutions, the discourse on indigenous people was almost non-existent in the Indian academic as well as political world before 1993 when the United Nations declared that year as the ‘International Year of the Indigenous People’. Once this issue was

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‘internationalized’, the category of ‘indigenous’ came to be critically examined. Arguments for considering tribes in India as indigenous people have come up with the same degree of intensity as did the arguments against it. Many of those who defended the term ‘indigenous’ for tribes happened to be activists. The slogan—‘The adivasi of the world unite’—acquired popularity as it was printed on the cover of the booklets that the Indian Conference of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples brought out in 1993 on the occasion of the UN Year of the Indigenous Peoples of the World (see Bose Mullick et al. 1993; Fernandes 1993b). Another important publication on this issue which the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Copenhagen jointly published with Zed Books Limited was The Indigenous Voice, Visions and Realities (Moody 1988). The argument in favour of indigenous was not so much in terms of tribes being the original settlers, since the protagonists of this view knew full well that the facts of original settlement could not be easily established since historical (and archaeological) evidence was scarce. Their defence was more on the grounds of tribes as being the worst victims of conquest and colonization. Because of acculturation, which is always asymmetrical, they suffered the loss of control over resources, leading to a penurious existence and becoming serfs in their own lands. They became powerless; their institutions were undermined; their customs and practices were ridiculed; and the outcome of all these deprivations and humiliations was that they lost the desire to live. In their ethnographic works, anthropologists have shown that the tribe people claim association with their habitats which stretches back into antiquity. They have no legal documents, no decrees of purchase, or registered birth certificates to prove their aboriginal status. What they have instead is a body of sacred truths, which they have inherited from their ancestors. What the outsider regards as ‘myths’, they see as ‘history’—a string of true happenings. If they claim, as they generally do, that their ancestors were the first human couple to be created by the gods to walk on the earth, then this is what they believe actually happened. They nurture no scepticism about their origin; what their ancestors proudly narrated is held in reverence. The evidence for such truths is all around—preserved in stones, animals, and the floral world. There is no reason to doubt the omnipotence of their gods and spirits; nor do they show any shame in the belief that an incestuous union gave birth to their people. The point is that the tribal world should be understood in the context of its cosmology and the thoughts of the people, rather than historical and archaeological facts which are not only limited but also shattered and partial. André Béteille’s observation (2000b:184) deserves to be remembered at this juncture: Where historical records are scarce and historical memory is short, the idea of ‘indigenous people’ provides abundant scope for the proliferation of myths relating to blood and soil.

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Many anthropologists have recorded the fact that although the tribes may think that they were the first ones to be created after a deluge or catastrophe, they also talk of their collective movements from one physical space to the other, in search of fertile pastures and secure habitats. On the basis of the findings of the People of India Project, K.S. Singh (1997: 7) writes: Four hundred and nine tribes (64.3 per cent) claim to be migrants to their present habitat. In fact all our tribal people have been migrants. Their migration is recorded in oral tradition and historical accounts. About eight per cent of the tribes record their migration in recent years. S.C. Dube (1998: 5) notes: The Kol and Kirda of India have had long association with later immigrants. Mythology and history bear testimony to their [tribals’] encounters and intermingling. In other words, the claims of autochthonous (or ‘native’) status are political devices which in the end create divisiveness in society. Far more important are the historical facts pertaining to the impact of colonialism on tribes. Although colonial rule has been liquidated, the exploitation of tribes continues unabated. This was noted in studies conducted on tribes immediately after the India’s independence and later (see Fürer-Haimendorf 1967). The exploitation can be checked; tribespersons would be able to live with dignity if their interests were taken care of and they got their rightful share. To make this happen, there is no need to begin with the polemical idea of Indian tribes as the indigenous people.

Economic Problems of Tribes One of the points that contemporary studies of tribes unexceptionally share is that the condition of tribal societies needs to be examined in the context of national and international social and economic systems (Miri 1993; Roy Burman 1995b). Whenever a poor and debt ridden country is in the grip of a severe economic crisis, it tries to overcome its problems by selling its precious natural resources of which an important one is its forest wealth. Tribal communities, dwelling for millennia in and eking out their subsistence from forests, have been the worst sufferers in this context (see the Report of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes 1987–89; Fernandes 1993a; Seminar issue of August 2005). These are the people thronging the streets of Ranchi as rickshaw-pullers, begging for tobacco in middle and south Andaman, working in middle and upper class households in Delhi as servants and maids, and serving with contractors as labour for paltry sums. Studies on migration point out that both landless as well as landed

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people from poverty-stricken areas migrate to towns as well as cities, but their implications are different. The landless move from ‘severe to moderate poverty’, whereas the landed, move from a ‘moderate to non-poor’ status (Sah 2002). The incidence of poverty among tribes was 44 per cent in 1999–2000, while among the non-tribals it was 16 per cent. Many reasons have been given for why an overwhelming percentage of the population of Indian villages, mostly belonging to the lower castes and tribal groups, reels under the miserable state of poverty and deprivation. An important reason for the vast disparity in the levels of income and wealth is the age-old practice of bonded labour, which though legally abolished continues to survive in some parts of the country. A close relationship exists between land-alienation, indebtedness, and bonded labour. The equivalent of slavery in the contemporary world is the institution of debt-bondage. At one time it was thought that bonded labourers were confined to villages, but time and again various surveys have shown the existence of this institution in towns and cities as well (A.R.N. Srivastava 1988). Known by different terms in different parts of the country, the institution of debt-bondage has certain typical characteristics, on the basis of which its model can be constructed: 1. A poor person (landless labourer, peasant, artisan, craftsperson) takes a loan (of a few hundred or thousand rupees) from whosoever is in a capacity to advance loans (may be a rich farmer, moneylender, or liquor vendor). 2. The loan is generally taken to meet a contingent expenditure, unanticipated and sometimes uncalled for (such as to organize a death feast, or replace a bull during the peak agricultural season, or pay a fine as levied by the caste council), or to perform certain expensive rituals (the marriage of a daughter), or for bare minimal survival (such as buying food). 3. The loan is advanced at an exorbitant rate of interest, certainly not less than 2 per cent per month (i.e. 24 per cent per annum). In some cases it is frighteningly high 5 per cent per month. Often, in addition, property or jewellery, or whatever assets the person has, is mortgaged. 4. The economy of the debtor is non-surplus-producing. It even falls considerably short of fulfilling the basic survival needs of the debtor and his family. In other words, the debtor will never have surplus money to settle his debt, or even pay off the full interest. 5. Such a terrible state of the debtor produces optimum conditions for bondage. The person and his family members work for their ‘master’, the one who has advanced them the loans. Their wages are supposed to be adjusted against the loans, but does not this happen. In always fact, in most cases, the wages are not adjusted and the person continues to suffer under bondage for his entire life.

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6. But the wages are so ridiculously low that even of they are paid, the debtor could never succeed in paying off the interest, leave alone the capital. The loans then multiply exponentially, making it impossible for the debtor to ever settle them. As a consequence, he and his family remain indebted forever, and bonded forever. 7. The debts are not tied to the individual; rather, they are tied to the family. After the demise of the debtor, his son or grandson inherits the debts. For a loan of a measly sum, the family remains in the vicious circle of debtbondage forever. 8. The loans would never be repaid unless some external, powerful agency, such as the government, intervenes dissolving the loans and freeing the debtors from the cage of bonded labour. Many studies have pointed out that in contemporary India, a majority of tribal respondents know what debt-bondage is (Buddhadeb Chaudhuri 1992). They may not know how it actually results, but they know full well that it is ‘eternal’, inherited in the same manner as other biological and cultural characteristics are acquired. The most vulnerable to bonded labour are those working in brick-kilns, followed by those who are agricultural workers. After them are domestic servants in the houses of the landlords (zamindar). There are fewer chances of factory workers becoming bonded labourers because factories are not feudal enterprises. The chances of one entering the system of debt-bondage are greater in feudalism than in other system of production. Incidentally, the caste system, which is the system of stratification prevailing in Indian villages, has the characteristics of a feudal system of production. One of the most significant characteristics of feudalism is the quality of relations between the employer and the employee. These relations are described as paternalistic, in which the employer looks after his employees by advancing them loans to meet contingent situations and also provides them with other benefits. Ethnographers have pointed out that tribes and lower castes are so dependent on the zamindars for their basic survival that it is unthinkable that they would ever annoy their patrons by providing details about a system against which legal prohibition exist, that is, if they even know the details. The result is that cases of bonded labour can rarely be identified details about bonded labourers and their patrons given. When people are tight-lipped about a practice, that is its indirect confirmation. Many suggestions have been given for combating the system of debt-bondage. However, two significant aspects emerge. First, though people may know this, it still needs to be explained to them clearly and with emphasis that one of the most important reasons for their bondage is the customary practice of giving feasts on ritual occasions. If the community collectively resolves to discontinue or drastically reduce these feasts the people will be less constrained to take loans beyond their ability to repay. Second, people know how oppressive and exploitative the

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system of debt-bondage is and they certainly want to emerge out of it, yet they cannot do so because the system at least ensures their survival. There does not exist an alternative economic arrangement for them, they are hesitant to leave it. Hence, it is extremely important that all agencies—governmental and nongovernmental—think seriously in terms of the economic alternatives wherein the ‘liberated bonded labourers’ could be honourably rehabilitated (Bhandari and Bhattacharya 1996). In fact, B.D. Sharma, in his letter to the prime minister on 31 March 1990, had stated that land alienation was one of the most important issues to be taken up. The Report of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (1987–89) made it clear that the ‘tribal people are being denied due protection of constitutional safeguards on a vital issue which concerns their very survival as a community’.

Impact of Development Programmes A number of works deal with the poverty that the development programmes cause (Chaudhury 1992, 1998b). Why the scheduled tribes lag behind the scheduled castes has also been explored (Xaxa 2001). From the success stories of some individuals of a few tribal communities (such as the Mina of Rajasthan, Christian tribespersons from central and north-east India, the families of tribal leaders who have acquired power in the democratic system) one should not infer that the policy of compensatory discrimination and rapid development has elevated the economic status of a majority of them. On the contrary, a perpetual conflict exists between the national programmes of development on the one hand, and the interests of tribes on the other, with the result that many tribal communities have become the ‘victims of development’, pushed to the brink of a dehumanized existence, while many non-tribal societies, located in towns and cities, have become affluent (Sachchidananda 1997). The national development programmes have included the setting up of largescale industries, construction of dams for irrigation, systematic and intensive extraction of forest and mineral resources, and power projects for generating electricity, acquiring land on the outskirts of towns (generally inhabited by tribal people) for private housing projects, and also reserving forests for regeneration (K.S. Singh 1993a; Patnaik 1996; Saksena et al. 1998; Rath and Rath 2002). These development projects are undertaken in tribal-inhabited regions because they are rich in minerals and forest resources. At one time it was thought that the programmes of development would facilitate the integration of tribal communities with what has come to be known as the ‘mainstream of Indian society’. The basic difference between the tribal situation in India and in many other parts of the world has been in terms of the ‘mainstream’; the Indian tribes are presumed to have one, whilst tribes in other parts of the world do not. So the question of integrating tribes with the ‘mainstream’ has

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been of pivotal concern in India, and in this context, national development has been viewed as a cardinal step in bringing tribes into the national polity. But what has resulted is quite the opposite of what the national planners had thought, i.e. the impoverishment and pauperization of the tribes, the consequences of which for the psyche and self-esteem of the tribal people have been disastrous (Vidyut Joshi 1998b; Saksena and Sen 1999). Vidyut Joshi (1998a: 14) writes: Our tribal development policies and programmes assumed that all the tribes will develop and will ‘integrate’ themselves with the so-called ‘mainstream’. This has happened only in a symbolic way. Most of our researchers agree on this point that as a result of the planned tribal development, stratification on secular lines has taken place among tribals and only a small section has been able to take advantages of our tribal development programmes. The impact of the policy of national development has been catastrophic for the basic resources of tribal societies—viz. water, land, and forest—on which the people have had usufructuary rights from time immemorial, bestowed on them by their traditions, their myths of origin, for which they did not need bureaucratic sanction. The relationship of tribespersons with their ecological system was one of ‘profound respectful dependence’. They used only as much of the resources and only the quantity they needed for their bare survival. The notion of what is now called ‘sustainable development’ was in fact indigenously woven into the matrix of tribal culture. They did not need to be reminded of posterity, the fact that they should cultivate an ideology of conservation—the conserver ethic—towards their ecosystem, so that their future generations could live well with dignity. For them, the forest was not a commercial proposition, an ‘uneven mishmash of trees that could be sold to the greedy world for revenue’; rather it was their ‘way of life’, an ‘abode of their deities and ancestors’, and the meaning of life for them was to live in ‘harmony with nature’ and ‘venerate her for blessing people with all that they need for their existence’ (Fernandes 1993a). Development has led to a breakdown of this ‘respectful’ relationship between tribes and nature. All over the world, tribe persons have witnessed the transformation of their nature from a ‘way of life’ to a ‘commercial proposition’. Their ecosystems were overexploited, which they could neither stop from being destroyed nor register strong protests. And when they raised their voice against the pillaging of their resources, their life-support system, the exploiters silenced it. Against this background, many tribal communities had no option but to flee to those areas where they could have a minimal level of freedom to live the way they would like. In fact, as submitted earlier, the isolation of tribes, which is usually regarded in anthropological literature as an important defining trait of tribes, resulted as a consequence of the experiences of exploitation and oppression that they underwent (Roy Burman 1994c).

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The entry of ‘outsiders’—government officials, surveyors, landlords, moneylenders, liquor vendors, etc.—to tribal territories began a long time back, with the advent of the British rule (Fürer-Haimendorf 1967). British policy in India was not one of non-interference with tribal existence, as was the case with the preBritish rulers. The British were keen to survey the tribal area and learn about its material wealth, which could eventually be siphoned off to build industries back home. They were also interested in studying tribal peoples and their institutions, not only to make academic contributions to the understanding of the ‘other’, but also for administering these societies better to ensure peace among them and keep them subservient to colonial rule. The role of anthropology in tribal administration is well known. The colonial interests were couched in the idiom of ‘civilizing people’. Tribe persons were described as being in a state of barbarism and wildness and should be phenomenally changed (and ‘domesticated’) so that they could become like the rest in the ‘mainstream’, which actually meant the ‘mass of British subjects’. Tribes started losing their customary rights over land, forests, and water rule, their resources being alienated to non-tribes, the exploiters who had thronged tribal territories in search of newer mines of wealth. The process that the colonial rule started of ‘civilizing’ people by forcing them—or ‘forcibly persuading’ them—to accept the packages the state offered them has continued uninterrupted with the development programmes of Independent India (see Miri 1993). The number of people displaced (or uprooted) from their traditional habitats (or ‘ancestral homes’) because of development programmes is estimated to be over 16 million, of which about 40 per cent belong to tribal societies (Fernandes 1993a). The area under forest cover has also declined abysmally; from 40 per cent of the country’s territory in 1854 to just 10 per cent in the 1980s. As a large number of tribal people are forest-dwellers, they have suffered the most. With the British forest policy came state control over forest resources and the rights and privileges of tribes over forests were curtailed. Although the forest policy of Independent India has enlarged the rights and privileges the forest-based tribal communities enjoy, and the local communities in many parts of India are actively involved in the programmes of Joint Forest Management (Roy Burman 1995b), there is no doubt that as a number of tribal studies and articles point out, the condition of the people in ‘forest villages’ has not shown any qualitative improvement (Prasad and Jahagirdar 1993; Jahagirdar 1994). On the contrary, it has worsened and the exploitation of people, particularly women, by forest officials has increased considerably. Development programmes have not only displaced people from their traditional habitats, but also, brought a large number of ‘outsiders’, of different social strata, from moneylenders to government officials, into tribal territories (Chaudhury 1991, 1992). Because of their links and networks among themselves and with the bureaucracy, which they use to their advantage, they have been able to control trade and commerce, siphoning off the local resources in the same way

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as the British did before India’s independence. As many observers have reported time and again, the outsiders have also ridicule tribal practices and customs, thereby making the people suspicious of their own institutions, with which they have lived from time immemorial (Alam 1993; Sarkar and Chakravorty 2003). Tribal culture, in some cases, has become a liability and embarrassment to its bearers because of the sort of treatment it has received from outsiders. In the wake of industrialization came urban influences. Tribal areas, rich in mineral and forest resources, as was noted earlier, were chosen for setting up industries, and around them emerged towns. Contrary to what was thought at one time about the positive and integrative effects of industrialization and urbanization, these processes have added to the woes of tribes. Besides the despoliation of their habitats, the gains of development have not been dispersed to them. They do not have access to either the schools or the hospitals; and a large number of their villages are yet to receive the benefits of electrification or irrigation. Development has been lopsided for tribal communities, and the rich ‘outsiders’ have monopolized the gains, which in fact should have reached tribal areas. Development has created a class of what sociologists call ‘surplus labour’ (or ‘underclass’) from among the tribal people, who are largely unskilled and have no option but to migrate to towns and cities in search of jobs for basic survival, although such jobs are not easily available. This has often resulted in these ‘underclass’ tribes persons taking up crime as a way of life, thus being stigmatized forever (Bhowmick 2001; Radhakrishna 2001; Bokil 2002). Against this background, some anthropologists think that tribal communities constitute the ‘fourth world’, the most undeveloped of the undeveloped and underdeveloped world (Xaxa 2003). And such a state of affairs culminates in the rise of ethnicity, which in the apt words of S.C. Dube (quoted in Sachchidananda 1997: 234) is ‘part sentiment, part ideology and part agenda’. The condition of tribes differs widely from one geographical region to the other, and also, there are differences between the same geographical regions as well. This abundantly supports the idea, which anthropologists have often submitted: the ‘context-specific’ and ‘ethno-local’ model of development. People’s viewpoint can be understood and fully appreciated when they are involved in every development and welfare project right from its inception. In this regard, Pingle and von Fürer-Haimendorf (1998: 163–64) write: After fifty years of Independence and many government failures, the realization that the only way left for government to succeed in its efforts to reduce poverty in rural areas is to include the wide participation of the bottom third of the poor in their own development People will be empowered when they not only determine the course of development but also develop their own measures and technology to evaluate its respective impacts on different components of their society, i.e. people of different gender, age, and strata, and also if the impact of development programmes is

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studied objectively using anthropological methods (Chaudhury 1992: 151–52). Then these two evaluations are compared to determine whether the people subjectively feel that their lifestyles have really improved as a result of development programmes. In addition, the state should guarantee the rights of tribal people over their land and resources and ensure their share in the power structure so that they exercise control over their land and resources for their own benefits. Perhaps this idea can be best expressed in the following maxim: ‘The state should help people to help themselves.’

Tribal Policy An important statement issued in February 2004 was the Draft of the National Policy on Tribals. It was the first time in the history of tribal India that the government formulated a National Policy on Scheduled Tribes, for none had existed in colonial times. What did exist at that time were the ‘approaches’ that aimed to provide a solution to the ‘tribal problem’. These ‘approaches’ were generally grouped into three categories: isolation, assimilation, and integration. In July 2006, a much-improved version of the Draft of the National Tribal Policy was circulated. A ‘national policy’ on tribes is definitely a further reinforcement of the idea that notwithstanding a myriad of measures which the government has taken after independence, the quality of life of many tribes, especially the primitive tribes, has not shown any improvement. On the contrary, as stated earlier, the development programmes, which were undertaken to facilitate the process of the integration tribes with the mainstream of Indian society, have destroyed the life-support systems of many of these communities, weakened their social and cultural fabric, and forced the people to seek ‘refuge’ in their own land. Fernandes (1993a: 20) has called these people ‘internal refugees’. The entry of non-tribal outsiders into tribal areas has continued unabated, bringing in its wake a grave exploitation of tribespersons, their illegal and forceful ousting from their own land, and their existence in a state of perpetual penury, fear, misery, and destitution. Against this background, it is imperative that a National Policy on Tribals comes into existence even though the scheduled tribes are well covered under the Constitution of India. Such a policy will guide all the thoughts and actions (of the governments and the NGOs as well as of independent social activists and advocates) that are held and carried out in collaboration with the people for the amelioration of their condition. The aim of the policy is defined at the outset: ‘to bring [the] Scheduled Tribes into the mainstream of society through a multi-pronged approach for their allround development without disturbing their distinct culture.’ By this, one instantly understands that the approach the policy puts forth is to ‘integrate’ tribes with rest of the society. Here, it is extremely important that the policy discusses in clear

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and comprehensive terms what it means by the concept of ‘mainstream’, for it is well known that what north Indians understand by ‘mainstream’ is different from the meaning that south Indians attribute to it. Similarly, the ‘mainstream’ for the Nagas is different from that of the Assamese plains-dwellers. Like many other concepts in social anthropology and sociology, ‘mainstream’ is also a plural-concept, in the sense that it has many meanings. The meaning of the concepts of ‘mainstream’ and ‘integration’ the policy intends to put forward must be clarified, because, for reasons not given, its Draft of February 2004 ended with the subtitle of ‘Assimilation’, which, in the context of tribal studies, as is well known, refers to the approach of social workers according to which the problems of tribal societies were the result of their continued isolation, and it was believed that the more they came in contact with the outside world, the better it would be for their upliftment. The solution to tribal problems, according to the ‘assimilationists’, lies in ‘assimilating’ tribes with the outsiders, largely Hindu, and imposing upon them the values they deemed proper (such as prohibition of liquor, dressing like caste Hindus) (see Hardiman 1987, 1998). As critics have said, assimilation is utopian, undemocratic, unethical, and unjust. Moreover, it is ethnocentric, an imposition, for, as J.D. Mehra (1987: 40) writes, tribes ‘may or may not agree to what appears to those encouraging …assimilation as a logical and more effective way of doing things, and they may prefer their own old ways.’ Assimilation is a contrapuntal ideal type of integration. If assimilation symbolizes the ‘melting’ of tribal cultures into the culture of outsiders, integration stands for the ‘respect’ that tribes and their cultures receive from outsiders. If assimilation favours homogenization of cultures, integration subscribes to the Chinese maxim: ‘Let the hundred flowers blossom, let the hundred schools of thought flourish’. Integration is a celebration of the principle of diversity and a denunciation of any variety of cultural imperialism. In the last 50 years, anthropologists have started studying societies, both urban and industrial, using their traditional field methods which generally they did not do earlier, although they have always defined their subject as a study of the entire human society in time and space. Theoretically too, anthropology has critically examined the perspectives and methodologies that had their origins in other disciplines (such as philosophy, sociology) or in the writings of some later twentieth-century thinkers (such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida), against the background of their empirical studies in a variety of contexts. Anthropology, therefore, has neither remained conservative nor lagged behind. But in spite of moving into newer territories with time-tested methods, anthropology has never given up the study of tribal communities. On the contrary, more and more anthropologists insist that even when they study other social formations, their first and foremost commitment is to the study of tribes. The argument that the destiny of anthropology is incumbent upon the presence of ‘pre-literate tribes’ in the world, or that it is tagged to structural-functionalism, is, to say the least, ‘substance-less’.

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It is now well known that when anthropologists put forth the idea of providing certain tribes, precariously placed in economic and social terms, with their ‘reserves’ or ‘national parks’, as Elwin (1939) suggested for the Baiga, it certainly was not because their subject was endangered and could have only survived with a ‘museumification’ (or ‘zoofication’) of tribal communities (see Bhasin and Srivastava 1990, and comments on this article, 1991). Rather, it was to save the tribes—simple, credulous, gullible, powerless, and the most vulnerable to exploitation—from the nefarious designs and stratagems of outsiders (merchants, moneylenders, liquor vendors, colonizers of land, etc.), whose interests lay in seizing control of natural resources, seeking cheap and free labour, ousting the tribals from their original habitats, and also sexually exploit tribal women. Anthropologists exposed these motives of the outsiders, trying to place before the world the ‘tribal viewpoint’. Thus the anthropologists have emerged as the ‘spokespersons’ of tribal communities, and because of this, there is a strong likelihood of their taking up the tasks of advocacy and activism. In fact, Elwin’s letter to Vanyajati (1952: 2 [2], cited in The Eastern Anthropologist, 1953–4 [7: 3 & 4]: 128–9) puts this idea across clearly: I have frequently made it clear that my views on the tribal problem are entirely different now to what they were during the days of the British Raj. The coming of our own government has completely altered the position, and it is as I venture to think, a little unfair to use statements which applied to a different situation to discredit me today. I am … vehemently in favour of opening communications in the tribal areas. But I think that such a road should be made in the interests of the tribals and not for the benefit of those who would exploit them from the plains.

Emerging Concerns Our survey shows that we have been able to collect basic information on almost all the tribes of India. Material on north-east India is now substantial (see Bhupinder Singh 1998; Bhadra and Mondal 1991; Samanta 1994; Das and Barua 1996) as it is for other zones of the country. In this regard, the Anthropological Survey of India has carried out exemplary work under the People of India Project. The reports of this project have also been published. In the last 15 years, ethnographic accounts of certain tribal societies have been published (see, for instance, Bhanu 1989; Suseela Devi 1990; Maitra 2002; Nayak 1989; Parkin 1992; Parthasarathy 1988b; R. K. Sinha 1995; Sudhakar Rao 2002). But it will not be wrong to say that we still lack good ethnographies, comparable to those published in the first half of twentieth century, and which are still consulted for their details, if not always for their theoretical perspectives. One of the reasons for this state of affairs is an abysmal decline, especially among the

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students of Indian origin, in the tradition of long, intensive fieldwork of not less than one year. With the rise of ‘auto-anthropology’, many investigators return to their homelands, sometimes to their own villages, neighbourhoods, and families, for fieldwork. This practice is the opposite of what anthropologists in the past had adopted, when they set out to study a culture different from their own, as a consequence of which anthropology came to be conceptualized as the study of ‘other cultures’. Today, the study of one’s own society has become a legitimate practice, but the danger is that one may begin with the assumption that by virtue of being a native, one knows one’s customs and practices well, for one has inherited them, therefore, one need not make enquiries. An assumption of this sort signals the end of the ethnographic tradition. Whether one studies one’s own or a different society, one is advised to begin with a tabula rasa mind, that is, one should not have any preconceptions about one’s study; one should not be a victim of one’s stereotypes, prejudices, or biases. In other words, one should begin with an open mind. In the study of one’s own people, one should de-familiarize oneself with the customs and practices one has inherited, treating them as strange as are those of other cultures. It requires considerable effort, constantly reminding oneself to make an objective investigation of all types of facts, notwithstanding one’s level of familiarity with them. On many primitive tribes (for example, Parangiperja of Orissa, Kolgha of Gujarat, Koraga of Karnataka and Kerala, Maria Gond of Maharashtra, Buxas of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal, and others), apart from short notes and brief scattered communications, there are no full-length accounts. Such communities need to be studied with a sense of priority, before their lifestyles change (Ajit K. Danda 1996: 34). Anthropologists do intend to study these communities before they change because they wish to keep detailed records of different types of living patterns and adaptive strategies. Similarly, there are ‘de-populating’ communities, those declining in number, which both physical and social anthropologists and medical practitioners need to study so that culturally relevant and medically suitable programmes of development can be chalked out for them. Further, those tribal communities on which extensive studies have not been conducted in the last 50 years should also be studied. At this juncture, an important question is of how to motivate research scholars to choose communities which deserve to be studied. Perhaps grant-giving agencies (such as the ICSSR, ICMR, Anthropological Survey of India, UGC, etc.) could announce fellowships for the study of these hitherto unstudied and less studied communities. To identify these communities a committee should be set up which also prioritizes the areas of study. Several studies have pointed out the migration of tribal people to urban and industrial areas. Many of these migrants are permanent for they have no stake in their native places; their land has been usurped, bought, or acquired in the national interest, and the meagre compensation they received was spent heedlessly or, as in most cases, taken away by moneylenders towards the settlement of accounts. The

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net result was that the tribespersons were left to fend for themselves. Not many studies have been done on these migrants—what happens to them, whether they are absorbed in the tertiary sectors of economy, or whether they remain without gainful employment or are intermittently employed or become beggars, lumpenproletariats, and criminals. In this case, the study of tribal women and children should have priority over all other studies. It was noted earlier in the chapter that anthropologists (and historians) have carried out studies of tribal movements; but these are not enough. There is an urgent need to give an impetus to the studies of tribal assertions and protests. Detailed studies of the rise of insurgency and the steps that the state and Central governments have taken to combat it are also required. For instance, priority must be given to the study of Naxalism in central India, and the political response of the local populace in the form of Salwa Judum. Given the grotesquely inflammable situation in the area, it may not be possible for anthropologists to conduct a long term, first-hand empirical study using the standard technique of participant observation. However, a beginning can be made with an analysis of whatever material is available in the form of reports. In this regard, recently (2006–07), S. Narayan and his team carried out a study of violence in Bastar, interviewing almost one hundred respondents, both Naxalite leaders and their sympathizers, and the supporters of Salwa Judum, and circulated a report for further deliberation. Even when holistic studies were carried out, certain areas of tribal living did not receive the attention they deserved; for example, material culture, music, dance, folklore, and other aspects of expressive institutions. This was noted in the early surveys also (Sachchidananda 1985: 103; Ajit K. Danda 1996: 33). These neglected areas require immediate study. Some of them, for instance, music, may need the expertise of specialists such as musicians or folklorists for proper documentation, and hence, these projects have to be multidisciplinary in nature. In addition, the changing tribal worldview requires documentation. Further, not many anthropologists, save a few (such as Roy Burman 1997b), have commented on the constitutional provisions for tribes, and their impact on society. It appears that these areas of legal anthropology have been glossed over. Against the background of the importance of judiciary in contemporary India, it is imperative that anthropologists undertake detailed studies of the constitutional safeguards and their impact, along with the study of the cases pertaining to tribal societies that have been decided by the honourable courts. Separate studies should be carried out on the analysis of auto-ethnographic writings and their comparison with the writings of outsiders on the same communities. Other areas that deserve immediate attention are the history of tribal areas and their colonial administration; the ethno-medical and ethno-pharmacological knowledge of tribes and its interaction with the established systems of medicine; tribal leaders and spokespersons; the emerging patterns of social stratification among tribal societies; the differential effects of the policy of compensatory discrimination on tribes; the destruction of tribal ecological systems as a consequence

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of the commercial and economic motives of the outsiders and the state; and the assessment of poverty in tribal communities. The present survey shows that a variety of approaches have been used for the study of tribes in comparison to what was done earlier. For instance, Vidyarthi (1972: 101) wrote in the first survey that the tribal studies were functional or empirical in orientation. Of all the approaches that have found place in tribal studies the most popular is the interpretive approach. Some sociologists have also used the Marxian approach, especially in the context of the tribal mode of production. Against this backdrop, we need researches comparing the outcome of different approaches to the study of tribal societies. With reference to publications, in the first survey report Vidyarthi (ibid., 104) had observed that an ‘adequate machinery should be created for the publication of doctoral and master’s degree theses.’ We have gone through a number of good dissertations, with valuable data, submitted for the award of research (M.Phil. and Ph.D.) and Master’s degrees, which have not been published. The fact is that if the awardees of these degrees get into non-teaching and independent research jobs, including working for a project, the benefits of which are enjoyed by its director, they generally do not undertake the onerous task of converting their theses into books (or research papers). After the passage of some years, the researchers lose interest in their work, with the result that good manuscripts gather dust on closed library shelves and are unavailable to the academic community at large. It is imperative, therefore, that research-funding organizations devise methods to ensure these works are published. Some organizations have taken on the task of publishing reports on the traditions of knowledge of various communities. One such example is of the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage Series’ that the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (Museum of Mankind), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), has started, in which it has so far published two monographs on the indigenous knowledge of the tribes of Orissa (by Biyotkesh Tripathy 2005) and Konda Reddi (by Kamal K. Misra 2005), and three are in print. Some more ethnographic accounts are likely to be published soon in this series. In addition, the museum has also published a number of books on areas such as rock art, family systems, tribal identity, etc. The Museum of Mankind also needs to be complimented for its collection of exhibits from different tribal areas and the short write-ups on them. Other museums of anthropology need to emulate this example. In his survey report, Vidyarthi (1972: 104) was concerned about the duplication of researches in the sense that different scholars from different organizations in the region tend to study the same communities while a number of other communities remain unstudied and unreported. Sachchidananda (1985: 102) also noted that ‘There have been a number of replicative studies. These do not promise any innovative thinking.’ It has been noticed that those states that which do not have anthropology departments lag behind in tribal studies, whereas those that do tend to study the same communities again and again. There is no harm in focussing

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upon certain communities provided the problem to be investigated differs from one study to the other, but the grant-giving agencies should keep in mind that all societies need to be studied with equal vigour. Coordination between different research organizations can help in checking the duplication of researches.

note

1. J.H. Hutton referred to him as the ‘father of Indian ethnology’.

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Singh, K.S. 1985. Tribal Society in India, An Anthropo-historical Prespective. New Delhi: Manohar. ———. 1988a. ‘Jawaharlal Nehru, tribals and their transformation’, Human Science & The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 37 (1): 1–9. ———. 1988b. ‘A temple in a tribal village’, Human Science & The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 37 (2): 97–102. ———. (ed.). 1989. Jawaharlal Nehru, Tribes and Tribal Policy. Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India. ———. 1990. ‘Environment, technology and management in tribal areas’, Man in India, 70 (2): 123–30. ———. 1993a. ‘The Problem. Marginalized tribals’, Seminar, 412: 12–18. ———. 1993b. An Anthropological Atlas. Volume XI: People of India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 1993c. ‘Hinduism and tribal religion: An anthropological perspective’, Man in India, 73 (1): 1–16. ———. 1996. ‘G.S. Ghurye, Verrier Elwin, and Indian Tribes’. In A.R. Momin (ed.). The Legacy of G.S. Ghurye, A Centennial Festschrift. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, pp. 39–46. ———. 1997. The Scheduled Tribes. Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 1998a. ‘Introduction’. In K.S. Singh (ed.). Antiquity to Modernity in Tribal India (Volume IV: Tribal Movements on India). New Delhi: Inter-India Publications, pp. 1–13. ———. 1998b. ‘The “tribals” and the 1857 uprising’, Social Scientist, 26 (1–4): 76–85. Singh, Mutum Bokul. 1995. ‘Some aspects of socio-demographic profile of Tarao’, Man in India, 75 (1): 79–95. Singh, Nandita. 1997. ‘Emerging problems of ownership and exploitation of communal land in tribal society’, Man in India, 77 (2–3): 233–45. ———. 1998. ‘Intra-tribal variation among the Munda and development perspective: Unfolding the reality’, The Indian Anthropologist, 28 (1): 41–54. ———. 1999a. ‘Communal land, conflict and tension in tribal India’, The Indian Anthropologist, 29 (2): 87–108. ———. 1999b. ‘Land tenure principles and development aspirations: An insight into the Indian tribal situation’, Man in India, 79 (1–2): 123–46. Singh, Nishi. 1995. ‘Family and marriage among Khonds of Koraput district, Orissa—a comparative study’, Man in India, 75 (1): 105–10. Singh, W. Nabakumar. 1993. ‘The Anal: A study on their village polity’, Man and Life, 19 (1–2): 61–75. Sinha, Rita. 1996. ‘Equal educational opportunities—scheduled castes and scheduled tribes: Problems and future strategies’, Man in India, 76 (2): 141–59. Sinha, R.K. 1995. The Bhilala of Malwa. Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India.

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Sinha, Surajit. 1965. ‘Tribe-caste and tribe-peasant continua in central India’, Man in India, 45: 57–83. Sinha-Kirkhoff, Kathinka. 1998. ‘Juvenilization of crime in Ranchi: Media’s creating a criminal subculture’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 51 (2). Sirajjudin, S.M. 1993. Human Biology of the Chenchus of Andhra Pradesh: A Demomorphogenetic Study. Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India. Smith, John D. 1991. The Epic of Pabuji, A Study, Transcription, and Translation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Som, Sujit. 1993. ‘Demographic profile of an Orissa village’, Man in India, 73 (1): 49–63. ———. 1995. ‘The Great Andamanese: An island community of Strait Island in Andaman’, Man in India, 75 (4): 393–99. Som, T.K. 1988. ‘Transformation of Riang economy in the context of rubber plantation industry: A micro-study in Tripura’, Man in India, 68 (2–3): 145–66. Soni, L.K. 1993. Bhil Sub-Groups in Caste Milieu. Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India. Soni, Vikram. 29 November 2005. ‘Tribal people and preserving prime forests’, The Hindu. Sonowal, Chandra Jyoti. 2000. ‘Child-rearing practices and gender roles—a case study among the Sonowal Kacharis of Dibrugarh, Assam’, Indian Anthropologist, 30 (1–2): 37–46. Sreenathan, M. 1996. ‘Fallacy in tribal names: Jarawa, Onge and Sentinelese’, Man in India, 76 (3): 253–61. ———. 1998a. ‘Rhetorical violence: Language ideology and Jarawa hostility’, Man in India, 78 (3–4): 355–9. ———. 1998b. ‘Lexical diffusion in immigrant languages of Andaman Islands’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 51 (1): 53–62. Srinivas, M.N. 1989. ‘Comment’. In Workshop on Tribal Habitat and Environment, Bhopal, 27–8 January 1989. Bhopal: Rashtriya Manav Sangrahlaya, pp. 67–71. ———. 2002. Collected Essays. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Srivastava, A.R.N. 1988. ‘Land alienation: Causes and consequences among the tribals of south Bastar’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 41 (4): 343–52. Srivastava, Harish C. 1990. ‘A socio-economic and demographic profile of the Kamar tribe of Madhya Pradesh’, Man in India, 70 (2): 101–22. Srivastava, Vinay Kumar. 1990. Tribes in India. Working paper published by the Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), Delhi. ———. 1991a. ‘Who are the Raikas/Rabaris?’ Man in India, 71 (1): 279–304. ———. 1991b. ‘Education and tribal people’, Adibasi, 31 (2): 11–5. ———. 1994a. ‘Indian tribals: An overview’, The Toppers’ India, 1 (1): 25–30; 1 (2): 30–2.

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———. 1994b. ‘On the concept of peasant society’, Trends in Social Science Research, 1 (2): 1–20. ———. 1994c. ‘The Rathore Rajput hero of Rajasthan: Some reflections on John Smith’s The Epic of Pabu-ji’, Modern Asian Studies, 28 (3): 589–614. ———. 1995, 1996. ‘An autobiography of the Tangkhul Nagas’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 48 (2): 185–93; 49 (1): 91. ———. 1999. ‘The future of anthropology’, Economic and Political Weekly, 34 (9): 545–52. ———. 2000. ‘Teaching anthropology’, Seminar, 495: 33–40. ———. 2004. ‘Anthropology in India: A Comment’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 57 (2): 127–152. ———. 2005. ‘Indian Village’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 58 (3–4): 315–49. Subba, Tanka B. 1992. ‘Interethnic relationship in north-east India and the “negative solidarity’’ thesis’, Man in India, 72 (2): 153–63. ———. 1994. ‘Understanding tribal development in Arunachal Pradesh—Elwin, FürerHaimendorf, and Rustomji’, Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society, 29 (1–2): 121–7. Sudersen, V. and P. Thamizoli. 1995. ‘A study of the Irula sustainable resource utilization practices’, Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society, 30 (2): 141–5. Sudhakar Rao, N. 1997. ‘A structural perspective of the Yanadi’s two forms of entertainment—Melam and Keelugunalu’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 50 (1): 27–46. ———. 2002. Ethnography of a Nomadic Tribe: A Study of Yanadi. New Delhi: Concept. Sundar, Nandini. 1998. Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar. Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 2001a. ‘Religion and culture in Bastar: The politics of “conversion”, The Eastern Anthropologist, 54 (3–4): 255–72. ———. 2001b. ‘Divining evil: The state and witchcraft in Bastar’, Gender, Technology and Development, 5 (3): 425–48. Swarankar, R.C. 1995. Indian Tribes: Health, Ecology and Social Structure. Jaipur: Printwell Publisher. Topal, Y.S., P.K. Samal, Pushpa Pant, and D.S. Rawat. 1998. ‘Socio-economic and cultural adaptations in the sustainable use and management of resources in a high altitude village in central Himalaya’, Man in India, 78 (1–2): 9–25. Toppo, Sita. 2000. ‘Aging and the aged in the tribal cultures’, Indian Anthropologist, 30 (1–2): 65–71. Tripathy, Biyotkesh. 2005. Tribal Myths and Legends of Orissa, The Story of Origins. Bhopal: Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, and Delhi: Pratibha Prakashan. (Intangible Cultural Heritage of India—1; General Editor: Kishor K. Basa.) Trivedi, G.M. 1991. Descriptive Grammar of Byansi—A Bhotiya Language. Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India.

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Unnithan-Kumar, Maya. 2001. Identity, Gender and Poverty: New Perspectives on Caste and Tribe. Jaipur and New Delhi: Rawat Publications. Van Exem, A., S.J. 1993. The Asurs of the Munda legend’, Man in India, 73 (2): 173–81. Varshney, Ashutosh. 2002. Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2002 Venkata Rao, P. 1996. ‘Tribal welfare in Hyderabad state: The contribution of Christoph von Fürer–Haimendorf’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 49 (2): 203–12. ———. 2001. Tribal Development, Policy and Practice. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. Venkatesan, D. 1989. ‘A perspective on male initiation ceremony among the Onge of Andaman Islanders’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 42 (4): 377–84. Verma, R.C. 1990. Tribes of India Through the Ages. Delhi: Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Vidal, Denis. 1997. Violence and Truth, A Rajasthani Kingdom Confronts Colonial Authority. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Vidyarthi, L.P. 1972. ‘Tribal ethnography in India, a trend report’. In A Survey of Research in Sociology and Social Anthropology (Volume III). Bombay: Popular Prakashan, pp. 31–133. Vidyarthi, L.P. and Binay Kumar Rai. 1976. The Tribal Culture of India. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. Walker, Anthony. 1998. Between Tradition and Modernity, and Other Essays on the Toda of South India. Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation. Xaxa, Virginius. 1999a. ‘Transformation of tribes in India, terms of discourse’, Economic and Political Weekly, 34 (24): 1519–24. ———. 1999b. ‘Tribes as indigenous people of India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 34: 3589–95. ———. 2001. ‘Protective discrimination: Why scheduled tribes lag behind scheduled castes’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36: 2765–72. ———. 2003. ‘Tribes in India’. In Veena Das (ed.). The Oxford India Companion to Sociology and Social Anthropology. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 373–408. Yinger, J. Milton. 1997. Ethnicity, Source of Strength? Source of Conflict? Jaipur and Delhi: Rawat Publications.

3 RuRal and agRaRian StudieS Surinder S. Jodhka and Paul D’Souza

Introduction: Historical Background ‘Rural society’ and ‘agrarian change’ have been rather fluid areas of research in Indian social science. Besides sociologists and social anthropologists, valuable studies on rural India have also been produced by economists, historians, public administration specialists and political scientists. Diverse disciplinary orientations and use of different conceptual frameworks and research techniques have enriched the studies on rural India and agrarian change. For example, many of the social anthropologists who carried out ‘village studies’ during the decades of 1950s and 1960s were influenced by the British tradition of social anthropology (Atal 2003; Béteille 1975; Chauhan 1974). These scholars confined their fieldwork mostly to a single village, and used mainly the method of participant observation. Their interest was to understand and document the structure of the ‘traditional’ Indian village society (see Atal, 2003; Breman 1997; Jodhka 1998). Their effort was to provide a ‘field-view’ of the village, in contrast to the ‘bookview’ that had been popularized by the Indologists. The economists, on the other hand, mostly used survey method and focused on documenting the processes of social and economic change being experienced in micro settings, usually covering more than one village. Similarly, while the sociologists and social anthropologists emphasized the reciprocity of caste-ties and the vertical integrity of the rural community, the economists looked at the economic side of agriculture. Some of them also examined in great detail the social framework of agricultural production and distribution, and the implications that some of the ‘older’ structures could have for the policies of development and change being pursued by the ‘independent’ Indian State. Unlike the sociologists and social anthropologists who were preoccupied with categories of caste and community in their analysis of the rural and agrarian social structures, economists were more comfortable with the category of class. Even those who worked with neoclassical or liberal frameworks frequently used land ownership and acreage classification in their analysis of the rural economy. This enabled them to raise questions of power and domination in the village society much more easily than was the case with social anthropologists who looked at village with functionalist notion of community.

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The influence of ‘peasant studies’ that came to India during the post-War period through the writings of scholars like Robert Redfield did not see rural populations as being differentiated. Even when hierarchy was seen as one of the defining features of caste, questions of power and domination were rarely seen as being intrinsic to such relations. For example, when Srinivas used the concept of ‘Dominant Caste’ he conceptualized dominance as an attribute of a caste group, rather than a social relationship. Nowhere did he explicitly talk about the relational other of the dominant caste, i.e. the ‘subordinate castes’, or their likely attributes. Unlike the social anthropologists, economists in India were also generally more concerned with issues of agrarian change. Their involvement with the process of planning for development during the early decades of independence made a certain degree of familiarity with agrarian economy essential for them. From Land Reforms to the Green Revolution, agriculture had been central to the developmental initiatives of the Indian State. In order to identify the hurdles that mired the process of economic development, they had to go beyond economics. They looked at the institutional and social frameworks of Indian agriculture and suggested ways and means of changing them. Some sociologists and social anthropologists too focused on ‘change’ and undertook studies in order to make sense of the nature of the social transformation taking place with development planning. Some of them were also involved with evaluating the different projects and schemes that were launched by the government of independent India. For example, they were closely associated with the Community Development Programme (CDP) right from its early days (see Alexander 2000; Dhanagare 1993). Over the years ‘rural development’ emerged as a distinct area of interdisciplinary research. Sociologists and social anthropologists have been important contributors to its growth. Though the meaning of ‘rural development’ has been undergoing some changes, it has acquired a distinct identity of its own. Apart from the tradition of ‘village studies’, ‘agrarian studies’ and ‘rural development’, there have also been other inputs to what is broadly the scope of this review. ‘Peasant studies’ and ‘rural sociology’ are, for example, other important areas of study which have overlapped with what is being discussed here. Further, the presence of diverse specializations focusing on the ‘rural’ and/or the ‘agrarian’ is not the only source of fluidity and complexity that one encounters while doing such a survey. Village in India has also been the most popular signifier of the native life. As Andre Beteille has rightly pointed out, ‘the village was not merely a place where people lived; it had a design in which were reflected the basic values of Indian civilization’ (Béteille 1980:108). The colonial administrators had presented India to the outside world as a land of village republics (see Cohn 1987; Inden 1990). The leading ideologues of India’s freedom movement similarly imagined the ‘real’ or authentic India to be residing in its villages. Though they

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disagreed on the value of rural living, leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, and Ambedkar contested the notion that village was the primary unit of Indian civilization (Jodhka 2002b). Moreover, given that nearly 70 per cent of India’s population still lives in its more than half a million villages, it has also been seen as ‘an arena for forces operating at regional, national, and international level’ (Chauhan 2003: 409). Scholars working on various subjects invariably carry out their researches in the rural setting. The rural-urban classification is an important framework for the demographers for analysing the changes taking place in the Indian population. Similarly, for the political scientists, the local-level institutions of self-governance and the manner in which political opinion is articulated and mobilized at the village level is of crucial significance for understanding the dynamics of the Indian democracy. It is rather interesting to note that the trajectory of ‘village/rural studies’ and ‘agrarian studies’ in India has had very little to do with the generic sub-discipline of ‘rural sociology’. ‘Rural sociology’, as it is defined in the textbooks of sociology, emerged in the United States during the early twentieth century in response to some very practical needs of collecting information about the farm sectors (Atal 2003; A.R. Desai 1969). The civil war in the late nineteenth century and the ensuing ‘farm crisis’ saw the emergence of farmers’ organizations demanding federal aid to solve the problems of rural areas afflicted by severe depression. Rural sociology in the United States came into existence essentially in response to this crisis (Newby 1980:10). The appointment of The Country Commission by President Roosevelt in 1907, in a way, marked the beginning of ‘rural studies’ in the United States. Theoretically, rural sociology remained caught up in bipolar notions of social change where ‘rural’ was defined as the opposite of ‘urban’ and ‘rurality’ was conceptualized as an autonomous sociological reality (Bonanno 1989). Within the field of social anthropology, inspiration for ‘village studies’ in India came from the fieldwork tradition of British social anthropology and the new-found interest in ‘peasantry’ in the American academia during the post-Second World War period (Atal 2003; Jodhka 1998). The political restructuring of the world after decolonization had some important influences on the Western social sciences. The most significant feature of the newly emerged ‘Third World’ countries was the dependence of large proportions of their populations on agriculture. The struggle for freedom from colonial rule had also made the ‘masses’ and the ‘elites’ of these societies aware of their ‘backward’ economic conditions and of the need for social transformation/development. ‘Development studies’ emerged as a new area of academic interest during this period. Since a large majority of the populations in Third World countries were directly dependent on agriculture, understanding the prevailing structures of agrarian relations and working out ways and means of transforming them were the most important priorities for development studies. It was around this time that

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the concept of ‘peasantry’ found currency in the discipline of social anthropology. At a time when primitive tribes were either in the process of disappearing or had already disappeared, the ‘discovery’ of peasantry also provided a new lease of life to the discipline of social anthropology (Béteille 1974). The ‘village community’ was identified as the social foundation of the peasant economy in Asia (Breman 1987:1). It is quite easy to see this connection between the Redfieldian notion of ‘peasant societies’ and the Indian ‘village studies’. The single most popular concept that was used frequently by the anthropologists studying Indian village was Redfield’s notion of the ‘Little Community’. Village India: Studies in the Little Community (Marriot 1955) has a distinct impact of Robert Redfield. Subjects like land relations, power structure, and social inequalities have not been completely alien to Indian sociology. Many of the colonial administrative reports offer useful insights into the institutional framework of Indian agriculture and the changes that came about after they introduced various reforms. Historians and economists also produced extremely valuable studies on subjects like land revenue systems, commercialization of agriculture, peasant indebtedness, and differentiation. With the publication of Andre Béteille’s Studies in Agrarian Social Structure (1974), ‘agrarian studies’ also gained some momentum within the disciplines of sociology and social anthropology in India (Jodhka 2003). Like ‘village studies’, agrarian studies also focus on rural populations, but their perspectives and approaches have been different. The two could be distinguished on the following grounds: 1. The ‘village studies’ and ‘agrarian studies’ are two distinct phases in the social scientific writings on rural life in India. While the ‘village studies’ were mostly carried out during the 1950s and 1960s, ‘agrarian studies’ gained popularity in India during the early 1970s. 2. The two traditions of studying Indian rural society dealt with different sets of questions. While social anthropologists generally studied a single village, focusing primarily on the social and cultural life of rural people and the manner in which rural society reproduced its ‘moral social order’, ‘agrarian studies’ invariably began with enquiring into the status of land economy in a broader framework of understanding change, or lack of it, in the sphere of production relations, distribution, marketing of agricultural surplus, and the rural power structure. Though many of those working on agrarian processes studied villages, the village was always seen in a broader regional context (Breman 1989). 3. The two traditions have also had very different theoretical orientations. As mentioned above, ‘village studies’ in India, at least in the beginning,

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employed the functionalist anthropological approach. The Indian village was viewed in the universalistic perspective as an artifact of the ‘traditional social order’. Practitioners of ‘agrarian studies’, on the other hand, derived most of their conceptual categories from the Marxist tradition of ‘political economy’. Though fieldwork continued to be an important source of data collection, agrarian studies contextualized their questions in a historical framework. The last two or three decades have seen a blurring of these differences. The tradition of village studies virtually came to an end by the early 1970s when agrarian studies peaked. However, interest in the latter also began to fade by the second half of 1980s. The shifts in economic policies during the early 1990s further marginalized all the issues relating to village and agriculture. However, given the democratic politics of India and the simple logic of demographics, rural populations could not be ignored for long. Rural and agrarian studies again picked up during the closing years of the twentieth century.

Institutionalization: Teaching and Research For a long time the study of rural India was equated with the study of Indian society. Village was seen as a convenient methodological entry point into the structure and processes of Indian society. Similarly, the village was also a popular location for carrying out researches on a diverse variety of subjects from family and kinship to health and ageing. However, over the years rural and agrarian studies also emerged as a specialized branch of research and teaching. Several state-funded institutes were opened to focus specifically on rural India and the developmental processes associated with it. The National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) in Hyderabad was set up to focus almost exclusively on the research in rural India and the various aspects of the changes taking place therein. NIRD also started a research journal—Rural Development—devoted especially to the subject. Several state governments have also set up similar institutes at the state level. These institutes also train the local bureaucracy on rural development related issues. Various agricultural universities set up in different parts of India—following the American model of research and extension—have also promoted researches on agrarian studies. Some of them offer specialized courses on rural sociology. The teaching of rural society and agrarian change continues to be an important component of the courses on Indian society, taught as a compulsory course in sociology in almost all the Indian universities. Similarly, most Indian universities also teach one or more optional courses dealing specifically with subjects such as rural society, rural development, or agrarian change.

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Trends in Rural and Agrarian Studies 1988–2002 This section presents a brief overview of the trends in rural and agrarian studies during the period 1988–2002, followed by a more detailed and qualitative discussion of these trends in the following sections. The quantitative-tabular summary of the trends in rural and agrarian studies during the period 1988–2002 is based on a survey of 350 publications (of the total of around 600 listed in the bibliography) published during the survey period. These references were identified using the ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews published during the period. The list is supplemented by our own library work.

Forms of Publications Studies on rural society and agrarian change in India appeared mainly in three different forms, viz., books, chapters in edited volumes, and research papers in professional journals. One unpublished report was also reviewed. As expected, a large majority of the publications were papers published in various national and international research journals (above 70 per cent), followed by books (22 per cent) and chapters in edited volumes (7.1 per cent) (see Table 3.1). Since most of the primary research is generally published first in research journals, the present data clearly reflects a healthy trend. Table 3.1 Forms of Publication Form of Publication

Frequency

Percentage

Books

77

22.0

Chapters in Edited Books

25

7.1

247

70.6

1

0.3

350

100.0

Research Papers in Journals Reports Total

Year-wise Volume of Publications Since the publication of the earlier survey commissioned by ICSSR on rural studies, covering the period until 1987 (see Alexander 2000), rural and agrarian studies appear to have seen some kind of a decline. The present survey of the publications of the studies during the period 1987–2002 reveals some interesting trends. Although there is a continuous flow of studies published each year, the first 10 years saw fewer publications. This was true particularly during the first half of the 1990s (especially during the year 1992–96) when very few researches came out on rural and agrarian India (see Table 3.2).

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Table 3.2

Year of Publication Year

Frequency

Percentage

1988

12

3.4

1989

14

4.0

1990

17

4.9

1991

19

5.4

1992

8

2.3

1993

13

3.7

1994

10

2.9

1995

24

6.9

1996

8

2.3

1997

32

9.1

1998

45

12.9

1999

47

13.4

2000

29

8.3

2001

52

14.9

2002

20

5.7

Total

350

100.0

This becomes even clearer when the period of 15 years is divided into three blocks of five years each. As shown in Table 3.3, compared to the first two blocks of five years, a much larger number of studies were published during the third block of five years, viz., from 1998 to 2002. This was particularly the case with research papers. This indeed reflects that the sub-disciplines saw a kind of revival during the closing years of the twentieth century. There was also a shift in the forms of publications over these years. While more books were published during the first 10 years, their numbers came down during 1998–2002. There was, however, an increase in the number of research papers published in journals during the same period. This obviously indicates that most of these publications were from new researches, which are often first published in the form of research papers and later put together as books or monographs.

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Table 3.3 Year-wise Forms of Publication Form of Publication

Periods 1988–1992

Total

1993–1997 1998–2002

Books

22 28.6%

32 41.6%

23 29.9%

77 100.0%

Papers in Edited Books

11 44.0%

9 36.0%

5 20.0%

25 100.0%

Research Papers in Journals

37 15.0%

46 18.6%

164 66.4%

247 100.0%

1 100.0%

1 100.0%

193 55.1

350 100.0

Report Total Total in percentage

70 20.0

87 24.9

Authorship Single individuals authored a majority of publications in the field. The 350 publications reviewed here were authored by a total of 440 scholars. Of these 350 publications, only 66 (19 per cent) had more than one author, and there were only 15 publications (4 per cent) that had three or more authors (see Table 3.4). Table 3.4

number of authors

Number of Authors

Frequency

Percentage

284

81.1

Two

51

14.6

Three

11

3.1

4

1.1

350

100.0

Single

More than three Total

In terms of gender, rural and agrarian studies is still dominated by men, though the presence of women authors was also not insignificant: they constitute 20 per cent of the total number of authors. Women scholars invariably worked on gender related questions. Of the 36 studies reviewed on gender-related subjects, as many as 27 had been authored by women. The presence of women authors was slightly higher (24 per cent) in the studies carried out in south India.

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Themes of the Published Studies On the basis of their primary focus, the studies covered can be classified into seven different sub-themes: i. Agrarian relations includes studies on agriculture, in general peasantry, land reforms, agricultural labour, drought, and problem of suicides/ agrarian crises. ii. Rural development consists of studies on rural development, developmental projects, and issues relating to rural poverty. iii. Rural politics includes studies on Panchayati Raj and other aspects of the political process in rural India. iv. Gender. v. Caste and related issues. vi. Village life includes studies which focus on the cultural life of ‘village communities’ and the residual themes such as village history, health, festivals, etc. vii. Rural-urban studies includes studies on rural-urban interactions, migration, and non-farm employment. Table 3.5 Focus areas of the Studies Nature of Focus

Periods 1988–92

Total

Percentage by Column

1993–97 1998–2002

Agrarian Relations

24 20.3%

26 22.0%

68 57.6%

118 100.0%

33.7

Rural Development

17 21.5%

18 22.8%

44 55.7%

79 100.0%

22.6

Rural Politics

19 31.1%

18 29.5%

24 39.3%

61 100.0%

17.4

Gender

2 5.6%

13 36.1%

21 58.3%

36 100.0%

10.3

Village Life

6 25.0%

5 20.8%

13 54.2%

24 100.0%

6.9

3 15.0%

17 85.0%

20 100.0%

5.7

2 16.7%

4 33.3%

6 50.0%

12 100.0%

3.4

70 20.0

87 24.9

193 55.1

350 100.0

Caste Rural-Urban Total Total in percentage

100

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Focus Population of the Studies A related area would be a review of the target populations in these studies, viz., the population groups on whom field surveys were carried out, or those populations/groups of people who constituted the core in historical analysis or in policy recommendations. The target populations represented in various publications during this time period can be broadly classified into six categories: (1) the weaker sections (poor, Dalits and tribes); (2) farmers and labourers; (3) women; (4) rural leadership and institutions, including NGOs and panchayats; (5) the village community; and (6) projects’ evaluations. As shown in Table 3.6, the category of farmers and labourers drew the highest attention during this period, followed by the village community and weaker sections. As in the case of the themes of the studies, over the years there were some shifts in the target population as well. Women began to be focussed on much more during the post-1993 period. Similarly, weaker sections also began to be studied with greater interest from 1998 the onward. Table 3.6 Focus Populations of the Studies Focus Population

Year Categories

Total

Percentage by Column

1988–92

1993–97

1998–2002

Weaker Sections

9 18.8%

4 8.3%

35 72.9%

48 100.0%

13.7

Farmers and Labourers

22 26.8%

19 23.2%

41 50.0%

82 100.0%

23.4

Women

2 4.9%

19 46.3%

20 48.8%

41 100.0%

11.7

Rural Leadership & Institutions

15 31.9%

10 21.3%

22 46.8%

47 100.0%

13.4

Village Community

16 23.9%

21 31.3%

30 44.8%

67 100.0%

19.1

Project Evaluation

3 6.7%

11 24.4%

31 68.9%

45 100.0%

12.9

NA-NDA*

3 15.0%

3 15.0%

14 70.0%

20 100.0%

5.7

70 20.0

87 24.9

193 55.1

350 100.0

100

Total Total in percentage

Notes: * NA = Not Applicable; NDA = No Details Available

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Geographical Regions Studied In terms of the geographical focus of the researches, published studies can be divided into eight categories: (1) north-west India, which includes the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir; (2) north India, which includes the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Delhi; (3) western India, which includes the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Goa; (4) central India, which includes the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh; (5) southern India, which includes the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh; and (6) eastern India, which includes the states of Orrisa, West Bengal, and the seven states of the north-east region. Apart from publications focusing specifically on these regions, there were also some studies which compared the different regions or states of India. These are classified separately in the seventh category, under the heading ‘inter-regional’. In the eighth category are included some studies which compared the Indian rural/ agrarian context with similar contexts in other countries of the world, and are classified as international. It turned out that southern India was studied the most during the survey period with 79 (23 per cent) studies. At the other extreme is central India where only five (1.4 per cent) studies were conducted. A good number of studies were carried out in northern and north-western India. However, if one added northern India and the north-west, they would surpass the number of studies carried out in south India. Table 3.7 the Focus geographical Regions of the Studies Region

Frequency

Percentage

North West

32

9.1

North

47

13.4

West

32

9.1

5

1.4

South

79

22.6

East and North East

41

11.7

Inter-Regional

78

22.3

International

13

3.7

NA-NDA

23

6.6

350

100.0

Central

Total

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129

There were also some significant differences within regions. For example, in the northern region, the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were studied more than the other states. Similarly, in the north west, most studies were carried out in the state of Punjab. There were hardly any studies on the rural and agrarian scene in the state of Jammu and Kashmir during this period. The same was true for Goa in the western region (see Table 3.7). As many as 78 studies (22 per cent of all the studies) were inter-regional in their orientation; another 13 (around 4 per cent) fall in the category of international studies, as they compared the Indian situation with other countries of Asia, or of the Third World. Interestingly, while a large number of the studies reviewed were confined to a single state (64.6 per cent), comparative studies invariably covered more than three states (see Table 3.8). Table 3.8 empirical Spread of the Studies (number of indian States Covered) Number of States Covered

Frequency

Percentage

One

226

64.6

Two

10

2.9

Three

4

1.1

More than Three

66

18.9

NA-NDA

44

12.6

350

100.0

Total

Based on their geographical coverage, the studies were further classified into four broad categories: (1) local, which included studies which had a limited focus like a village or a few villages of a single district of a state; (2) regional, which included studies covering the entire state or a number of states within a region; (3) national, which included the studies that covered the whole of India or a number of states cutting across various regions; and (4) international, which compared Table 3.9

geographical Coverage of the Studies

Coverage Area

Frequency

Percentage

Local

115

32.9

Regional

121

34.6

National

70

20.0

International

14

4.0

NA-NDA

30

8.6

350

100.0

Total

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Surinder S. Jodhka and Paul d’Souza

India with some other country or countries. One-third of all the studies were local in nature. Nearly the same number of studies had a regional coverage. Nearly 20 per cent had national coverage and another 4 per cent were international in their coverage (See table 3.9).

Primary Source of Data for the Studies The studies published during the period varied a great deal in terms of the primary method used for collecting data/evidence. One of the following method was used: (1) field surveys; (2) ethnographic fieldwork; (3) secondary source material; and (4) review and evaluation. The conventional practice of qualitative ethnographic fieldwork continues to be an important mode of study among the sociologists and social anthropologists in India. Survey research has also become quite popular. A lot of research on the subject is also carried out through library research, using historical sources or available secondary data (see Table 3.10). Table 3.10

Primary Source of data for the Studies Frequency

Percentage

Fieldwork Survey

96

27.4

Fieldwork-Ethnography

65

18.6

139

39.7

Review and Evaluation

31

8.9

NA-NDA

19

5.4

350

100.0

Historical-Secondary Source Material

Total

It emerges that those studies, which used the fieldwork survey method, primarily focused on agrarian relations (31 studies) and on rural politics (24 studies). A good number of studies focusing on rural development also used field surveys. Those based on ethnographic fieldwork also studied agrarian relations and rural politics. Those looking at the impact of development programmes and projects in rural India used the technique of reviews and evaluation (see Table 3.11).

Primary Categories of Analysis The categories used in analysing rural populations and agrarian relation are important indicators of the theoretical framework guiding the scholars. The primary categories of analysis used in various studies can be broadly classified into five major groups: (1) the framework of class analysis and political economy; (2) caste and communities; (3) gender and patriarchy; (4) movements; and (5) evaluation of programmes and policies. Despite a general decline of the Marxist theory, the framework of class and political economy remained quite popular among the

131

Rural and agrarian Studies

Table 3.11

Focus areas and Primary Source of data Collection

Nature of Focus of the Study

Fieldwork FieldSurvey work Ethnography

Histori- Review and calEvaluaSecondary tion Material

NANDA

Total

Agrarian Relations

30 31.3%

18 27.7%

57 41.0%

5 16.1%

8 42.1%

118 33.7%

Rural 17 Development

5 17.7%

31 7.7%

19 22.3%

7 61.3%

79 36.8%

22.6%

Gender

12 12.5%

9 13.8%

12 8.6%

1 3.2%

2 10.5%

36 10.3%

Caste

7 7.3%

6 9.2%

5 3.6%

2 6.5%

20 5.7%

Rural-Urban Interactions

3 3.1%

3 4.6%

4 2.9%

2 6.5%

12 3.4%

Rural Politics

24 25.0%

14 21.5%

19 13.7%

2 6.5%

Village Life

3 3.1%

10 15.4%

11 7.9%

Total 96 Total in percentage 100.0

65 100.0

139 100.0

2 10.5%

61 17.4% 24 6.9%

31 100.0

19 100.0

350 100.0

students of rural and agrarian change in India. The categories of caste and communities have also been employed. More recently, gender and patriarchy have also become important frameworks for analysing rural social change (see Table 3.12). Table 3.12

Primary Categories of analysis

Categories of Analysis

Frequency

Percentage

Caste and Communities

84

24.0

Class and Political Economy

94

26.9

Gender and Patriarchy

35

10.0

Agency and Movements

25

7.1

Programmes and Policies

85

24.3

NA-NDA

27

7.7

Total

350

100.0

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Apart from pointing to the theoretical orientation of the authors, the choice of categories also indicates the interest and focus of the studies. Those using the categories of caste and communities focused predominantly on ‘village community’ and the weaker sections. Similarly, those working with the framework of class and political economy have worked predominantly on farmers and labourers. On the other hand, those using gender and patriarchy as the core categories in their research understandably focused on women (for details see Table 3.13). Table 3.13

Focus Populations and Primary Categories of analysis used

Focus Population

Caste Class/ Gender Agency/ ProgCom- Politi- PatriMove- rammes mu cal archy ments and nities Economy Policies

NANDA

Weaker Sections

22 26.2%

10 10.6%

Farmers/ Labourers

16 19.0%

46 48.9%

Women

5 6.0%

Leadership/ Institution Village Community

5 20.0%

10 11.8%

1 48 3.7% 13.7%

2 5.7%

3 12.0%

11 12.9%

4 82 14.8% 23.4%

1 1.1%

31 88.6%

1 4.0%

2 2.4%

1 41 3.7% 11.7%

5 6.0%

16 17.0%

1 2.9%

10 40.0%

15 17.6%

47 13.4%

35 41.7%

16 17.0%

2 8.0%

8 9.4%

6 67 22.2% 19.1%

4 4.3%

2 8.0%

38 44.7%

1 45 3.7% 12.9%

Project Evaluation NA-NDA

Total

1 1.2%

1 1.1%

1 2.9%

2 8.0%

1 1.2%

14 20 51.9% 5.7%

Total 84 Total in percentage 100.0

94 100.0

35 100.0

25 100.0

85 100.0

27 350 100.0 100.0

Presentation of Data Since scholars use different methods for collection of data, their final presentation of findings is also different. As shown in Table 3.14, most studies used historical/ secondary source material or census data. However, the number of studies based on qualitative analysis is also significant. A trend towards combining various forms of data seems to be emerging.

Rural and agrarian Studies

Table 3.14

Modes of data Presentation Frequency

Percent

Qualitative

67

19.1

Quantitative

25

7.1

Qualitative & Quantitative

46

13.1

Qualitative or Quantitative Combined with Secondary Data

47

13.4

109

31.1

Evaluatory

38

10.9

NA-NDA

18

5.1

350

100.0

Historical–Secondary–Census data

Total

133

This brief quantitative summary of the research trends in the field of rural and agrarian studies, of course, does not give the full picture of the literature reviewed. One need also to look at the contents of these studies in qualitative terms, which is attempted in the following sections.

‘Old’ Questions, ‘New’ Researches Beginning with the1980s, Indian society saw the emergence of a new agenda of research for the social sciences. This trend gained momentum during the 1990s with the liberalization process and the growing influence of neo-liberal ideology. Notwithstanding these changes in economic philosophy and priorities, the fact remains that nearly 70 per cent of India continues to live in rural areas and nearly two-thirds of the total population still depends on agriculture for survival. Despite their having become marginal in public discourse, research on agriculture and village has continued. The issues and agenda have understandably changed. The growing involvement of global agencies and the increasing participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also brought about a change in the language of development. But the old issues have not gone away. A large number of writings and researches were published during the 15 years under review on subjects like land reforms, rural development, The Green Revolution, farmers’ mobilization, labour, Panchayati Raj, and the caste system. In fact, in quantitative terms, during the period under survey the number of researches in these areas is quite large.

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Land Reforms and Rural Development On the eve of India’s independence the most important issue for the rural people was the issue of land rights. Policy makers also stressed on the need for changing property relations in agriculture in order to motivate tillers of the land to produce more. It was with this dual motive of social equity and increasing productivity of land that land reform legislations were introduced during the early years of Independence. While land reforms as such have become history, writings on the subject still continue. Recent writings on land reforms can be divided into two categories. The first category includes those that focus on the conventional issues such as implementation of different legislations in various states of India; the specific strategies used by the various categories of actors involved (peasant/tenants, landowners, political elite, bureaucracy, etc.) in scuttling or facilitating the implementation of different legislations. Some of these also look at the specific trajectories of the contexts that enabled the implementation of land reforms in some regions/subregions and their scuttling in some other regions/subregions (Damle 1993; Gill 2001; Jha 2002; Judge 1999; Radhakrishanan 1989; Yugandhar and Gopal 1993). Then there are the studies that advocate the need for land reforms even today. Scholars have identified different reasons for advocating land reforms as a viable and meaningful strategy/policy of rural development. According to these scholars, land reforms were possibly the best method for empowering the landless. Their success would also facilitate democratization at the local level by eroding the power of the traditionally dominant sections of the rural society. They point out that those who do not own agricultural land are among the poorest. Land reform is also advocated for environmental protection. The possession of secure land titles encourages peasants to pursue sustainable practices of agricultural development (Ghimire 2002). The collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War, has given a new confidence to the advocates of market-driven reforms. It is not only in the industrial and urban sectors of the economy that the philosophy of ‘market’-driven economic change has triumphed. There has also been an advocacy of ‘marketmediated’ land reform measures for rural development. Another important change on the global scene has been the growing presence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as agents of development. While NGOs have emerged as important agents of development, there has simultaneously been a trend towards the withdrawal of the State from the arena of development. Some others have proposed the opposite solution. Given the increasing fragmentation of holdings, a case for collectivization of land through the village Panchayats has been made. Apart from making cultivation viable, such a process can help improve agriculture, it is argued. Collectively the farmers could use the latest technology more viably and without creating class polarization and social conflict. The panchayats could also play an important role in developing small-

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scale industries for processing agricultural products, thus generating additional employment (Gill 2001). The question of gender in relation to land reform legislations was also raised by another scholar, who, on the basis of her study of rural West Bengal, found that even though land reforms had been much more effective in the state, women had not gained much (Jayoti Gupta 2002). The question of land has a caste dimension. In an elaborate exercise, B.B. Mohanty (2001) examined the landownership status of the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) across 13 major states of India and found that even after 50 years of planned initiatives and policy measures, there has not been substantial improvement in the landholding status of the scheduled groups, the SCs and STs. Some scholars have pointed to the emerging realities of agrarian relations in different regions of India. For example, in some pockets of India (such as Punjab) the nature and meaning of tenancy has completely changed with the growing popularity of what has come to be known as ‘reverse tenancy’ where, unlike in the past, it is the bigger farmers who lease-in land from smaller landowners. With subdivisions within the family, the latter’s holdings have become too small to keep them bound to the land. Some of them move out of agriculture, to non-farm employment, giving their lands on lease to enterprising middle and big farmers (Gill 2001). Along with land reforms some other programmes initiated for development after Independence have also been the concern of scholars, albeit to a lesser degree. Apart from the Green Revolution, which has remained an issue of contention and wider debate, some new works were also published on rural cooperatives during this period. Vikash N. Pandey (1994) provided an overview of the performance of them and advocated the need for looking at cooperatives from a historical perspective. An edited volume by Attwood and Baviskar (1988) presented a collection of papers on different kinds of cooperatives from different parts of India. In another study of the credit cooperatives of rural Haryana, Suinder S. Jodhka (1995d) found an important shift in their clientele. Against the classical perception of cooperatives as having become a tool in the hands of powerful interests in the village, he found that, over the years, things had changed considerably. The big landowners had withdrawn from cooperatives. The credit cooperatives functioned more like ‘small men’s banks’. Although the cooperatives were accessible to small farmers and the landless, they had become too bureaucratic and corrupt. During this period the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) was the key talking point. Initiated in the late 1970s, the IRDP targeted the poor directly. This approach emerged out of the realization that the benefits of the Green Revolution did not necessarily ‘trickle-down’ to benefit the rural poor and the landless. The studies of the IRDP mostly highlighted its limitations in terms of weak planning, lack of coordination between various aid-giving agencies, the

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involvement of middlemen, wrong identification of beneficiaries, cumbersome rules and the regulations, pervasive bureaucratic apathy, the anti-poor and anti-rural attitude of the administrative staff, insensitivity to local needs, the involvement of locally powerful interests in the identification of the poor, etc. (Gebert 1989; Gopal and Ramulu 1989). Some others pointed to the impact the IRDP could have in enhancing the autonomy of the poor and landless by providing them with alternative sources of employment (Jodhka 1995c). The growing involvement of NGOs in rural development also drew the attention of the researchers. Advocates of the NGO movement argued that voluntary action could be a viable alternative to the state-sponsored programmes for the rural poor. The NGOs claim to have become a ‘potent instrument for bringing about social transformation and building an egalitarian and humane society. It may be only a protest forum in the short run, but over time, it had considerable potential for effective social change’ (Dantawala et al., 1998: 9). Though Gandhi had also advocated voluntarism and some Gandhians had been practising it all through, the NGO movement took off only with the growing interest of international funding agencies on the issue of rural poverty. The paradigm shift from state-oriented development to a market-driven economy also helped in giving legitimacy to the NGO movement. With NGOs came a new language of development—empowerment, participatory research appraisal (PRA), social capital. One of the most popular and effective programmes initiated by NGOs has been the promotion of thrift societies (Dantwalla et al. 1998; Khan and Thomas 1989; Rajasekhar 1998; Shripathi 1995; Alka Srivastava 1999; Swapan 1993).

The Green Revolution and the Changing Agrarian Relations As was the case with land reforms, the study of the Green Revolution was also not a major concern among scholars during the period under survey. In fact, it is the petering out of the benefits of the Green Revolution and the negative environmental impact of the new agricultural technology that have been the subject of discussion. There have been several writings on the negative consequences of the Green Revolution technology, particularly its alleged role in depleting the groundwater and creating an environmental crisis (Shiva 1989). However, some scholars have also defended the Green Revolution technology. Himmat Singh (2001), for example, argued quite passionately in defence of the Punjab experience of the Green Revolution. The positive effects of the new technology did not peter out after the initial successes. The state of Punjab continued to experience sustained rise in real per capita income levels through the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. Environmentally, agricultureled economic growth has had its positive effects. The Punjab experience shows that despite a rapid growth of its economy, the forest cover has not declined. On the contrary, the total area classified as ‘forests’ grew from 35,000 hectares in 1960–61 to

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123,000 hectares in 1970–71 and to 222,000 hectares by 1990–91. On the social and political planes also, the Green Revolution did not widen inequalities or lead to a ‘red revolution’, as was predicted by some. On the contrary, it has been a ‘scale neutral’ technology (ibid.). Though the Green Revolution technology was initially introduced in some selected pockets, it has spread over the years to other regions and states of India as well. The trajectory of agrarian change has, however, not been the same everywhere. Moreover, generalizations derived from the Punjab experience do not necessarily apply to other regions. In West Bengal, for example, green revolution was achieved without tractors. Irrigation and not mechanization was the ‘leading input’ in the agricultural modernization of that state. The use of HYV (high yielding variety) seeds and chemical fertilizers was introduced in a very different framework of agrarian relations. The introduction of new technology in the region was preceded by a successful implementation of land reform legislations, called ‘operation Barga’. As a consequence, the new technology did not accentuate social inequalities in the West Bengal countryside (Dasgupta 1998). This situation was in contrast to neighbouring Bangladesh where, in the absence of land reforms, the Green Revolution widened social disparities (ibid.). It has been more or less the same in Bihar. Notwithstanding its popular image of being a region without any economic dynamism, the agrarian economy of the state has been undergoing changes. The use of tractors and other machines has grown in some pockets of the state. So has the use of HYV seeds and chemical fertilizers. More importantly, the agrarian social structure has also undergone many changes. Based on a field study of a village of north Bihar, Anand Chakravarti (2001) points to the changes that everyday class relations had experienced in rural Bihar after the introduction of new technology. He argues that the social and economic landscape of Bihar was quite heterogeneous and the nature of stagnation and change also varied considerably within the state from one subregion to the other. While there are some pockets in Bihar where the Green Revolution technology has altered the traditional structures of agrarian relations, there are other parts of the state where industry has been a source of change. Though the primary focus of Chakravarti’s research is on the nitty-gritty of everyday class relations, he does not ignore the crucial reality of caste and its relevance for understanding the nature of the changes experienced in contemporary rural north Bihar. Caste, according to Chakravarti, defines the culture of exploitation. Though agrarian relations in Bihar had changed, everyone was not better off than before. Chakravarti strongly criticizes those scholars who tend to ignore the profound negative impact that the process of capitalist development has had on the lives of the underclass. The dominant landowner, the maliks, could secure the intervention of various arms of the state to advance their interests. As a consequence of the concentration of economic, coercive, and social power in them,

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the maliks in the region were able to impose extremely rigorous working conditions on their labourers. They used unfree labour relations wherever it suited their interests (ibid.). Earlier, Tom Brass too had argued on similar lines for Haryana. He questioned the classical expectancy of the Marxist theory that capitalist development necessarily releases labour from ‘pre-capitalist’ coercive relations. Brass argued that in the post-Green Revolution Haryana agriculture, farmers used the mechanism of debt and attachment to ‘discipline’ labour and to ‘decompose/ recompose’ the labour market, which led to the ‘deproletarianization’ of labour. He asserted that the indebted labourers of Haryana countryside were in fact ‘bonded slaves’. Even when the recruitment itself ‘was voluntary, in the sense that labourer willingly offered himself for work, the resultant relations of production need not be free in terms of the workers capacity to re-enter the labour market’ (Brass 1990: 55; also see Brass 1995). Brass’s formulation was, however, qualified by Jodhka (1994, 1995b, 1995c, 1996). While Jodhka disagreed with scholars like A. Rudra (1990) who had earlier argued that the attached labour in the post-Green Revolution agrarian setting was more like permanent employment in the organized sector, he also questioned Brass’s assertion that the ‘bondage’ of labourers with the farmers was getting stronger and wider. Instead, he suggested, the attached labour in the post-Green revolution agriculture ought to be viewed as ‘a system of labour mortgage’ where the labourers, despite an acute dislike for the relationship, were compelled to accept attachment for an interest-free credit. However, their loss of freedom being temporary in nature, they could not be characterized as bonded slaves. The growing integration of the village in the broader market, the increasing availability of alternative sources of employment outside agriculture, and the changing political and ideological environment generated a process which weakened the hold of landowners over the labourers. In some cases, developmental schemes, such as the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), being run by the Central government, also helped the labourers get out of attached relations. Participating in the debate, Manjit Singh (1995) found Jodhka’s position closer to the prevailing situation in Haryana agriculture. J. Mohan Rao (1999) pointed to the problems with categories of free and unfree labour relations given that capitalist relations are anyway about power and domination. Much of the disagreement between Jodhka and Brass, he argued, emerged out of the problems of interpretation. Several other scholars also focused on similar issues during the decade of the 1990s. Evidence collected from different regions of India seems to confirm that the erstwhile system of attached labour was indeed declining (Breman 1993; 1996; da Corta and Venkateshwarlu 1999; Lerche 1998, 1999; Sen 1997), but they also point to enormous complexities and varieties of ways in which agrarian relations were changing in different parts of the country. For example, in their study of Tamil Nadu agriculture, Athreya and his colleagues found that the ecological

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differences had a role to play in determining agrarian relations. While in dry agriculture family labour was more important, wet agriculture required hired labour. A large majority of labourers in both the settings were employed on a casual basis and only bigger farmers kept a small core of labourers as permanent farm servants to complement or substitute family labour. However, it was only in the less developed dry areas that a large proportion of the attached labourers were bonded to their employers (Athreya et al. 1990). Against this, in the relatively less developed pocket of South Telangana in Andhra Pradesh, the traditional ‘vetti’ system (attached/bonded labour) had nearly disappeared. All labour was employed on casual basis (Vaddiraju 1999). In fact, it was the absence of Green Revolution technology in the region which had weakened the hold of the locally dominant castes and had led to the emergence of backward castes as locally powerful groups (ibid.). Several scholars have pointed to the fact that this process of change in labour relations has an interesting gender dimension. While men were leaving attached labour or in some cases even agricultural employment, women were forced to step in to fill the space vacated by them. In other words, the employer-farmers allowed male tied labourers to leave more easily if they substituted their female kin, usually their wives, to work on land (Kapadia 1997, 1999). This mobility of the male labourer to casual or non-farm employment has not only led to what has been described as the ‘feminization of agriculture labour process’ but also to some kind of a ‘neo-bondage’ of women labour (da Corta and Venkateshwarlu 1999; Kapadia 1999; Lerche 1999). In another study of Andhra Pradesh, Priti Ramamurthy (1994) observed that though the availability of employment for women had gone up after the introduction of canal irrigation and new seeds, the women she interviewed did not think that their overall economic or social situation had improved significantly. While the women had to work for longer hours and more days of the year, there was no change in the overall value of the work they did. It was still defined as ‘light work’ by their men (ibid.). Apart from the wider debate on the nature of changing agrarian relations in different regions of India, scholars have also written on other aspects of agricultural labour, changing patterns of their employment, forms of payment, patterns of migration, etc. Green Revolution technology has had a far-reaching impact on the labouring class. In this respect, Indian agriculture is different from some other regions of the world as ‘poor people in India are not primarily “small farmers” but those dependent on irregular and unreliable wage income’ (Harriss 1992). In other words, landless labourers did not directly feel any positive impact of the Green Revolution technology. In his study of two villages in Bihar, P.K. Jha reported that there had been no corresponding increase in wage rates or in the availability of employment in agriculture, though the productivity of land had increased in these villages (Jha 1997). S.R. Ahlawat (1988) found a similar situation in Haryana.

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Another important aspect of labour relations in Indian agriculture is the presence of a variety of arrangements which employers have with labourers. The attached and casual labourers are not the only two forms of employment. In his research in two small localities in West Bengal, Ben Rogaly (1996) identified six main indigenous types of hired labour arrangements in each locality.

Agrarian Mobilizations One of the manifestations of the growing market orientation of agrarian production was the emergence of a totally new kind of mobilization by the surplus producing farmers who demanded a better deal for the agricultural sector. Interestingly, these ‘new’ farmers’ movements emerged almost simultaneously in virtually all the Green Revolution areas. Though initiated in the late 1970s, these movements gained momentum during the 1980s. Using the language of neo-populism (Banaji 1994; Brass 1994; Dhanagare 1991; Gill 1994) and, in some cases also, invoking traditional social networks and identities of the landowning dominant castes (Dipankar Gupta, 1997), its leaders argued that India was experiencing a growing division between the city and the village. While the village represented the real people of the nation, urban India was alien and exploitative. The city exploited the village by manipulating terms of trade, practising the mechanism of ‘unequal exchange’. The farmers received less for what they sold to the city and paid more for the farm inputs they bought from there (Omvedt 1994). The nature of farmers’ politics was different. They initiated a new kind of rural politics—pressure group politics. Over the years some of them were also tempted to join party politics (Mukherji 1998). Those who led these movements were mostly the substantial landowners who had benefited most from the developmental programmes and belonged to the numerically larger middle-level caste groups. This new ‘social class’ not only emerged as a dominant group at the village level, it also came to dominate the regional/state level politics in most parts of India. It had an accumulated surplus which it sought to invest in more profitable enterprises. Some of the people belonging to this class diversified into other economic activities (Rutten 1995), or migrated to urban areas (Upadhya 1988, 1997), or entered into agricultural trade (Harriss-White 1996).

Rural Political Process The transformation of the rural power structure was an important outcome of the development process initiated by the Indian state during the post-Independence period. One of the objectives of introducing land reform legislations was to weaken the power of absentee landlords and the landed elite. Further, on the recommendations of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee, the three-tier Panchayati Raj system was introduced during the early 1960s in order to democratize the

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local-level power structure and decentralize governance. Since then there have been several reviews of the working of the system by committees and commissions appointed by the Government of India. On the recommendations of these committees, several changes and reforms have also been introduced to make the system more effective. The empirical literature that came out during the first two or three decades after Independence pointed to the continued power of the traditionally dominant groups in most of rural India. Scholars repeatedly underlined the manner in which the vested interests in prevailing structures of power hindered the implementation of programmes meant for the welfare of the poor and the weak. In caste terms, the rural power revolved around the landowning dominant caste. Those who used the framework of class argued that it was the rich landowners and moneylenders who controlled the rural economy (Thorner 1956). Independent studies by scholars from different regions tended to suggest that panchayats had become yet another arena of influence and power for the already dominant groups in rural India (Alexander 2000; Oommen 1985). More recently, scholars have pointed at the loosening of these structures of power at the local level. However, these changes have been differently conceptualized. On the basis of his work in Rajasthan, Oliver Mendelsohn has argued that though Srinivas was right in talking about ‘dominant caste’ during 1950s, such a formulation made less sense in the present-day rural India. The ‘low caste and even untouchable villagers are now less beholden to their economic and ritual superiors than is suggested in older accounts’ (Mendelsohn 1993: 808). Similarly, ‘land and authority have been de-linked in Village India and this amounted to an historic if non-revolutionary, transformation’ (ibid.: 807). On the basis of her study of villages in Uttar Pradesh, Sudha Pai (1998, 2001) makes a similar claim. Over the years, local Dalits in these villages have become quite assertive and have begun to challenge the traditional domination of the upper castes in the local-level political institutions. Similarly, they have also recognized the value of education and through it they now compete with the upper castes. The Jefferys questioned Pai’s claim on the basis of the field data collected from the same region. They found the evidence that Pai provided in support of her claim about the ‘dramatic change’ in dominance relationship in western UP as inadequate. According to them, Pai based her conclusions merely on perceptions of change rather on the real process of change. They also questioned her claim about the extent of the increase in education among the Chamars and their ability to compete with the upper castes (Jeffery, Jeffery, and Jeffery 2001). Writing on the basis of his field experience in Karnataka, G.K. Karanth (1996) argued that the traditional association of caste with occupation2 was weakening and Jajmani ties were fast disintegrating. Based on his fieldwork in rural Punjab, Jodhka argued that the older structure of the Balutedari system had nearly disintegrated in most of rural Punjab. He conceptualized this process through the categories of dissociation, distancing, and autonomy (Jodhka 2002a). As was

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earlier argued by Karanth, with the exception of a few occupations, no longer was there any association between caste and occupation in rural Punjab. Further, the Dalits in Punjab had also begun to distance themselves from the village economy and disliked working in the farms of local Jats. They were constructing their own cultural centres like religious shrines and community halls in order to establish their autonomy in the rural power structure. A study from rural Bihar also reported on the erosion of traditional Jajmani ties. Similarly, the village community as such exercised no control or influence on individuals in their selection of occupations (Sahay 1998). Apart from these focused researches on the changing power relations in rural India, scholars have also been writing on various aspects of the Panchayati Raj. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment has further enhanced interest in the subject. The agenda of decentralization is being pursued a little more actively than it was prior to the amendment (Desai, 1990; Webster, 1992). The post-73rd Amendment to Panchayati Raj has also attracted some attention because of the introduction of a 30 per cent quota for women at all levels of representation in local-level institutions. Though it may be too early to draw any meaningful conclusions, some scholars have looked at the working of this new system of quota for women in Panchayati Raj institutions (Gowda 1998; Sudhir 1997). The evidence coming from the field suggests various things. Some studies point to the obvious fact that women were only the nominal heads and the real power remained with their men. They have questioned the intentions behind such reforms (Rajesh Kumar 1995; Webster 1990). However, others have shown how the presence of women in these positions of power have made a difference for the women who got elected to panchayats and how there women have affected the village scene on the whole. B. Datta (1998), for example, reported there was less corruption in villages where women were in power, and there was a greater demand to provide better services to the village communities. Similarly, on the basis of her study of rural Karnataka, Govinda S. Gowda (1998) observed that the participation of women in local-level political institutions enabled them to emerge as effective leaders and also to act as catalytic agents by inspiring confidence and giving a stimulus to social change among rural women (see also Baviskar 2002). Some scholars have also carried out region-specific assessments of the working of panchayats (Surat Singh 1991; Sukhdev Singh et al. 1995; Webster 1990) in different political set-ups. G.K. Lieten (1996a, 1996b), who studied the working of panchayats in West Bengal as well as in eastern Uttar Pradesh, found many fundamental differences in the two states. While in the case of West Bengal the working of panchayats reflected the broader process of social change where the hitherto excluded and marginalized groups had been able to come into the mainstream, in Uttar Pradesh the situation seemed hopeless as such institutions had only enhanced the dominance of the traditionally dominant landowning castes.

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Notwithstanding the continuities and regional variations, the post-73rd Amendment to Panchayati Raj has certainly enhanced participation and has encouraged the previously excluded groups and communities to assert themselves for their rights and dignity.

Crises of Agriculture The farmers’ movements during the 1980s also reflected the growing discontent among the farming classes. Apart from bringing in greater integration of the agrarian economy with the larger market, the Green Revolution also raised the aspirational level of the rural populations. A small section among them have been able to diversify into other occupations, but a large majority of the landowning communities continue to be dependent on agriculture alone. However, there is very little uncultivated land available in most parts of India that can be brought under irrigation to take care of the increasing population. As a result, the holdings have been getting smaller with families dividing their lands among their offspring. The growing pressure of competing in the global market and a gradual withdrawal of the state have also had an adverse effect on agriculture. As the new agricultural practices have considerably enhanced the market orientation of the cultivators, all inputs required for cultivation have to be bought from the market. Since the smaller cultivators rarely have surpluses of their own, they invariably need to borrow for the fulfilment of such requirements. Their sources are mostly informal. At times they have to borrow for consumption and allied social requirements, such as weddings and major illnesses in the family. Agriculture being the only source of income, a crop failure could easily lead to a difficult situation for such cultivators. Jodhka’s study of three villages in a Green Revolution district of Haryana carried out during the late 1980s showed that the average outstanding debt of small and marginal farmers—taken from informal sources—was the highest, even in absolute terms, compared with other categories of farmers (Jodhka 1995e: A124). This continuing trend has resulted in a serious crisis in the agrarian sector leading to situations of desperation for some of the indebted farmers. Beginning with the second half of the 1990s, media reports have been highlighting incidents of suicides by indebted farmers, virtually from all the Green Revolution pockets of India, viz., Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and even Punjab. Commentators on the subject have mostly tended to see a close link between the suicides by the farmers and their growing indebtedness, the result, in most cases, of successive crop failures. H.S. Shergill (1998) locates the context of the growing indebtedness amongst the Punjab farmers in the declining growth rate of agriculture, particularly during the 1990s. He found that dspite a high rate of growth in agricultural production, the per capita income of the farmers has not increased simultaneously. More

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critically, much of the additional income had been absorbed by an increase in the per capita expenditure and the ‘rising living/consumption standards of the farming community’. With the growth in consumption having absorbed almost the entire increase in the real income of most of the agrarian population, only a few farmers were left with any surplus of their own. ‘As a consequence, farmers had to, regularly and routinely, borrow huge amounts’ to finance modern agriculture. Two studies of the growing number of suicides among Punjab farmers (Iyer and Manick 2000; Kumar and Sharma 1998) had observed that those who committed suicide were mostly men from the landowning dominant castes. They were either small or middle farmers, owning land up to around 10 acres, or were completely landless. A majority of them were below the age of 30 and most had killed themselves by consuming pesticides. The studies found a direct link between indebtedness and the suicides. Due to the declining size of operational holdings and fragmentation, small and marginal farmers were getting pauperized, the growth rate had come down, and the costs of inputs had gone up. However, debt was not the only reason for the suicides. There were other social factors too. Kumar and Sharma (1998) found ‘family discord’ and ‘alcohol and illicit drug use’ to be the other causes that drive the farmers to committing suicide. A general breakdown of the earlier ecological balance, the disintegration of the ‘community’ and kinship support system in most parts of rural India, and the rise of some kind of individualistic orientation have also been identified as crucial factors leading to such a crisis (Ahalwat 2003; Iyer and Manick 2000;Vasavi 1999). Apparently the Biradaris or the new institutions like Panchayats and Mahila Mandals were of little help to the desperate families. While in the case of southern states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, voluntary agencies (the NGOs) did come forward to help, in the states like Punjab there were no institutions or agencies providing support to such families. The growing indebtedness of farmers led to an increase in the suicide rates in some regions while in others it prompted land transfers from owner cultivators to moneylenders. A study reported that in Tamil Nadu tribal peasants were losing their lands to non-tribals. Tribals were invariably uneducated and were in the habit of drinking, resulting in their indebtedness and eventually to the loss of their land. This process was pushing them further into poverty and marginalization (Karuppaiyan 2000). R.S. Deshpande (2002) found in his study that compared to the traditional modes of agriculture, the post-Green Revolution commercial crops are much more fragile in nature and therefore more vulnerable to climatic changes. The corrupt markets play their own role. Farmers invariably end up buying spurious quality seeds and pesticides. In the absence of any viable insurance schemes and other securities, farmers invariably land themselves in a serious crisis. Suicides are one such manifestation of these crises.

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Emerging Trends As mentioned earlier, the classical tradition of ‘village studies’ had more or less disappeared by the late 1960s. Agrarian studies became popular during the 1970s. Though initiated by economists, sociologists and social anthropologists also joined them in giving a spurt to this new trend. The economists valued the interaction with the anthropologists in their efforts to understand the complexities of the traditional structures of rural social and economic life. The dominant theoretical framework during this period was that of political economy. ‘Agrarian studies’ flourished for nearly two decades. However, the decades of 1980s and 1990s were an important turning point in Indian history. The Indian social sciences, as also the Indian society, witnessed many new trends. Several ‘new’ social movements rose during the 1980s. They questioned the wisdom of the developmental agenda of that time. The following decade saw the beginning of liberalization policies and a gradual withdrawal of the State from the sphere of economy. This was an important ideological and policy shift, marking a decline in the Nehruvian framework of development and social transformation. Coupled with the changes in the geopolitics of the world, following the collapse of the communist states in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War, and the arrival of new technologies of telecommunications, this period also saw the beginning of a new phase in the reach of global capital. The process of ‘globalization’, as it has come to be known, is not confined to the economy alone. It has also influenced culture and politics everywhere and has opened up new possibilities for social interactions and networking. The theoretical orientation and research agenda of the social sciences have also seen many changes during this period. Indian social science could not have remained un-influenced by these processes. The gradual fading away of the older concern and a simultaneous ascendancy of new modes of thinking had some serious implications for ‘rural’ and ‘agrarian’ studies in India. Virtually all shades of ‘rural’ and ‘agrarian’ studies which were carried out between 1950 and 1980 were linked to ‘development’ and the ‘developmental state’. The growing influence of the ‘neo-liberal’ economic philosophy not only led to an erosion of the ‘developmental state’ but also changed the priorities of development studies. There was virtually a ‘paradigm shift’ in the theory and practice of development.

Globalization and Agriculture An important aspect of this paradigm shift has been the expansion of the reach of the market and promotion of the consumption culture. A direct implication of this has been the growing centrality of the middle classes and a gradual marginalization of the ‘rural’ and the ‘agrarian’ from the popular imaginations of those who matter in the countries of the Third World and in the global economy.

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The new regime of globalization aspires to restructure virtually every aspect of the Third World economies, including agriculture. From the system of state protection, subsidies, regulated markets, and support prices, the farmers are being asked to change and prepare themselves for global competition. On the one hand the farmers will have to negotiate with the new system of patented seeds, and on the other, food processing and related industries are likely to get more directly involved with the agrarian sector. One such form of involvement could be through ‘contract farming’. Though the involvement of agro-business corporations is so far confined only to small pockets of Karnataka and Maharashtra, the trend is likely to grow in the years to come (Banaji 1999). The growing demand for processed food and the integration of Indian agriculture into global economy could have far-reaching implications for the farming communities and the rural social life. This process is still incipient and much of the discussion on the subject has been speculative, coming mostly out of the ideological predispositions of different scholars. The neo-liberal economists, and a section of the farmer unions, hope that the globalization of Indian agriculture will infuse new energy and dynamism into the agrarian sector and will eventually benefit all. Other scholars, with left-wing dispositions, are quite sceptical and have warned of the ‘dangers’ that these shifts could have for the Indian economy. Globalization, they fear, could turn out to be particularly devastating for Indian agriculture. Some of the left-wing economists have, for example, argued that this kind of capitalist globalization could be harmful for the food security of India. The priorities of Indian farmers would be dictated by external factors instead of the requirements of the local populace. In the new regime of market-driven production, farmers may move to production of those commercial crops that have greater demand in the global market, resulting in a shortage of food grains in the country. According to these economists, this is precisely what happened when the British colonial rulers forced the Indian peasants to produce cotton over food grains in order to meet the demands of the Industrial Revolution in Britain during the nineteenth century (see, for example, Patnaik 1998). Some others have pointed to the environmental problems and lack of sustainability of such practices. According to some others the new patent regime would lead to genetic erosion and a loss of the native varieties of seeds (Shiva et al. 1999). However, M.N. Panini (1999) contested such a view on the basis of his study of floriculture in Karnataka. He argued that agribusiness became popular in the region after globalization injected a sense of optimism into the farmers. The farmers saw the new plant varieties and new cultivation techniques as opening the doors to economic prosperity. Their growing prosperity also gave a boost to the local economy. They were constructing new houses and spending more on the education of their children. The farmers were also moving out of the smaller houses in the villages to bigger farmhouses, which resulted in the weakening of the older caste ties and the expansion of caste neutral spaces (ibid.).

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Sociologists and social anthropologists have, however, done very little empirical work in this area to opine in conclusive terms about the possible implications of the process of globalization on agriculture, or on the rural society.

Culture and Agriculture Perhaps the most important aspect of the ‘paradigm shift’ that took place in the social sciences during the 1990s was a renewed interest in culture. Culture had always been one of the core categories in the textbooks of sociology and social anthropology. Peasant societies were classically defined in terms of a people following a specific way of life where land was both a source of livelihood as well as a source of identification (Shanin 1987). Such a notion of culture was, however, widely criticized for being too general. Also it could not deal with issues such as power/domination, exclusion/inclusion. The ‘new’ notion of ‘culture’ that became popular during the 1990s drew its resources from the Marxist critical theory, post-modern/post-colonial theories, and some new trends in American anthropology. Culture, in the 1990s, came to acquire the status of a paradigm. Several scholars have written on the Indian rural scene and the peasant/agrarian economy using such a framework. The first major attempt in this direction came from the discipline of history where the scholars belonging to ‘subaltern studies’ attempted new interpretations of peasant consciousness in South Asia. Pioneered by Ranajit Guha, the subaltern historians criticized the prevailing tradition of history-writing that tried to subsume peasant politics under the broader framework of the elite politics thus erasing the agency of the subaltern classes. As autonomous agents of history, they argued, peasants and workers could create their own forms of oppositional culture and identity (Guha 1982). Though subaltern studies were initiated during the early 1980s, they continued to produce books through the 1990s and their influence has been felt beyond the discipline of Indian history (Hardiman 1992; Prakash 1992). Another trend, which shared the notion of culture with ‘subaltern studies’, and which appeared around the same time, though in a different context, was the advocacy of looking at ‘everyday forms of peasant resistance’. Initiated by James C. Scott (1990), the proponents of this view argued that in the absence of any organized struggle, the peasants who are subjected to social and cultural subordination produce mundane and hidden ways of resisting oppression: through avoidance, ridicule, and acts of petty revenge. The cumulative effect of these ‘weapons of the weak’ could, at times, be more effective in ameliorating their condition than organized collective action. Using a similar critical/political notion of culture, some scholars also carried out ethnographic studies in rural India. However, their focus and arguments have been very different from the classical village studies of the 1950s and 1960s. On the basis of his study of Alipur, a village in western Uttar Pradesh, Akhil Gupta

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(1999), for example, looked at the implications that the discourse of development has had for the identities of the residents of the village. Development, according to him, was not merely a programme for social and economic change, but also an ideology and a discourse of post-colonialism. It was a body of knowledge which has been used by the new elite of the Third World countries to gain legitimacy for their rule and has shaped the everyday lives of the common people in a specific manner. Underdevelopment, he argued, was not merely a structural location in the global community of nations; rather, it was also a form of identity, something that informed people’s sense of self. Apart from the identities of caste, class, region, and sexuality, the rural north Indians today have also acquired the identity of being underdeveloped, of lagging behind the West. The discourse of development made people look at things through a specific set of binary opposites: East-West, Orient-Occident, backward-advanced, and traditional-modern. It was during the colonial period that these binaries and this language of understanding the differences between the West and the ‘rest’ were first worked out by the colonizers. However, even after the end of direct colonial rule, the language in which the West understands the Third World and the way the Third World understands itself have not changed much. The continued use of the ‘traditional-modern’ dichotomy even today is evidence of this (ibid.). Some scholars have also looked at the manner in which the dissemination of modern agricultural methods implicates the local agricultural knowledge. The new regime of development, and the intervention of external agents like the state, causes the re-ordering of the relationship that the local community had with the land. Arjun Appadurai, in his study of Maharashtra, for example, observed that the adoption and practice of modern agriculture led to a differentiation of the knowledge base of agriculturalists and a schism between subsistence and commercial agriculture. Such differentiation and alienation of knowledge from its original social base disintegrated the local community (Appadurai 1989). Nandini Sundar too looked at the ‘local modes of history-telling’, or the meanings that people invest in, or derive from their past in Bastar. These myths, she argued, may not be accurate indicators of historical events but they often formed the basis on which social relations were sanctified or legitimized (Sundar 2002: 145–6, 1997; also see Saldana 1990). Another interesting work in this direction is that of A.R. Vasavi (2000) who studied droughts in north Karnataka. Though drought has been a common occurrence in Bijapur, the response of the community has undergone a complete change with the modernization of agricultural production. ‘In contrast to earlier forms of agriculture and agrarian life in which loss of crops was located within cosmological and social reasons, the modern production regime, based on market and scientific bases, provides no acceptance or collective framework with which persons can come to terms with loss of crops or the loss of sustenance capacities in agriculture….Modern agriculture which provided quick and high productivity

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and profit provided no collective and integral frame through which loss of crop or a crisis in agriculture could be comprehended and dealt with’ (ibid.: 118–19). These studies are important as their conceptual formulations help in understanding the sudden spurt in suicides among cultivators in different parts of the country. However, not everyone working on Indian agriculture, or on rural life, has been equally influenced by the culturalist position. In fact, there has been some strong criticism of these trends, particularly of ‘subaltern studies’ and of Scott’s work on the ‘weapons of the weak’. On the basis of his fieldwork in rural Uttar Pradesh, Dipankar Gupta (2001) argued that Scott’s claim about the so-called ‘everyday forms of peasant resistance’ was actually based on the negative stereotypes that big landowners had spread about the poor peasants. To say that all poor peasants were cheats and liars helped the landlords justify their routine repression of the peasants. While some peasants did ‘lie’ and ‘cheat’, like every one else, there was nothing salutary about it and these ‘everyday forms of resistance’ never led to any ‘cumulative effect’ that altered the existing structures of power and domination (ibid.). In his study of ‘social power and everyday class relations’, Anand Chakravarti (2001) has also argued that the low-profile strategies, or the so-called ‘weapons of the weak’, hardly had the potential of making any substantive difference in the subordinate situation of the labouring class. Pitching his critiques at a more general and theoretical level, but basing his argument on data from Haryana, Tom Brass said that common to all those who invoke concepts like ‘moral economy’, ‘everyday forms of peasant resistance’, ‘subalterns’ was the classical populist notion of undifferentiated peasantry. Postmodernism and culturalism had, in a way, revived the old ‘agrarian myth’ about peasant essentialism. Though they appeared radical, in reality such writings on peasantry were conservative in nature. The ideological positions they advocated were basically hostile to any project of social emancipation informed by Enlightenment ideas and hope (Brass 1991, 2000). On the basis of his empirical work in Rajasthan, Hira Singh (2002) also criticized the ‘Subaltern Studies’ for their symptomatic underestimation of the significance of land relations. He argued, that they worked with epistemological assumptions that were elitist (Brahminical–bourgeois) in nature (ibid.). However, notwithstanding such harsh criticism, the culturalist tradition is likely to stay, at least for some time to come.

Gender, Culture, and Patriarchy Most of the new studies using the paradigm of ‘culture’ were, directly or indirectly, targeted against the Marxist tradition of political economy that tried to reduce everything to class or economy. The Marxists had never been very important players in Indian social anthropology or sociology. However, their influence on ‘agrarian studies’ was quite significant at the global level. ‘Women’ and ‘gender’

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studies, which began to gain momentum during the 1980s and 1990s, questioned such frames of analysis where gender was not treated as a separate category. They criticized the gender-blindness of ‘development studies’, which included agrarian and rural studies in India as well. Though many of the Indian ‘village studies’ of the 1950s and 1960s did report on the differences between men and women in village life, they invariably presented such differences as ‘a natural order of things’ (Jodhka 1999). Similarly, in the famous debate on the dominant mode of production in Indian agriculture carried out by Marxist scholars during the 1970s, there were hardly any references to the different ways in which men and women were subordinated in different modes of production. Apart from pointing to the ‘gender blindness’ of much of the development theory, and the empirical surveys on issues such as poverty and land rights of women in the region (Bina Agarwal 1998, 1994), students of gender and agrarian change have also shown how the new technology had a clear bias against women. It marginalized the female agricultural wage labour in terms of both work as well as earnings (Chowdhry 1994; Kapadia 1996). At the substantive level, scholars have repeatedly pointed to the differential wage rates paid to men and women. As discussed in the previous section, a more important process commented upon by scholars during this period was the feminization of agriculture. This process is directly linked to the male outmigration from the families with small and marginal holdings in search of better employment, leaving the small plots of land under the care of their women. Scholars have also pointed to internal differences among women and the differential impact of change on classes or categories of women. Joan P. Mencher, for example, argues that the type of work women do depends on the social class to which they belong (Mencher 1996). Among the landless women regularly work both in the fields and at home. Among the small landowners, they work on their own farms and at times even on wage. Among the bigger landowners too, apart form the household work, women do a lot of work in the cattle shed. A lot of women in these households also supervise their farms, particularly where the male head is not around (ibid.). Some scholars have also commented on the status correlates of women participation in farm labour. A study from West Bengal reported that ‘the relative social rank of a household was affected by the degree to which women carried out manual work. Within this, hiring out for work in the field indicated the lowest rank, carrying out work on land owned by the household indicated the next lowest, withdrawal from work on the field the highest. However, this was true only about caste Hindus and such a value-frame did not operate among the Santals, a tribe living in the same region (Rogaly 1996: 144). H. Lambart has looked at the differential meanings of belonging and identity that men and women have in rural Rajasthan. When viewed at from the perspective of women, categories like caste, kinship, and village unity have different meanings. While men can live all their life in the village they are born in, women can

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rarely do so. They almost always have to migrate out of their native village at the time of their marriage. They carry, however, with them the identity of the village they were born in. However, in their memory of the native village, the questions of exclusion and hierarchy weigh less than the common identity of the native village. For example, while interacting with visitors from their parental village, the differences of caste and kinship are of relatively less significance for them than they are for men (Lambert 1997).

Ecology and Environment With the decline of the Nehruvian ideology during the 1980s and the growing influence of post-modernist critiques of development, the questions of environment assumed prominence. Different parts of India witnessed powerful mobilizations around the questions of ecology and environment during the 1980s. The famous Chipko movement by the local poor in the Himalyan region against the felling of trees for commercial use, and the mobilization against the displacement of tribals and peasants from their villages for the building of a dam on the Narmada river acquired global visibility. The vastly influential writings of Ramachandara Guha (1989) on the Chipko movement and Amita Baviskar’s (1995) book on the Narmada Bachao Andolan appeared during the period under review. Several other scholars have also written on these movements and on the issues of rehabilitation of the displaced (Das 1996). Some have also written on the questions relating to common property resources (CPR) in rural India and how their depletion is affecting the rural poor. The poor in rural India derived part of their livelihood from CPRs. However, with the Green Revolution and other changes in the rural economy these resources have been shrinking making life more difficult for the poor and the marginal (Beck 1994; Beck and Ghose 2000; Chakravarty-Kaul 1999; Chopra 2001; Didibhavi 2000; Jodha 1995). Apart from the writings on these two movements, several other questions of environment and ecology have also been of interest to sociologists and social anthropologists. In fact, there has been a spurt of researches on related issues. For example, the sustainability of the new technology and the viability of the Green Revolution have become compelling issues not only for the social scientists but also for policy makers and planners. Some scholars have also raised questions about the manner in which natural resources ought to be used. What should be the role of the state, the market, and the local communities in their management and regulation? How can the use of these resources be regulated? (Amita Baviskar 1999; Ashish Bose 2000; Kothari 1996; Roy Burman 1989; Sundar et al. 2001). Environment and ecology have not merely been new areas of research for sociologists and social anthropologists; the popular discourses on environment have also raised questions about the nature of Indian rurality. The discourse on environment has, in a way, revived some of the old notions of tradition and village

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life that tend to essentialize rural populations into homogeneous communities (Amita Baviskar 1999; Jodhka 2001; Patel 2001).

Village and Agriculture in India Today As discussed earlier, Indian society began to see qualitatively different trends during the decade of the 1980s. The rise of new social movements questioned the hegemonic status of the idea of development. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the ascendance of neo-liberal economic policies, globally as well as nationally, further marginalized the idea of development, as it had come to be known during the post-Second World War period. The growing reach of telecommunication technology, and the resultant globalization, produced a paradigm shift in the social sciences. The new language made popular by different varieties of postmodernist writings further reinforced such a shift. The implications of this shift for rural and agrarian studies were many. The growing hegemony of the market brought the consumer middle class to the centre stage of the Indian society. The middle class grew in size; but more then its quantitative growth was the enlargement of its influence. A direct corollary of this was the marginalization of ‘the rural’. Similarly, agriculture began to be talked about in terms of ‘crisis’. From being the proud producers of food grains for the masses of India, the hard-working farmers and rural labourers began to be seen as being dependent on the state and lacking in competitive spirit. The study of agriculture and rural society was no longer in fashion. In the discipline of sociology/social anthropology, as also in the common imagination, there has been a close relationship between agriculture and the ‘rural’. One of the core defining features of the village has been the dependence of a majority of its population on the agrarian economy. However, with growth of technology and the growing integration of agriculture into the broader market economy, agriculture begins to take on the features of industry. In the developed countries of the West, agriculture has already been subsumed under the food processing industry. This has not happened in India so far but the trend is likely to pickup. This marginalization of agriculture obviously has far-reaching implications for the agrarian economy and also for our understanding of ‘the rural’, in terms of its properties as a type of social and cultural reality. One of the direct implications of such a process will be that agriculture will no longer be synonymous with the rural. As the urban becomes accessible to the rural populations for employment, and for politics and leisure/entertainment, the nature of rural populations also begins to change and becomes more and more fluid. The labour moves out of the village in search of better and ‘secular’ employment, the farmers look for opportunities beyond agriculture, thus leading to a blurring of the boundaries between ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ (Racine 1997; Rutten 1995; Sharma and Gupta 1991; Varshney 1995).

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Though in India demographically the rural population has not yet seen any decline, the village has certainly begun to disintegrate as a social, economic, and cultural unit. Although this process is not visible everywhere to the same extent, the village is changing everywhere. When a village in Punjab attracts labour from eastern Uttar Pradesh or Bihar and this labour replaces the local labour, the rural life in less developed pockets from where the labour migrates also undergoes a considerable change. Mass media and growing communication are also playing some role in this process of social, cultural and political transformation of rural life (Dwarakanath 1998; Johnson 2000; Kapadia 1997). Over the last 15 years or so, scholars have also begun to increasingly reflect on the disciplinary traditions. Various scholars have critically scrutinized the tradition of ‘village studies’ during this period. Inden pointed to the manner in which social anthropologists of the period tended to essentialize India as a land of villages (Inden 1990), an assumption which was borrowed uncritically from the colonial discourses on the Indian society (Jodhka 1998), and in the process characterized Indian society as a single totality (Niranjana 1991). Some scholars also wrote about the changing notions of village in the history on contemporary India (Breman 1997).

Concluding Comments Rural and agrarian studies in India saw several ups and downs during the 15-year period covered in this review. The first ten years of the survey period saw a general decline of interest but during the last five years there has again been a revival of interest in agrarian studies. More importantly, perhaps, the period was marked by the beginning of some important trends of research and shifts in the focus and perspective. Similarly, some other trends which had started earlier, were consolidated during this period. Scholars no longer have a unified framework within which they see the village society, functionalist or Marxist. Village today means different things to different people. There has been a kind of differentiation of interest. ‘Rural’ is rarely studied today for its own sake. Similarly, when one thinks of agriculture today, one does not think of toiling peasants of a subsistence economy, living in a traditional and closed set-up. Agriculture is now integrated with the market. Even those areas where the Green Revolution technology had not been introduced are now catching up. The growing integration of agriculture into the market economy also means the growing vulnerability of the agricultural sector. The trends in global and local markets directly influence the agrarian population. The cultivators and landless labourers also respond differently. While farmers agitate for the protection of their interests, workers look beyond the village for better opportunities for employment. However, despite this ‘disintegration’ of the rural, and a gradual decline in the significance of agriculture in the Indian economy, the logic of demographics

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works against any attempts to ignore these areas of research. Despite a considerable increase in the absolute size of the urban population, a large majority of the Indian population continues to live in rural settlements and remains dependent on agriculture for its survival. Even through the urban population has been growing in proportional terms, there has not yet been any decline in the absolute size of the rural population. Neglect of ‘agriculture’ and ‘rural populations’ can thus be socially and politically perilous. It is perhaps for this reason that, after a decline of interest for nearly a decade, rural and agrarian studies have picked up once again. There has been an important qualitative shift in the approach towards the rural. Until around the end of the 1970s, social scientists could treat ‘the rural’ and ‘the agrarian’ as being synonymous with India. When a social anthropologist studied a village of Tamil Nadu or Uattar Pradesh during 1950s, he/she invariably treated the enterprise as an exercise in studying Indian society. Similarly, the economist who debated on the changing mode of production in Indian agriculture during the 1970s tended to extend the findings of his her research in a limited area as a generalization applicable to the Indian society at large rather easily. This is perhaps not the case any more. ‘Rural’ and ‘agriculture’ today are only specific areas of research. The discourses on Indian society, or on its economy, have to take many more things into account. At another level, the ‘rural’ has increasingly become a subject for advocacy. Unlike the earlier studies, which were mostly carried out by scholars from universities, spending a good deal of time in a single or a few villages, most of the advocacy work is undertaken by ‘development professionals’ working invariably with internationally funded NGOs. Most of their ‘researches’ are carried out quickly and are meant primarily for the consumption of development agencies. These researches are invariably donor- driven and their conclusions follow a predetermined course3.

notes

1. S.C. Dube’s study of the Community Development Programme was the first to be released in 1958. It was based on intensive fieldwork in the villages of Uttar Pradesh. 2. Already village studies of the 1950s and 1960s hinted at this. See, for example, Irawati Karve (1958) and Yogesh Atal (1979: 213–15). 3. This point is drawn from a comment received on an earlier draft from Professor Andre Béteille.

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4 Political Sociology in india Surendra K. Gupta*

The Beginnings Political sociology as a specialized field of teaching and research in India is of fairly recent vintage. Though the study of the political aspects of tribal and rural society was an integral part of ethnographic research for a long time, the orientation of such studies was somewhat different. While describing rural and tribal life, scholars also studied factionalism, group dynamics, and leadership to provide a holistic picture of the life of the community. Changes in leadership and power structure became a part of these studies after the introduction of the Community Development Programme and Panchayati Raj. Such studies paved the way for the study of the role of caste and caste organizations in local and national politics. Election studies began somewhere in the 1960s. The first two general elections, held in the country in 1952 and 1957, did not attract much social science attention. Such studies received a spurt during the fourth general elections held in 1967, when the Research Programmes Committee (RPC) of the Planning Commission funded studies on voting behaviour in different parts of the country. The RPC brought together the project directors working on general elections with a view to developing a comparable framework of research. These studies were carried out not only by political scientists but also by sociologists and social psychologists. The changing political scenario in 1967 and the evolving social science culture in India made such collaboration possible. The founding of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), under the inspiring leadership of Rajni Kothari, played a vital role in encouraging election studies all across the social sciences. Amongst the political scientists, he was the one who pioneered empirical studies in political science. So profound was his influence that he is now regarded as the progenitor of a ‘new Political Science’. Sociologists and psychologists joined political scientists in this movement. *I am grateful to Professor Yogesh Atal for his critical comments on the earlier drafts of the paper before it was presented at the ICSSR meeting of experts on 8 and 9 March 2007. My thanks are due to Dr Rowena Robinson, Professor Prasant Ray, Dr N.K. Das and others who participated in the discussion and gave suggestions. Dr Ranjit Sinha and Dr K.L. Khera and their team of dedicated workers at the ICSSR also deserve thanks for their cooperation and help.

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The special features of the socio-political environment in 1967 that made these studies of voting behaviour so significant have been succinctly summarized by Yogesh Atal in his book Local Communities and National Politics (1971), the first ever study of Indian elections by a sociologist: 1. After the last elections in 1962 India lost two of her Prime Ministers. Their sudden deaths threw new challenges to the ruling party. With the disappearance of Nehru’s charisma, the congress party suddenly lost its grip. 2. During the period 1962–67, India underwent two serious crises, one after the other, of external attack. These challenging situations, it was believed created considerable mass awareness and evoked popular participation in national politics. 3. The language question, the food shortage and drought problem, and the devaluation of the Indian Rupee were additional challenges that warranted people’s involvement. 4. Most of the states of the Indian Union had, by then, implemented the Democratic Decentralization Programme and it was hoped that the participation of the villagers in the democratic process must have been greatly activated. This was expected to reflect in their voting behaviour and in the degree of perception of national aims and social goals. 5. A good number of new voters were added to the electoral list, who had lived most of their intelligent lives in free India and most of whom were presumably literate (pp. 8–9).

Teaching of Political Sociology in India While tracing the history of political sociology in India, B.S. Baviskar (1974) has pointed out that in ‘India one can trace the early beginning of the subject in a rudimentary form during the early decades of this century’ (Baviskar 1974: 432). He has cited a few studies in his report which, though not written by professional sociologists and social anthropologists, they provided ‘…some useful insights into the politics of the period’ (ibid.: 432). He further writes that the village studies, which became a craze among Indian and some foreign scholars during the 1950s, contained valuable data and observations on political organizations of the villages. Gradually, these scholars extended their field from village panchayats to those of political parties and legislatures. It appears that sociologists and social anthropologists were studying political organizations at the village level as a part of sociology of politics and not as political sociology. The sociology of politics, a sub-field of sociology treats ‘political phenomena as dependent variables and accepts the underlying social phenomena as the explanatory variables’ (Mukhopadhyay 1977: 7). On the other hand, ‘political sociology believes in a two way relation between sociology and

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political science giving equal emphasis on both the social and political variables’ (ibid.: 9). This might be the reason that the first survey report in sociology and social anthropology, which covered the period from 1900 to 1969, carried a chapter on the sociology of politics and not political sociology. It may not be possible to pinpoint exactly the year when political sociology was introduced as a specialized field in the teaching curricula in India; themes related to political sociology began to be taught sometime in the mid-1960s1. Around 1965, the department of anthropology and sociology at the University of Saugar, under the chairmanship of the late Professor S.C. Dube, took the lead in offering an optional paper in political sociology and anthropology. Almost at the same time, Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay of Kolkata University began teaching this paper to the students of political science at the Master’s level. While not many universities offered this subject, research in the area of political sociology became quite fashionable. India’s democratic elections provided the needed stimulus, resulting in the publication of survey-based books and articles on political behaviour. Professor Amal K. Mukhopadhyay’s textbook on political sociology was also published in 1977. Gradually, more and more departments of sociology in the country started offering this subject. However, the response of most of the departments of political science in the country was lukewarm in the beginning. There were a few departments of political science which offered this paper as a part of the M.Phil. course work but then later introduced it at the Master’s level. In fact, in his trend report ‘Caste and Politics’, D.L. Sheth wrote: ‘Political Sociology in India has not yet acquired the status of an independent discipline. It is a joint protectorate of sociologists, social anthropologists, and political scientists, interested in borderline areas of inquiry in their respective disciplines’ (Sheth 1981: 1).

Earlier Surveys In the first report surveying the trends of research in political sociology, which covered the period from 1900 to 1969, B.S. Baviskar (1974) classified the researches into five broad sections: (i) the role of social institutions such as caste, kinship, and religion in politics; (ii) the study of political associations and structures; (iii) political processes; (iv) the levels of politics; and (v) political history. The survey focussed on the studies of the political process at the level of micro studies but did not provide enough indications of the growing trend of election studies. True, the monographs based on the 1967 election studies had not yet been published, but the research papers published in reputed journals also did not attract the attention of the reviewer. Interestingly, the same studies were covered in the parallel ICSSR survey of literature in political science. In the second survey, covering the period from 1969 to 1976, Imtiaz Ahmad (1986) reviewed the studies under two headings: (i) growing awareness among the Indian electorate, and (ii) Indian political elite and Panchayati Raj institutions. Somehow Ahmad’s report also failed to take proper notice of the emerging trend

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of election studies. Thus, while trend reports in the field of political science took note of contributions made by sociologists and anthropologists to the election studies (for example, the Sense of Political Efficacy Index—SPE), the sociology trend report simply ignored such contributions. Work in the area of political sociology that was beyond the two categories chosen by Ahmad for his analysis did not, therefore, find place in his review. The report, for example, makes no references to books such as Local Communities and National Politics (Atal 1971), described by Norman D. Palmer as a ‘path breaking study’; The Urban Elite (Lal 1974), and Citizen in the Making ( Surendra K. Gupta 1975). The third survey report, by Dipankar Gupta, covered the period from 1977 to 1987. He discussed the trends of sociology and political anthropology under four broad categories: (i) power structure; (ii) crisis of governance; (iii) ethnicity and politics; and (iv) peasant or farmers’ movements. Dipankar Gupta was also very selective in his review and ignored many studies which appeared during that period. The three reports, however, provide a good working base for a future researcher to fill the lacunae and write an objective history of the growth of this sub-speciality in India.

Brief Account of Studies in Political Sociology up to 1988 Let us, therefore, begin with a brief account of the studies in political sociology in India carried out prior to 1988 to serve as a backdrop for the present review. Scholars conducting village studies in the 1950s and 1960s also analysed the ways factions were formed and the personality traits of the faction leaders. These kinds of studies were inspired by the writings of Oscar Lewis based on his study of a north Indian Village. He discovered the ‘existence of small cohesive groups within castes which are locus of power and decision-making’ (Lewis 1958: 195). Taking his cue from Lewis, Atal studied the factional politics in two villages, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and came to the conclusion that both permanent and ephemeral or short-lived alliances existed in the villages, and these alliances cut across caste lines. ‘In ephemeral factions, varied types of group alliances can coexist at a given point of time and membership in different situational contexts may vary greatly. Cohesiveness is not so consistent in groupings and fusion and fission go together’ (Atal 1979: 174). Bernard J. Siegel and Allan R. Beals (1960) classified the factions in two categories, i.e. schismatic and pervasive. In the schismatic category, conflict may occur between cohesive subgroups within the larger groups, and in the pervasive category, the composition of groups may change rapidly and radically. Factions may also be formed on the basis of particular disputes and persons may change their alliances from one case to another. Gradually, the

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focus shifted from the identification of the traits of factional leaders to the study of their behaviour, attitude, and also their position in the community. M.N. Srinivas’ (1959) concept of ‘dominant caste’ gave rise to many studies of the power structure at the village level. The Role of caste and caste organizations in politics at the micro and macro levels also drew the attention of scholars many of whom contributed essays reviewing the concept of the dominant caste based on fieldwork. Prominent among these were the writings of S. C. Dube (1968), Yogesh Atal (1973a), and T.K. Oommen (1970). Srinivas’ use of the term ‘Vote Bank’ as an attribute of the dominant caste has now become a part of the vocabulary of Indian politics. The introduction of the Panchayati Raj system provided further opportunities to analyse its impact on village politics. Several studies related to democratic decentralization were carried out in the 1960s and 1970s. This interest has not yet waned. The process of decentralization is now being examined as an instrument for the empowerment of the weaker sections of the society, including women. Rajni Kothari has had a singular influence on the growth of empirical studies of Indian polity. In 1961 he published a series of six articles titled ‘Form and substance in Indian Politics’ in the Economic Weekly (which was later renamed, and presumably because of the considerable influence of Rajni Kothari, as Economic and Political Weekly). Richard Park, who was heading the Indian Bureau of the Asia Foundation, regarded these essays as a ‘breath of fresh air’ in understanding Indian politics. On behalf of the Asia Foundation, Park offered a generous grant to Rajni Kothari which was utilized to set up the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). Under the auspices of the CSDS, a movement for the study of Indian elections was launched. Kothari became the progenitor of the ‘New Political Science’ that brought political science closer to sociology and other social sciences, and emphasized empirical research to replace the normative orientation of the discipline of political science. Rajni Kothari’s book Politics in India (1970) became the textbook in both sociology and in political science, and has now attained the status of a classic (Kothari 2002b: 37–40). Studies of elections to the Parliament and Legislative Assemblies have become almost a regular feature, both in sociology and in political science, contributing to the growth of political sociology and psephology in India. Some of these studies describe the general characteristics of the voters in terms of their age, sex, education, occupation, and rural/urban background. A few have also studied the role of religion and caste in politics. Other studies on the voting behaviour of specific communities. The impact of election campaigns and their role in changing the voting pattern of the people has also been analysed. Role of communications in elections drew the attention of some scholars. To analyse changes in the voting intentions of the electorate during the election campaign, V.M. Sirsikar (1965) applied the panel technique for the first time in India; however, it fell short of the strict norms of a panel study. A more rigorous panel study was carried out during

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the 1967 general elections in a constituency in Uttar Pradesh This study (Atal 1972) focussed on the communication links and patterns of political participation (called Project CLAPP). The methodology employed in this major study has been reported in a book called Beyond the Village, edited by Satish Saberwal. The credit for initiating opinion polls in India goes to the Indian Institute of Public Opinion (IIPO), New Delhi, and the Marketing Research Corporation of India, which started conducting surveys in 1954–55 to assess the attitudes of the Indian public towards a vast range of political, social, and economic subjects. Till 1966, they conducted three surveys in the four metropolitan cities of Calcutta (now Kolkata), Madras (now Chennai), Bombay (now Mumbai), and Delhi. In the first three surveys, the sample consisted of only literates but the fourth survey, published in December 1966, included illiterates as well. The sample in the fourth survey consisted of 1,000 people. They were interviewed to estimate the share of the Congress votes and elicit opinions about Indian leaders, especially those of the Congress Party. Some questions on the voting intentions of the sample population in the 1967 Lok Sabha elections were also included. Age, education, religion, and city were taken as independent variables to find out the voting intention. The major finding of the survey was that the vote share of the Congress was continuously on a decline. The percentage of the Congress popular vote in Bombay in January/February 1966 was 67, which came down to 51 in December 1966; in Calcutta it declined from 43 to 35; in Delhi, from 67 to 41; and in Madras from 62 to 26. The attitude of the electorate towards opposition electoral alliances, which were actually formed in Calcutta and Madras, were also studied in December 1966. Though 37 per cent of the sample did not answer the question, 40 per cent among those who answered were in favour of a opposition alliance. Only 23 per cent were against such an alliance. It is important to note that this disillusion with the Congress Party was also reflected in the outcome of the 1967 elections. Since 1967 election studies have been in vogue. The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) funds such studies. However, market-oriented psephological studies have overshadowed the in-depth studies of voting behaviour that were the hallmark of the 1970s and 1980s. The so-called psephological studies, which focus more on forecasting election outcomes through opinion polls or exit polls, have developed new and more sophisticated tools and methodologies. Practitioners of this new branch have contributed to the spread of social science culture, including its vocabulary, among the lay public besides earning a name and fame for themselves. But since these studies are not reported in monographs or books they serve only the temporal cause. There is a need to both document the methodologies employed by different agencies in pre-poll and post-poll forecasts, and also to analyse the emerging political behaviour. The database created by these exercises is certainly a good resource for further theoretical work. Besides elections, students of political behaviour also continued to study the growth and development of political parties, leadership and factionalism within political parties, the role of pressure groups in Indian politics, mass movements,

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communalism, nation-building, urban politics, and political socialization. Being the oldest, the Congress Party has attracted a lot of research. Notable are the studies by Paul R. Brass (1965), Rajni Kothari (1964), and Myron Weiner (1968). There are also several studies related to the Bharatiya Janata Party and its predecessor the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. The role of pressure groups in politics, however, has not attracted many scholars. The language issue has divided the nation into two clear-cut blocks, the north favouring Hindi and the south opposing the imposition of the north Indian language and showing preference for the continuation of English. This problem has been studied in the context of national integration and nation-building (Dasgupta 1970). Analysing the process of nation-building, Yogesh Atal (1973b) proposed the concepts of Insulators and Apertures and developed a communication model for the analysis of nation-building. In his Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture, delivered in 1973 at the University of London, he introduced these concepts and developed a paradigm combining the structural with the historical approach to examine the Indian experience in nation building (Atal 1981). Rajni Kothari (1976) wrote extensively on nation-building. The social and political consequences of internal migration, which can also create problems in national integration and may ultimately affect nation building process, has been discussed by Myron Weiner (1978). Some scholars (Harrison 1960; Rudolph and Rudolf 1967; Srinivas 1962; Weiner 1962) have examined the relationship between the traditional social organizations such as castes and tribes, and the newly introduced democratic institutions and procedures. Most of these studies have revealed that electorates are becoming increasingly more conscious and responsible in their voting behaviour. Secular, political, and socio-economic considerations, rather than membership of traditional social organizations and ascriptive status or values, affect the voting pattern of the people. While reviewing the studies of minority participation, it has been found that ‘Muslim voting behaviour in a particular constituency or State has more things in common with non-Muslim voting behaviour in the same area than with the Muslims of any other area or region’ (Ahmad 1986: 5). However, it must be said that there are very few studies regarding the participation of minorities in elections or in the nation-building process. Another interesting finding noticed in Ahmad’s review is that the gap between urban and rural electoral participation is gradually reducing (ibid.). Studies of Panchayati Raj institutions have shown that they have failed to bring about expected changes and development. Some studies on power structure were reviewed in the third trend report covering the period 1978–87. The issue of governance and systematic strains in the political structure was the focus of some scholars like Paul Brass, Francine Frankel, and Rajni Kothari, especially after the declaration of Emergency in 1975. This was also the period when not only the politicization of the civil services

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began and violence and corruption entered the political life. The gap between what the political parties professed publicly and what they practised began widening. Atul Kohli characterized the emerging trends as ‘(i) the de-institutionalizing role of national and regional leaders; (ii) the impact of weak political parties; (iii) the undisciplined political mobilization of various castes, ethnic, religious and other types of groups; and (iv) the increasing conflict between the haves and havenots in the civil society’ (1990: 387). Rajni Kothari, D.L. Sheth, and Ashish Nandy examined the crisis of governance of the Indian State from a cultural and ethical point of view. Kothari (1988) argued for a viable state structure which would be sensitive to the civil society. For this he regards it as necessary to have a new socio-economic coalition through grass-roots initiatives in order to develop new institutional structures. Sheth (1984) emphasized the creation of grass-roots initiatives outside the government agencies and pleaded that they should not contest for power. Nandi (1984) would like to view the State and its activities from the standpoint of the indigenous and authentic culture of the country. Other aspects included in the third survey report were ethnic movements such as the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the Punjab crisis, the Sikh killings in 1984, and the anti-reservation movement after the implementation of the Mandal Commission’s recommendations according to which 50 per cent of the seats in government and educational institutions were to be reserved for people of the backward castes. Analyses of farmers’ movements led by Mahendra Singh Tikait in Uttar Pradesh and Sharad Joshi in Maharashtra were also the part of the third survey report.

The Present Report: 1988–2001 The decade of the 1990s witnessed many social and political developments in the country. It is against this background that the studies carried out during this period should be viewed. The major developments of the decade were the following: 1. Violent reactions in north India against the acceptance of the Mandal Commission recommendations on reservations of seats in public services in 1990 by the then prime minister, V.P. Singh. To counter this, and to have a United Hindu identity, the BJP mobilized the masses for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya. 2. Politics of caste initiated by V.P. Singh was further promoted by Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh and Laloo Prasad Yadav in Bihar, when they mobilized the scheduled castes and backward classes. Similarly, Kanshi Ram formed the Bahujan Samaj Party and mobilized other Dalit castes. Thus, the old dominant castes from the upper strata were challenged by the backward castes such as the Yadavs, Kurmis, and Jats and by the Dalits in the emerging political milieu. This was the

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beginning of fragmented and fractured politics on the basis of caste and community. 3. This period also witnessed the emergence of a large number of regional political parties. These regional parties succeeded in wresting power at the regional level and weakened the support base of the national parties to such an extent that no political party could obtain absolute majority at the Centre. This development contributed to the growth of coalition politics—a feature which characterizes the present-day Indian polity. 4. The coalition politics put an end to the era of the dominance of the oneparty system and allowed for the first time a non-Congress coalition to form the government. It has been argued by many scholars that the BJP succeeded in coming to power as ‘it has deftly and intelligently used the strategy of coalition formation with many secular parties’ (Bhambhri, 2001: 50). In the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, when no single party gained the majority to form a government, the BJP with 160 seats formed a block of 194 with the support of some regional parties. Though Atal Behari Vajpayee was invited to become prime minister he tailed to win the vote of confidence and resigned. The 1999 elections mandated the BJP-led coalition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to form the government at the Centre. This coalition government lasted the full term. 5. The politics of Ram Janam Bhoomi and the Babri Masjid have dominated the Indian political scene since 1989. The demolition of the mosque in December 1992 led to communal violence in many parts of the country, and the Ayodhya issue has become a key factor in political mobilization. 6. Globalization, liberalization, and privatization of the Indian economy since 1991 opened the floodgates for foreign investors. A good deal of discussion, both in the political arena and in the academe, surrounds the process of globalization. Studies in the area of political sociology in India have been affected by the abovementioned developments. All the studies reviewed in this area have been broadly classified into the following four categories: 1. National and local politics 2. Election studies and political parties 3. Democracy, civil society, ethnicity and nation-state 4. Studies on communalism Of the 164 studies included in this trend report about 41 per cent are published books. These figures have been computed mainly from the ICSSR Journal of Abstracts: Sociology and Social Anthropology published between 1989 and 2002. Though care has been taken to include all the studies, it is likely that some may

1

9

-

1994–96

1997–99

2000–02

15

2

6

2

2

3

Articles

10

2

5

-

1

2

Books

38

4

14

2

16

2

Articles

Elections and Political Parties

21

3

7

1

2

8

Books

30

16

5

2

1

6

Articles

Democracy, Civil Society, Ethnicity and NationState

18

5

3

5

2

3

Books

13

5

-

1

5

2

Articles

Communalism

Source: ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Sociology and Social Anthropology.

19

3

1991–93

Total

6

Books

1988–90

Year

Local and National Politics

Table 4.1 Studies in Political Sociology 1988–2002

68

10

24

7

8

19

Books

96

27

25

7

24

13

Articles

Total

164

37

49

14

32

32

Total

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have been inadvertently missed out. In listing the publications, the author has not imposed any quality criteria. Irrespective of the standard of the publication an attempt has been made to include all the studies on India in the domain of political sociology carried out and published by Indians and foreigners, during the period 1988–2002. The year-wise distribution of these publications in different theme areas is presented in Table 4.1. About one-third of the total studies considered in the survey report are on elections and political parties. Another one-third have discussed some aspect of democracy, civil society, ethnicity, and the nation-state in India. In fact, the debate on civil society and the nation-state was quite prominent as special symposia were organized at the All-India Sociological Conferences held in 1998 and 2000. Local and national politics have been covered in 21 per cent of the studies and the remaining 19 per cent are on communalism. The period from 1988 through 1993 was an eventful era in Indian politics. During these six years, as many as 64 studies, with an average of more than 10 studies per year, were published. Of these, 27 were books and the rest were articles. Onefourth of the studies during this period were on elections and political parties. The maximum number of studies (49 in all) were published during 1997–99. Of these publications were 49 per cent full-length monographs including edited volumes. In fact, the year 1999 was of special significance in Indian politics as for the first time after independence a coalition government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the mandate and completed a full term of five years in office. Out of the 24 books published in these three years, nine covered some aspect of local and national politics, five others were related to elections and political parties, seven focused on issues of ethnicity and nationhood, and another three were researches on communalism.

Local and National-Level Political Studies Out of 34 studies on local and national politics, 19 are books and 15 research articles. Fifteen of the 19 books are full-length empirical studies; the rest are edited books. Of the 15 articles, 14 are based on empirical research. The theme-wise distribution of these studies is given in Table 4.2. About 56 per cent of the total studies considered have focused on some aspect of rural politics and the remaining 44 per cent have concentrated on urban politics. More than 47 per cent of the rural political studies have attempted to analyse the impact of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, which gave more ‘powers, authority and responsibilities to Panchayats’. According to the amendment, 33 per cent of the seats are reserved for women. The studies examined the effectiveness of this important amendment. Of the total urban political studies, 40 per cent, are on the socio-economic background of the elected members of the legislative assemblies. One-third of the total urban studies have analysed the different types of conflicts.

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Table 4.2 theme-wise distribution of Studies Themes

No. of Studies

Percentage of Rural Urban Studies

Percentage of Total Studies

9

47.4

26.5

c) Rural Violence

3

15.8

8.8

d) Kisan Unions

2

10.5

5.9

e) Caste and Politics

2

10.5

5.9

f) Women Panchayat

2

10.5

5.9

Members

1

5.3

2.9

19

100

55.9

a) Political Elites

6

40.0

17.6

b) Conflict Studies

5

33.3

14.8

c) Urban Power Structure

1

6.7

2.9

d) Others

3

20.0

8.8

Total

15

100.0

44.1

All Studies

34



100.0

I. Rural Politics a) 73rd Amendment and PRI b) Rural Power Structure

Total II. Urban Politics

Table 4.3 States covered Name of States More than one state Uttar Pradesh Maharashtra Bihar Assam Karnataka Andhra Pradesh Kerala Orissa

Number of Studies 12 4 3 2 2 2 1 1 1

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Table 4.3 (Continued) Name of States

Number of Studies

Punjab

1

Tamil Nadu Goa West Bengal North East Rajasthan

1 1 1 1 1

Total

34

Source: ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Sociology and Social Anthropology. A theme-wise coverage of States along with sources of data is given in Table 4.4. There are an equal number of studies based on fieldwork and on secondary sources. One edited book on decentralization contains articles which are mainly analyses of secondary data, except two which are based on field research. More studies were carried out in the states of south India, followed by eastern and northern India. Maharashtra is the only state studied from the Western region. There are 19 studies that have analysed some aspect of rural politics in India. Snehlata Panda (1997) and K.C. Vidya (1997) examined the impact of the political empowerment of women at the grass roots in Orissa and Karnataka respectively. Panda concentrated on the performance of women panchayat members whereas Vidya focused on the structural and functional aspects of the Panchayati Raj and the scope of women’s participation in decision-making and development planning. Manu Bhaskar (1997) analysed the socio-economic background and political motivation of women panchayat members in Kerala. Anupama Roy (2001) expressed the hope that the primacy given to women as members would certainly have its ramifications on the overall status of women in rural India. The 73rd Amendment to Panchayati Raj institutions has not succeeded due to the high degree of illiteracy among women, argued Dilip K. Ghosh (1997). Indira Hirway (1989) carried out case studies of Panchayati Raj in different states and came to the conclusion that it has failed to involve the weaker sections in the development and planning process. S.P. Jain (1997) critically reviewed the working of gram sabhas in different states before the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution became effective. O. Palanithurai (1999) and G. Thimmaiah (1999) also studied the implications of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution. In a book jointly edited by S.N. Jha and P.C. Mathur (1999) on decentralization and local politics, the contributors have concentrated on Panchayati Raj, urban local government, and decentralization and local politics.

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Table 4.4 themes, States and Sources of data Themes

States

Sources of data

I. Rural Political Studies a) 73rd Amendment and PRI

Multistate (7) Karnataka (1) Orissa(1)

Primary (2) Secondary (6) Both Primary and Secondary (edited book) (1)

b) Rural Power Structure

Andhra Pradesh (1) South India (1) Uttar Pradesh (1)

Primary (3)

c) Rural Violence

Bihar (2)

Primary (2)

d) WomenPanchayat Members

Kerala (1)

Primary (1)

e) Kissan Unions

Punjab (1) Uttar Pradesh (1)

Primary (2)

f) Caste and Politics

Multistate (1) Uttar Pradesh (1)

Primary (1) Secondary (1)

a) Political Elites

Maharashtra (2) Rajasthan (1) Multistate (3)

Primary (2) Secondary (4)

b) Conflict Studies

Assam (2) Karnataka (1) Tamil Nadu (1) North-East (1)

Primary (2) Secondary (4)

c) Urban Power Structure

Rajasthan (1)

Primary (1)

d) Others

Tamil Nadu (1) Goa (1) Multistate(1)

Secondary (3)

II. Urban Political Studies

Source: ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Sociology and Social Anthropology. Note: Figures in brackets indicate the number of studies.

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The role of NGOs as part of the planning and implementation process has also been analysed. Regarding the institution of urban local government, the authors have pleaded for change in the instrumentalities to make the provision of the amendment effective. The role of women in PRI elections has also been investigated in different states. It is shown that changes in the rural power structure are taking place with the emergence of a new type of leadership which is more concerned with marginalized and oppressed groups. Marguerite S. Robinson (1988) studied the dynamics of power in a small village in south India. In this village, rural elites controlled the political system till the mid-1970s, but things have changed with the weakening of the role of landlords as creditors due to the availability of credit through other formal institutions. The role of caste in the local elections of village panchayats and the attitude of the rural masses towards the exploitation of caste feelings in Uttar Pradesh constitute the subject matter of S.M.I.A. Zaidi’s study (1990) published in the journal Social Change. The leadership structure and its functional cohesiveness in rural Andhra Pradesh is the focus of T. Chandra Mohan Reddy’s article (1992) published in Man in India. G.K. Lieten and Ravi Srivastava (1999) surveyed six village panchayats in three different regions of Uttar Pradesh to analyse the dynamics of power relations at the grass roots. They have given a comprehensive account of the functioning and potentials of Panchayati Raj institutions and the process of rural transformation. Kehar Singh’s book-length study (1990) on farmers’ movements and pressure group politics focussed on the leadership of Punjab Khetibari Zamindara Union from 1972 through 1980 and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) from 1980 through 1988. He has argued that farmers can mount considerable pressure through non-party peasant organizations. They also symbolize the rising expectations and aspirations of a sizable section of Punjab peasantry, particularly its middle segment. No political party competing for power in Punjab can ignore the Union any more. Similarly, Dipankar Gupta (1997) studied the organization and working of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) in western Uttar Pradesh. The author distinguishes between the movements of peasants, agricultural labourers, and marginal farmers and the movements of the relatively better-off owner-cultivators who produce marketable surplus. The movements of rural poor tend to be more local in their impact, while the farmers’ movements are more wide-ranging, remedial, multi-pronged and future oriented. Their targets are both central and state governments and may focus on such issues as agricultural prices, the lowering of rates for electricity and water, easy conditions of loans, etc. The BKU has also used traditional symbols of mobilization, such as Jat khaps and the sarv khaps to strengthen the support structure of the Union. The period under review has also seen some studies on caste violence. In his full-length book of 151 pages, Bindeshwar Pathak (1993) analysed the pattern of caste violence in the villages of Bihar. On the basis of 30 incidents, the author has

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demonstrated how the Yadavas, Kurmis, and the like have tortured the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people. The book contains a chronological account of annihilation, looting, and burning of houses, rape and cold-blooded murders, and also the apathy of the government towards the afflicted scheduled castes. The politicization of the caste system in Bihar has increased the atrocities against scheduled caste people according to S.N. Chaudhary and Pratima Chaudhary (1994). While comparing the political developments in north and south India, Ashutosh Varshney (2000) observed that caste-based politics is much more intense in the south as compared to other regions of India. He concluded that India is still far from becoming a democracy from below, but democratic power is increasingly moving downwards. In his study of the two cities of Udaipur and Bhilwara in Rajasthan, C.L. Sharma (1992) examined the nature of the local-level power structures. The data were collected way back in the 1970s and the delay in its analysis makes the study somewhat outdated on two counts: (i) the descriptions would not fit the presentday situation in the two towns; and (ii) with more experience now available with Sharma, even the quality of data gathering would be different. Sharma’s analysis is based on the institutional bases of power. He comes to the obvious conclusion that higher caste people occupy higher positions, whereas the persons of lower castes and Muslims are at the lower echelons of power structure. While examining group dynamics at the local level, he found that party affiliation determines the membership of the political elites. Sharma also discussed factional politics at the local level. With the rise in literacy and the emergence of powerful pressure groups amongst the Dalits today, one wonders whether the description would fit the current reality. It would have been ideal had Sharma also examined the phenomenon of ephemeral factions earlier discovered by Atal (1962) in his study of a Rajasthan village. There are a few studies of legislative members. R.C. Swarankar (1988) studied the members of the Seventh Legislative Assembly in Rajasthan. Khadija Ansari Gupta (1989) edited the papers presented at a seminar on political elites which included studies of bureaucrats, managers in textile mills, industrial entrepreneurs, doctors, women social workers, and tribal and caste elites. Gautam Vohra (1993) outlined the profile of newly elected members of a legislative assembly in Maharashtra. S.M. Dahiwale (1994) examined the role of scheduled caste elites in the socio-economic development of the downtrodden in Kolhapur City. In an article published in Asian Survey titled ‘Elite Incorporation in Multiethnic Societies’, Kanchan Chandra (2000b) discussed the pattern of incorporation of scheduled caste elites by the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party in three states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Karnataka. The Assam agitation of the 1980s raised the issue of the legitimacy crisis that independent India had experienced. The movement was organized mainly against the so-called ‘foreigners. The leaders of the agitation demanded ‘detection,

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deletion and deportation of all foreigners from Assam’. This nativistic movement in the state raised several issues and offered an opportunity to assess the role of communication. The Assam movement of 1979 is the only movement in independent India that engulfed an entire state. Since the issue affected all the natives of Assam, all of them participated and supported the movement in one way or the other. The analysis of printed material such as booklets, pamphlets, and newspapers by Surendra K. Gupta and Indira B. Gupta (1990)2, revealed that they played a significant and crucial role in escalating the violence. The content analysis of newspapers showed the biased attitude of regional newspapers which gave more emphasis to regional identity than to national identity. Another study of the Assam crisis was attempted by Sajal Nag (1990) in which he delineated the role played by the various strata of Assamese society in the development of the nationality question. N. Vijaylakshmi Brara (1998), in her study of politics, society and cosmology in Indian’s north-east, analysed contemporary politics and ethnic relations in the north-eastern region. T.M. Joseph (1998) studied the linguistic nativism movement in Bangalore City. The study deals with the ethnic conflict beginning with the consolidation of the Kannada linguistic identity, and its crystallisation of the cultural differences between Kannadigas and non-Kannadigas. Arthur G. Rubinoff (1998) studied the pattern of integration between Goa and its neighbouring regions and the Indian nation as a whole. The essays contained in the book edited by A. R. Kulkarni and N.K. Wagle (1999) concentrated on the issues of region, nationality, and religion in the context of Maharashtra. Most of the authors focussed on changing political, and socio-economic trends in Maharashtra. The arguments revolve around political power and the struggle between tradition and modernity. How ethnic parties transact with social groups in Tamil Nadu was the objective of Narendra Subramanian’s (1999) study. According to his analysis, it is the interaction between ethnic parties and social groups that explains the relative absence of volatile ethnic conflict in Tamil Nadu. Sara Dickey (1993) studied the role of cinema in the production of politicians in south India. She focused on the images created through films and the political activities of the fan clubs in Tamil Nadu. In Zoya Hasan (1994), the contributors have argued that the interaction between the Indian State and Muslim leaders results in a single, religiously defined notion of community. This identity of Muslims as a monolithic religious category has affected them more than anything else.

Election Studies and Political Parties Election Studies. In all, 38 election studies (including books and articles in various

journals and books) appeared during the period under survey. While there have been many studies of the general elections held in 1989, 1998, and 1999, there have also been studies of Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa,

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Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu during the period under survey. The theme wise coverage of election studies is shown in Table 4.5. Table 4.5 theme-wise coverage of Election Studies S. Themes Covered No.

No. of Studies

Percentage of total Election Studies

1. Political Parties and Elections

8

21.0

2. Factors for Defeat of Parties

6

15.8

3. Hindutva and Elections

4

10.6

4. Women and Elections

3

7.9

5. Weaker Sections and Elections

3

7.9

6. Caste and Elections

1

2.6

7. Alliance and Elections

1

2.6

8. Terrorism and Elections

1

2.6

9. Corruption and Election

1

2.6

10. Media and Elections

1

2.6

11. Security and Elections

1

2.6

12. State Politics and Election

1

2.6

13. Others

7

18.5

38

100.0

All Themes

Source: ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Sociology and Social Anthropology. About one-fifth of the studies included in the report have analysed the performance of political parties in elections, whereas 16 per cent have attempted to diagnose the causes for the defeat of the Congress Party, National Front as well as the BJP/Shiv Sena alliance. Another 16 per cent have studied the participation of the weaker sections, including women, in the 1999 elections. The role of Hindutva as a factor in elections has been analysed in about 11 per cent of the studies. The rest of the studies have analysed the role of other factors such as caste, alliance, terrorism, corruption, and security. More than 60 per cent of the election studies considered in this report have concentrated on more than one state. Eight per cent of the studies were done in

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Bihar, followed by Haryana (5.2 per cent). The other states covered in single studies are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kashmir, Goa, Orissa, Punjab, and West Bengal. The distinguishing feature of these studies is that they are analyses of election data, rather than field studies. There are two studies, including one full-length book, which were based entirely on secondary sources like newspaper and magazines reporting. Escalation of electoral violence such as booth-capturing was a disturbing factor which emerged during the 1989 Parliamentary elections in some states, which adversely affected the participation of women and other weaker sections of the society (Kishwar 1989). In her study, Madhu Kishwar found that violence during elections negatively affects the participation of women. Subverting of political institutions by political parties and the use of money and muscle power further contributes to the peripheralization of women (ibid.). Studying women’s participation and their involvement in elections in Bihar, Nutan Sinha (1991) found that though women did take active part in the elections in 1989 their level of political awareness and involvement was quite low. Most of her respondents preferred to vote for non-Congress parties. Even this decision was mostly influenced by their menfolk; very few expressed an independent opinion. In the context of the general elections of 1989, an International Conference on National and State Politics in India was organized by the Department of Politics, Hull University, in collaboration with the Centre for South Asian Studies, Cambridge University. The papers presented at this conference have been put together in a volume entitled Electoral Politics in India: A Changing Landscape edited by Subrata K. Mitra and James Chiriyankandath (1992). The book has four sections besides, the ‘Introduction’ and ‘Appendix: (1)’. ‘The Campaign and the Vote’; (2). ‘The Issues’; (3). ‘Centre and the States’; and (4) ‘Minority Perspectives’. In this volume Subrata K. Mitra outlined the perspectives in which the 1989 General elections in India were held. The declining authority of the government that led to corruption at high levels, organizational confusion within Congress Party and its general lack of sense of direction as well as the escalation of separatist movements and communal violence are some of the political developments that took place before the 1989 General elections, which had their repercussions on election results. Susanne Hoeber Rudolph (1992) in her ‘Keynote Address’ compared the histories of state formation in India and Europe. She holds the view that the major social institutions in India are the creation of the British and, unlike Europe, the State in India is the product of neither industrial nor political revolution. She also highlighted the role of the State in the electoral process in India. ‘The campaign and the vote’ was the theme of the first section of the book. Christiane Hurtig, in her article ‘A Vote for Change but no mandate’, discussed the factors responsible for the defeat of the Congress in the 1989 elections. The Congress-I won 193 seats and retained 40 per cent of the votes, but the party that

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formed the government had only 141 seats and 17 per cent of the votes at the allIndia level. Questions were naturally raised about the stability of the Janata Party government. The government actually fell before completing its full term. In his article, Nicholas Nugent pointed out the errors committed—particularly the Bill related to Muslim Women—by Rajiv Gandhi as prime minister, which led to the defeat of the Congress Party. There are five articles in the section titled ‘The Issues’. The authors of this section have contradicted the general view that politics in India revolves mainly around money, muscle power, and patronage. James Chiriyankandath in his article ‘Tricolour and Saffron Congress and the Neo-Hindu Challenge’ examines how ‘Hindu’ identity was used to generate political passion and to mobilize electoral support. Culture became an issue in the elections of 1989 which was reflected in a paper by Lloyd Rudolph (1992). According to him, cultural politics and the struggle over the means and contents of cultural production had begun to play a significant role in Indian politics much before the growth of the electronic media as a vehicle of public culture. Ashis Nandy, in his article ‘Terrorism as a Political Issue in Popular Politics’ (1992), analyses the process through which terrorism entered the electoral arena. According to Nandy, terrorism has created a new consciousness around it among the Indian middle classes. Levelling of corruption charges against rival candidates as a vote-catching device was a characteristic feature of the 1989 Lok Sabha elections. On the basis of pre-poll surveys conducted by the India-Today group and Marg, Philip Oldenburg (1992) highlighted this aspect in his article ‘Corruption as an issue in the 1989 Election in India’. Bharat Wariavwalla (1992) discussed the role of the ‘Security Issue in Domestic Politics’. Prior to 1967, foreign and security issues were never crucial in India’s electoral politics. They reached a high point during the regimes of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The significance of the regional arena in national politics was the theme of the next section ‘Centre and the State’. The weaknesses of the National Front government that led to its downfall have been discussed by Ashis Banerjee in his paper ‘The Federal Dimension in Contemporary Indian Politics’. Ranbir Singh, in his paper ‘National and State Politics in Post-election India: A study in Haryana’, identifies some salient characteristics of Haryana politics such as the interconnection of caste alignments, caste cleavages and intra-caste conflicts among the Jats, which affected the entire politics of the state. Local Punjabi cleavages in Haryana also became sharper, according to Ranbir Singh (1992). The Ayodhya– Ram Mandir issue did not have much influence in Haryana politics. According to Singh, Haryana is a traditional society juxtaposed with agrarian capitalism, fast economic growth, and a weak regional identity. The analysis of Pravin Sheth (1992) based on the 1989–90 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Gujarat shows that the emergence of Hindutva as an alternative ideology for

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the majority has strengthened the conservative forces in both these states. Sheth’s analysis reveals that social cleavages are getting sharpened due to the increasing number of volatile Dalits, tribals, women and farmers. The minority perspective is the theme of the last section of the book, which has three papers. The minorities selected by the authors are women, Muslims and Harijans. Usha Thakkar’s (1992) paper ‘Women and recent elections in India’ gives an account of the limited opportunities women have for effective participation. Though most political parties have shown concern for women in their election manifestos, the data analysed by Thakkar from 1957 to 1989 contradict this assertion. The analysis shows that very few women were given tickets with the result that the number of women Parliamentarians has always remained very small. Violette Graf (1992) studied the significance of ‘The Muslim Vote’ in the Parliamentary elections in 1989 in various states of the country. Her analysis reveals that Muslims played significant role in those elections. In most cases they aggravated the difficulties of the ‘established party’. Graf also does not support the observation of Llyod and Susanne Rudolph, which is based on the analysis of the elections in 1977, 1980 and 1984. The Rudolphs wrote that there is an inverse relationship between the proportions of Muslims in the population and Muslimvoting support for national centrist parties; the lower the proportion of Muslims, the more likely it is that Muslim voters will vote for national centrist parties. In constituencies with a high proportion of Muslims, however, Muslims tend to vote for class and Muslim confessional parties and candidates (other parties and independents) (Graf 1992: 235). Because of their poor socio-economic condition the lower-caste Hindus are generally characterized as a politically docile group. These castes found a platform in the form of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, particularly in Uttar Pradesh. This development was the focus of the study by V.B. Singh, titled ‘Harijans and their influence on the election in Uttar Pradesh’ (1992). The analysis of the swing factor in the election results has been presented by David Butler (1992) in his article ‘The Predictability of Indian Election Results’ as an appendix in the book. On the basis of the Congress Party’s share of votes from 1952 to 1991 at the all-India level and in some states from 1980 to 1984 and 1984 to 1989 and 1991, Butler analysed the swing factor for Congress Party as it has been around from the beginning and has also contested the majority of the seats in the elections. He has used the Index of Opposition Unity, a measure devised by Roy and Lahiri by using the following formula: Index of Opposition Unity =

Votes of the Largest Non Congress Party × 100 Sum of Votes of all Non-Congress Parties

K. Srinivasulu (1994) studied the participation of the ‘Chamars’ during the 1993 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. According to him, this the first time the Chamars participated en masse in the voting. Srinivasulu suggests that to counter

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the BJP’s mobilization moves it is necessary that political parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party join hands and evolve a politically viable strategy. Caste and social factions figured more prominently in Bihar in the absence of a concrete political agenda during the 1996 general elections. According to Binoy S. Prasad (1997), elections in Bihar are being used to establish a ‘phoney’ social dominance. Bihar also has a distinct political culture with a majority of illiterate but politically alert voters. Corruption and violence characterize Bihar politics. To observe the functioning of democracy in India and its social consequences Subrata K. Mitra and V.B. Singh (1999) conducted an all-India survey in the wake of the 1996 elections. They found that voters generally expressed satisfaction regarding the functioning of the Election Commission and the Judiciary, but were not satisfied with the performance of individual politicians. There was a lack of confidence in elected representatives and in the civil servants responsible for the implementation of various policies. Concerns were expressed about the functioning of government officials and the police and also about the involvement of political leaders in scandals and corruption. A positive correlation was also found between the exposure to campaigns and political meetings and the legitimacy of the political system. Pushpendra (1999) analysed the post-poll survey results carried out during the 1996 and 1998 elections. His analysis revealed that scheduled caste voters are gradually shifting their traditional party loyalties in favour of new parties espousing their interests. However, the growing class differentiation amongst them has resulted in the lower class Dalits opting for exclusively scheduled-caste based parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Left Front or the left-of-the-centre regional parties. While analysing the role played by caste in the Ninth Lok Sabha elections of 1989, Balraj Puri (1990) found that caste and ideology have stemmed the Hindu wave in some states and regions in various forms. In Ramashray Roy and Paul Wallace (1999). The majority of the contributors attempted to analyse the factors that affected the outcome of the 1998 elections. Some authors concentrated at the national level whereas others analysed the situation in different states—the states covered in the volume are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kashmir, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. A brief account of the arguments developed by the scholars is presented below. Three major strands were identified by Paul Wallace in his Introduction: (i) Hindutva—the Hindu Nationalist Philosophy of the BJP which also formed the core of the new governing coalition; (ii) The regional parties whose strength varied from 18 to 1 facilitated the formation of the coalition government at the Centre; and (iii) the decision of the BJP to go ahead with the nuclear test. He further argued that ‘the national party system can now be described as a bi-modal, multi-party system (ibid.). In practical language, India now has two major or national political parties manoeuvring within a large vortex of small regional

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parties. Neither of the major parties—the BJP and the Congress—emerged from the March-April 1998 elections with close to a majority in the Lok Sabha’ (ibid.: 17). Another significant observation made by Wallace was that when two political parties with two distinct social bases form an alliance, they can sweep the polls, as happened in Punjab in 1998 when the Akali Dal with its rural base, and the BJP with its urban base, formed an alliance. Pradeep K. Chhibber and Irfan Nooruddin (1999) in their joint paper in Roy and Wallace (1999) analysed party competition and fragmentation in Indian national elections from 1957 to 1998. They used the measure of mobilization to analyse the performance of various parties at the district level. Mobilization was measured by multiplying the vote share with the turnout in the elections. The result indicates the extent to which the party was able to mobilize the electorate into voting for them. Chhibber and Nooruddin found that the BJP was the biggest gainer in the Hindi belt. Their analysis also revealed that the shift from one-party-dominance to two-party competition has had its effect on the turnout and mobilization of voters. The analysis also shows that a district with two effective parties is more successful in mobilizing the voter than a single-party-dominant district.3 Kanchan Chandra (1999) and Virginia van Dyke (1999) independently explored the changing party system and bases of support from two different perspectives. Whereas Chandra concentrated on the impact of ethnification, Van Dyke analysed religious mobilization by the BJP and its allies. Chandra’s study highlighted the emergence of a party system in which all major political parties base their political campaign to get support on the basis of ethnicity. Van Dyke argued that though the political party controls the organization and structure, the religious leaders are used for mass mobilization. Binoy S. Prasad (1999) analysed the 12th Lok Sabha elections in Bihar and found that a majority of the winners were successful because the votes against them were split amongst the several opponents. The defeat of the BJP/Shiv Sena alliance by the Congress alliance in the 12th Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra was the focus of Sikata Banerjee’s (1999) study. The factors identified by her for the BJP/Shiv Sena alliance were ‘the popularity of a candidate, shifts in crucial OBC and Dalit/Muslim voting as well as the division of Maratha-Kunbi votes between the Congress and the BJP or Shiv Sena’ (180). Harold A Gould’s (1999) analysis of the 12th general elections in Karnataka revealed that for the first time in this election, the BJP, with the help of the regional party of Ramkrishna Hegde, succeeded in making inroads in Karnataka. The BJP, which was regarded as a large regional party anchored in the Hindi heartland, has spread its influence in peninsular India. The performance of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the post-NTR phase was analysed by K. Srinivasulu (1999) during the 12th Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh. The results indicate that during the 1998 general elections there was a considerable subterraneous stirring in the social support structure of the TDP and the Congress. A section of the TDP’s support coalition—especially the

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poor, farmers and the youth—showed a strong inclination for the BJP. This happened due to the failure of the TDP in giving representation to the elite of the backward castes and its lack of policy support to artisans, small/middle peasants, and the agrarian poor of these castes. The fall of the Congress fortress in Orissa during the 1998 general elections was analysed by Ramashray Roy (1999). In these elections, the Congress could retain only 4 of the 16 seats it had won in the 1996 elections. Even their poll percentage declined. The Congress lost the seats, argued Roy, due to factional fights. Moreover, the image of many Congress leaders and candidates was tainted by corruption and the failure of the Congress to give effect to the much publicized Korput-Balangir—Kalahandi Plan announced by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. Arthur G. Rubinoff (1999) studied the performance of candidates and political parties and changing alliances in Goa’s Parliamentary elections in 1998. The changing political scenario in elections in Punjab was analysed by Promod Kumar (1999). Reeta Chowdhari-Tremblay (1999) analysed the ‘Elections in Kashmir’ in a historical perspective. In his analysis of the 1999 Parliamentary elections in West Bengal, Bidyut Chakrabarty (2001) found that despite the popularity of the Left Front its share of votes declined significantly. The BJP provided a strong forum for the ruling coalition. On the basis of the 1996 elections in Haryana, N.R. Kaswan and Pradeep Varma (2001) discussed the association between the performance of political parties and the sociogeographic variables. Kanchan Chandra (2000a) analysed the strategy of ethnic demography adopted by the Bahujan Samaj Party in Hoshiarpur (Punjab). While comparing the strategy of the BSP with that of the Congress and the BJP, she found that the comparative ability to provide political representation is the key explanation for its success. Nagindas Sanghavi and Usha Thakkar (2000) regarded the 1999 elections as a contest between proelectoral fronts and alliances. A significant study of the 1999 elections, which incidentally was also the first book to be published on the 1999 elections, was Yogesh Atal’s (2000) MaNDAte for Political Transition: Re-emergence of Vajpayee. The book encapsulates the intense political activity of 1999 that culminated in mid-term Parliamentary elections which brought back, the Vajpayee-led NDA to power. Atal analysed the factors that led to the fall of the Vajpayee government, describes the machinations to put up an alternative government, and also analysed the fracture in the Congress Party caused by dissensions on the issue of Sonia Gandhi’s leadership. He has meticulously reconstructed the pre-election scenario and objectively narrated the major events and happenings related to the entire political process of elections. The book is an example of the use of the technique of ethnography at the wider national level. Unlike other election studies, this work did not use the techniques of survey research, neither did it engage in election forecasting. It is a brilliant narrative of the nationwide process of government formation. Deceptively simple

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and descriptive, the book offers theoretical insights and objective comments on the emerging Indian polity that is moving from the one-party-dominance system to coalition politics in which the two-party system would operate at the level of alliances. Political Parties. Only ten studies—two articles and eight books—have been writ-

ten on political parties during the period under review. The distribution of studies on political parties included in the survey is given in Table 4.6. Table 4.6 Political Parties covered Political Parties

No. of Studies

Bhartiya Janata Party

5

Congress Party

3

Shiva Sena

1

More than One Party

1

Total

10

In 1988, two books—both collections of essays—(one by Kapil Kumar and the other by Ram Joshi and R.K. Hebsur, appeared on the Congress Party. The former contains articles which mainly highlight the role of the Indian National Congress in thwarting the class struggles of peasants and workers during the pre-independence period. The latter book, viewes the overall role of the Congress in Indian politics in a centenary perspective, which is also the title of the book. The third book by Zoya Hasan (1998), analyses factors responsible for the decline and fall of the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh that culminated in its virtual extinction by the end of 1990. According to Hasan, the Congress in UP failed to adapt to the changing political and social environment in the state. Due to the changes in the economy, the class structure of Indian society also changed and new political formations arose which affected the grass-roots support structure of the Congress. Earlier, Congress politics in UP was dominated by Brahmins and Thakurs, but the Green Revolution and the emergence of Charan Singh as a Jat leader led to the downfall of the Congress. Due to the disintegration of Congress in Uttar Pradesh, it also lost the support of the backward classes, the scheduled castes, and the Muslims. The political vacuum thus created by the Congress was filled by the BJP and a number of smaller parties like the SVD, BKD, SP, and BSP, which changed the face of UP politics. B. Graham (1990), Yogendra K. Malik and V.B. Singh (1994), Partha S. Ghosh (1999), and Sunil Kumar (2001) wrote full-length monographs on the Bharatiya Janata Party. Graham did a comprehensive and perceptive study of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh—the precursor of the present-day Bharatiya Janata Party—through the

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first two decades of its history from 1951. Malik and Singh traced the origins of Hindu nationalism and examined its role in pre- and post-independence politics. The authors used documents of the party, and conducted extensive interviews with key party leaders and the intellectual exponents of Hindu nationalism to analyse the circumstances that led to the rise of the BJP as a major political force in the 1990s. They also discussed the organizational and leadership structure, factional politics, electoral support, and programmes and policies of the BJP. By espousing an explicitly Hindu nationalist agenda, the BJP has questioned the non-sectarian basis upon which the Indian State was formed. Ghosh traced the growth of Hindu nationalism from the early days of the Indian renaissance in the late nineteenth century to the present. He also assessed the future of political hinduism in general and the BJP in particular. Sunil Kumar analysed the ideology, organization, leadership, electoral base and also the Hindutva doctrine of BJP with the broader consolidation of communal and secular politics in Indian politics. In an interesting article on the BJP, published in the Economic and Political Weekly, Priyavadan Patel (1999) analysed the rise and fall of the party in Gujarat. Jayanth Lele (1995) traced the history of the Shiv Sena over the last fifty years in are article aptly titled ‘Saffronization of Shiv Sena: Political economy of City, State, and Nation’. In passing, it may be said that Sudha Gogate of the SNDT Women’s University in the 1960s wrote, a full-length monograph on the Shiv Sena for her Ph.D. degree in Sociology but because of her sudden death that work has remained unpublished. Zoya Hasan (2002) edited a collection of previously published articles by various scholars, except one which was especially written for the volume. The book has five parts besides an Introduction by the editor. The first part deals with the dominance and decline of the Congress, whereas the second part is devoted to the rise and growth of Hindu nationalist politics. The third part contains two articles discussing the radical politics of the left parties. The Janata phase and the politics of lower castes, especially in north India, discussed in the fourth part. Political competition and the transformation of the party system is the subject matter of the last part. The article by E. Sridharan, especially written for the volume, deals with the overview of the party system and focuses on the electoral records of the parties and their position in the party system.

Studies on Democracy, Civil Society, Ethnicity and Nation-State In all, 51 studies have been considered in category of democracy, civil society, ethnicity and the nation-state. Of these 21 are books and 30 articles, there are ten books on democracy, and on the relationship between the state and society. Three books are on civil society, and three on nation-building, including two edited volumes. There is another work on the criminalization of politics; the rest are on ethnicity and the nation-state (see Table 4.7).

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Table 4.7 Studies on democracy, civil Society, Ethnicity, nation-State Themes

No. of Studies

Percentage of Total Studies

1. Ethnicity and Civil Society

15

29.41

2. Nation-Building/Nation-State

11

21.57

3. Some Aspects of Democracy

14

27.45

4. Secularism

2

3.92

5. Coalition Governments

2

3.92

6. Criminalization of Politics

1

1.96

7. Cultural and National identity

1

1.96

8. Tribal Development

1

1.96

9. Others

4

7.85

51

100.0

Total

Almost one-third of the studies discussed some aspects of ethnicity and civil society followed by the nation-state and nation-building. Secularism and the weakness of coalition government were highlighted by 8 per cent of the scholars. About 22 per cent discussed some aspects of democracy. James Manor (1988) has dealt with the contemporary political scene in India. According to him, two continuous trends, i.e. political awakening and political decay, mark the contemporary Indian political scene. Despite socio-economic barriers, various interest groups, classes, and demand groups, have been moving ahead due to self-awareness and assertiveness making India a more genuine democracy, though political institutions have undergone decay and are not able to respond adequately to pressures from social groups. Manor identifies five major categories of violence in contemporary India: (i) insurrectionary violence against the state and reaction by the latter; (ii) non-insurrectionary violence between the state and a social group; (iii) violence between social groups; (iv) violence among political parties; and (v) criminal violence. He, however, argues that India will not explode into a sprawling volcano due to the following factors: first, the perception of violence by the Indian political elite as an explanation for a greater tolerance of violence and a belief that mayhem would yield to an equilibrium; secondly, the social structure of India is such that most of the violence remains localized and does not develop into widespread conflagration; and finally, the resilience and regenerative capability of the Indian political system to restore normalcy.

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N.K. Das (1989) has analysed the pattern of ethnic mobilization and identity formation among the tribes of north-east India. He also examines the process of state formation and socio-cultural development among some of the larger and smaller tribes of the region. Seven books discussing democracy in India were published between 1988 and 2002. In his book, Rajni Kothari (1988) is critical of the emerging political culture of corruption and criminality, but at the same time he is hopeful about democratic spirit in India. He diagnoses society’s ailments and also offers a veritable list of prescriptions. In Atul Kohli’s (1988) collection of essays on India’s democracy focussing on the changing relationship between the State and the Society, the authors have examined the evolution and functioning of certain major institutions of Indian democracy and reflected on the future of Indian democracy. Pradeep K. Chhibber (1999), writing on the transformation of the party system and the phenomenon of social cleavages, has argued that regional differences are better predictors of votes than social variables such as caste, language, and religion. The success and failure of a political party is better explained by the specific strategies used in different states. On the basis of three case studies—the food crisis in Kalahandi, the Shahbanu case along with the Muslim Women’s Act of 1986, and the Narmada project— Niraja Gopal Jayal (1999) examined the three main functions of the Indian State, namely, welfare, secularism, and development. Each of these case studies is based on extensive background information. Governmental apathy, reluctance to assume responsibility, retreat in the face of difficult situations, and a complete subservience to powerful vested interests are the main features of her findings. In each of the three cases, according to Jayal, the principles of equality and justice have been compromised. Both in Kalahandi and the Narmada project, it is the tribal population that has been adversely affected. The law and order machinery has been used to suppress the voice of the people in the Narmada project. As all political parties are constrained by electoral consideration, none of them are ready to take a bold and impartial stand, concludes Jayal. The contributing authors in Frankel and Rao (1989–90) have mainly highlighted the issues of domination and subordination expressed in structures of caste, class, and land control in different states of the country. The states covered are Bihar, UP, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka (vol. 1); and Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, Punjab and Tribes of Middle India (vol. 2). Gurpreet Mahajan (1998) discusses the aspects of liberal democracy in India. In her book, she concentrated on the rights of minority communities, especially the Sikhs, Parsees, Anglo Indians, and Indian Christians, to show that despite the constitutional guarantees to them the Indian democracy failed to create an environment to give them adequate protection. The growing crisis of governability in India has been highlighted by Atul Kohli (1988).

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Ananta Kumar Giri (1996) argued that the globalization of democracy as a form of legitimate government has not been accompanied by genuine efforts to tackle the problem of democracy. There are a few scholars who have discussed the issues of ethnicity, nationalism, civil society and citizenship in India. The main contention of Brass (1991) is that culture has been used at will by ethnic elites to attain political goals. T.K. Oommen (1997a, 1997b) has argued that peoples of diverse racial, cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds have a right to claim common nationality and citizenship rights if they share territory, communicate with one another, and affirm a sense of belongingness. Béteille (1999) has pleaded for the empowerment of people at the expense of the state to create and invigorate civil society. Just as the state and civil society are complementary, so are the state and citizen, argued Béteille. Dipankar Gupta (1990) has proposed that culture and linguistic differences are the enduring bases on which politics in India is played out. Uberoi (1999) examines the civil society from two opposite aspects, namely, culture and power. The background of the state and civil society concepts and their place in theoretical traditions and the fallacious understanding of the relationship between the two have been scrutinized by Vikas N. Pandey (1999). John Harries (1999) argues for differentiating the political system of different states on the basis of the balance of caste. Both T.K. Oommen and Anand Kumar have written extensively on nationbuilding. Anand Kumar published two books on this aspect including one edited book. Oommen’s (1990) book is a collection of essays on nation-building, which he wrote between 1982–89. His main argument is that nation-building can be successful by preserving and fostering genuine cultural pluralism and by empowering the collectivities through linguistic based institutions of self-governments to decide how their culture and values would change. Anand Kumar (1989) focussed on the understanding of the pattern of relations between the state, the power-matrix and political movements in the context of the modern world system emphasizing on the state agenda in India between 1917–77. In Anand Kumar’s (1999) edited volume, the authors have evaluated the responses of the Indian polity to the challenges and imperatives of nation-building since independence with reference to religion, gender, caste, class, region, language, and the impact of international trends. The authors also have examined the theoretical and empirical dimensions of the dynamic relationship between culture, power, and society in the context of nation-building. D.L. Sheth and Gurpreet Mahajan’s (1999) edited volume examines the minority claims within the context of the nation-state and democratic politics. The authors have also explored the sources of minority consciousness. The tensions between the democratic-political rights and the cultural claims of minorities within the framework of the nation-state have also been discussed in the volume. There was a growing concern in the 1990s in most countries of the world that they were not in a position to handle the collective predicaments of their own subjects. A debate is still continuing among Western scholars to find out

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‘which politics are likely to prove able to meet such challenges by transforming themselves with fluency and decisiveness, and what types of challenges are likely to prove lethal to even the most resilient and hallowed polity’ (Dunn 1995: 2). Scholars from six countries, including India, were invited by Dunn to analyze the situation in their respective countries. The chapter ‘Crisis of the Nation-State in India’ in Dunn (1995) has been contributed by Sudipto Kaviraj. He has provided a refreshing perspective to the crisis of nation-building in India. He contends that in the pre-colonial period, the caste system ‘governed boundaries and controlled transactions between social groups (p. 116). Even the state had to function under the rigid rule of the caste system. An individual during this period belonged to ‘his village, local community, caste group, religious sect, language, kinship complexes’ (ibid.). Though the British rulers made India a geographic and demographic entity, ambivalence remained regarding the national identity; people were not sure whether they belonged to a nation of Bengalis, of Hindus, or of Indians. Nehru’s strategy of making independent India industrially self-reliant by developing capital goods industries worked very well for first three decades. But things changed in 1975–77, especially after the Emergency. ‘What initially appeared the crisis of government has slowly spread to become a crisis of the Indian nation-state, at least in its current institutional forms’ (126). Kaviraj argues for replacing the Nehruvian imagination of nationalism with other forms. According to him ‘if the present Indian state suffers disintegration, its present space would most likely be occupied by a number of smaller, more homogeneous, less democratic states within their own insecure narratives of being a nation from immemorial antiquity’ (129). The significance of the concepts of nation and nation-state can be derived from the fact that the Indian Sociological Society selected it as the main theme for its 25th All India Sociological Conference held at Aligarh in 1998 (S.L. Sharma 2000; Sociological Bulletin vol. 48, 1999). S.L. Sharma (2000: XV) has made a distinction between ‘nation as a supra-local entity and nation as a culturally distinct locational entity’. The term nation has been used in the Indian subcontinent in both the senses. ‘In terms of a civilizational category, it signifies a supra-local entity. Notably, the civilizational notion of nation is open to both interpretations: communal and secular. Used in terms of Hindu civilization or Hindutva, it takes on a communal character, while used as composite culture or as a plurality of cultural entities it takes on a secular character. These usages pertain to macro-level conceptualization of nation. At the micro-level, again the term nation is amenable to two interpretations—as a culturally distinct territorial entity and as a culturally grounded imagined political community’ (ibid.). The main contention of Sharma is that the definition of a nation may depend on the context. ‘Any attempt at reducing it to one single definition is bound to leave out some of its other important conceptual constituents.’ (ibid.). T.K. Oommen identifies nation in seven different ways: ancient civilizational entity, composite culture, political entity, religious entity, geographical territorial

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entity with a specific cultural ethos, a collection of linguistic entities and a unity of great and little nations. A ‘fusion between territory and culture’, according to Oommen, is the most proximate definition of a nation, especially in the context of South Asia. Language and region according to M.N. Karna (2000) define the nation-state relationship in India. Jaganath Pathy (2000) has criticized the nation-state for depriving the tribals of their land, livelihood, language, religion, and culture. The vision of nationhood and religiosity among a select group of freedom fighters is the focus of Proshanta Nandi’s (2000) paper. G. Aloysius (2000) has discussed how caste has been implicated with nation and religion in modern India. The role of women in the making of the Indian nation is the theme of Maitrayee Chaudhuri’s (2000) paper. In his collection of essays written between 1987 and 1995, Oommen (2002) has attempted to develop a conceptual and theoretical framework to understand the issues of cultural and national identity. In the process, he has discarded Furnivall’s concept of ‘Plural Society’ and suggested that pluralism consists of several societies or nations. He describes India as a multinational nation, different from a multicultural society. Pluralism, according to Oommen, means the attitude of the in-groups i.e. Hindus towards the out-groups, which he calls as natives. For him, pluralism is an attitude of accommodation and should not be equated with the equality of opportunity. Another controversial issue raised by Oommen in the book is that nations only exist and one cannot build a nation. The issues raised by Oommen in the book, however, need intensive debate4. A special symposium on civil society was organized as part of the 26th All India Sociological Conference, held at the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, in December 2000. Papers presented at the symposium were revised and printed in Sociological Bulletin (September 2001. Of the eight articles on civil society published in this issue, seven are the revised versions presented at the symposium, while André Béteille’s (2001) article is an expanded version of the 12th Zakir Hussain Memorial Lecture.5 André Béteille emphasized that ‘civil society is a feature of modern world, and it will serve little purpose to look for alternative forms of it in the medieval or ancient world’ (ibid.: 294). He made a distinction between good society and civil society. Béteille believes that religious movements and assemblies for moral, ethical and spiritual discourses may contribute to the formation of a good society, but he seems sceptical about their role in the formation of civil society. The following scholars also presented their papers at the symposium mentioned above: D.N. Dhanagare, Satish Saberwal, P.K.B. Nayar, T.K. Oommen, Rowena Robinson, Vikas N. Pandey, and Ananta Kumar Giri. ‘Autonomy of individual, protection of individual right to equal citizenship, and access to decision making apparatus and participatory democratic framework are necessary conditions of civil society’, believes Dhanagare (2001: 188). Civil society, according to Satish Saberwal, means a social space which has four

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qualities: (i) decisions and choices have to be made on the basis of reason and of knowledge; (ii) members have to relate to each other open-endedly, without exclusion on grounds of religion, gender and so forth; (iii) decisions and choices should be free from coercive pressures; and (iv) to enhance the members capacity of intermediate associations to cope with the kind of coercion that arises in primary groups like family and in agencies of the state (Saberwal 2001: 192–94). P.K.B. Nayar is of the opinion that India has a comparatively well developed civil society, and some of its CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) have made commendable contributions both to the cause of democracy and to national development. At the same time, he believes that the socio-political conditions in India are not conducive for a healthy growth of civil society (2001: 215). The associations and movements organized on the basis of religion, caste and language are instruments of establishing equality between the privileged and the deprived groups and communities argues T.K. Oommen. He further asserts that ‘mobilization by the underprivileged social categories are geared to bring about dignity also for them, the thrust being emancipatory identity. In contrast, mobilization by the dominant categories are efforts to reinforce and perpetuate their hegemony. Both these tendencies must be recognised as different aspects of civil society’ (ibid.: 234). Rowena Robinson (2001) believes that religion, rather than caste or language, is the main marker of Indian identity. The main argument of Anant Kumar Giri is that ‘identity based movements have been important agents of change and political contestation in the contemporary world, but their mobilization now needs a hermeneutic and spiritual supplement of recognizing and identifying with the suffering of others’ (Giri 2001: 282). Identity politics needs to be transformed through openness to recreate civil society as a space of ethico-political mobilization of the subject. Harnik Deol (2000) has examined the growth of national sentiments among the Sikh community in Punjab. She has outlined the reasons for the rise of Sikh militancy in the 1970s and 1980s. The after-effects of the Green Revolution on the young, semi-literate Sikh peasantry and the commercialization of agriculture in Punjab contributed to the Sikh separatist movement. She has also explored the role of the print media in the revitalization of religion in the 1980s and the emergence of sharper religious boundaries. She argues that the theory of nationalism in India cannot be derived from the European experience. Analysis of cultural and historical specificities would provide clues to the rise of nationalism in India. Dipankar Gupta (2000) used the analytical framework of the concept of culture to interpret governance, citizenship and fraternity. The significance of culture, according to him, lies in the fact that it informs the way people interact with each other in defined spaces. The nation-state, he argues, being one such space should be seen as an important cultural phenomenon. Jaganath Pathy (1991) has argued in an article that the technological deterministic model of development has depleted tribal resources and devastated the ecological balance. Increasing centralization of power, and processes of nation, building, have diminished the cultural and linguistic autonomy of the tribal

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people. M.K. Sandhu (1990) assessed the nature of student protest to figure out the differences in the political orientation of the activists and non-activists. Anirban Banerjee (1989) attempted a cross-cultural analysis of student movements. Manjit Singh (1992) studied political socialization among university students. Manoranjan Mohanty (1989) attempted to evolve a non-hegemonic concept of secularism. The fight for real secularism, according to him, should be directed against the ruling class or state hegemony. Such an orientation would require a redefinition of secularism. He further argued that secularism is a part of the democratic struggle against social and class domination. According to him, the social base of religion must be exposed and its democratic content must be differentiated from its hegemonic rule. Sumanta Banerjee (1990) is of the opinion that all of us suffer from some sort of social myopia at various levels, which often leads us to recognize some manifestation as violent actions, but makes us indifferent to various other political and economic actions that indirectly violate our democratic rights. The criminalization of politics in India has emerged as a most alarming issue in recent years. But unfortunately not many scholars have worked in this area. In order to focus on this issue the Institute of Peace Research and Action organized a seminar in August 1990, in which many social scientists, writers, journalists, and activists participated. The proceedings of the seminar were edited by Susheela Bhan (1995) and published as Criminalization of Politics. The participants in the seminar expressed concern over the increasing nexus between criminals and politicians, which is threatening the very bases of the country’s civil society. Earlier, the politicians protected criminals, but now the criminals themselves are trying to hold power and are refusing to play second fiddle to politicians. C.P. Bhambhri (1999) and M.P. Singh (2001) analysed the phenomenon of coalition governments in India. Bhambhri’s main argument is that in a coalition there is no commonality of policies and the only binding factor is desire for governance. Singh has analyses the phenomenon of federal coalition governments in India with special reference to the National Front and the United Front, both left-of-centre formations led by the Janata Dal in the early and later half of the 1990s.

Studies on Communalism Communal violence in India is a legacy of the colonial period. The policy of divide and rule pursued by the British sowed the seeds of communalism in the country. The first communal riots in Independent India occurred in 1962 in Jabalpur, on account of economic competition between Hindu and Muslim beedi manufacturers. However, the root cause of this riot was the decision of the daughter of the Hindu beedi manufacturer to marry the son of the Muslim beedi manufacturer. The communal riots of 1969 in Ahmedabad were engineered by some political parties to oppose the ‘unchallenged hegemony’ of Indira Gandhi. They

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were followed by riots in Bhivandi and Jalgaon in 1970. Major riots also occurred during the Janata Party regime in Jamshedpur, Benaras, Aligarh and a few other places in 1977–78. Communal riots also took place in Moradabad (1980), in Biharsharif (1981), Meerut (1982), Baroda (1982), Bombay-Bhivandi (1984), and Ahmedabad (1985). In the late 1980s, there were several incidents of communal violence in different parts of the country. The floodgates for communal violence in the country were opened in February 1986 when the Faizabad district judge ordered the opening of the Ram Janam Bhoomi and the Babri Masjid complex for worship by the Hindus, which had been closed in the early 1950s by the Government of India. This was followed by large-scale protests by Muslims resulting in the setting up of the Babri Masjid Coordination Committee in March 1986. They also organized a nation-wide Muslim mourning. The issue took an ugly turn in December 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished. The demolition of the mosque led to communal violence in many parts of the country. Of the 15 books on communalism two are on communal politics in India in the historical perspective and one is a collection of articles. The rest of the studies are either on the Ayodhya issue or on communal violence in different parts of the country. Among the articles, 10 are on communal violence, one is on the historical development of Hinduism, while another two papers attempt to conceptualize communalism (Table 4.8). Table 4.8 Studies on communalism Themes

No. of Studies

Percentage of Studies

12

38.7

2. Hinduism and Politics

7

22.6

3. Ayodhya Crisis

6

19.4

4. Communal Politics

4

12.9

5. Others

2

6.4

31

100.0

1. Study of Communal Riots

All studies

Forty per cent of the total studies on communalism have concentrated on communal riots. The cities where riots have been studied are Bhagalpur, Moradabad, Mumbai, Surat, and Udaipur. There are few scholars who have analysed the riots in the entire state of Maharashtra and Gujarat. One-fourth of the studies discuss the politics of Hindutva of the BJP, and one-fifth studies are concerned with the Ayodhya crisis. While conceptualizing communalism, K.N. Panikkar (1992) argued that communalism in both minority and majority communities draws heavily from

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their respective pasts. Since the ideology of communalism is derived from the assumptions of history, any dialogue between secularism and communalism is not possible. On the basis of empirical data based on Maharashtra and Punjab, Dipankar Gupta (1991) says that ‘ethnicised’ politics is communalism and not fundamentalism. He further argues that communalism can function only when an ethnic order has been antagonistically identified as it operates in a situation of dyadic opposition. The analysis of the communal riots in Udaipur and Ahmedabad by Zenab Banu (1989) led her to conclude that communalism is essentially a political phenomenon. Beneath group prejudices, communal contradictions, tensions and riots, there is a struggle for control over resources of power. To gain economic and political dominance, certain individuals exploit the illiterates and the traditionbound masses. The role of a police officer in handling the communal violence in Moradabad city of Uttar Pradesh has been analysed by A.P. Maheshwari (2000). He has also identified the causes of communal violence and discussed the administrative counter-strategies and line of control, as also the role of citizens in diffusing the volatile situation. Sheldon Pollock (1993) discussed the controversies over the Babri Masjid issue and related violence and examined the symbology of these events. He traced the long history of the relationship between the Ramayana and political symbology. Four more publications on the Ayodhya controversy appeared after 1986. Koenraad Elst (1990) chose the Ram Janam Bhoomi controversy as illustrative of the Hindu-Muslim behaviour pattern. He attempted to develop the story of controversy step by step in all its aspects—historical, political, and judicial. David Ludden (1996) and John McGuire, Peter Reeves and Howard Brasted (1996) came out with two anthologies relative to the Ayodhya issue. They highlighted the rise of communal politics and that of the BJP, and proposed an interdisciplinary framework for studying communalism simultaneously via culture, society, economy, media, history, and politics. S. Gopal (1991) also edited a book on Ayodhya and the rise of communal politics in India. Post-Ayodhya perspectives were also analysed in a seminar in 1994, the proceedings of which have been published in a book edited by Madhusree Dutta, Flavia Agnes, and Neera Adarkar (1996). The book contains the views of trade unionists, civil rights activists, lawyers, educationists, and researchers. Three reasons for the outbreak of violence in Maharashtra after the demolition of the Babri Masjid are given by Gopal Guru (1993) (i) The rising tide of Muslim protest all over the state; (ii) the cross-section communalism of the masses; and (iii) certain developments in the state which confused even the liberal and progressive forces. Lancy Lobo (1993), on the other hand, blames socio-economic factors for the post-Ayodhya riots while analysing the communal violence in Surat city. Reckless industrialization, according to her, caused a acute housing problem for migrants and the tone was set by communal propaganda by the press, parties, and various other organizations. Political parties fermented the

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riots; the indifference of the police further escalated the problem. The aftermath of the 1992 communal riots in Mumbai has also been analysed by Helen Joseph (2000). The communal riots which also spread to south India were studied by Wright (2000). The erosion and breakdown of the institutions built by Gandhi, and the society which supported them, is the main reason for the recurring violence argues Howard Spodek (1989) on the basis of his analysis of the 1983 riots in Ahmedabad. While writing on the culture of communalism in Gujarat, Rajni Kothari (2002a) examines the larger and rapidly spreading communalization of the Indian polity and attempts to identify the individuals and groups spreading the culture of violence. Girish Patel (2002) traced the socio-political history of Gujarat to find some clues about communal violence there. On the basis of his study of communalism in India, Asghar Ali Engineer (1995) came to the conclusion that communalism is not a religious phenomenon but a phenomenon connected with the interest group of a religious community. According to him, ‘communalism, right from the 19th century, has been generated by conflicting interests of educated elites, not the masses’ (ibid.: xiii). This is based on his analysis of the behaviour of political leaders of various communities. On the basis of his analyses of various communal riots at different places, he identified the macro—as well as the micro—factors responsible for communal riots. Macro factors are (i) the class nature of the society and the underdevelopment of the economy including scarcity of resources; (ii) an urban phenomenon rooted among the petty bourgeoisie; and (iii) the socio-economic changes bringing about a deep sense of insecurity among those strata who are adversely affected by them. The micro-factors are ‘Competition between rival traders or small manufacturers from the two communities, competition between two gangs of hoodlums dealing either in smuggling, illicit arms or liquor, or similar other anti-social activities, scheming by local industrial magnates to weaken trade unions by raising some communal issues, election to local bodies or contest over some assembly or parliamentary seats’ (ibid.: 119). Another micro-characteristic of communal conflicts is that they have a tendency to occur more in medium-sized towns, especially in those towns where the Muslim population varies between 20 to 50 per cent. It further gets intensified if there are some Muslim entrepreneurial classes competing with Hindu businessmen. While analysing the role of Hinduism in Indian politics in socio-historical development, Gail Omvedt’s (1990) main contention is that there has been a gradual process of recognition of a ‘Hindu’ community and also of rendering it increasingly militant. According to her, the political weakness of secular and socialist forces led to the rise of militant Hindu ideology. Achin Vanaik (1997), in his collection of essays on communalism, argues that secularism is the only legitimate ground on which to confront communalism. Thomas Blom Hansen (1999) finds a close relationship between nationalism and communal ideology. He relates the growth of the Hindu Right in Maharashtra in the 1980s due to the emergence of ‘majoritarian democracy’ and the populist form of ‘governmentality’, especially

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during Rajiv Gandhi’s regime. Due to the advent of the satellite in the 1980s the explosion of the electronic media like TV and video culture made certain serials like Mahabharata and Ramayana popular not only in urban India but also in rural India, which contributed to the growth of the Hindu Right. John Zavos’s (2000) study on the emergence of Hindu nationalism is based on the analysis of those movements striving to construct a monolith Hindu identity, which may lead to the emergence of the supremacy of the Hindus. He has given a historical account of the construction and consolidation of Hindu national identity. Rajni Kothari (1998) focusses on the communal upsurge in India starting from the attack on the Golden Temple and the anti-Sikh killings of 1984 to 6 December 1992 when the Babri Masjid was destroyed followed by large-scale killings of Muslims in many parts of the country including Mumbai, Surat and Ahmedabad. He raises the fundamental issues about the communal shifts, in the nature of the Indian state and civil society. Kothari pleads for a distinctive and pluralistic model for India in which all religions are respected and special consideration is given to the minorities and their rights. In his study Harish Sharma (2000) focusses on the 1980s, which saw the worldwide rise of Islamic fundamentalism and analyses the emerging political culture of communalism in India. On the basis of the analysis of the Shah Bano case and the Ram Janam Bhoomi–Babri Masjid controversy, he has attempted to identify the factors responsible for the growth of communalism and its interface with democracy. A few scholars have studied the historical aspects of communalism and attempted to link it with Hindu Nationalist Movement. Gyanendra Pandey (1990) has provided a historiography of nationalist and communalist movements in colonial north India. The Hindu Nationalist Movement from 1925 to 1990, with special reference to Central India, has been discussed by C. Jaffrelot (1996). While analysing the Khilafat Movement, Mushirul Hasan (1991) has argued that Islamic tradition contained the basis of an ideology of unity. His argument is based on the work of religious Muslim nationalists like Jamaluddin Afghani and Maulana Azad; and he has demonstrated the possibilities of a nationalism unified in Islamic thought. How the conversion of the scheduled castes to Islam in Meenakshipuram in Tirunelveli district in 1981 became an important catalyst in the growth of communalism in Tamil Nadu has been discussed by Frank S. Fanselow (2000). Collective violence needs to be understood in terms of the ideology that underpins it and the form and organization it takes, argues Rowena Robinson (1996) on the basis of her analysis of the Bhagalpur riots in 1989. The burning of Hindus at the Godhra railway station in Gujarat on 27 February 2002, and the aftermath of this incident raised questions about the identity of the Indian State. People from various fields including journalists, social scientists and social activists have attempted to present the incident in different perspectives. M.L. Sondhi and Apratim Mukarji (2002) make an attempt to ‘understand the

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phenomenon at two levels: by documenting the physical manifestation of the riots as achieved in substantive measure by exhaustive, on-the-spot, investigations and subsequently published reports, such as those of the NHRC and the Human Rights Watch, New York. It also includes the order issued by the Election Commission of India’ (pp. IX, X). The first part of the book contains articles where the writers— both Indian and non-Indian—have attempted to understand the special nature of the riots. The second part of the book contains the report of the NHRC and the order issued by the Election Commission of India. Rafiq Zakaria also deals has dealt with, the Godhra incident. In the first four chapters of his book (2002) he describes what happened in Godhra and thereafter in the rest of Gujarat. In the subsequent chapters he has ‘discussed both the grievances of Hindus against Muslims and the religious misrepresentation and historical distortions pertaining to Islam and the Muslims which have been used as cannon fodder by communal Hindus in their tirade against Muslims.’ (p. xx). It is to be hoped that the next trend report, which will cover the period from 2003 onwards, will include more studies on the Godhra incident.

Emerging Trends and Gaps On the basis of the studies reviewed, an attempt has been made in this section to delineate the emerging trends in the field of political sociology in India, especially between 1988 and 2002. Sociologists and social anthropologists are not insulated from the social, economic, and political developments in the country. A cursory scanning of the trend report reveals that sociologists have responded positively to any development or crisis situation and have made attempts to reach the depth of the problem or its impact on the people and the society as a whole. Whether they have come to a definitive conclusion or not is a different matter, but attempts have been made. This is a healthy sign. The initiative taken by the Congress Party under the prime ministership of Rajiv Gandhi in 1989 for the decentralization of power at the local level received Constitutional status in 1992 with the 73rd Amendment. The amendment provides for the reservation of seats for SCs and STs, besides also providing one-third reservation of seats for posts of members as well as of chairperson in Panchayati Raj institutions for women. This was considered a right step towards the empowerment of women. Many scholars in different states conducted empirical studies in order to work out its implications. Most of them have confirmed the participation of women in different bodies, but their effectiveness in decision-making has been questioned by all. Some of them have attributed this to the high degree of illiteracy among women. Caste violence in the rural areas of some states has posed serious problems. Though caste violence has taken place in many states, it has been studied by a

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only few scholars in Bihar. The factors responsible for violence may differ from region to region, but a comparison can certainly provide some useful insights. The reservation of seats for SCs and STs under decentralization of power has also affected the rural power structure. But not many scholars have studied its. Similarly, the urban power structure has also remained more or less unstudied. It is important to know the socio-economic profile of the members of Legislative Assemblies as well as of members of Parliament. Equally important is the analysis of their contribution in the decision-making process, especially their participation in various debates in Parliament and assemblies. Unfortunately, this aspect has not attracted the attention of scholars. Election studies in recent years have a totally different perspective from the studies carried out in the 1960s. During the 1960s and 1970s, scholars doing election studies mainly highlighted the socio-economic background of the voters as well as their preferences for different political parties and candidates. A few scholars, like Sirsikar and Atal, also used the panel technique to discover the changers, non-changers, as well as the direction and factors for change. But nowadays, scholars are concentrating more on the analysis of data provided by the election office, including the performance of different political parties. How the election results have been affected by pre-poll alliances has also drawn the attention of some scholars. Another trend that emerged was the analysis of elections on the basis of secondary sources, especially print the media such as newspapers and magazines. The reporting of election details in various newspapers and magazines was used by Yogesh Atal to write a complete monograph on the 1999 elections. He did it for the Parliamentary elections but, following his model, similar attempts can be made for Assembly elections in various states. Psephologists have used the swing factor while analysing election results on television. Butler for the first time used the swing factor for the Congress and measured the index of opposition unity to see its impact on the election results. Similar attempts can be made for other political parties. In the past few years many techniques have been tried to predict election outcomes. There is no study which describes these techniques. Such a study on psephological techniques would be an important contribution to social science research methodology, and the ICSSR can take the initiative in this regard. The emergence of the BJP as a political force in the 1990s has drawn the attention of many scholars. As a result, quite a few scholars have researched the growth and development of the party. Another development that affected the political equation in the country was the emergence of a large number of regional political parties which virtually prevailed over national political parties. But no attempt has been made to depict the rise and growth of these parties. Some case studies of these political parties may provide useful insights into the prevailing political process.

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A significant observation made by Paul Wallace while analysing elections in Punjab is that when two political parties with two distinct social bases form an alliance, the chances of their sweeping the polls enhance. This hypothesis needs more empirical studies. Doubts have been raised by some scholars about the decay of political institutions, which might affect the working of democracy in India. The emergence of the political culture of corruption and criminalization of politics may also affect the credibility of the democratic system. Issues related to the protection to minority groups also deserve careful investigation. Studies are needed to examine whether the policies favouring the minorities and the depressed groups have played the counter role of subverting secularism and promoting casteism and communalism. Issues related to the functioning of civil society organizations also deserve priority attention. Some scholars insist that communalism is not a religious phenomenon but is part of a struggle to capture control over resources of power both economic and political. Illiterate and tradition-bound masses are exploited by a few individuals to gain dominance over resources. Communal hatred is further escalated due to partisan propaganda by political parties, the mass media, and various other organizations. It has also been observed that communal violence is mainly an urban phenomenon; it remains to be seen which factors facilitate the rise of communalism in different types of human settlements. The review of literature suggests that the following areas need careful empirical investigation, and therefore may be considered while identifying priorities of research in the coming years: 1. Role of communication, interpersonal as well as that of the mass media, especially the print media, in a crisis situation such as communal violence; 2. Case studies of regional parties to know their genesis, development, functioning, and also their role as pressure groups in coalition politics at the national as well as the state level, 3. Content analysis of the election manifestos of various political parties over the years to reveal how the policies of these parties have changed and to what degree the manifestoes of different parties have a common platform; 4. How the criminalization of politics affects the system; 5. How the politicization of caste affects the functioning of democracy and the pursuit of secularism; and 6. The impact of economic development on the rural power structure. Somehow, interest in political sociology has not retained the momentum of the 1970s. Interest in election studies, particularly voter behaviour, has almost died

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down. Simultaneously, sociologists have moved to other arenas of social protests, such as farmers’ movements. Since all such actions form part of the political life of the society, it is necessary to bring together these varied interests and synthesize them in the framework of political sociology.

notes 1. The Institute of Social Sciences, Agra University, for example, introduced political sociology as an optional paper in 1965. 2. This study was part of a UNESCO-sponsored project, on Communication and Nation Building, directed by Yogesh Atal, then UNESCO Regional Adviser for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok. 3. It is interesting to note that a similar conclusion was reached by Atal in his study of the 1967 elections (see Atal 1971). He suggested: ‘When contending parties join hands to challenge the erstwhile ruling group, political participation of the electorate is likely to register an increase. Where there is no challenge to the ruling group, the electorate gets indifferent and apathetic’ (358). He wrote further: ‘Greater unity in the opposition, exhibited by a lesser number of contestants, made it impossible for the Congress to cash in on the split vote of the opposition to the same extent as in previous years’ (ibid.). However, he also says that ‘a larger number of candidates means a bigger battery of political workers and intensive campaigning, both congenial for political socialization of the masses’. But Atal cautions that the better informed may also remain undecided about the choice and may refrain from voting. 4. See the review of this book by Yogesh Atal in the Sociological Bulletin, 52(1): 2003. 5. Delivered at Zakir Hussain College in Delhi on 22 February 2001.

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———. 1981. ‘Caste and Politics’Survey of Research in Political Science. Vol. 3. New Delhi: Allied Publishers. Sheth, D.L. (1984. ‘Grass-roots initiatives in India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 19. Sheth, D.L. and Gurpreet Mahajan (eds.). 1999. Minorities Identities and the Nation State. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Sheth, Pravin. 1992. ‘The 1990 poll and politics: A Western Indian perspective’. In Subrata K. Mitra and James Chiriyankandath (eds.). Electoral Politics in India: A Changing Landscape. New Delhi: Segment Books. Siegel, Bernard J. and Allan R. Beals. 1960. ‘Conflict and factional disputes’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 90. Singh, Kehar. 1990. Farmers’ Movement and Pressure Group Politics. New Delhi: Deep and Deep. Singh, M.P. 2001. ‘India’s National Front and United Front Coalition governments: A phase in federalised governance’, Asian Survey, 41 (2). Singh, Mahendra Prasad. 2001. ‘Whither Indian party system? The electoral and legislative dimensions’, Indian Social Science Review, 3(1). Singh, Manjit. 1992. Political Socialization of Student. New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications. Singh, Ranbir. 1992. ‘National and State politics in post-election India: A study in Haryana’, In Subrata K. Mitra and James Chiriyankandath (eds.). Electoral Politics in India: A Changing Landscape. New Delhi.: Segment Books. Singh, V.B. 1992. ‘Harijans and their influence on the elections in Uttar Pradesh’. In Subrata K. Mitra and James Chiriyankandath (eds.). Electoral Politics in India A Changing Landscape. New Delhi: Segment Books. Sinha, Nutan. 1991. ‘Women participation and involvement in election’, The Indian Journal of Public Administrations, 37 (3). Sirsikar, V.M. 1965. Political Behaviour in India. Bombay: Manaktalas. Sondhi, M.L. and Apartim Mukarji (eds.). 2002. The Black Book of Gujarat. New Delhi: Manak Publications. Spodek, Howard. 1989. ‘From Gandhi to violence: Ahmedabad’s 1983 riots in historical perspective’, Modern Asian Studies, 23 (4). Sridharan, E. 2002. ‘The fragmentation of the Indian party system’. In Zoya Hasan (ed.). Parties and Party Politics in India. New Delhi: OUP. Srinivas, M.N. 1959. ‘The dominant caste in Rampura’, American Anthropologist, 61 (1). ———. 1962. Caste in Modern India and Other Essays. Bombay: Asia. Srinivasulu, K. 1994. ‘Centrality of caste understanding U.P. election’, Economic and Political Weekly, 29 (4). ———. 1999. ‘Regime change and shifting social bases: The Telugu Desam Party in the 12th General Elections’. In Ramashary Roy and Paul Wallace (eds.). Indian Politics and the 1998 Elections. New Delhi: Sage.

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Subramanian, Narendra. 1999. Ethnicity and Populist Mobilization, Political Parties, Citizens and Democracy in South India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Swarankar, R.C. 1988. Political Elite: A Sociological Study of Legislators in Rajasthan. Jaipur: Rawat. Thakkar, Usha. 1992. ‘Women and recent elections in India’. In Subrata K. Mitra and James Chiriyankandath (eds.). Electoral Politics in India A Changing Landscape. New Delhi: Segment Books. Thimmaiah, G. 1999. ‘Democratic decentralization: Lessons from India’, Man and Development, 20 (3). Chowdhari-Tremblay, Reeta. 1999. ‘Elections in Kashmir: A question of pragmalism’. In Roy and Wallace (eds.). Indian Politics and the 1998 Elections. Delhi: Sage Publications. Uberoi, J.P.S. 1999 ‘On civil society’, Sociological Bulletin, 48 (1–2). Vakil, F.D. 1994. The New Voter. Hyderabad: Book Links Corporation. Vanaik, Achin. 1997. Communalism Contested: Religion, Modernity and Secularization. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications. Varshney, Ashutosh. 2000. ‘Is India becoming more democratic?’, The Journal of Asian Studies, 59 (1). Vidya, K.C. 1997. Political Empowerment of Women at the Grassroots. New Delhi: Kanishka. Vohra, Gautam. 1993. The New Power Elite: MLAs Vs MPs. New Delhi: Daya Publishers. Wallace, Paul. 1997. ‘General elections, 1996: Regional parties dominant in Punjab and Haryana’, Economic and Political Weekly, 32 (46): 2966. Wallace, Paul and Surendra Chopra (eds.). 1988. Political Dynamics and Crisis in Punjab. Amritsar: G.N.D. University. Wariavwalla, Bharat. 1992. ‘Security issues in domestic politics’. In Subrata K. Mitra and James Chiriyankandath (eds.). Electoral Politics in India: A Changing Landscape. New Delhi: Segment Books. Weiner, M. 1962. The Politics of Scarcity Public Pressure and Political Response in India. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Weiner, Myron 1968. Party Building in a New Nation: Indian National Congress. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ———. 1978. Sons of the Soil. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Wright, Theodore P., Jr. 2000. ‘The spread of communal riots to south India’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 53 (3–4). Wyatt, A.K. 2002. ‘New alignments in south Indian politics: The 2001 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu’, Asian Survey, 42 (4). Zaidi, S.M.I.A. 1990. ‘Caste and politics in an Indian village’, Social Change, 20 (1). Zakaria, Rafiq. 2002. Communal Rage in Secular India. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan. Zavos, John. 2000. The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

5 Urban Sociology Sharit K. Bhowmik*

Status of Urban Studies Urban sociology has had a very long tradition in India. In fact, it is the oldest subdiscipline of sociology in India. This may sound surprising since it is a know fact that most sociologists in the earlier phase have studied rural society. However, one should also know that the first sociology department in the country—at the Bombay University1—started as a centre for urban studies in 1919. Besides being the first university department to teach sociology, it was also the first post-graduate department of the University. Incidentally, the University of Mumbai, along with its sister universities of Kolkata and Madras, celebrated its sesquicentennial year (150th anniversary) in 20072. Sir Patrick Geddes—a sociologist and town planner from New Zealand—set up the sociology department at the University of Bombay. It was called the Department of Civics and Sociology. Since Geddes was totally committed to studying the urban environment (although he was a botanist by training) and the integration of slums in urban areas, he laid emphasis on urban sociology. In the initial post-independence phase, the study of rural society, especially village communities, took precedence over other sub-branches of sociology. Urban sociology represented a branch which dealt with only a small section of the country’s population. In the 1950s, the urban population was below 20 per cent of the total. While the teaching of urban sociology began in the 1920s, sociological *This chapter reviews the articles published in different journals. The author also relied on the abstracts and reviews published in the ICSSR Journal of Reviews and Abstracts, though it must be said that the Journal did not maintain its regularity. An extensive search was done of the journals Sociological Bulletin; Contributions to Indian Sociology; and Economic and Political Weekly to locate articles on urban sociology. Book reviews in these journals were studied in order to locate the relevant books. Libraries were scanned to find books which were not reviewed and hence might have been missed. After making brief notes on each book and article published during the period, they were grouped into common areas. There were a few books on the city as a whole. These were grouped in one section titled ‘The city and urban communities’. Similarly, other works were grouped according to themes. This made it possible to assess the number of studies conducted in each area. Also covered are works of ‘non-sociologists’ who have made significant contributions to the growing field of urban sociology.

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research in urban sociology gained momentum in the late 1950s, and its focus remained on the urban settlements of western India. The researches over the recent decades have produced varied findings which have in fact helped to promote the ‘Indian’ or indigenous perspective in urban studies. The studies presented in this chapter bear testimony to this rich contribution.

The City and Urban Communities The present survey we will begin with a selection of works which deal with the city and the urban communities. The studies include those that look at the city as a whole, those that deal with different communities in the city, and those that look at conflict among communities. The first part of this section will discuss the studies on cities followed by an account of the research on communities.

Research on Cities Ravi Kalia (1994) provides a critical account of Orissa’s new capital, adjacent to the old temple town of Bhubaneshwar. As in the case of Chandigarh,3 the new Bhubaneshwar was designed by a European—a German architect, Otto Koenisberger—who tried to embody in the new settlement a vision of modern India. However, the city was conceived differently from Chandigarh in many ways. The design and construction of the city remained in the hands of the state PWD which was headed by Julius Vaz. Vaz adapted the architecture to local conditions. Kalia’s work describes the relationship between Otto Koenisberger—the architect—and Julius Vaz—the head of the PWD—to highlight the dilemma of being modern and yet remaining faithful to what is conceived as an enduring Indian building tradition. Different aspects on life in Calcutta (now Kolkata) can be found in two volumes edited by S. Chaudhuri (1995). The first volume is on the city’s past while the second has studies on the present and the future. One of the more important collections on urban problems can be found in Sujata Patel and Alice Thorner’s (1995) book on Bombay. It contains thirteen chapters which are grouped in three sections, namely, labour and enterprise, claims on land, housing and health, and politics, populism and violence. The first section examines the social and economic aspects of the city’s development into India’s premier manufacturing and financial centre. This section contains studies on labour and enterprise. The second section brings together papers dealing with land use and land distribution, the history of city planning, efforts at slum development, and relations between space and health. The third section has studies on the politics of the city. There are two important though somewhat contrasting papers on the Shiv Sena and the municipal administration. This is one of the most comprehensive books on Mumbai. M.D. David’s (1996) book on Mumbai along with the previously cited volume, represents a good attempt at understanding the problems of the city. This

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book contains 28 papers which were presented at a seminar. Unfortunately, most of the papers are written by bureaucrats or technocrats engaged in the municipal corporation or the urban development department. Their papers are informative but descriptive, lacking in the critical appraisal that forms the basis of academic work. Only a handful of academics have contributed to this volume and their contributions are of better quality. Voilette Graf (1997) presents selections of contemporary scholarship on the history and culture of Lucknow. The studies deal with diverse issues such as politics, music, poetry, architecture, history, culture, and education. The book is divided into two parts. The first part contains articles which have a historical perspective (mainly eighteenth and nineteenth-century Lucknow), while the second part covers the major events and movements in the twentieth century. The papers collectively present a holistic picture of the city. L.K. Jain (1998) documented the establishment of Faridabad as a city in the outskirts of Delhi. He discussed how and why the experiment failed. Faridabad was developed as a township which would house 30,000 refugees coming from the North-West Frontier Province of what had become Pakistan. They were settled in Faridabad as part of an experiment in the cooperative movement. The refugees were encouraged to form cooperatives in the areas of housing, civic amenities and income generation activities. In the first part of the book Jain recounts the promise of this settlement which was started in 1949. The second part of the book deals with how this city of hope for the refugees turned out to be a city of despair because of the poor functioning of the bureaucracy. The cooperative experiment was directed towards dignity and self-respect through emphasis on their own abilities. This went counter to the expectations of the bureaucracy, as the officers felt that it would undermine their importance. Even the politicians felt the same way. Both the bureaucrats and the politicians got together to scuttle the entire project and the experiment failed miserably. Rajkishor Meher (1998) studied the growth and degeneration of Rourkela—a city in Orissa. Rourkela was the first planned steel city in the country. It was planned to cater to the needs of the Rourkela Steel Plant. It looked good in the beginning because of the orderliness of the layout. However, after four decades, the author found that the planning process had not taken into account the needs of the poor, especially those in the informal sector. These included cycle rickshawpullers, porters or head loaders, sweepers, and domestic workers. There was no standard regulation of work or wages for these people. Hence we have, on the one hand, permanent well-paid workers and officers of the steel plant, and on the other side, the rapid growth of the unorganized sector workers. This is perhaps a natural outcome of the process of urbanization. The high growth and employment potential attracts not just the better qualified people for well-paid jobs but also the rural poor who find such areas as potential sources of employment in the unorganized sector. Urban planning has to take into account the needs of both sections. The growth of Chandigarh is depicted in a study by Kavita Sharma et al. (1999). The first part of the book looks at the factors that led to the building of

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the city. Partition of the country divided the state of Punjab, and the capital of the state—Lahore—went to Pakistan, and the Indian part of Punjab urgently needed a new capital. Rather than making any other city the capital of the state, it was decided to set up a new township. The challenge was to make a better-designed and well-planned city. The second part of the book describes the resistance offered by the village folk whose lives were to be disrupted by the new city. The contributors describe the lives of the villagers and their fight for compensation for their losses. The third part outlines the growth of the city since its existence. It examines government policies in planning the expansion of the city. The last section describes the problems faced by the people and their views on urban development and governance. R.N. Sharma and K. Sita (2001) have edited a volume which deals with the problems and prospects of Navi Mumbai (New Mumbai). The plan to set up this satellite city started in 1970. The objective was to draw the crowds away from Mumbai and ease its population density. The city was expected to have a population of two million and around 500,000 new jobs. The studies in this book have tried to evaluate the situation after 30 years of the city’s existence. Most of them provide a grim picture. The population of the city has increased mainly because of the high land prices in Mumbai. This has driven the middle class not just to Navi Mumbai but also to other satellite cities like Thane, Kalyan-Dombivili, etc. The promise of jobs in Navi Mumbai did not materialize and offices, especially those of the government, did not move there. Hence Navi Mumbai has remained, as some of the studies have labelled it, a ‘bedroom community’: people go to work in Mumbai and return to Navi Mumbai to sleep. The book contains informative papers on different aspects of Navi Mumbai. These include urban planning, housing and slums, and other aspects of the city infrastructure. Some of the papers have been written by bureaucrats or leaders of industry and commerce, which border on propaganda. But the rest of the papers are well researched. Sanjay Mitra (2002), in his paper on the case of New Town, Kolkata, attempts to present an alternative model for urbanization and associated infrastructure provision by the state. Existing wisdom, which that has long emphasized a diminished role of the state and an unfettered operation of market forces, ignores the many imperfections that may exist. But in this innovative approach, which has worked so far in the New Town of Kolkata, it has been possible to bring together an ‘activist’ state and market-oriented efficiency while keeping intact the concerns for the poor, many of whom have been offered a chance to take part in the construction activities. Their views are regularly solicited during the rehabilitation work.

Urban Communities Studies on communities are quite common in urban sociology in developed societies. These studies help analyze urban processes and ethnic relations. The studies

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on urban violence too could be included in community studies but it was felt that communal violence needed a special mention because of its different features.4 In this section the studies done on communities will be discussed. They are not too numerous but they cover a wide range of issues. S.M. Michael (1989) did a study on two regional communities in Mumbai, namely, Tamils and Malayalees. It is based on extensive fieldwork on the two communities in the city. Michael critically examined the adjustment of these two groups in Mumbai. His emphasis was on the cultural factors that help or impede the process of adjustment in an urban environment. Samita Manna’s (1989) paper on patterns of recreation highlights recreational activities in an urban setting. She conducted a detailed study of different modes of recreational activities such as cultural and religious activities, sports, mass media, clubs, libraries, and others. The paper also deals with the way in which the various features of recreation work orient the life of people in a small town. Rajesh Gill (1991) analyzed social change in two villages situated in the urban periphery. One village is in the outskirts of Chandigarh and the other near Ludhiana. She found that there was no simplistic relationship between urbanization and urbanism. In other words, urbanization and social change are not always identical. There are several intervening factors, such as the functional type of the neighbourhood city, caste and religious composition of the local community, historicity of the settlements, which that play a significant role in demographic and social change in the settlements on the urban periphery. K.P. Kumaran (1992) conducted a study on Telugu-speaking people living in the city of Pune. These people have been migrating to the city since the eighteenth century. They have formed close settlements in parts of the city. These close settlements have encouraged the continuance of traditional institutions such as caste panchayats. These institutions are preserved despite the process of industrialization and urbanization. Smita Sengupta (1993) wrote about the nature and extent of the marginality and segregation of the Chinese population in Kolkata. She highlights the historical process of development of this community and the impact of multidimensional factors arising out of the socio-political environment in the urban setting. The distinct physical features, skin colour, language, dietary habits, etc., of the Chinese immigrants act as hurdles in their mingling with the local population. In fact, their relationship with the outside world is mainly in the economic sphere and no other factor has succeeded in breaking their isolation. Apart from social and cultural marginalization, the Chinese also suffer from political marginalization. They suffered most during the Sino-India war in 1962 when their loyalties were suspect. A large number of Chinese became stateless. As a result, many among the youth are emigrating to other countries such as Australia and countries in Europe. Some important contributions to the study of urban communities can be found in the third volume5 of Social Structure and Social Change (A.M. Shah et al. 1996). There are three papers which study the different aspects of urban

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communities. Y.B. Damle, examined the changes in social structure by studying wadas, chawls, bungalows, and apartments in the city of Pune. The changes taking place in Pune are found to be organic in nature; the changes in social structure have brought about changes in the physical structure. Victor S. D’Souza and Rajesh Gill (1996) studied a small town in Punjab and found that in spite of the commercialization of the urban economy, there is continuity in the caste structure. The third paper, by Harshad Trivedi (1996), presents a theoretical framework to understand ‘semi-urban pockets’ as part of the process of urbanization. Rajesh Gill (2000) discussed the conceptual connotations of ‘ethnicity’ and analysed the mechanisms through which both de-ethnicization and re-ethnicization persist simultaneously in urban societies. The problems of the low-caste Hindus, who are a part of the middle class in Hyderabad, are discussed by Minna Saavala (2001). Her paper enumerates some religious means which socio-economically mobile low-caste families employ to identify themselves as ‘middle-class people’ in the urban setting. Her study shows that new middle-class people seek to create a ‘middle-class Hinduism’ devoid of caste. These people lay emphasis on ‘auspiciousness’, rather than ‘purity and pollution’.

Urban Policies and Processes This section deals with researches concerned with policies. Some of the studies quoted are done by geographers but these do have a bearing in sociology. The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA 1988) published a book on the state of India’s urbanization, which is regarded as the first detailed demographic profile of India’s urbanization. Some of the aspects the text covers are an overview of the urbanization process; an over-urbanization thesis and its application to India; urban poverty and slums; and social change. The book also has four annexures which contain detailed district- and city-specific urban population data. Amitabh Kundu (1988) conducted several meaningful studies on urban processes. Some of his studies will be discussed in other sections. His paper ‘National Commission on Urbanization: Issues and Non-issues’ is a critical analysis of the commission’s report. He holds the view that though the commission is eloquent about the problems of the urban poor, its proposed solutions would increase inequalities in the existing urban systems. The solutions, if implemented, would increase the flow of resources in favour of the rich. The policy of decelerating the pace of urbanization in favour of rural development was similarly criticized by A.N. Sachithanandan (1989). He argued that employment potential in rural areas was limited and the development areas needed high levels of investment. In this situation, trying to control the growth of cities would be unsuccessful. He felt it would be more practical to increase the employment scope of the cities through industrial growth. The real problem, he

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felt, was the management of urban growth, which required the integration of the national urban policy with economic planning. B.C. Aldrich and R.S. Sandhu (1990) broadened the focus on housing in Asia with the consideration of a wide variety of forms of government, culture, history, level of economic development, etc., which might be related to the provision of housing. It revealed the facts related to housing in Asia while dealing with an Asian situation in the larger comparative context. It further brought out the fact that some countries have improved their housing and increased its supply while others have not, and that some processes which have worked in the West have not worked in Asia. Suhita Chopra studied Khajuraho (1990) to explore the factors behind the growth of urbanization through tourism. Based on field observations, the paper worked out the urbanizing potential of tourism in Khajuraho. Two books on urbanization in north-east India deserve mention. Most of the researches in this area have dealt mainly with tribal or rural problems. Hence studies on urbanization represent an important but neglected facet of this region. A.C. Sinha et al. (1993) edited a book on the cities of this region, covering a wide range of topics. During the 1980s existing towns in this region grew rapidly. Some of the papers in the anthology are studies of land relations and the growth of urbanization in the north-east. J.B. Ganguly (1995), also deals with the theme of urbanization in north-east India. His book contains a wide variety of papers dealing with almost all aspects of urbanization in the region. Some of the papers study the impact of urbanization on the tribal people while others deal with urban poverty and the urban poor. Other papers cover migration, urban administration, and settlement patterns. Amitabh Kundu (1994) tried to pool together research on urban India. The focus of his book is on analysing the trends and patterns of urbanization in India and identifying the factors influencing change at the regional level. Apart from chapters dealing with some of the important aspects of urbanization, such as housing and water supply, the book also has a chapter on an exhaustive survey of literature on urban research in India. The in-depth analysis of trends and patterns of regional and rural linkages and agricultural development provides interesting insights. Kundu has also done a study of the problem of migration along with Shalini Gupta (Kundu and Gupta 1996). They analysed migration patterns using data on male migrants from the census. Their analysis shows that there has been a slowing down of population mobility over the decades since independence. The article focusses on the dynamics of migration and urbanization in the context of the changing structure of economic development. Urbanization and change in Tamil Nadu is the theme of a paper by R. Rukmani (1994). The paper examines the pattern of urbanization in Tamil Nadu during 1990–91. It attempts to identify the factors underlying the observed pattern

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of urbanization. It identifies the different stages of urbanization, the distinctive characteristics of each phase, and the socio-economic factors underlying these changes. B.C. Aldrich and R.S. Sandhu (1995b) have addressed the subject of urban housing for the urban poor in developing countries. Their edited volume contains rich data, meticulously documented with detailed case studies of the policies and practices adopted in tackling housing for the poor in 16 developing countries. The editors warm that housing cannot be isolated from the national and global economic milieu. They hold the view that housing for the poor is a critical issue for economic development. They point out that slums and squatter settlements built with cast-off materials and own labour subsidize the formal sector. Further, they argue that the provision of housing and basic urban services for the urban poor cannot be left entirely to the free market. According to them, the trajectory of the path to a solution to the slum problem is remarkably similar in all the developing countries. They are of the view that the solutions advocated have shifted from uprooting to urban renewal, which provide site-and-service facilities to in situ upgradation which is now considered the most cost-effective and a feasible solution. Annapurna Shaw (1996) has tried to develop an analytical frame for reviewing urban policy in India. She has argued that without an analytical frame we cannot get a clear understanding of why the policy was fashioned in the way it was. She has also tried to draw policy lessons which could be useful for the future. Sanjoy Chakraborty takes a critical look at the mega city programme of the Government of India (Chakraborty 1996). The first major urban policy initiative, announced after the Government of India began the economic liberalization process was the Mega City Programme directed by the ministry of urban affairs and employment. It was an attempt to shore up infrastructure in five of the six largest metropolitan regions in India, namely, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. This was to be done by using innovative financing mechanisms and by emphasizing on cost recovery. After detailing the political economic background of the programme and its implementation, Chakraborty raises the following three questions: (i) Is the amount of money being invested too little and has it come too late to turn the situation around? (ii) Is the programme being targeted to the wrong cities? (iii) Will the elite continue to remain the beneficiaries and the urban poor continue to be neglected? The answers to these questions raise doubts about the Mega City Programme. Since the reforms will have to succeed in the cities (if they are to be durable), urban development policies must be considered with a view to sustaining efficient and especially equitable urbanization patterns. The case of urbanization in West Bengal is covered by Pabitra Giri (1998). Giri discussed the urbanization process in West Bengal during 1951–91 with reference to the changes in the workforce structure and the urban rural productivity gap. In general, the relative industrial stagnation and the population pressure determined the urbanization process in the state during the post-independence

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period. Moreover, agricultural growth and the changing political scenario since the late 1970s (with the election of the Left Front government) influenced the process. R.P. Misra and Kamlesh Misra (1998) edited two volumes which contain studies on different aspects of India’s million-plus cities. The books contain 42 studies by experts on urban affairs. Sharit Bhowmik (2000) examined the various perceptions about street vendors, especially those of the civic authorities, sections of the urban population, and the hawkers themselves. Much of the data is based on the preliminary results of a study of hawkers in eight cities conducted by the National Alliance of Street Vendors of India. R.N. Sharma (2000) examined the role of street vendors. He observed that their traditional role in the subsistence economy of rural India, or the bazaar economy of the old towns, has undergone significant structural changes. R.S. Sandhu, Sarup Singh, and Jasmeet Sandhu’s (2001) edited book on the Asian experience of sustainable human settlements contains studies by scholars from countries like Australia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Japan, the Netherlands, and India. The volume has five sections dealing with the planning for sustainable urban settlements, urban poverty, social segregation, gender in human settlements, and the migration of and human settlements. All these sections present a varied picture of the problems and issues related to the functioning and performance of human settlements. Yogesh Atal (2001) has attempted to underline the efforts made at the international level during the last decade of the last millennium to review the progress that humanity has made and to identify the deficiencies in the development. The clear message the author has derived is that new development paradigm must focus on reaching the un-reached and on saving both the natural and the cultural environment. Atal also suggests that while shedding one’s urban bias one needs to reorient ourself to the village. He finally observes that the last century was the century of science and technology; the twenty-first century will be the century of the social sciences and in this context the social scientists will have to make their presence felt by assuming the leading role in the years to come. In 1992, the Government of India circulated a ‘model rent legislation’ to state governments with a view to reform state legislation so that investment in housing could be encouraged. Maharashtra is one of the four states that responded to this initiative and evolved a new rent legislation. Kiran Wadhva (2002) examines the strengths and inadequacies of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act of 1999. Subrata Dutta (2002), has attempted to seek a relationship between urbanization and the development of small rural firms by studying the case of West Bengal. Dutta’s is a critical study of rural industrialization in West Bengal. Low industrialization was found to be directly related to the degree of urbanization. The study noted a clear urban concentration of small enterprises in West Bengal. The author

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suggested that government investment on rural infrastructure was essential to promote the rural non-agricultural sector in the backward districts. This has led to the neglect of rural areas and non-farm employment. Probir C. Bhattacharya (2002) discusses some of the major issues surrounding the process of urbanization in developing countries. His paper reviews the broad trends in urbanization, discusses the emergence and growth of very large cities, and then focusses on urban primacy. This is followed by a discussion of the contribution of rural-to-urban migration to urban growth. In the latter part of the papar, the author discusses how the informal sector plays a role in absorbing the unemployed migrants from rural areas. The easy entry to this sector, because of its requirement of low skills (along with low wages), makes it possible for these migrants to get a livelihood in the cities. The author explains that not only does this sector provide employment to the low-skilled poor migrant, it also contributes to the national economy.

Urban Poverty This section discusses the studies done on urban poverty. Studies on slums and on housing have been excluded because these issues will be covered in other sections. Urban poverty has been dealt with separately because the issues concerned are different. Though the poor reside in slums, the researches on slums are more concerned with housing and urban land and not with poverty per se. Sumita Chaudhuri (1990) conducted a study of beggars in two areas of Kolkata: the Kalighat temple area, and the Howrah station area. Besides examining how the beggars have preserved or constructed society and culture in the limited economic and social setting, an effort has also been made to discover the special adaptive norms and activities that sustain them under the typical situation. This study is important because it is perhaps the only one to deal with the social structural aspects of the urban poor. Meera Bapat and Nigel Crook (1992) did a longitudinal study on droughtaffected migrants to Pune from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. In the early 1970s, families fleeing from the Marathawada drought arrived in Pune and were involved in a struggle for survival. This was basically an interactive process between individuals, households, and the local economy. The data, collected from seven slum settlements, vividly tells the story of their struggle for survival from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s. Arup Mitra (1992) examined the relevance of the ‘trickle down mechanism’ of the growth of poverty in the urban context in India. Supporters of the ‘trickle down’ effect assert that development of the city can be efficient only if market forces are allowed to operate and there is little regulation from the state. Though the rich may benefit from such policies, the poor too would get new forms of employment. This is the trickle-down effect. In other words, free enterprise and absence of state regulation would benefit all sections of the urban population,

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including the poor. Mitra’s empirical evidence does not support this view. He finds that very little of the income generated from the manufacturing and tertiary sectors actually benefits the poor as there are few jobs created for them. In fact, he finds that the best way to ease urban poverty and provide for the gainful employment of the poor is through rapid industrialization which is oriented towards growth of employment. This in turn would presume that state intervention in encouraging industrialization is needed rather than an operation of the market. Sanjay Roy (1993), has tried to understand the nature of the dialectical relationship between the ruling classes and the urban poor. He based his study on data collected from three slums in Kolkata each of which has distinct sections of workers, all working in the informal sector. Using a Marxist framework, he analysed class formations within these slums and counterpoised them with the classes of the employers. Roy concluded that the position that the state takes in supporting the class determines the nature of the relations between the classes. Pradeep Maiti and Manabendu Chattopadhyay (1993) examined changes in the absolute levels of living of different groups of the population. They also examined the incidence of urban poverty over a period spanning almost four decades. Amitabh Kundu (1993) did a significant study on the access to basic amenities by the urban poor. He discusses at length issues such as shelter, water supply, sanitation, health care, and the public distribution system. He suggests that despite specific programmes to serve the poor, in actual practice high- and middle-income groups corner a substantial portion of those benefits. According to Kundu, 35 to 40 per cent of the total urban population continues to live below the poverty line. He also worked out estimates of the amount of money required to provide, housing, drinking water, and other basic amenities. He arrived at the conclusion that more than resources bureaucratic delays, mismanagement, and deficiencies in the distributional network are some of the factors responsible for the failure of government policies. Local self-governments suffer from lack of resources. Consequently, even after decades of planning, basic urban services have not covered the entire urban population. R.S. Sandhu, in his paper on housing for the urban poor (1996), highlights the fact that poverty in urban areas is due to societal injustice and inequalities on the one hand, and poor planning and inept management of the urban resources on the other. He argues that the poor are mainly dependent on the state, but the performance of the government remains dismal. He concludes that the present situation is created by the lack of political will. In another paper, Sandhu (2000) discusses the idea of ‘housing poverty’. He argues that it is necessary to distinguish between income poverty and housing poverty. While the former affects only the poor, the latter includes those in the middle classes as well; they too, like the poor, cannot afford decent housing. Joop W. de Wit (2002)—a Dutch social scientist—studied a participatory urban poverty alleviation project in Bangalore. While discussing the problems of the urban poor, de Wit found that concepts like empowerment, participation,

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and enabling frameworks are fashionable but not applicable because of lack of conceptual clarity and practicality of their application. Amitabh Kundu’s paper ‘Globalization, employment, and poverty’ examines the case of Gujarat. The author states that both proponents and critics of new development strategies agree that there would be high urban growth in the postliberalization phase. The critics of liberalization policies, however, argue that this growth would be associated with low productive employment and poverty, which, in turn, would have a negative effect on the urban quality of life. Kundu regards it as important to assess empirically the impact of economic liberalization on the nature and pattern of urban growth. He himself attempts an analysis of the trends and patterns of urbanization in Gujarat, which is a rapidly industrializing state. He takes into account the changes in the labour market and those in the systems of urban governance, land management, and the commercialization of basic civic services.

Urbanization and Health There have been a few studies on urban health issues during the period under study. The plague epidemic in certain parts of Gujarat gave a fillip to research on health. Radhika Ramasubban et al. (1991) focus on the health problems of people in Bombay (Mumbai). The first nine chapters of their book are devoted to the common health problems faced by ordinary people living in Mumbai—lack of sanitation, nutrition, immunization, cold and cough, typhoid, leprosy, tuberculosis, and air pollution. The book provides interesting information and the findings are written in a clear, lucid style, devoid of academic jargon. This is because, before publication, the researchers had shared their findings with the common people of the city, for whose benefit this research was done. The publication evolved from these efforts. Ritu Priya (1993) examined the impact of the planning process and ideas of modern town planning on the living environment of the urban poor. The study was carried out in the capital, Delhi, a city where planned development has ostensibly been aimed at ensuring public health. She attempted to understand the overall context and purpose of town planning, the place of the poor in it, the place of public health in it, the methods of implementation of plans and their implication in terms of the relationship between the poor citizen and the state. Soon after the outbreak of the plague in Surat in September 1994, three faculty members of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Community Health and Social Medicine (Qadar et al. 1994) did a reconstruction of the epidemic. They tried to portray the dichotomies in public health in order to provide lessons for the future. They found that the classical approach, which stresses on the role of sanitation, reduces epidemics to an endemic status. If public health is to go beyond this truncated objective, then it calls for a systemic understanding of the problem,

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which would require developing a multi-pronged strategy firmly entrenched in the socio-economic context. Archana Ghosh and Sami S. Ahmed (1996) did an intensive study of plagueridden Surat. Their book brings out the shortcomings of urban governance in the city. They focus on the major programmes initiated by the municipal corporation and the state’s Urban Development Authority for better environment conditions. The study shows that the city did not have the necessary infrastructure to meet the excessive population influx. Slums and colonies of migrant workers gradually became high-density population areas, putting pressure on the already depleted sanitary and health facilities of the town. Surat gradually became susceptible to communicable and water-borne diseases. Ghanshyam Shah’s study (1997b) on the same subject shows that with the capital inflow and labour, Surat has grown into an unwieldy city having more migrants than natives. Along with the growth of the service sector there has been a rapid rise in the number of slums, causing congestion and increasing garbage. Government’s inability to contain these issues made the city vulnerable to plague. After the outbreak, lack of segregation policies by the authorities and panic emigration due to rumours of poisoned drinking water added fuel to the fire. Shah evaluates the damage control methods used by the authorities, concerned citizens, and doctors to effectively deal with the problem and make Surat a model of cleanliness. He strongly believes that the plague in Surat was only a reflection of the urban malaise. He makes a significant contribution by suggesting measures to check the spread of epidemics in cities following a multidisciplinary approach. The aftermath of the plague in Surat showed that the city had the determination to rise from the ashes. It rose from being one of the dirtiest and most unhygienic cities in the country to a city that has become a model of cleanliness. A lot of the credit for this dramatic change was given to the administration, especially the dynamic municipal commissioner. Shah (1997a) examined how this change came about. What kind of interventions made this change possible? Besides cleanliness, what other changes took place in the sphere of sanitation and hygiene? Finally, he raised the question: Can a bureaucracy-driven change last for long? What happens when the commissioner is transferred? Shah stressed on the need for the leadership of democratically elected people and citizens’ forums as there are the bodies that will sustain such an experiment which, only then, will become people-oriented. Ramamani Sundar and Abhilasha Sharma (2002) examined the extent to which the urban poor benefit from health services. The ‘urban bias’ in public spending has been pointed out in a number of studies. The authors found that even within urban areas, especially in big cities, the slum population is particularly underprivileged. This study examined the patterns of morbidity and health-care utilization by the urban poor living in slums and resettlement colonies in Delhi and Chennai and compared the health status of the two segments.

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Urban Violence Cities in India have periodically witnessed violence. The most common form of collective violence is communal violence which has plagued the country’s urban environment since independence. Caste, community, and regional ties also cause tensions leading to violence. There are other types of urban violence which are not necessarily collective but witnessed in everyday life. Sociologists have tried to examine these situations and analyse the factors responsible for them. Unfortunately, such studies are not many in number. One would have expected more sociologists to take up this issue of urban violence. Ratna Naidu studied (1990) Hyderabad city with a focus on the frequent communal riots there. These usually originate from the inner city. Like most other walled cities in India, the inner city of Hyderabad is also known for its decay. The author was interested in examining the relationship, if any, between urban decay and communal riots. The data for this study was obtained from both primary and secondary sources, keeping in view the historical perspective. The core of the study was a sample survey of 1,031 households. A greater part of this survey dealt with the issues of urban decay: its historical causes and present condition. As a background to the understanding of the Hindu-Muslim conflict, the study provides a good comparative picture of the two communities in the city. Sujata Patel (1993) discussed the intricate relationship between urbanization and communalism. She argued that communal violence in India and the politics of communalism have to be analysed within the context of the emerging economic relationships peculiar to urban growth in India, the crisis of the nation, and, specifically, of the distribution of property and power as it is manifested in urban India. According to her, communal violence in India is a response to, and a reaction against, the breakdown of the system and the inability of the ruling groups to create a new one which can accommodate the aspirations of all. As mentioned earlier, all forms of urban violence are not communal or collective. There is violence every day in the private sphere of the home or within the family. This is a more lasting phenomenon. Somen Chakraborty and Geeta Rana (1993) analysed the causes of violence in everyday life in Delhi’s slums. They found that men become victims of violence caused by the police in the form of harassment, and by the self-styled slum leaders (Dadas). Violence against women is even worse. It comes in the form of eve-teasing (sexual harassment), wifebeating, and even rape. The authors concluded that the basic cause of the slum problem lies in the system itself. D. Parthasarathy (1997) analyses the prosperous city of Vijaywada in coastal Andhra Pradesh using the paradigm of collective violence made popular in the West. The study acknowledges the role of political movements in organizing urban formations. It puts together information regarding demography, land use, growth of peasant castes, and their subsequent migration to expanding urban areas, with an analysis of the structure of Vijaywada’s economy. Parthasarathy evaluates the

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cultural roots of violence, the gangs, and the mafia. He examines patterns of collective violence in the city.

Slums Slums are a common feature of all urban centres. They are treated as aberrations in urban development. However, slums play a positive role in the city’s economy. They provide cheap housing for the working poor which helps in reducing labour costs. R.S. Sandhu’s (1988) study on savings and indebtedness amongst the poor revealed that more than two-fifth of slum dwellers save regularly for their social obligations and emergency needs, and they keep their savings in post offices/ banks or use them to buy gold ornaments or improve their houses. The study further showed that the major sources of borrowing for those who do not save are not moneylenders but relatives and friends. One-third of those taking loans use the borrowed money to meet social obligations and/or for production purposes. V. Vijay Jagannathan and Animesh Haldar (1989) studied pavement dwellers in Kolkata. The authors have focussed on the family characteristics of the pavement dwellers. Based on data collected by the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority, the study related family and demographic characteristics to socioeconomic factors. The authors came to the conclusion that poverty alleviation programmes by-pass the urban poor. H.U. Bijlani (1989) examined the Hyderabad slum improvement project, the objective of which was not to view the slum as a physical structure but also as a human fabric comprising men, women, and children for whom the slum is a way of life. A number of studies were done as part of this project, which focussed on different problems of the slum population. The common theme in all the studies was the importance of combining social, health, and educational aspects with a wide range of infrastructural investments as part of the slum improvement programmes. R.S. Sandhu (1990) did a comparative study of slum dwellers of Amritsar and Delhi so as to understand the specificities of slums in metropolises and small cities. The study found that the slum dwellers in Amritsar enjoy better housing conditions than Delhi’s poor. Furthermore, a detailed study of slum dwellers in Amritsar found them to be more literate than their counterparts in Delhi. The Delhi slum dwellers had migrated from a similar cultural region for historical circumstances rather than for economic reasons. A.R. Desai and S. Devdas Pillai first edited a volume on slums in 1970. It was regarded then as one of the most comprehensive volumes on the problem. Nineteen years later, they brought out the second edition (Desai and Pillai 1989) which was in many ways an improvement on the original. This edition has 14 new chapters in addition to the 37 in the first edition, and covers every aspect of this social phenomenon. There are theoretical articles by Mumford, Engels, Anderson, and

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others. The largest section is on Indian slums. The contributors have covered the slums in the cities of Bombay (Mumbai), Madras (Chennai), Calcutta (Kolkata), Delhi, Ahmedabad, Poona (Pune), and Chandigarh. Owen Lynch presents a case study of the Adi-Dravidas in Dharavi. S.S. Jha and Neera Desai have separately written on women in slums. Sandeep Pendse studied politics in depth at the national and regional levels and traced its connections with a slum in a metropolis. There are several other interesting and informative articles in the collection. Shabir Ali (1990) has dealt with an interesting phenomenon in urban poverty. He explored a slum within the slum. Normally slums emerge in spaces which are close to the workplace. However, Ali found that the new squatters have found places that are not near any known work place or any well-to-do localities where they could get work as domestic servants. They have, in fact, taken up open spaces which exist around the resettlement colonies of slum dwellers. In this sense, they form a slum within a slum. The inhabitants of these squatter settlements subsist on the services they provide to the slum residents. Ali found that these people are the worst-off sections of the urban poor; their situation is worse than that of pavement dwellers. In a study of slum housing in Chennai, Chetan Vaidya and K. Mukundan (1990) found that the houses of families living in slums are frequently sub-let to others. This is an additional source of income for these families. The authors found subtenancy in 45 per cent of the slum houses. The rents received constituted 15 per cent of the family income. On the basis of this evidence the authors recommended that sub-leasing should be permitted under the Slum Improvement Programme as this provides cheap housing for the tenant and supplements the owner’s income. Vandana Desai (1994) who studied three slums in Mumbai described the migration and labour characteristics of the slum dwellers. She showed how communities, over time, become internally differentiated owing to market dynamics in the realm of housing. She also discovered that community-based politics is influenced more by state interest and state manipulation than by attributes of settlers, or by settlement types. Desai’s extensive work on these slums is documented in her 1995 book, in which her focus is on community participation in the slums in terms of meeting communities’ minimum needs for shelter and basic services. The study identified three important actors: (i) the slum dwellers who participate mainly through their leaders and elected local representatives; (ii) the government officials and specialists whose bureaucratic culture makes for a top-down co-option of the slum dwellers to control rather than empower them; and (iii) the NGOs trying to mediate between the two with partial success. It is only when people see that participation yields some results in terms of meeting their basic needs and giving them a sense of control over their situation that it becomes a real commitment and not merely a token involvement.

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P.K. Das and Gurbir Singh (1995) take a critical look at the Afzalpurkar Report on providing free houses to four million slum dwellers in Mumbai. The Shiv Sena–BJP government in the state had mooted this idea. It had also fixed 1995 as the cut-off date for recognition of slums. In other words, the occupants of only those slums that came into existence before 1995 were regarded as bonafide slums and their residents were entitled to free rehabilitation. The authors note that the report did not clearly work out the procedures of transit accommodation for the displaced. There was no commitment on the part of the state towards infrastructural development. The scheme generated a lukewarm response among the builders and invited opposition from slum dwellers themselves. Biswaroop Das’ (1997) paper on slums in Surat provides data on the sociodemographic aspects of slum dwellers. Based on a census of the population living in the slums of the city, the paper brings to light several features and issues which have policy implications. S. Geetha and Madhura Swaminathan (1996) conducted a survey based on the anthropometric indicators of children aged five and below in Mumbai. Their findings reveal a high prevalence of under-nutrition, especially among girls, underlining the lack of adequate civic amenities in the slum communities of Mumbai. Uttara Chauhan and Niraj Lal (1999) studied a slum development programme in Ahmedabad which was promoted jointly by the government and the private sector. They found that such partnerships are difficult to maintain as there are many difficulties in working with the government. However, they concluded that despite the odds, such partnerships have more chances of success than other schemes mooted solely by the government or the private sector. Chandan Sengupta (1999) studied aspects of community environmental management in selected slum communities in the Howrah area of Kolkata. He is of the view that the interface between urban poverty and environmental degradation is not an issue to be grasped at the slums or squatters level alone. Understanding it involves analysis of the broader urban context as well as the interrelations among various levels, i.e. the household, inter-household and communal exchange network levels, the state, the intermediate sector of non-governmental organizations, etc. Based on her findings from Mumbai and Delhi, Rukmini Bannerji (2000) argued that a new and flexible approach to the schooling of children of the urban poor is imperative. Field studies in Mumbai and Delhi have yielded the insight that the reason for so many slum children not being in school has less to do with their families’ economic circumstances than with the shortcomings of the school system. Available evidence also suggests that the amount of learning the average pupil from a slum family in India acquires in primary school falls far short of what may legitimately be expected. Lancy Lobo and Biswaroop Das (2001) did a case study of life in the slums of Surat. Their book deals with the various ways in which slum dwellers cope with

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problems in their everyday life. These include livelihood issues, entertainment and celebrations, and also communal riots. This is one of the few ethnographic studies that deals with how the poor live. It has rich data and the analysis is insightful. The case of slums in Bangalore has been taken up by Dutch and Indian scholars working on a research project under the Indo-Dutch Programme on ‘Alternatives in Development’ (Hans Schenk 2001). Besides case studies presented by the research collaborators, the volume also carries macro data on slums in the city. The study analyses the socio-economic position of approximately one million inhabitants who live in slums. It views their social problems in relation to the broader urban society. Whether people benefit by migrating from rural to urban areas is a question which has loomed large in development literature. Based on a primary survey carried out among slum dwellers in Delhi, Indrani Gupta and Arup Mitra (2002) examined the links between the duration of migration, the distance of migration, occupation, and the incidence of poverty. With experience migrants are more likely to move from low income and casual jobs to high income and regular jobs, and thus undergo an improvement in their standards of living.

Urban Infrastructure This section will cover those works dealing with infrastructure, including studies on transport, housing (apart from slum housing), communications, sanitation and water supply, etc. Some of these studies are by architects and other professionals but they have been included as they are of relevance to urban sociology. Meera Mehta and Dinesh Mehta (1989) studied the housing market in Ahmedabad. This study is different from other studies on housing because the authors have looked at the problem in its entirety. Other studies concentrated on specific income groups or on slum housing. The book provides an overview of urban housing policies pursued by the Union government since the first Five-Year Plan. It also provides a comprehensive background of the economic base, occupational structure, and residential mobility in Ahmedabad and it discusses the housing problem in this light. Cedric Pugh (1990) did an intensive study on housing and urbanization in India. His book is an outcome of his researches in India during 1986–87. The scope of this study is largely confined to an analysis of the urban housing markets in India and the housing policy. Pugh’s aim was to formulate a framework for a housing theory rather than just present elaborate statistics. The housing markets of four large metropolitan cities were used as empirical cases to underscore the interpretations of the author. Hanumantha Rao’s (1990) paper on urban transportation is critical of the government’s policies, or lack of them. He says that in the absence of adequate public transport, the well-to-do sections of society have opted for personal modes,

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as they can afford them. Despite their not using it, the number of people depending on public transport is so large that the supply is totally inadequate in comparison to the demand in most cities. The author observes that in a situation where a large section of the population has low purchasing power, it is necessary for government to increase investment in public transport. The share of public transport should rise according the size of the cities. Rakesh Mohan (1992) brought to light the massive efforts needed to tackle the housing problem in urban areas in the 1990s. He noted that during the previous four decades, the population of India had doubled, but its urban population had quadrupled. Bidyut Mohanty (1993) edited a useful collection of essays on urban infrastructure. The book covers the experiences of developing countries including India. A paper on Delhi slums highlights the importance of recognizing the importance of local needs. There is a paper on the relevance of fiscal and distributive areas. A strong case in favour of community participation, decentralization, and privatization, is presented in another paper. An important contribution, however, lies in the unveiling of structural deficiencies of the municipal authorities in India. In an evaluative study of the Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums (EIUS) Programme in Ludhiana, Sandhu (1995) found that the programme did not lead to real improvement of slums but to the improvement of many middle class areas which were developed by speculators in violation of the corporation’s bye-laws; they were declared slums by the municipal corporation under certain political pressure. This happens because the definition of a slum is vague and is applied arbitrarily by the officials concerned to help people of their own class at the cost of those who really need the EIUS Programme. Hemlata C. Dandekar and Shashikant B. Sawant (1998) studied the housing of a newly developing suburb in Pune. The authors surveyed three localities in that area. The study revealed the segmented utilization of livelihood opportunities, services, and facilities by the residents of the region. It showed that the area developed rapidly because it was able to meet the housing needs of the upwardly mobile middle classes living in the congested part of the city. Moreover, due to its low infrastructure costs it was able to attract the retired middle-class families from Mumbai. Minar Pimple and Madhuri Kamat (1998) looked at the economic and political context in which the issue of housing is located. Their paper details the struggles of people against de-housing and outlines the future action agenda for the fulfilment of the right to housing. A paper by Amitabh Kundu et al. (1998) on urban amenities strongly critiques the approach of the World Bank and other institutions that put forth the view that privatization of services will improve urban systems. Moreover, these institutions also recommend that development of infrastructure should be cost effective with the curtailment of subsidies. On the other hand, the authors show that the present system of allowing bureaucrats (municipal authorities and urban development

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officers) to usurp the powers given to elected bodies has not served the purpose. The bureaucrats, being specialists, were presumed to have the expertise to improve the urban environment. What happened in reality was that they systematically drained these urban municipal bodies of their resources and made them more dependent on government aid for their survival. The authors are critical of both approaches, namely, the privatization of public resources approach of international institutions such as the World Bank and the bureaucrat-led development. They argue that the powers of the urban bodies should be decentralized to the elected members. According to the authors the solution lies in allowing democratic decentralization, as envisioned in the 74th Amendment of the Constitution of India. In contrast to Kundu et al. (1998), Malcom Harper (2000) discusses the need for greater privatization of services. He says that while privatization is stopped at the macro level, there are great possibilities of privatization at the micro level. One is familiar with some cases such as PCOs and railway catering. But there is a whole range of activities that have been privatized. He offers 24 cases where services have been successfully privatized. These include urban services, utilities, health and sanitation, welfare services, education, parking, and transport. Eleven of these cases are from India. Marie-Helene Zerah (2000) has evaluated Delhi’s erratic water supply, To understand the Delhi situation with regard to the water supply, she provides a view of the water infrastructure in the cities of the developing countries as well as the research carried out in various parts of the world on the quality of public water systems. Like any other sector, Zerah maintains that the water supply sector is confronted with a number of problems like price, subsidy, cost recovery, losses, and poor maintenance. In most cases, the statistics on the percentage of population with access to portable water do not take into account the quality of services provided. Peeyush Bajpai and Laveesh Bhandari (2001) also discuss the water problem in urban households. Their paper deals with how urban households obtain water for their requirements. They conclude that poor access is accompanied by low levels of expectations of the people. They stress that there is a need for a substantial consumer awareness campaign before starting any improvement programme.

Conclusion This chapter is based on the published research on urban sociology. The attempt has been to cover the widest number of published studies but no matter how much one tries or how thorough one wants to be, there is always a possibility that some studies will slip through the net. While this is unfortunate, it was that this was not intentional. On the whole, research in urban sociology does not seem to be as popular as industrial sociology. There were fewer studies in this field. One of the reasons could be that despite several decades of development, India is still largely a rural-

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based country. The proportion of urban population is small compared to the total population. At the time of independence, the urban population comprised only 17 per cent of the total population. The 1991 Census showed that 25 per cent of the population lived in urban areas; and ten years later, the 2001 Census recorded that the percentage of the urban population had risen by only 2 per cent. Most of the countries in Africa have a higher proportion of urban population. At the same time urbanization in India shows several contradictory trends. Though only 27 per cent of the population resides in urban areas, the country has 28 cities which have more than one million residents each. It is estimated that in the next decade India will have the largest number of million-plus cities in the world though there will not be a substantial change in the composition of the rural-urban population. Nevertheless, the concentration of urban population in large cities raises several interesting research questions. These include improvement of urban infrastructure, but more importantly, new types of urban planning which will include the urban poor as an integral partner in development and sustainability of cities. Exclusion of the poor has created acute infrastructure problems for cities. Besides the million-plus cities there are the mega cities that have population of over 10 million. The rapid growth of these large cities indicates that the urban population is concentrated in the larger cities. This concentration raises several interesting questions for research. For example, most of these cities do not have the proper infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of people. They also do not have any plans which cater to the needs of the poorer sections. There is a growing degree of mob violence in cities, which are frequently based on caste, regional or religious lines. There is a need to study these trends and analyse them. For example, what are the factors that cause riots between different sections of the urban poor? Are they instigated by vested interests, political parties or other countries or, do their roots lie in the political economy of urban development? What effect does the rapid shift from working in the organized sector, which provides job security and social security, to working in the unorganized sector, where none of these privileges exist, have on the urban workforce? Does their vulnerable position make them find solutions through communal or regional riots? Globalization has led to the idea of the global city. Every mega city in the country is trying to become a global city which would display the same features of cities like Singapore and Shanghai. It would appear that as cities in India, like in most developing countries, try to emerge as showpieces of perfect global cities, they create more problems than they can solve. For example, what happens to the poor whose cheap services are required to decrease costs? Do these cities have provisions for them or do the high-rise buildings and shopping malls blacken the harsh reality of slums and street vendors? Hence what we need is world-class cities for all. This would imply inclusive planning for the urban working poor. It is to be hoped that these problems will be studied in the future. There is a healthy trend in the study of the information technology sector and its impact

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on urban planning. There have been two published studies on Bangalore, but more studies are needed on other cities, where these trends are analysed and the emergent problems will be studied. The present author strongly feels that urban sociology, like industrial sociology, has a good future provided sociologists and other social scientists settle down to studying the relevant social issues and trends in the urban population.

notes 1. Recently renamed the University of Mumbai when the government decided to revert to the old name of the city. 2. These universities were set up 1857. It was after 62 years of the establishment of the Bombay University that the subject of sociology was introduced. Seen this way, sociology is a relatively younger discipline in India compared to other subjects. 3. Chandigarh—the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, but itself a Union Territory— was designed by the famous Swiss architect Le Carbousier. 4. These studies are covered in this volume in the paper chapter on political sociology. 5. These volumes were in honour of M. N. Srinivas.

bibliography Aldrich, B.C., and R.S. Sandhu (eds.). 1990. Housing in Asia—Problems and Perspectives. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. ———. 1995a. ‘The global context of housing poverty’. In B.C. Aldrich and R.S. Sandhu (eds.). Housing in Asia—Problems and Perspectives. Jaipur: Rawat Publications, pp. 17–33. ———. (eds.). 1995b, Housing the Urban Poor: Policy and Practice in Developing Countries. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications; London and New Jersey: Zed Books Ltd. Ali, Shabir. 1990. Slums Within Slums. Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. Atal, Yogesh. 2001. ‘Human settlements and habitat agenda in Asia’. In R.S. Sandhu, Sarup Singh, and Jasmeet Sandhu (eds.). Sustainable Human Settlements: The Asian Experience. Jaipur and New Delhi: Rawat Publications. ———. 2002, The Poverty Question: Search for Solutions, Jaipur and New Delhi: Rawat Publications. Bajpai, Peeyush and Laveesh Bhandari. 2001. ‘Ensuring access to water in urban households’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36(39).

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Bannerji, Rukmini. 2000. ‘Poverty and primary schooling, field studies from Mumbai and Delhi’, Economic and Political Weekly, 35(10). Bapat, Meera and Nigel Crook. 1992. ‘Struggle and survival of poor metropolitan households: A longitudinal study in Pune (1976–1988)’, Economic and Political Weekly, 27 (22). Bhattacharya, Probir C. 2002. ‘Urbanisation in developing countries’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37 (41). Bhowmik, Sharit K. 2000. ‘A raw deal?’ Seminar, 491. Bijlani, H. U. 1989. ‘Some lessons learnt from various studies on Hyderabad Slum Improvement Project’, Nagarlok, 21 (2). Chakraborty, Sanjoy. 1996. ‘Too little in the wrong places? Mega City Programme and efficiency and equity in Indian urbanisation’, Economic and Political Weekly (special number). Chakraborty, Somen and Geeta Rana. 1993. ‘Violence in the urban slums: A case study of Delhi’, Social Action 43 (2). Chaudhuri, S. (ed.). 1995. Calcutta, The Living City, Volume I: The Past, Volume II: The Present and Future. Calcutta: Oxford University Press. Chaudhuri, Sumita. 1990. ‘The urban poor: A study on beggars’, Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society, 25 (3). Chauhan, Uttara and Niraj Lal. 1999. ‘Public-private partnerships for urban poor : A slum project in Ahmedabad’, Economic and Political Weekly, 34 (10). Chopra, Suhita. 1990. ‘Urbanisation through tourism—a case study of Khajuraho’, The Eastern Anthropologist, 43 (4). Dandekar, Hemlata and Shashikant B. Sawant. 1998. ‘Housing needs of new suburbs of Indian metropolii: A case study of Kotrud, Pune’, Economic and Political Weekly, 33 (46). Das, Biswaroop. 1997. ‘Slum dwellers in Surat City: A socio-demographic profile’, The Indian Journal of Social Work, 58 (1). Das, P. K. and Gurbir Singh. 1995. ‘Building castles in the air: Housing scheme for Bombay’s slum-dwellers’, Economic and Political Weekly, 30 (40). Dasgupta, Biplab. 2000, ‘Contrasting urban patterns: West Bengal, Punjab and Kerala’. In Amitabt Kundu (ed.). Inequality Mobility and Urbanization.Delhi: ICSSR and Manak Publication. David, M. D. 1996. Urban Explosion of Mumbai. Mumbai: Himalaya Publishing House. Desai. A. R. and S. Devdas Pillai. 1989[1970]. Slums and Urbanisation. 2nd edition. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. Desai, Vandana. 1994. ‘Migration and labour characteristics of slum dwellers in Bombay’, Sociologocal Bulletin, 43 (1). ———, 1995. Community Participation and Slum Housing: A Study in Bombay. Delhi: Sage Publications. de Wit, Joop W. 2002. ‘Urban poverty alleviation in Bangalore: Institutional and communitylevel dilemmas’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37(38).

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D’Souza, Victor and Rajesh Gill. 1996. ‘Commercialization of the economy, and change and continuity in social structure in a small town in Punjab’. In A.M. Shah, B.S. Baviskar and E.A. Ramaswamy (eds.). Social Structure and Social Change. Vol. 3. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Dutta, Subrata. 2002. ‘Urbanisation and development of rural small enterprises: Studying linkages with focus on West Bengal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37 (30). Ganguly, J. B. (ed.). 1995. Urbanisation and Development in North-East India: Trends and Policy Implications. Delhi: Deep and Deep. Geetha, S. and Madhura Swaminathan. 1996. ‘Nutritional status of slum children of Mumbai: A socio-economic survey’, Economic and Political Weekly, 31(14). Ghosh, Archana and Sami S. Ahmed. 1996. Plague in Surat: Crisis in Urban Governance, Delhi: Concept Publications. Gill, Rajesh. 1991. Social Change in an Urban Periphery. Delhi: Allied Publishers. ———, 1993. ‘Urban poverty in India: Theoretical understanding on policy implications’, Urban India, 13 (2). ———. 2000. ‘Cities and ethnicity: A case of de-ethnicisation or re-ethnicisation’, Sociological Bulletin, 49 (2). Giri, Pabitra. 1998. ‘Urbanisation in West Bengal, 1951–1991’, Economic and Political Weekly, 33 (47-48). Graf, Voilette (ed.). 1997. Lucknow: Memories of a City. Delhi: Oxford University Press Gupta, Indrani and Arup Mitra. 2002. ‘Rural migrants and labour segmentation: Microlevel evidence from Delhi slums’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37(3). Harper, Malcom. 2000. Public Services through Private Enterprise: Micro-Privatisation for Improved Delivery. Delhi: Vistaar Publications. Jagannathan, V. Vijay and Animesh Haldar. 1989. ‘A case study of pavement dwellers in Calcutta: Family characteristics of the urban poor’, Economic and Political Weekly, 24 (6). Jain, L. K. 1998. The City of Hope. Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. Jayaram, N. and R.S. Sandhu. 1988. Housing in India: Problems, Policy and Perspectives. Kalia, Ravi. 1994. Bhubaneshwar: From a Temple Town to a Capital City. Southern Illinois University Press. Kumaran, K. P. 1992. Migration and Settlement and Ethnic Associations. Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. Kundu, Amitabh. 1988. ‘National Commission on Urbanisation: Issues and non-issues’, Economic and Political Weekly, 24 (21). ———. 1993. In the Name of the Poor: Access to Basic Amenities, Delhi: Sage Publications. ———. 1994. Urban Development and Urban Research in India, Delhi: Khama Publishers. ———. 2000a. Inequality Mobility and Urbanization. Delhi: ICSSR and Manak Publications.

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———. 2000b. ‘Globalising Gujarat: Urbanisation, employment and poverty’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36 (32). Kundu, Amitabh, Soumen Bagchi and Debolina Kundu. 1998. ‘Regional Distribution of infrastructure and basic amenities in urban India: Issues concerning empowerment of local bodies’, Economic and Political Weekly, 34 (28). Kundu, Amitabh and Shalini Gupta. 1996. ‘Migration, urbanisation and regional inequality’, Economic and Political Weekly, 31 (52). ———. 2000. ‘Declining population mobility, liberalisation and growing regional imbalances: The India case’ In Kundu (ed.). 2000. Lobo, Lancy and Biswaroop Das. 2001. The Poor in the Slums of a Western Indian City. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Maiti, Pradeep and Manabendu Chattopadhyay. 1993. ‘Trends in level of living in urban India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 (46-47). Manna, Samita. 1989. ‘Patterns of recreation in an urban setting’, Man in India, 69 (2). Meher, Rajkishor. 1998. ‘Social and ecological drift of a planned urban centre: A study of Rourkela, Orissa’, Sociological Bulletin, 47 (1). Mehta, Meera and Dinesh Mehta. 1989. Metropolitan Housing Market: A Study of Ahmedabad. Delhi: Sage Publications. Michael, S. M. 1989. Culture and Urbanization. Delhi: Inter-India Publications. Mitra, Arup. 1992. ‘Growth and poverty: The urban legend’, Economic and Political Weekly, 27 (13). Mitra, Sanjay. 2002. ‘Planned urbanisation through public participation: Case of New Town, Kolkata’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37(11). Misra, R. P. and Kamlesh Misra (eds.). 1998. Million Cities of India, Vols. 1&2. Delhi: Sustainable Development Foundation of India. Mohan, Rakesh. 1992. ‘Housing and urban development: Policy issues for 1990s’, Economic and Political Weekly, 27(36). Mohanty, Bidyut (ed.). 1993. Urbanising in Developing Countries: Basic Services and Community Participation. Urban Series No. 1. Delhi: Institute of Social Sciences and Concept Publishing House. NIUA (National Institute of Urban Affairs). 1988. State of India’s Urbanisation. Delhi: National Institute of Urban Affairs. Naidu, Ratna. 1990. Old Cities, New Predicaments: A Study of Hyderabad. Delhi: Sage Publications. Parikh, Himanshu. 1992. ‘Slum Networking: Improving urban infrastructure and environment’, Urban India, 12(1). Parthasarathy, D. 1997. Collective Violence in a Provincial City. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Patel, Sujata. 1993. ‘The urban factor’, Seminar, 411. Patel, Sujata and Alice Thorner (eds.). 1995. Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

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6 Survey of reSearch in induStrial Sociology Sharit K. Bhowmik*

Introduction Industrial sociology has been in existence in the developed countries since the early twentieth century. There were two basic objectives of this sub-discipline that distinguished it from the other specialties within sociology. Firstly, industrial sociology used current sociological theories to study the organizational structure of industries (Rose 1979). Weber’s theory of bureaucracy provided the key impetus to this area. Besides this, there were attempts to improve the efficiency of organizations by modifying the existing structure or by improving interpersonal relationships. The studies of F. W. Taylor, which came to be known as scientific management, became part of this aspect of industrial sociology. Later, the Hawthorne experiment, initiated by Elton Mayo and his team from Harvard University, provided useful inputs. Mayo’s studies came to be known as the ‘human relations approach’. This was also included in management courses. The second objective of industrial sociology was to study the impact of industry on society. Industrial sociology studied changes in social institutions resulting from industrial development. The works of Wilbert Moore, Clark Kerr, John Dunlop, and Tom Burns, among others, represent this approach. Studies of these types were of use to planners and to those engaged in issues of economic development. They corrected the views of the economists who believed that all social change is caused by economic development. Studies in the field of industrial *This chapter attempts to assess the research done in the field of industrial sociology during the period 1987 and 2002. It was a difficult task locating all the work done during this fairly large period of time. This chapter contains only published work. It does not cover unpublished M.Phil. and Ph.D. dissertations. Neither does it take into account unpublished research reports. Much of the data collection for this chapter was done by Ms Anonna Banerjee, research scholar, department of sociology, University of Mumbai. I am grateful to her for her painstaking work, without which it would have been difficult to write this chapter. Dr R. G. Goswami of the documentation section of the ICSSR helped in locating the articles and book reviews I needed and he sent me photocopies of these. I am very thankful to him for his help. Finally, I thank Dr Yogesh Atal, editor-in-chief of the Fourth Review of Literature on Sociology and Social Anthropology, for painstakingly editing the copy. The shortcomings, however, are entirely mine.

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sociology showed that it was wrong to assume that social institutions change mechanically with economic change. The scope of industrial sociology has changed over the years. The two objectives mentioned above define the areas of study, but given the major changes in what was once known as industry, it became necessary for the discipline to broaden its scope. In most economies the industrial base has shrunk. The sections of the working class engaged in manufacture have reduced in number. Technological upgrading has cost jobs in manufacture or, as in the case of India, most of these activities are in the low-paid, low technology informal sector. For example, the growth of labour in the large-scale sector was less than 1 per cent per annum in 2004–05 (GOI 2005: 230) whereas the small sector recorded a growth of 4.4 per cent per annum (ibid.: 166). The services sector and the financial sector have registered high growth rates. Jobs in these sectors are not related to industry or manufacturing. One may ask, that if industry (meaning manufacture) has declined to such an extent should one talk about industrial sociology? A lot of activities in the informal sector, especially in the low-paid activities, are not in manufacturing. Hence can we include all this in industrial sociology? There could be other options such as sociology of work as it is done in most developed countries. This could include all non-industrial activities such as activities in services, trade and commerce, and informal activities. Another option is, sociology of occupations, which could include industrial and other types of occupations. Perhaps both could replace industrial sociology as a discipline. The present author, however, does not agree with this. In India, where there is such a large section of the population dependent on agriculture, ‘work’ would include agricultural activities as well. Similarly, professions cannot capture the changes that industry has caused. Moreover, we cannot restrict industrial sociology to such narrow confines as studying relations within factories and life outside of it. Industrialization, with sweeping changes in the production processes, has brought about wide-ranging changes in the lives of people. It has changed the social organization of work and introduced norms of discipline such as punctuality and group work. The main effect it has had is the introduction of money as a medium of exchange and a store of value. It is through money that trade and economic exchange take place all over the world. Moreover, work is done by individuals and not by a group, such as a family. Consider the manufacturing done by a family of weavers. The task is performed by several members of the family and sometimes also by other kin. There is strict division of labour with men performing certain activities like weaving and women carrying out other activities such as spinning. Children too have their specific work. The weaver and his family learnt their skills as part of their socialization within the family; there were no schools to teach them these skills. As against this, consider the work in a textile mill. There too the same processes are involved such as spinning, weaving, dyeing, etc. But there are two basic differences: (i) machines have replaced most of the activities; and (ii) work

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is done by individuals and not by the family as a joint activity. Hence, at his home, the weaver works in coordination with his family members, whereas in a textile mill he has to work as an individual. These and other similar changes were caused primarily by the system of factory production. However, their ramifications go far beyond this narrow field and affect every aspect of one’s life, including those outside the industry. Hence even when countries are not industrialized, the traditional localized types of exchange, such as Jajmani relations, are destroyed by the much wider system of distribution based on money. The influence of industrialization goes further than the narrow confines of factory production. In India, industrial sociology developed as an independent sub-discipline some decades after the introduction of sociology. In fact, the first works in this sub-discipline appeared only a decade after independence, in the late 1950s. India was mainly a rural country and the study of agriculture was considered more important. The earlier empirical studies conducted by Indian and foreign sociologists were focused on village India. There is no doubt that village studies contributed towards a better understanding of the dynamics of Indian society. But researches on industry remained largely neglected. The first studies in industrial sociology were by N. R. Sheth (1958) and Charles Mayers (1958). Sheth did a study of a factory in Baroda (now Vadodara) while Mayers studied managerial practices and labour productivity. Richard Lambert’s (1963) study of five factories in Poona (now Pune) was also considered as an important contribution. These studies provided insights into the attitudes of factory workers in India. In fact, they showed that the approach of the Indian worker to the factory was no different than that of workers in the industrially advanced countries. The following sections will discuss the present researches.

Survey of Research in Industrial Sociology 1987–2002 At present industrial sociology is offered as a compulsory or elective paper in most universities at the undergraduate level as well as at the postgraduate level. Besides, most management institutes that offer courses on industrial relations or on human resource management include topics relative to industrial sociology. The subject has gained in popularity since the 1950s and at present seems well entrenched as a much sought after paper. University courses may not always offer a specific paper on industrial sociology. It could be packaged under different labels such as sociology of work, work and occupations, industry and society, or industry and labour. At first the task of compiling the studies for this survey did not appear very difficult. The survey team was fortunate that the ICSSR has a series of journals devoted especially to the current researches in each discipline. Thus if one relied on the specific sections of the ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews in Sociology and Social Anthropology it would be possible to cover most, if not all, of the work

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done. The journal summarizes articles published in leading research journals and also reproduces book reviews from these journals. An analysis of the relevant entries in this journal should be almost sufficient to complete the task. Besides this, a survey of journals like Sociological Bulletin, Contributions to Indian Sociology, and, of course, Economic and Political Weekly, would more or less complete the task. Unfortunately, the team found that the ICSSR journal is not published regularly. In fact, the journal had been discontinued for a number of years, hence there was a gap in the information. Articles and book reviews were scanned and summaries of these made. There were some books and articles that had not been reviewed. Efforts were made to locate such books, and these have been included in the chapter. The present survey includes writings of not only sociologists but also others that are of sociological significance.1 After sifting through the material collected, it was classified into different sections. This exercise served another purpose: it helped the team to pinpoint the popular research areas and the areas that are neglected. For example, there are a large number of studies on labour and trade unions, industrial organizations, women, work and technology, and industry and environment. However, Indian sociologists have not produced much in areas such as work and technology and the labour market.

Organization of Industry: Managerial Strategies and Problems In this section we shall attempt to review the researches relating to industrial organization and structure. In 1982, the Sri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources undertook a survey of 51 organizations in order to understand the nature of industrial organizations in the country and to analyse their influence on labour management relations, more specifically, supervisory-management relations. The report of this study was written by Baldev R. Sharma (1987a). The study was significant in that for the first time such a large sample of industrial organizations was covered and quantitative data collected. Nine dimensions of organizational climate were covered in the survey. The report states that both private sector and public sector organizations believed that safety and security (at work) and monetary benefits constitute the most important needs of the employees. Other important dimensions of the organizational climate include participation in decision-making, redressal of grievances, and training and advancement. Sharma also refers to the theoretical controversy between human relations and scientific management approaches, more specifically, the tendency to separate mental work from physical work. In trying to resolve this controversy, he suggests that monetary benefits alone cannot overcome workers’ alienation (the title of the book Not By Bread Alone suggests this). Four years later, in 1986, Sharma conducted a restudy of one of the organizations covered by the previous survey (Sharma 1987b). He found that all

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the variables had remained unchanged except one, namely, monetary benefits. However, he found that though it now ranked higher, the increase in emoluments had not affected production. He concluded that perceptions of organizational reality are intimately related to the action and inaction of management. A. V. Subharao (1987) selected two steel plants for studying cooperation and conflict between labour and management. One of these plants was in the private sector (Tata Steel in Jamshedpur) and the other in the public sector (Bokaro Steel Plant). Subharao found that industrial relations at Jamshedpur were better than at Bokaro. The difference between them is attributed to the fact that there was only one union at Jamshedpur while Bokaro had a number of recognized unions competing with each other. The author’s conclusions appear to be somewhat simplistic. C.S. Rangarajan (1997) studied how workers, supervisors, and executives perceive their work. The author holds that role conception is an important aspect of one’s participation in the work organization, as role performance depends upon role conception. He examines the organizational dimensions of the bureaucratic structure. The study also attempts to understand the problems of migrant labour while adjusting with the urban-industrial order and their traditional values. K. Mamkoottam (1994) discussed the changes in labour management relations after the economic reforms of 1991. He noted that after liberalization, the need arose for changes in technology and manpower planning to enable industry to compete in the global market. Initially, employers insisted on a deregulated environment with a flexible labour force, while the workers and trade unions resisted these moves. However, there is a gradual process of change taking place in both the manpower strategies adopted by the employers and the response to the imperatives of change on the part of the employees and unions. Mamkoottam concluded that professionally oriented human resources management strategies and positively oriented collaborative employee/union strategies are beginning to emerge. Mamkoottam’s predictions now seem like wishful thinking because 10 years after he published his article, the divide between labour and management seems to have hardened. In most of the large formal sector organizations, employees are more interested in holding on to their jobs as these are being reduced in large numbers. These moves leave very little option for building positively oriented collaborative strategies. The problem of unionization of the managerial cadre is the focus of another study by Baldev R. Sharma (1993). In this study, he deals with how managerial staff form their own associations known as officers’ associations (OAs). The book has an exhaustive survey of the existing literature in the field and has vast amounts of data on managerial unionism. He finds that OAs are found only in the public sector, their main objective being the welfare of their members. Debi S. Saini (1995) edited a volume on the different aspects of labour and law. The papers in the volume offer a critical examination of the existing labour

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laws in the country. They are divided into four sections. The first section examines the existing labour laws and finds that they provide protection to only the organized sector. The second section provides descriptions of the pathetic working conditions of migrant, bonded, and agricultural labour. The third section discusses the issues of globalization, industrial restructuring and industrial relations laws, while the fourth section deals with the alternatives in labour justice dispensation. Pradip N. Khandwala’s (1992) study of innovative corporate turnarounds produces an enquiry on how ‘sick’ organizations go about regaining health and shape. Of the 65 cases studied, 16 belong to India. The main findings show that turnarounds are caused by a variety of factors. These include change at the helm of affairs in the corporation, change in organizational structure, change in product mix, and change in market focus—from domestic to international. Strategic management as a technique is new in India and there is hardly any research on it. E. A. Ramaswamy (1994) notes that this is precisely because industrial management in India comprises largely knee-jerk responses to crises. His study of a rayon factory in Coimbatore addresses several important issues in the contemporary industrial relations scenario. It is the outcome of over twenty years of research by the author. The study examines the role of the state in industrial relation management, which Ramaswamy finds has not been positive. He also discusses other issues such as the relevance of collective bargaining and bilateral negotiations, the nexus between unions and political parties, and the relations between unions, workers, and management. This longitudinal study shows how brittle the union–worker relationship can be and how easily the workers shift their loyalties from one union to another. It also exposes the irrational attitudes of the management towards the unions. Though multinational corporations have made their mark in India and there have been heated debates on their functioning, there are hardly any significant studies on the conglomerates. Only two such studies during this period were found, one by Jairus Banaji and Rohini Hensman and the other by V. Janardhan. Banaji and Hensman (1990) studied industrial relations in two major Dutch MNCs operating in India, namely, Philips, and Hindustan Lever Limited. The study provides a comparison of industrial relations in the establishments of the same MNC in India and Europe. The authors find that foreign companies in Mumbai have created a section of workers whose consciousness is dominated by the fact that they are employees of international organizations. These workers are also unionized but their unions are not linked with any of the national federations. The authors see merit in this as the national federations are politicized and run by political parties. The internal unions have greater stake in the working class in the concerned organizations. A major problem with such an argument is that it fails to take into account the political conditions at the time of independence (in 1947) which gave rise to these internal unions in MNCs. In 1948, there were three major trade unions, namely,

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the All India Trade Union Congress of the Communists, the Indian National Trade Union Congress of the Congress Party, and the Hind Mazdur Sabha of the Socialists. These federations were arch rivals but they had one thing in common: they were all against the indiscriminate role of foreign capital. This made them inherently anti-MNC. Hence it can be argued that the MNCs themselves encouraged their workers to form internal unions (instead of joining a federation) as these organizations were less likely to be against foreign-capital. On the contrary, these workers were very proud of their employment in foreign owned companies. They felt superior to the run-of-the-mill workers in other factories or mills. One must also consider the fact that most of the MNCs did not have unions under colonial rule. These company unions came up only after independence. Hence, one needs to ask why the same employers, who were reluctant to allow their workers to unionize before independence, suddenly allowed them this right at a time when unions were becoming increasingly anti-foreign capital. V. Janardhan’s (1997) article on MNCs examines the manner in which companies, especially in Asia, are globalizing and the strategies they tend to follow. The paper provides an analysis of the strategies adopted by a leading multinational corporation, British American Tobacco, and its Indian affiliates.

Entrepreneurship Studies There have been some significant studies on entrepreneurship during the period under review. These studies are broadly of two types: studies on the development of entrepreneurship with a focus on small industries, and studies on industrial or business houses. One such book, edited by Rabindra Kanungo (1998), is a collaboration between scholars in India and abroad. It tries to meet the need to develop comprehensive research-based models of entrepreneurship so as to increase the readers’ understanding of the subject and also to act as a practical guide for action. The articles are grouped under four heads. The first deals with the conceptual models of entrepreneurship; the second focusses on entrepreneurs as individuals, particularly women entrepreneurs; the third part contains articles on the enterprises; and the last concentrates on management skills for small businesses. Peter Knorringa’s (1996) study on the Jatav shoemakers of Agra attempts to analyse the motivations, opportunities, and compulsions in the small-scale shoemaking sector. Knorringa has done a detailed ethnographic study of the relations between the Jatav shoemakers who are scheduled castes and the traders or exporters who belong to upper castes. He finds that the relations between the small self-employed shoemaker and the owner are based on the traditional relations in the caste hierarchy. Thus, even in a commercial, monetized environment, caste relations are difficult to shake off. Douglas E. Haynes’ study (1999) of labour in the power-loom sector also has shades of what Knorringa found in Agra. His study looks at discourses about the past formulated by owners, workers, and trade unionists in the cities of Surat and

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Bhiwandi. A particular focus here is on the willingness of different participants in the power-loom industry to accept a portrayal of past relations between workers and owners ‘like a family’. For the workers, nostalgic attitudes and critical recollections both serve as a means of contesting a present characterized by serious strains between capital and labour, by serious fears of losing work, and by widely shared perceptions that collective actions are futile. The author contrasts these views with those of the employers and the trade union leaders. Takashi Shinoda’s (2000) study analyses entrepreneurial development among the different social groups in Gujarat. It attempts to study the caste and social background of small entrepreneurs. There have been a few significant studies on business families. A very insightful book on business houses in western India was produced by Dwijendra Tripathi and Makrand Mehta (1990). Tripathi is a well known business historian who collaborated with Makrand Mehta—another distinguished historian from Gujarat University—on the book, a study in entrepreneurship which seeks to comprehend the forces impinging on occupational choices and business strategies. Tripathi later did a comparative study of industrialization and entrepreneurship in India and Japan (Tripathi 1997). Another work on business houses was undertaken by V. S. Patwardhan (1990). He studied the Garwares as an industrial house as part of a larger study undertaken to trace the growth of entrepreneurial families in Maharashtra. The author undertook this work precisely to contest the widely held belief that there are no indigenous entrepreneurs in the state. His object was to study the existing houses to serve as reference groups for others. Sudipt Dutta’s (1996) study on family businesses traces the history of some of the larger business houses in India. He notes that the role of the family is very important in understanding the functioning of industrial houses in India. He states that nearly 70 per cent of the hundred largest corporations, and almost all enterprises, are owned or controlled by families. Dutta contends that at one level Indian business has similarities with Western business. However, in practice there are wide differences between them as the business houses in India have unique methods of conducting business based on tradition and age-old values. In another study, Dutta (1999) tried to establish that Indian businessmen come into their own only around the age of 40. He went further stating that successful family business depends not only on the ability of the young sons but also on the timing of their coming of age.

Studies on Labour Markets As mentioned earlier, sociologists have, by and large, neglected the study of labour markets. This section look at some of the current studies. L. K. Deshpande and Gerry Rodgers (1994) edited a book on the impact of the policies of structural change on the labour market in India. Besides the introduction by Deshpande and

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Rodgers, the articles are grouped into four sections. These are, aggregate employment level, institutional arrangements, technology and labour, and policy issues in economic reform. John Harris, K. P. Kannan, and Gerry Rodgers (n.d.) produced a slender volume of their research on the labour market structure of the city of Coimbatore. The purpose of their research was to develop a methodology for the study of labour markets in general so as to capture the multifarious aspects that escape attention when labour markets, especially in developing countries, are viewed as being divided into segments, namely, organized/formal, and unorganized/informal. Bam Dev Sharda’s (1998) study on labour markets and status allocation starts by pointing out that economic theories of the labour market explain differences in earning with models of demand and supply. However, with the increasing diversity in the labour force, there are other issues such as race, ethnic groups, and gender that influence wage differentials. In India, the changes in policies since 1991 have created a more diverse labour force. Sharda feels that rapid changes in the labour market would lead to changes in mobility and income levels. These would influence status allocation. In other words, if, due to restructuring, a permanent worker enjoying fair wages loses his job and is compelled to join a lower paid insecure job, it would adversely affect his status. The issue of gender discrimination in the labour market is discussed by Lalit Deshpande and Sudha Deshpande (1997). They argue that, while gender discrimination has not been eliminated, it has been reduced by the forces of the labour market. Such reduction has taken place because of the sustained high demand for labour brought about by high investment ratios. They quote the experiences of East Asian countries to illustrate their argument. Renana Jhabvala’s (1998) work discusses the main problems workers in the informal sector face. The most important problem is that of poverty which can be seen through reduction in wages and large-scale unemployment. Wages are low because workers are willing to work for such wages rather than remain unemployed. She then discusses the interventions that can be made on behalf of labour. These include intervention through trade unions, help in asset building, enhancing employment opportunities, reducing migration, and social security. Bali Ram (2001) takes a look at data from 80 countries to analyse the relationship between gender and the labour market. Basing his analysis on decennial time series data between 1960 and 1980, he finds that at the early stages of industrialization, sex segregation is low but it increases during the intermediate stage. He concludes with the note that sex segregation and women’s economic marginalization are primarily a reflection of overall societal economic inequality whether or not it accompanies industrialization. There is nothing original in what has been observed. In fact sociologists have all along maintained that gender differentials are created by a patriarchal society. One wonders why time series data from 80 countries needed to be studied to come to the same conclusion.

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C. S. K. Singh (2002) studied the daily labour market in Delhi. Based on a sample of workers from the job ‘squares’ or naakas in the city, the study found that labourers in this market represent pauperization of the peasantry rather than a migration of choice for better wages. All workers covered had no awareness of the labour department of the state or of trade unions. Moreover, they did not have any rational expectation of jobs in the formal sector.

Work and Technology One of the preoccupations of sociologists in the 1950s and 1960s was the relationship between traditional cultural practices and work in the factory. The more recent problems in this context revolve around the role of changing technology and work. The more important ones relate to workers’ response to new technology and the impact of technology on women workers. The subject of flexible specialization has drawn some attention. The impact of technology on work has been dealt with in case studies presented in a book edited by Amiya K. Bagchi (1994). A major feature of this book is that it neither tries to explain the micro-electronic revolution as an anti-worker strategy nor attempts to eulogize it. There are a few significant studies in this book. Bagaram Tulpule and R. C. Dutta (1994) examine the textile industry where air-jet looms have been introduced. The authors found that when compared to the cost of labour, the cost of new technology is higher. In other words, new technology may result in lowering labour costs as it will displace labour but the savings through lower labour costs do not offset the high costs of implementing the new technology. The authors found that it was less expensive to continue with the existing production process rather than using labour-displacing new technology. Another paper by R.C. Datta (1999) on the use of new technology in the textile industry shows that it neither reduces costs substantially nor increases efficiency significantly. Workers’ response to new technology is discussed in a study by Lakshmi Nadkarni (1998). She interviewed workers extensively in a few factories in Pune. She found that in general they were not opposed to the introduction of new technology as they knew that it would improve the products. They demanded that they be given training so that they could cope with the technological change. These responses are different from those of the trade unions which oppose new technology for fear of displacement of labour. The issue of flexible specialization was first raised by Mark Holmstrom (1993). He argued that the Italian experience of small industries using microelectronic machinery could be the future for India’s industries. He studied the electronics industry in Bangalore2 and found that it had the a potential to emerge as the ‘high road’ to flexible specialization. The small industries used Computerized Numerically Controlled (CNCs) machines and Computer Aided Designs (CADs)

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to manufacture high-precision equipment. The labour they employed was highly skilled, like in the large industries. In another study Holmstrom (1997) elaborated the concept further and worked out its implications. He noted that flexible specialization happens when clusters of smaller firms cooperate in product development and product marketing. This requires trust and the collective provision of ‘real services’. Holmstrom found that though engineers and workers are quality conscious, and though there is use of innovative techniques, the entrepreneurs are often too suspicious to cooperate or share information with other firms. Had there been greater trust, the system would have been much more profitable. Other studies on this issue (Das and Panayiotopoulis 1996) showed that most small industries use the ‘low road’ of flexible specialization which comprises low technology and low-skilled, low-paid labour. In fact, it can be seen that in labour surplus countries like India, the choice is always of the low road. Production in the upmarket fashion industry is mainly done in sweatshops. Garments are shaped by women workers who work for long hours for extremely low wages. Similarly, most of the cloth is produced in power looms situated in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra where workers earn around Rs 50–60 a day, working for 10 hours. Even the hightechnology industry of Bangalore, which Holmstrom has studied, could be taken as a form of low road if the wages and working conditions were compared with those of the same industries in developed countries. These employees may be well paid by Indian standards but they earn between one-fifth to one-eighth of what their counterparts in developing countries earn for the same work. The rapid spread of information technology combined with deregulation and upgrading of telecommunications in virtually all countries has given considerable impetus to the outsourcing or delocalization of work. Economic and Political Weekly (2000) brought out a special issue on this subject. Only those articles published in this issue that have relevance to work and technology will be discussed here. Swasti Mitter (2000) in the ‘Introduction’ notes that the development of teleworking represents a convergence between a number of different trends, many of which have major implications for environmental, social, and economic policies. How the industry and the government respond to these changes would seriously impact on the future of the economy, on employment potential, and on the quality of the work life of the people. Swasti Mitter and Asish Sen (2000) discuss the manner in which Kolkata is becoming another Bangalore in attracting outsourced software services from abroad and the facilities required to make this possible. It may be mentioned that soon after 2000, the government of West Bengal started a software park in the Salt Lake area of the city. Mitter and Sen (ibid.) suggest that remote processing rather than software services could provide a better entry to the global information economy, especially for the traditionally disadvantaged groups such as women. Sujata Gothoskar (2000) discusses the issue of teleworking and gender. She attempts to assess the problems arising from these new developments for women in the context of occupational division of labour in Mumbai. Does teleworking

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afford new opportunities for women? Or is it yet another means of increasing women’s double burden in the guise of high technology and relatively better-paid employment? These questions need further investigation.

Labour in the Formal (Organized) Sector The formal or organized sector plays an important role in the country’s development. As compared to the informal sector, this sector is much smaller in size. The 2001 census showed that around 27 per cent of the population resided in urban areas. The labour force in the country numbered 400 million, that is, 40 per cent of the population. Of this a mere 7 per cent (around 27 million) were engaged in the formal sector while 373 million (93 per cent) were engaged in the informal sector. Women constituted one-third of those engaged in the informal sector and oneseventh of those employed in the formal sector. More than 250 million workers were engaged in the rural informal sector. The urban informal sector comprised around 100 million workers. The distinction between the formal and informal sectors is crucial for understanding employment relationships. Workers in the formal sector are engaged in factories and in commercial and service establishments. Around 70 per cent of the workers in this sector are employed in government, quasi-government, and public sector enterprises. The private sector provides employment to only 30 per cent of the labour in the formal sector. The wages of formal sector workers are substantially higher than those who are engaged in the urban informal sector. Moreover, a range of labour laws, guaranteeing permanency of employment and provision for retirement benefits, protects their jobs. Organized labour came under a lot of pressure after the Industrial Policy Statement of 22 July 1991. This laid the basic blueprint for liberalization. The policy envisioned a greater and more significant role for the private sector. The public sector came under fire and it was expected to withdraw from all areas except the core sectors. The liberalization policy had some important effects on labour in the formal sector. The policies adopted led to the downsizing of large industries by shifting production to out-of-the-urban-industrial centres and by offering voluntary retirement schemes to workers. These new processes led to new dilemmas for the trade union movement which had till then operated almost exclusively in the formal sector. Many of the studies discussed in this section deal with these issues. But before discussing them, a look at other issues that were of interest to researchers. E. A. Ramaswamy (1988) has made significant contributions to the sociology of industrial relations. An earlier study on labour relations covered four major cities, namely, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai (Ramaswamy 1988). He provided case studies of union activities and management responses in some major industrial concerns located in the four cities. His work looked into the specific nature of workers, employers, and government in each of these cities.

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There are interesting comparisons. It would be expected that in Kolkata the government would be more pro-worker than in the other three cities because, since 1977, the state has had an elected Communist government. However, his study found that unions and employers often colluded and the workers were left out. Similarly in Mumbai, the new form of militant trade unionism started by Dr Datta Samant had wide acceptability among the workers because taking recourse to legal measures meant time-consuming and expensive court cases. The main criticism of Ramaswamy’s study is that it is too empirical, with an almost absence of any theoretical formations. Nonetheless, it has encouraged other scholars to take interest in labour and trade union studies. Ramaswamy’s major contribution is in adding the sociological perspective to industrial relations and labour studies, which had largely been seen from the view of labour economics and labour law. Through his articles in business journals, Ramaswamy made practising managers aware of the sociological input in labour and management studies. He contributed a monthly column to the popular magazine Business India from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. A selection of these pieces were published as a book with the title, A Question of Balance: Labour, Management and Society (1997). The articles relate mainly to trade unions and labour management relations. Some also deal with the social context and its effect on industrial relations. Besides this, Ramaswamy’s book Managing Human Resources (2001) remains one of the best sources for teaching the subject. There are very few studies on the role of caste in the formal sector. G. Karunanithi’s (1991) study deals with this aspect. He takes up the study of two industrial units in Madurai—one urban area and the other rural. He studied the pattern of recruitment and promotion of employees, their interaction in the mills and their relations with trade unions. He found that caste is a strong guiding force in rural mills, but not in urban mills. T.S. Papola, P.P. Ghosh and Alakh Sharma (1993) edited a book, which contains papers which were published in the Indian Journal of Labour Economics. The papers cover a wide range of topics which include problems of liberalization and open economy, heterogeneity of work and labour markets, conflicts, and problems of productivity and sharing. This collection, although it has a strong affinity to economics, would be useful for students and researchers in the field of industrial sociology. The 1974 rail workers strike is regarded as a landmark in the labour movement. Unfortunately there is only one significant study on this strike (Sherlock 1996, 2002). Stephen Sherlock’s study of the strike takes into account the events that preceded it. There was simmering discontent among rail workers at least two years prior to the strike. On the one hand the workers were getting tired of requesting the government for better pay and facilities. The main sufferers of the railway’s anti-worker policies were the loco-running staff who could be regarded as the backbone of the industry. The engine drivers, firemen, and assistants in the Madurai division in Tamil Nadu had adopted a militant approach which spread to

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other divisions. Alongside, there was the Jai Prakash Narayan (popularly known as JP) Movement that was mobilizing the masses to protest against corruption and misrule. The leaders of the All India Railwaymen’s Federation were closely aligned to the JP Movement. The strike was a combination of the two forces, namely, the growing unrest of the rail workers and the attempt to politicize the issue as a protest against the government of Indira Gandhi. Sherlock’s book describes and analyses this strike. C.S. Venkat Ratnam and Anil Varma (1997) have edited a volume on industrial relations in India. Each paper in the volume contains the main features of the industrial relations of different industries. The wide variety of cases makes this an important manual for those interested in industrial relations. Pravin J. Patel’s (1997) study of industrial relations in a manufacturing unit attempts to extrapolate wider theoretical implications regarding two social processes: social polarization and social mobilization. He finds that social legitimacy of the employer gets eroded when workers, spread across different locations of a company, align to articulate their grievances in the framework of relative deprivation. Deepening of social cleavage within the organization helps mobilize workers into collective action. Workers then seek support from macro structures like political parties. Leela Fernandes (1998) made an attempt to analyse certain forms of cultural politics as a means of demonstrating the varying layers of structural inequalities which prevail in the Indian working class. By examining the linkages between class, gender, and community in the jute mills the author moved away from a focus on the ways in which cultural differences foreclose class politics. She showed how different forms of class-based political practices contest and reproduce the intersecting structural hierarchies in the working class. A book on industrial labour edited by Jonathan Parry et al. (1999) has some interesting studies on labour. While the title of the book mentions ‘industrial labour’, many of the studies included in it deal with labour outside the industry. Jan Breman discusses in detail labour in the formal sector in the introductory chapter. He believes that there is no simple dichotomy between the formal and informal sectors. His essay covers issues like the now outdated debate on labour commitment, but he also tries to show that the extended family of the worker was an important factor which helped in his migration to industrial centres at low wages. The paper throws up new insights for studying labour. Breman also argues strongly for the revival of fieldwork, a tradition he finds dwindling in sociological research in India. Jonathan Parry’s (1999) ethnographic study of workers at the Bhilai Steel Plant discusses the work and work groups in the plant. His findings suggest that public sector employment and the company township have encouraged different migrant communities to integrate with the new social setting. New solidarity is created which runs contrary to traditional caste/community-based solidarities. However, he notices the opposite trend in the small manufacturing units in the

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private sector where recruitment procedures and the composition of the workgroups tend to reproduce primordial loyalties. Parry also details the negative aspects of labour in the public sector (ibid.). They earn well, have secure jobs, but they somehow avoid doing their tasks. Parry’s observations confirm the findings of M. D. Morris (1965) who, in his classic study on the emergence of an industrial work force, noted that in the textile mills workers of similar caste-ranking formed a cohesive group. Even Muslims were included in this group. However, those excluded were the untouchable (Dalit) workers. Debashish Bhattacherjee’s (2000) paper on globalization and labour makes interesting reading. The paper discusses industrial relations in a historical and structural context. The author holds the view that the gradual spread of market principles has led to wide inter-regional and inter-sectoral differences in the levels of economic activity resulting, in turn, in considerable variation in the nature of labour-management relations. Consequently, the ‘national’ industrial relations system has given way to many ‘local’ industrial relations systems. He concludes that globalization of capital leads to localization of industrial relations.

Changing Role of Trade Unions in the Formal Sector The trade union movement had a remarkable impact on the character of Mumbai. Stephen Sherlock (1996), an Australian researcher, notes that the power of organized labour in Mumbai was due to the support it got from a sympathetic government. However, after the reforms of 1991 the attitude of the government changed. It abandoned its pro-labour stand and has instead promotes strong market-oriented policies. As a result, the trade union movement has started losing much of its capacity to influence class formation. Past successes were the result of the determination and sacrifice of the pioneers in the field. The fruits of this struggle were canalized into organizations which depended on an environment created by the state. The changed circumstances should have prompted the trade union movement to change its tactics. Unfortunately, this has not happened as there appears to be some reluctance on the part of the trade unions to recognize the limitations of past achievements and to relate to the new working class. N.R. Sheth (1993) takes a critical look at the trade union movement. He notes that while conventional trade unions are supposed to organize workers against employers, the employers have begun to see methods of participative management as a means to combine with workers against unions. In fact, many employers think that a participative framework in the company obliterates the need for a union. He further contends that unions and employers often collude against the workers. This is mainly because of the political links of the unions. If the political party supports certain policies that are anti-worker, then its trade union wing takes the same stance. For a long time the absence of a database on employment and trade union formation in organized industry posed major difficulties for researchers, policy

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makers, and also the activists. In order to overcome this void the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a German foundation, commissioned studies in eight industries to determine the extent of trade unionism and casualization (Davala 1993) in them. These included tea, jute, coal, ports and docks, engineering, power, and chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Researchers collected data by personally visiting the selected industries, enterprises, and trade unions. They studied entire units rather than interviewing a sample population. Some of the industries covered—ports and docks, coal and power—were in the public sector while others were in the private sector. One of the major findings was that casual and contract labour is replacing permanent labour in all these industries. The influence of the state on trade unions has been discussed by some social scientists and by trade unionists themselves. The earlier works tried to explain that the post-independent government was pro-labour and it had passed laws to protect the working class. This may be correct to some extent if it is compared with the labour policy during the colonial period when the government was hostile to labour and to trade unions. E.A. Ramaswamy, in his earlier work (1996), had pointed out that the state’s prolonged interest in protecting labour was actually harming the movement. Instead of challenging the employers, trade unions had become more interested in getting state support for their demands. Sharit K. Bhowmik’s (1996, 1998) articles on trade unions and the state brought out similar findings. He found that multi-unionism, regarded as the main problem of the labour movement, is caused, to a large extent, by the laws granting protection to labour. The Trade Unions Act of 1926 has remained unchanged till the present. It allows seven workers to come together to form a union. However the Act only provides guidelines for the registration of trade unions; it does not provide for the recognition as this is left to the employers’ discretion. Hence even a union representing a fraction of the total workers can be recognized as the representative union by management. Similarly, the Industrial Disputes Act allows disputes to be raised by unions or individual workers, who can bypass the unions. An assessment of the trade union movement after liberalization has been done in two anthologies edited by C.S. Vankata Ratnam et al. (1994) and S.T. Sawant and Purnima Rao (1994). Both books include papers which represent different views on the subject. Sawant’s introductory chapter gives a broad view of industrial policies in the country since 1948. The publication also has papers representing the employers’ point of view as well as that of labour. In general, studies on labour after 1991 try to show the declining conditions of labour.

Worker Cooperatives Worker cooperatives are Organizations that are owned and controlled by workers. Though they are not uncommon in the developed counties, they hardly exist in developing countries. Worker cooperatives in India started fairly late. The first such cooperative was started in the tea industry in 1974 with workers of a tea plantation in West Bengal taking over control of the plantation (Bhowmik 1992). In Tripura,

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after the Left Front government was voted into power in 1978, it encouraged workers of sick or closed plantations to take over and manage them. A few such plantations are still functioning. Soon after liberalization (1991) the Sick Industries (Special Provisions) Act was amended. The Board of Industrial and Financial Restructuring (BIFR) was set up under the Act and its main purpose was to examine sick or closed industries in the private sector and to suggest ways to improve them. One of the provisions in the Act stated that the BIFR could hand over management of the company to its employees if the latter formed a cooperative and expressed willingness to take charge. Kamani Tubes was the first company to be converted into a worker cooperative under the Act. B. Srinivas (1993) conducted a full-fledged study of this experiment. His book describes the break up of the Kamani empire in 1980. It highlights the problems the workers and their families faced after Kamani Tubes closed down. Some workers sold their houses, some withdrew their children from school, others postponed the marriages of their daughters, and some migrated to their villages in search of work. Three workers took the extreme step of committing suicide. The study examines whether worker takeover of a factory could be a possible means of reviving a sick industry by making workers masters of their own destiny. Unfortunately, the Kamani Tubes cooperative also failed. E. A. Ramaswamy (1999) studied this demise and found that it failed mainly because the leaders had ceased to be democratic and did not consult the workers when making decisions. There were financial problems as well, but failure of participation made the workers wary of the leaders. The old divide between workers and managers was re-created; the main difference was that the workers began regarding the leaders as representatives of the management. As a result, productivity fell and so did the profits. The worker shareholders too lost interest in the functioning of the company. Kamani Tubes was a sensational case and had attracted the attention of the media throughout the country. However, there are other cases which through not as high profile as Kamani, still continue to function, though not with high profits. Bhowmik (1992) analysed the case of such cooperatives in the tea industry; one in West Bengal and three in Tripura. He found that trade unions played a major role in motivating the workers. The specific features of the tea industry were that workers were isolated in the plantations; their belonging to tribal groups was also important as this added to social solidarity. Besides this, the role of the state was also crucial. The plantations in Tripura succeeded because the state was favourable. But this experiment in West Bengal did not succeed, not because of the failure of the co-operative, but because of opposition by the state government. Sharit K. Bhowmik and Kanchan Sarker (2002) conducted a study on worker cooperatives in Kolkata. These cooperatives were formed for the factories that were closed in the 1980s. Some of these cooperative them are still in existence. The reasons for their continued existence are the backing of their unions, a high

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rate of participation in decision-making, and the initial support from the state government. The main difference between these cooperatives and the one in tea is that the trade union in Kolkata was with the CPM-backed CITU, whereas the union of the tea workers was not with CITU. The state government was hostile to the tea cooperative whereas it was supportive of the ventures in Kolkata.

Labour in Plantations The plantation industry is the largest employer in the formal sector after the railways. The total number of permanent workers in the tea plantation industry is over one million with another 500,000 temporary workers. Though these workers are in the formal sector in the sense that they get legal protection in their work, their wages are very low and their problems are not widely known because they lie isolated in the plantations away from public gaze. Bhowmik et al. (1996) studied the working class in the tea plantations of West Bengal, Assam, and Tamil Nadu. The conditions of the workers in the south (Tamil Nadu and Kerala) were found to be much better than in Assam and West Bengal, though the bulk of the labour force (75 per cent) is employed in the two latter states. The southern states not only pay better wages, they also adhere to the provisions laid down by the Plantation Labour Act with regard to housing, education, sanitation, and water supply. The plantations in the northern part are woefully lacking in these amenities. Kanchan Sarker (1994) highlighted the changing patterns of the life of tribal workers in the tea plantations of north Bengal. He found that unions directly or indirectly influence the lives of the workers. Collective bargaining has a direct bearing on their working life while their cultural, religious, and political institutions get indirectly influenced. In another study, Bhowmik (1993) found that nearly all the tea plantation workers in north Bengal are unionized. However, this has had little effect in increasing their wages or living conditions. The poorly paid workers are unable to sustain long-drawn agitations for improving their conditions. But they also feel that in the absence of trade unions their conditions would be worse. Women play a major role in tea production. In fact, tea is the only industry where women workers form over half the workforce. However, they are marginalized in their work as well as in the trade unions. Shobhita Jain (1988) made an in-depth study of the role of female labour in a plantation in Assam. She concludes that there is greater equality among the sexes in the plantations because of the tribal background of the migrant workers hailing from central India. Sarker and Bhowmik’s (1998) study on women workers in plantations explored the reasons for the low level of participation of female plantation workers in trade unions. They found that though tribal societies have a lower degree of gender discrimination, it is not altogether absent. Workers in the tea plantations of Jalpaiguri district and Assam are mostly tribals from the Chota Nagpur region. Work in the plantation is also very gender-specific and women are rarely promoted

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to the ranks of supervisors or gang leaders. These posts are invariably occupied by men. The trade unions too reflect the same structure, with office-bearers being mainly males. Moreover, the engagement of women in household work keeps them away from union activities. The trade union leadership (which is mainly drawn from the Bengali middle classes) has also fostered such bias. A comprehensive study of tea plantations in Darjeeling was done by M.P. Lama and P. Sarkar (1987). Though Darjeeling is well known all over the world for its tea, there are hardly any good studies on labour in that district. Their study shows that though the Darjeeling tea industry produces high quality tea which fetches a good price in international markets, the conditions of labour are the worst. Their wages are lower than of their counterparts in other tea-growing district of West Bengal—Jalpaiguri—though the cost of living is higher in the hills. The quality of life too is poor as many workers are victims of illnesses such as TB. Plantations all over the world engage migrant labour. Ravindra K. Jain (1993) focused on the continuities and discontinuities between recruitment of labour within Tamil Nadu for export to other countries, especially Malaysia where they are engaged in the rubber plantations. He looks at the process of labour control in both the ‘enclaves’ (the plantations) and the ‘hinterland’. He briefly discusses the articulation theory and the deproletarianization theory to explain the process of labour migration and control between Tamil Nadu and Malaysia. His paper includes an interesting postscript on the ethnography of colonialism.

Studies on Voluntary Retirement Many of the large companies have resorted to downsizing in order to reduce labour costs. The workers are forcibly made to retire ‘voluntarily’. The earlier methods were subtle but crude. The targeted group of workers were frequently harassed by the management with the threat that they could be transferred to other plants or offices of the company in other areas, etc. All this were done with the idea that the workers would not be able to bear this harassment and would therefore seek a compromise. After the liberalization policy of 1991, the employers’ organizations asked government to frame an ‘exit policy’ which would enable any industry to close down. This was fiercely opposed by trade unions. The government therefore postponed its decision on this policy. At the same time, it allowed companies to reduce their workforce through a process known as the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS). The companies could offer voluntary retirement to their workers by giving them a better retirement package than they would have got under the law. It was believed this would lure workers to accept and quit. In reality what happened was that companies did offer the VRS but if the response was not as good as expected they would use other tactics to ‘convince’ their workers to leave. For example, one of the commonest ones was of spreading the rumour that the concerned factory or office would close down within a short while and workers

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would be transferred to another plant far away. Hence if workers did not accept the time-bound offer of VRS, they would either have to move to the other factory or if they wanted to resign, they would get only the compensation provided by the law and nothing more. Hence, it was found that the first offer of VRS would get a lukewarm response but the second round (after these rumours were spread) would get a much better response. Myrtle Barse (2001) has studied the impact of this scheme in some large companies in Mumbai. She finds that it has had a marked impact on the nature of employment and in changing the quality of life of the workers. Her paper presents case studies of workers who have taken VRS and how their lives have changed. Most could not find alternative work and their compensation evaporated within a few years. Their living standards reduced drastically and some could find only low paid work in the informal sector. She suggests that the government or other organizations such as their trade unions or NGOs should help workers who accept VRS in investing their money properly and also in providing for health insurance. Ernesto Noronah (2001) studied the Bombay Dock Labour Board (BDLB) and how globalization has changed its functioning. By setting up the BDLB a modicum of social security was provided to the workers against sudden economic crises and recession, when work was not readily available. The advent of globalization and loading of goods to the ships in containers has reduced the need for labour. The Board offered VRS to the workers in order to reduce their number. This act involved paying lump sums to the workers who opted for the scheme. BDLB suffered a huge loss in meeting the financial needs of the scheme. It faced a financial crunch after this. The retired workers too were not better off though they received lump sum payments. The study found that this tiny sum of money disappeared in a couple of years and they were reduced to penury. This is one case where both employer and employee suffered because of VRS. Ratan Khasnobis and Sudipti Banerjea (!996) came to similar conclusions while studying VRS in Durgapur in West Bengal. Their study explored the mechanisms behind the workers’ acceptance of VRS in the Durgapur Industrial Area of West Bengal. Though there was willingness on the part of some workers to accept the compensation, there were several instances where the management coerced the workers to accept the deal. Moreover, it was found that the amount received under VRS was used for unproductive purposes (marriages, festivals, etc.). They had little left to start self-employment ventures, thus defeating the very purpose of VRS.

Labour in the Informal Sector As noted earlier, the bulk of the country’s labour force is in the informal sector. The formal sector employs only 7 per cent of the total labour force. A major section of the workers in this sector are engaged in agriculture; even so, at a conservative estimate, there are around 100 million workers in the urban informal sector. Though

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this sector has been in existence for a long time, it gained formal recognition by the ILO only in the mid-1970s. The term ‘informal sector’ was coined by Keith Hart, an economist, who was studying the labour market in Accra, Ghana in the early 1970s. He was unable to classify the large number of workers who did not have permanent employment and who floated around, changing their occupations. For lack of a more appropriate term, he called them the ‘informal sector’ as opposed to the well-regulated and legally protected formal sector. The informal sector has always been regarded as a residual sector. It was believed in the 1970s and 1980s that, with the expansion of industrialization, this sector would be drawn into the formal sector. This was wishful thinking because far from being absorbed, it grew in size and established its own identity. Unfortunately in India, despite the large numbers involved, this sector remained invisible. All the benefits that were given to labour were, in fact, given only to the organized sector. It was only after 1991, when a large number of companies went in for downsizing and when the labour from the formal sector was forced to join the informal sector, that government started taking notice of this phenomenon. The studies conducted on the informal sector are grouped in three sections. The first covers the dimensions and conditions of work. The second section deals with the attempts at organizing the workers, and the third section covers studies on social security. Working in the Informal Sector. Home-based work is a very important part of the informal sector, though it was neglected for a long time and the trade unions overlooked its existence. In 1996, when the ILO passed a convention on home-based work it began to gain some importance in the national plans. Andrea M. Singh and Anita Kelles-Vitanen (1987) edited a collection of studies on home-based work. Aptly titled, Invisible Hands, this volume covers studies mainly from India although there are a couple of papers on Bangladesh. Jan Breman’s contribution to the study of labour in the informal sector has long been recognized. He has studied the condition of non-agricultural labour in south Gujarat for several decades. He wrote a book covering his personal experiences and the first-hand information on the lives of the workers (Breman 1996). The book records Breman’s journey among the dispossessed. It is about wage labour in the lower echelons of the non-agrarian economy of south Gujarat. He draws attention to increased labour mobility and migration in recent years, both of which are drastically understated in official statistics. Breman has also written a comprehensive paper (1999a) on the evolution and dimensions of the informal sector in India. In collaboration with Arvind N. Das, Breman (2000) did another book illustrating the condition of labour in the informal sector. This book is basically a picture album with photographs by Ravi Agrawal and text by Breman and Das. It can be regarded as a unique sociological study on the subject. The lucid text, combined with stark pictures, effectively documents the exploitative conditions of these people.

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O. P. Sharma’s paper (1997) highlights the issues that arose after the reforms of 1991 concerning unorganized labour. The author is of the view that conditions of labour have become worse after the reforms. Ishita Mukhopadhyay (1998), in her study of the changing pattern of labour use in the informal sector in Kolkata, found that the city has had a high percentage of workers in the informal sector. In some time she argues that despite an increasing trend towards the marginalization and casualization of the labour force in India, the situation in Kolkata is somewhat different, particularly after the Left Front (mainly the CPM) tried to unionize all sections of the labour force, including those in the unorganized sector. Mukhopadhyay feels that this has made labour more conscious of its rights. However, she does not explain why wages in Kolkata remain the lowest compared to other metropolitan cities in the country. In spite of the growing literature on the informal sector, there are several gaps not only with respect not only to the data on the size of the sector, but also the concept and definition of this sector. Amitabh Kundu and Alakh N. Sharma (2001) have edited a collection of papers which deal with these problems. The other issues are the characteristics of the sector, its contribution to national economy, and the areas for policy and programme implementation. The contribution of women to this sector has also been studied. The editors stress on the importance of support systems for informal units and suggest ways and means of promoting social protection to informal sector workers. Manjit Singh’s (1991) study of the labour process in the garment industry in Delhi notes that in the informal sector it is not capital but labour which is unorganized. He also highlights the difficulties in unionizing workers in this sector. A. Dharmalingam (1995) explores labour conditions in another section of the informal sector—brick kiln workers in Tamil Nadu. His study shows that brick kiln workers are so underpaid that it becomes difficult for them to reproduce even the labour expended. The industry is expanding rapidly because of the increase in construction activities, but it shows extreme contrasts. Dharmalingam states that the rich brick kiln owners have distorted social relations and widened the social distance between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. The industry has also had negative effects on the environment, as it fells trees for fuel. The consequences of this are felt more by the poor. K.G. Agrawal (1988) studied the living and working conditions of casual labour in Kanpur which he reported in a slim volume of a mere 84 pages. The workers covered included those employed as casual labour in the PWD, railways, MES, textile mills and unattached casual labour. He found that the was labour force made up of the uprooted casual labour from the rural areas. Most of them had small landholdings which are insufficient to cover the basic needs of their families. They were mostly seasonal migrants who visit their villages during the monsoon season to work in the fields. A section of them was recruited through the agents of contractors. Others were helped by their kinsfolk in finding employment. One of the striking features of the study is that there is a transition in the social composition of the workers. In the pre-independence era these workers

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belonged mainly to the untouchable/ex-untouchable castes. Agrawal found that at the time of his study people from the upper castes were also joining the ranks of casual labour. Nandita Shah and Nandita Gandhi (1998) studied the plastic processing industry in Mumbai. These units are mainly in the small-scale or home-based sector. Their study assessed the impact of the economic reforms of 1991 on this industry. It examined industrial restructuring and the way this affects women workers at their workplace and in their homes. Jesim Pais (2002) examined the process of the growing casualization of the workforce and its links with the quickened pace of liberalization all through the 1990s. He found that literature on this subject seeks to demonstrate the links between the specific policies of liberalization (such as deregulation of the labour market, export promotion and trade liberalization), and the process of casualization, informalization, and feminization of the labour force. In order to be able to understand these issues, Pais’ study sought to examine the changes in patterns of industrial employment. Industrial Restructuring and Informal Work. There are a number of studies on

the impact of the closure of the textile industry on the lives of the workers. This industry had played an important role in the growth and development of two major cities in western India, namely, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The closure of this industry has resulted in a large section of workers in the formal sector being forced to take up low-paying, insecure jobs in the informal sector. It is noticed that there was a rapid decline in Mumbai’s textile industry after the long strike of 1981–82 led by the firebrand trade union leader Dr Datta Samant. Many blame him and his union for the subsequent closure of the mills. However, how does one explain the rapid decline of the textile industry in Ahmedabad? There were no strikes there. When work stopped in Mumbai, the industry in Ahmedabad should have improved to take care of the deficit caused by the strike in Mumbai. Instead, production started to fall even in Ahmedabad. It sounds simplistic to blame the workers or trade unionism for the catastrophe. Darryl D’Monte’s (2002) book on the decline of the textile industry is an important study on Mumbai. The book analyses the situation and the actors involved, namely, the government and its policies, the representative union the Rashtriya Mill Mazdur Sangh, the exploitative mill owners who were looking for an opportunity to close their operations as it would be more lucrative for them to sell the mill lands for housing for the affluent, and the underworld which was introduced to the scene by these actors. He notes that the decline of the textile industry occurred due to a host of reasons but none of them were attributed to labour. D’Monte discussed the problem of disposing mill lands in an earlier paper (D’Monte 1998). Bhowmik and More (2001) examined the socio-economic adjustments of families which have undergone decline in living standards. Their study covers the lives

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of workers who lost their jobs during and after the long strike of 1981–82. Over 100,000 of the 250,000 millworkers lost their jobs. Even when the mills reopened after the strike the conditions of the workers were no better because most mills shut down again. By 1991 the total workforce had shrunk to 85,000; at present it stands at 30,000. The millworkers who for decades had enjoyed secure and respectable jobs were now forced to seek employment in the informal sector. The study also examines the role of the social institutions that are helping them survive. The condition of workers in Ahmedabad has attracted more studies. Supriya Roychowdhury (1996) studied the impact of industrial restructuring in the textile industry in Ahmedabad. The decline in the textile industry took place in 1984–94. She found that sections of organized labour were being pushed out of the formal sector in the process of industrial restructuring. The representative trade union (Textile Labour Association, started by Mahatma Gandhi) did nothing to help. Most of these workers were forced to eke out an existence by working in the informal sector. Jan Breman found that over 100,000 jobs were lost resulting in the informalization of a vast majority of the sacked workers. He asserts that Gujarat can thus be understood as an experiment for trying out what will happen to state and society under a policy regime which does not attempt to harness the most brutal consequences of a market-led mode of capitalist protection. Another study of the textile industry in Ahmedabad was conducted by S. S. Mehta and Dinesh Harode (1998). They found that closure of industrial units in developing economies may lead to serious consequences since their limited investable resources and relatively limited alternative employment opportunities cannot easily absorb the resultant loss of jobs, production, and revenue. Moreover the present legal and institutional framework to deal with the problem of industrial sickness in India has been found to be inadequate, particularly in protecting the interests of the workers. The textile crisis in Gujarat brings out the glaring inadequacies of the present framework. Organizing the Unorganized. It is quite clear from the above discussion that the

labour in the informal sector is heterogeneous and also has certain specific features that distinguish it from labour in the formal sector. The labour in the former is poorly paid and jobs are insecure. Both factors make it difficult to organize it into collective organizations like trade unions. However, collectivisation is perhaps the only way these workers can fight for their rights. How do they organize themselves is the main problem. There have been some studies on organising the unorganized workers. The National Labour Institute (now the V.V. Giri National Labour Institute) at NOIDA (in the outskirts of Delhi, but in UP) has been conducting camps in different parts of the country to raise the consciousness of workers in the informal sector. Vidyut Joshi (1990) has done an evaluative study of these attempts. The study helps in understanding the problems encountered in organizing the informal sector workers. It also suggests feasible organizational strategies.

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Rajeshwari Deshpande’s (1999) study of the Hamal Panchayat in Pune is another case of organizing the unorganized. The Hamal Panchayat is a successful attempt at mobilizing the labourers in the informal sector. It has been attempting to create a broad-based political alliance of unorganized workers and the urban poor forcing both state and civil society to recognize their specific identities and acknowledge their contribution to the economy and society. The different experiences and the strategies in organizing labour in the informal sector are discussed in a book edited by Ruddar Dutt (1997). The papers presented cover theoretical issues as well as case studies of organizing these workers through unions, credit societies, and cooperatives. Another such book is edited by Sarath Davala (1995). The papers published are mainly by activists who share their experiences. There are also papers on different strategies for organizing. Both volumes are important contributions towards the understanding of the problems faced by labour in the informal sector and the likely solutions.

Social Security One of the ways of providing some relief to labour in the informal sector is through social security. In India, social security and retirement benefits are much sought after and are provided to labour in the formal sector. If social security— which would include educational facilities for children and health facilities for all—were to be provided to all citizens would there be such a clamour for jobs in the formal sector? For the poorly paid worker in the informal sector who has neither security of employment nor the resources to cover major illnesses, life is one endless struggle against poverty. However, is it possible to support financially social security? These are some of the questions raised by the studies quoted in this section. The withdrawal of the welfare state in India has accentuated the problems of workers in the informal sector. Noronah and Sharma (1999) raise this and related issues in their paper on displaced workers. The welfare state had protected common citizens by providing them free medical aid and education. It had also provided work at the time when it was not available elsewhere and distributed food grains at cheap rates when there were food shortages or when food grain prices rose abnormally. The withering away of the welfare state has placed a great burden on the people. To make matters worse, this withdrawal took place at a time when industries, especially the older ones, were closing down, rendering thousands jobless. The state of Kerala has been successful in promoting social security through welfare boards. Each board represents a trade and is constituted by workers in that trade. The board provides a number of facilities for its members. Funds for the board are collected from workers and employers. In some cases a levy is imposed on the trade/industry concerned. S. Mohana Pillai (1996) has conducted a study

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on the welfare boards in Kerala. He also examines the functioning of the oldest board, namely, the Kerala Headloaders’ Welfare Scheme. R. C. Datta (1998) finds that the neglect of social opportunities due to the lack of adequate progress and social security has been detrimental to economic and social development. He further states that in order to remedy this situation public action must play a central role in ensuring the expansion and monitoring social security. He focusses on the mathadi (head load) labour markets in Mumbai. He finds that the mathadi boards are a case of public action enabling these manual workers in the informal sector to achieve protective social security benefits. Renana Jhabvala (1998) is of the view that in the context of the changed world economy and the decline of the welfare state there is considerable debate on the need to provide social security to the informal sector. Her study looks at the possible mechanisms for social security provisions, insurance, security funds, and state-supported childcare. This theme is further explored in an edited volume by Jhabvala and Subramanian (2000). The papers in their collection deal with various social security schemes and the experiences of mass organizations in evolving and implementing some of these schemes.

Women and Work It is interesting to note that major work in this category was undertaken by sociologists in the 1990s. One does not find much work in the late 1980s but as one progresses to the 1990s, the volume of studies in this area increases. There are, however, serious gaps in research. For example, a large section of research is concentrated in the informal sector. Undoubtedly women workers form a third of this sector and hence it is natural that it should attract the interest of researchers. However, a similar interest in the formal sector would be rewarding. There is little information on how women in these industries fare, except for the fact that their numbers are dwindling. The information and communication technology sector has attracted a large number of female workers. In most cities where this type of outsourcing is done, females predominate in the labour force. These may be better-paid and skilled jobs, but given the fact that the jobs are insecure, the workers hardly have any rights at their workplace and they are not entitled to any post-retirement benefits. Such jobs are actually in the informal sector. There is a need to study this growing phenomenon. A question being discussed since the 1970s is how women’s employment affects their domestic activities. There is much debate on the issue of women working the ‘double shift’. The first shift is in their place of work, where they work for a wage. The second shift starts at home, where women have to do the household work. ISA Baud, a Dutch sociologist, has tried to explore this problem in her study of the gender aspects of industrialization in India and Mexico (Baud 1991). The study takes into account the petty production units employing mainly casual female labour. There are descriptions and discussions of women’s

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employment in the textile and shrimp-processing industries in India and the shoe industry in Mexico. Alongside, the author examines the differential position of women in the household in all three cases. She goes on to discuss the factors that determine the differential bargaining position of women in the household situation in relation to the different forms of production. Baud (1992) has also examined the effects of industrialization on women workers in developing countries. Her paper on the subject (ibid.) is concerned with the changes occurring in women’s employment during the current industrialization process. More specifically, the study deals with how women’s employment varies within large, small-scale, and artisanal forms of production and the implications this has for women’s bargaining power within the household. Hilary Standing (1991) explores a similar theme. Her study on women’s employment and family in Kolkata focuses on the impact of their intra-household relations and familial ideologies. Standing uses a mixed methodology combining a sample survey of women workers along with detailed structured and unstructured interviews with several members of the household of each of the employed women. Uma Kalpagam (1994) explores different aspects of labour and gender in her collection of papers. The different papers deal with diverse issues but there is a thematic unity in the sense that most of the studies deal with patriarchy and gender. Examples from the garment industry, electronics, and service and processing sectors show that women get ‘crowded’ into unskilled, low-wage jobs. Kalpagam finds that the patriarchal role of the state reinforces cultural norms where women are constructed as dependent. It provides the rationale for women’s subservience to males in the family, household, property ownership, and other facets of their lives. It further justifies the treatment of women as the labour reserve to be employed at lower wages. Finally, her analyses show that it is only where women have organized themselves to articulate their demands that one finds a ray of hope and, of course, the only option for getting rid of the overall oppressive system. Cherian Joseph and K.V. Eswara Prasad (1995) discuss the reality of gender at work. Their work focusses on women and the facets of their work in the marine food processing units, on construction workers, on the functioning of an NGO for rural women, and on the study of labour administration and labour law enforcement in Maharashtra. The authors discuss the role of a trade union which became productive with the active participation of women. However, the women within it got marginalized. The book also talks about the NGO Disha which works on the ‘gender and development’ approach, where women are seen as resources and as full-fledged participants in the development process. The labour administration system in Maharashtra is critiqued for its biased recruitment process. It also exposes the limited employment opportunities for women, the problems they encounter while balancing, the home with their work. Another study on women in the fish-processing industry is by M.V. Shobhana Warrier (2001). The author has based her findings on an in-depth survey of 60 workers from Kerala and a broader sample of 250 from the different production

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centres. She discusses the nature of the fish-processing industry in India at a general level and focuses on issues concerning the migrant women workforce. This industry is situated in various parts of the country and its labour force is almost exclusively migrant women. A preponderant majority is from Kerala but of late women from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka have also joined the industry. The migrants are recruited by agents who not only provide them work but also maintain control over the women’s work and life. P. Tara Kumari’s book (1999) provides a comprehensive analysis of the important problems of working women in the urban informal sector. Though the title of the study, Women in Urban India, suggests that the book is on urban women, it is in fact on women workers in the urban informal sector. The book attempts to provide an integrated picture of the total women workforce and their economic contribution at the family and societal level. The study indicates that social background is an important indicator influencing the economic participation of women. The lower paid jobs in this sector are dominated by women belonging to backward castes whose family income is low. These features in fact push these women into the labour market, which is dominated by low-paid menial jobs. Level of education is also an important factor. Women with better education can get better paid jobs in this sector. Leela Fernandes’ (1997) monograph on women in the jute mills in Kolkata focusses on the political processes through which categories are constructed. She highlights the tension in India between a ‘national’ level discourse of a unitary ‘working class’ and the political fragmentation of workers and trade unionists in the local context. She moves beyond the narrow confines of unionized politics to examine the negotiation of power in the everyday life of the family, neighbourhood, shop floor, and other areas. The book contributes towards a better understanding of workers’ politics and trade union practice and the marginalization of women workers in the organized (formal) sector. It also brings out women’s resistance to the ideology of domesticity and the devaluation of their work roles, the restricted scope for independent collective action and the generational transmission of hierarchies among them. An interesting but important essay on women and work under patriarchy is by Nirmala Banerjee (1999). She dissents from the favoured prescription that greater employment opportunities can give women more independence. Banerjee points out that in East and South East Asia, capitalism has, in fact, drawn women into the labour market rather than binding them down as housewives. She points out that a major cause for women’s marginalization is the trade union movement which did not specifically take up gender issues. The trade union movement was used to protect only male workers and, in effect, it turned against women workers. Banerjee does not clarify whether the trade union movement is inherently anti-female or the change in its orientation as it progresses is because of vested interests. Nirmala Banerjee and Swasti Mitter (1998) have conducted a study on Indian working women’s response to technical changes in a globalizing world. The authors examine several instances of women from diverse backgrounds who interact

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with the changing technologies at their work. Their analyses show that in spite of the many difficulties, the reasons why women have been the greater losers (compared to men) are surprisingly similar. The rise in the employment of women in the informal sector is discussed in a few studies. Jeemol Unni (2001) provides evidence of the growing informalization of the female labour force in South Asian countries. There are two broad components of the informal economy, i.e. non-wage and wage employment. The share of the first component rose in the 1980s and 1990s. Within non-wage employment, certain invisible groups, such as home-based workers and street vendors, are vulnerable to changes in the global and local economy. The increasing casualization of the workforce is evidence of the increase in the second broad component. Within wage employment, home-workers or outworkers, and informal workers in the formal enterprises are vulnerable. The low quality of employment available to women in the informal economy is evident from the wages and incomes received and the differentials in earning. While discussing the same phenomenon, M. Vanamala (2001) notes that state-sponsored incentive schemes and exemptions to the small-scale sector have encouraged the increase of the informal industrial sector. These concessions are on capital investment but the state has not taken any step to ensure that industry provides statutory welfare benefits and proper working conditions for its workers. Her study of an engineering unit shows that there is not only a growing casualization of labour with recruitment on contractual basis, but also an increase in the feminization of the workforce as more women are engaged to operate most production processes. This case is somewhat unusual because most studies on small-scale industrial units show that there is little feminization of the workforce. Hence Vanamala’s case study could be more of an exception than the rule. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt (2001) discusses the marginalization of women workers in the coal mining industry. The mines employed women in coal mines in various stages of production. These women belonged to tribal or lower-caste communities. Their role continued to be significant as long as technology remained labour-intensive and collieries were small and surface-bound. The expansion of the industry and increasing mechanization saw a decline in women’s participation. Lahiri-Dutt’s research is based in the Ranigunj coal belt in eastern India. She describes how the work of resource extraction becomes gendered. She highlights the growing marginalization of women and their alienation from access to environmental resources and their transformation into illegitimate and invisible beings. While on the subject of marginalization of women in the mining industry it is necessary to note that this occurred with the ban on women working underground before the Second World War. The ILO has a convention to this effect. Such a ban has meant that women can work only on the surface and not inside the mines. The only jobs available to them are those that involve labour-intensive and poorly paid activities, while the better-paid jobs are below the surface. Hence

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it is not technology but the ban that led to the marginalization of women workers in the mines. While on the subject of job losses for women in the formal sector, it should be noted that their marginalization came from certain protective legislation such as the ban on underground work in mines and ban on night work in factories. Another important legislation was on maternity benefits. Amrita Chhachi (1998) has discussed this issue in her analysis of the Maternity Benefit Bill of 1929. Her study focusses on the Bombay Legislative Assembly debates over the Bill. She brings to light the various issues raised in these debates. However, her focus is on the main issue the Bill brought to the fore, namely, who should bear the cost of reproduction of labour: the state, capital (employer) or the husband? Though her study is on the Bill that was passed in 1929, the issues raised are very contemporary and relevant even today.

Concluding Observations The large volume of work published in this area is quite impressive. On further examination, however, there is some imbalance. In some areas a lot of work has been done, while in others a lot more research is needed. One such neglected area is the informal sector. Very little work has been done on labour, or even the employers, in this sector. Whatever work that exists is mainly by economists or statisticians. Sociologists tend to shy away from the labour market because they think it falls in the realm of economics. However, current researches show that this is not the case. Serious economists have realized that complicated mathematical models on the labour market may seem very sophisticated in print but they cannot explain the reality of the myriad networks of social institutions that influence the market behaviour. Thus, while economists resort to sociology to help them explain complications in the labour market, sociologists unfortunately still seem disinterested. Where work and technology are concerned, the situation is even more dismal. The present survey found only a few works that were relevant. There was only one book that dealt with this issue but a few articles were also available. However, the bulk of the articles were from a single issue of Economic and Political Weekly which had focussed on information technology. Clearly there is a greater need for work in this area. Research in the sector of information and communication technology is growing. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has focussed on this in its report for 2001. This technological revolution has led to greater outsourcing of jobs to the developing world. New managerial strategies are used in these sophisticated industries which need to be studied and analysed. Some new intensive research will emerge in the near future as funding organizations like the Indo-Dutch Programme in Development Alternatives (IDPAD) have encouraged work in this sector. A few other research funding agencies too have backed

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projects in this area but unfortunately, the major thrust of research funding is still in the conventional areas. There is a need for ethnographic studies on work in the informal sector; the type of work that Jan Breman has done. Why is it that sociologists, especially the younger ones, are so averse to fieldwork? Is it because it is difficult to rough it out in the field? Have sociologists become soft and cannot stand the rigours of fieldwork? The earlier sociologists drew a lot of their data from their extensive fieldwork. N. R. Sheth and E. A. Ramaswamy lived in the field among workers for months in order to gain an insight into their social life and their attitudes towards work. In more recent times, there are Jan Breman and Jonathan Parry who are engaged in intensive fieldwork. Parry has been studying, as a participant observer, workers in Bhilai since 1993. Mark Holmstrom too did extensive fieldwork in the working class areas of Bangalore before he wrote his highly insightful monograph South Indian Factory Worker (1976). It is embarrassing to see senior sociologists/ social anthropologists from Britain and the Netherlands engaging in extensive fieldwork in India, while Indians prefer to settle for secondary data. Even when they handle primary data, it is not based on field observations; they use elaborate questionnaires which are administered to unwilling respondents by young and inexperienced researchers. I always ask my enthusiastic students to first administer the questionnaire and see if they have the patience to answer the long list of questions before expecting their respondents to answer the questions. The micro-electronic revolution has brought about rapid changes in the production process and, more importantly, in the organization of services. In just a decade the telecom sector has connected the remotest parts of the country. This has given rise to telecom-related services, outsourcing, and new production relations on a global scale. Unfortunately, this area has remained largely unstudied by sociologists. Some of the studies undertaken have been discussed in this chapter but these are not enough. One would have expected sociologists to study the effects of this revolution on the nature of work, social and industrial relations, what effect these changes have had on the youth and their vision of the future, and how women workers have been affected. Globalization has resulted in two extremes in development in countries like India. It has resulted in the outsourcing of business from the developed countries. At the upper end, there is an educated, Westernized, and technically skilled workforce which is engaged in business process outsourcing (BPOs), and at the lower end is the outsourcing of production. Poorly paid workers, a significant number of whom are women, do this, latter work. These include workers in garment factories, workshops producing leather goods, small-scale industries manufacturing precision instruments, etc. Workers in the production units are not like their sophisticated counterparts engaged in outsourcing in the services sector, mentioned above. It is quite evident that this divide will continue in the future and may, in fact, increase. What are the effects of this type of work on the workers and

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their families? Naila Kabeer has made a study of garment workers in Bangladesh and she finds that despite the extreme forms of exploitation the large numbers of women engaged in this industry have some independent source of income which they can use to improve their households and educate their children. The other side is that they earn subsistence wages and their savings are nil or low. The women will have nothing to fall back upon if these industries close or move elsewhere. Studies of this type need to be done in India too. Globalization and liberalization have given rise to many new categories of workers. These workers are not totally unskilled or illiterate. The growing business of courier services, the increasing network of cable TV, the spread of cyber cafes, private security guards, and other such activities have provided employment to many but these are, by and large, poorly paid with no job security and no facilities at work. Studies on work and control over work in such activities are needed. The new types of work, whether in the BPOs or in the low end of outsourcing, have created employment and increased the choices for the people. However, most of these jobs are not permanent, neither do they provide for any social security or any other benefits. Another issue that has gripped planners and activists is how to provide social security to workers in the informal sector. The report of the Second National Labour Commission has suggested that government must try and have an umbrella legislation for this sector. How can this happen? What are the growing problems of the informal sector and how do the workers perceive them? How can we move towards solutions? These are issues sociologists could have raised; unfortunately the reaction of sociologists to the informal sector has been lukewarm and issues of social security are hardly researched. Finally, one can say that industrial sociology has matured over the years in India. In the coming years, a good deal of research in this field will be needed to respond to the newer demands, and also to monitor the changing profile of the Indian industrial scene.

notes 1. We have tried to cover the main researches in the field of industrial sociology. Both the field and the time period are quite vast and it is possible that some of the works published in the period under survey might have been inadvertently left out. Any such omissions are due to oversight and should not be seen as a deliberate attempt to ignore them. 2. Which came to be known as India’s Silicone Valley.

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Bibliography Agrawal, K.G. 1988. Casual Labour of Kanpur: Their Lives and Working Conditions. New Delhi: National Labour Institute. Bagchi, Amiya K. (ed.). 1994. New Technology and the Workers’Response: Microelectronics, Labor and Society. Delhi: Sage Publications. Banaji, Jairas and Rohini Hensman. 1990. Beyond Multinationals. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Banerjee, Nirmala. 1999. ‘Analysing women’s work under patriarchy’. In Kumkum Sangari and Uma Chakravarty (eds.). From Myths to Markets: Essays on Gender. New Delhi: Manohar. Banerjee, Nirmala and Swasti Mitter. 1998. ‘Women making a meaningful choice: Technology and the new economic order’, Economic and Political Weekly, 33 (51). Barse, Myrtle. 2001. ‘Social implications of Voluntary Retirement Scheme: A study in Mumbai’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 36 (52) Baud, ISA. 1991. Forms of Reproduction and Women’s Labour: Gender Aspects of Industrialisation in India and Mexico. New Delhi: Sage Publications. ———. 1992. ‘Gender and forms of production: Labour intensive industries in India and Mexico’, Economic and Political Weekly, 27 (34). Bhattacherjee, Debashish. 2000. ‘Globalising economy, localising labour’, Economic and Political Weekly, 35 (29). Bhowmik Sharit K. 1992. ‘Worker co-operatives in the plantation system: A study of tribal tea plantation workers in eastern India’, Labour Capital and Society, 25 (2). ———. 1993. ‘Tea industry in West Bengal’, In Sarath Davala (ed.). ———. 1995. ‘Worker co-operatives’, Seminar, 429. ———. 1996. ‘State intervention and the working class movement in India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 31 (52). ——. 2001. ‘An informal labour system: End of labour market dualism’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36 (52). ———. 1998. ‘The working class movement in India: Trade unions and the State’. In Manoranjan Mohanty, Partha N. Mukherji, and O. Tournquest (eds.). People’s Rights: Social Movements and the State in the Third World. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Bhowmik, Sharit K. and Nitin More. 2001. ‘Coping with urban poverty: Ex-textile mill workers of Mumbai’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 36 (52) Bhowmik, Sharit K and Kanchan Sarker. 2002. ‘Worker cooperatives as alternative production processes: A study in Kolkata’, Work and Occupations, 29 (4). Bhowmik, Sharit K., V. Xaxa, and M. A. Kalam. 1996. Plantation Labour in India. New Delhi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Breman, Jan 1996. Footloose Labour: Working in India’s Informal Sector. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press.

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Breman, Jan and Arvind N. Das. 2000. Down and Out: Labouring Under Global Capitalism. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 1999a. ‘The study of labour in post-colonial India—The informal sector: A concluding review’. In Jonathan P. Parry, Jan Breman and Karin Kapadia, (eds.). The Worlds of Indian Industrial Labour. London: Sage Publications. ———. 1999b. ‘The study of labour in post-colonial India—The formal sector: An introductory review’. The Worlds of Indian Industrial Labour. London: Sage Publications. Chhachi, Amrita. 1998. ‘Who is responsible for Maternity Benefit—State, Capital or Husband?’ Economic and Political Weekly, 33 (22). D’Monte, Darryl. 1998. ‘Redevelopment of Mumbai’s cotton textile mill land: Opportunities lost’, Economic and Political Weekly 33(6). ———. 2002. Ripping the Fabric: The Decline of Mumbai and its Mills. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Das, Subesh K. and P. Panayiotopoulis. 1996. ‘Flexible specialisation: New paradigm for industrialisation for developing countries?’ Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 31 (52). Datta, R. C. 1998. ‘Public action, social security and the unorganised sector’, Economic and Political Weekly, 33 (22). ———. 1999. ‘New technology and textile workers’, Economic and Political Weekly, (Review of Labour), 34(39): L41–44. Davala, Sarath C. (ed.). 1993. Employment and Unionisation in Indian Industry. New Delhi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. ———. (ed.). 1995. Unprotected Labour in India. New Delhi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Deshpande, L. K. and Gerry Rodgers (eds.).1994. The Indian Labour Market and Economic Structural Change. Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation. Deshpande, Lalit and Sudha Deshpande. 1997. ‘Gender-based discrimination in the urban labour market’. The Indian Journal of Economics, 40 (3). Deshpande, Rajeshwari. 1999. ‘Organising the unorganised: Case of the Hamal Panchayat’, Economic and Political Weekly (review of Labour), 34 (39). Dharmalingam, A. 1995. ‘Conditions of brick workers in a south Indian village’, Economic and Political Weekly, 30 (47). Dutt, Ruddar (ed.). 1997. Organising the Unorganised Workers. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. Dutta, Sudipt. 1996. Family Business in India. New Delhi: Response Books. ———. 1999. ‘Boys to Men’, Seminar, 482, October 1999. Fernandes, Leela. 1997. Producing Workers: The Politics of Gender, Class and Culture in Calcutta Jute Mills. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications. ———. 1998. ‘Class structure and working class politics’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 33 (52). Gothoskar, Sujata. 2000. ‘Gender and Tele-working’, Economic and Political Weekly, 35(27)

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GOI (Government of India). 2005. Economic Survey 2004–05. New Delhi: Ministry of Finance. Harris, John, K. P. Kannan, and Gerry Rodgers. n.d. Urban Labour Market and Job Access in India: A Study in Coimbatore. Geneva: Internal Institute of Labour Studies. Haynes, Douglas E. 1999, ‘Just like a family? Recalling the relations of production in the textile industries of Surat and Bhiwandi, 1940-1960’. In Jonathan P. Parry, Jan Breman and Karin Kapadia, (eds.). The Worlds of Indian Industrial Labour. London: Sage Publications. Holmstrom, Mark. 1976. South Indian Factory Workers: Their Life and Their Work. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ———. 1993. ‘Flexible specialisation in India?’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Management), 28 (35). ———. 1997. ‘A cure for loneliness? Networks, trust and shared services in Bangalore’, Economic and Political Weekly, 32 (35). Jain, Ravindra K. 1993. ‘Tamilian labour and Malasian plantations (1840–1938)’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 (43). Jain, Shobhita. 1988. Sexual Equality: Women Workers in the Plantation System in Assam. Delhi: Sterling Publishers. Janardhan, V. 1997. ‘Globalisation of capital, multinational corporations and labour: Towards a perspective’, Economic and Political Weekly, 32 (35). Jhabvala, Renana. 1998. ‘Social Security for the Unorganised Sector’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 33 (22). Jhabvala, Renana and Subramanian (eds.). 2000. The Unorganised Sector: Social Security. New Delhi: Sage Publications. ———. 1999. ‘Interventions in the labour market’. In T. S. Papola and Alakh N. Sharma (eds.). Gender and Employment in India. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. Joseph, Cherian and K. V. Eswara Prasad. 1995. Women, Work and Inequality: The Reality of Gender. NOIDA: National Labour Institute. Joshi, Vidyut. 1990. Assessment of Training Programmes of NLI. Delhi: National Labour Institute. Kalpagam, Uma. 1994. Labour and Gender: Survival in Urban India, New Delhi: Sage Publications. Kanungo, Rabindra (ed.). 1998. Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Models for Development. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Khadria, Binod. 1999. The Migration of Knowledge Workers: Second Generation Effects of Brain Drain. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Khandwala, Pradip N. 1992, Innovative Corporate Turnaround. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Khasnobis, Ratan and Sudipti Banerjea. 1996. ‘Political economy of voluntary retirement: Study of “Rationalised” workers in Durgapur’, Economic and Political Weekly, 31(52).

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Knorringa, Peter. 1996. Economics of Collaboration: Indian Shoemakers Between Market Hierarchy. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Kumari, P. Tara. 1999. Women in Urban India. Delhi: Vedams Books. Kundu, Amitabh and Alakh Sharma (eds.). 2001. Informal Sector in India: Perspectives and Policies. New Delhi: Institute for Human Development and Institute of Applied Manpower Research. Lahiri–Dutt, Kuntala. 2001. ‘Women in Ranigunj Collieries’, Economic and Political Weekly, 37(48) Lama, M. P. and P. Sarkar (eds.). 1987. Tea Plantation Workers in Eastern Himalayas: A Study on Wages, Employment and Living Standards. New Delhi: Atma Ram and Sons. Lambert, Richard D. 1963. Workers, Factories and Social Change in India. Princeton: University Press and Bombay: Asia Publishing House. Mamkoottam, K. 1994. ‘Globalisation and the emerging labour management relations’. In Ratnam et al. (eds.). Mayers, C. A. 1958. Labor Problems in the Industrialization of India. Cambridge: University Press. Mehta, S. S. and Dinesh Harode. 1998. ‘Industrial sickness and workers: Case of Gujarat textile industry’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 33 (52). Mitter, Swasti. 2000. ‘Tele-working and tele-trade in India: Combining diverse perspectives and visions’, Economic and Political Weekly, 35 (27). Mitter, Swasti and Asish Sen. 2000. ‘Can Calcutta become another Bangalore?’ Economic and Political Weekly, 35 (26): 2263–68. Morris, D. Morris. 1965. The Emergence of an Industrial Labour Force in India : A Study of the Bombay Cotton Mills, 1854–1947. California: California University Press; Bombay: Oxford University Press. Mukhopadhyay, Ishita. 1998. ‘Calcutta’s informal sector: Changing pattern of labour use’, Economic and Political Weekly, 33 (47–48). Nadkarni, Lakshmi. 1998. Sociology of Industrial Worker. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. Noronah, Ernesto. 2001. ‘Dock Labour Board 1948-1994: From security to insecurity?’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36 (52) Noronah, Ernesto and R. N. Sharma. 1999. ‘Displaced workers and withering of welfare state’, Economic and Political Weekly 34 (26). Pais, Jesim. 2002. ‘Casualisation of the urban labour force: Analysis of recent trends in manufacturing,’ Economic and Political Weekly, 37 (7). Papola, T. S. and Alakh N. Sharma. (eds.). 1999. Gender and Employment in India. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. Papola, T. S., P. P. Ghosh, and Alakh Sharma (eds.). 1993. Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations in India. Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation. Parry Jonathan. 1999. ‘Working and Shirking in Bhilai.’ In Jonathan Parry, Jan Breman, and Karin Kapadia (eds.). The Worlds of Indian Industrial Labour. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

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Patel, Pravin J. 1997. ‘Trade unions and class mobilisation of workers: Towards a theory of social polarisation and mobilisation’, Economic and Political Weekly, 32(35). Patwardhan, V. S. 1990. Growth of Indigenous Entrepreneurship: The House of Garwares. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. Pinney, Christopher. 1999. ‘On living in Kal(i)yug: Notes from Nagda’. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 33 (77). New Delhi: Sage Publication. Ram, Bali. 2001. ‘Industrialisation and sex segregation in the labour market: A crossnational study’, Sociological Bulletin, 50 (1). Ramaswamy, E. A. 1988. Worker Consciousness and Trade Union Response. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 1994. The Rayon Spinners: The Strategic Management of Industrial Relations. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 1996. Power and Justice: The State in Industrial Relation. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 1997. A Question of Balance: Labour, Management and Society. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ———. 1999. ‘Worker Cooperatives in India: Lessons from Kamani’, Economic and Political Weekly, 34 (12). ———. 2001. Managing Human Resources. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Rangarajan, C. S. 1997. The Workers in the Bureaucratic Structure in Industry. Madras: Director of Publications, University of Madras. Ratnam, C. S. Venkata. 1996. ‘Future of work: New paradigms in employee relations’, Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 32 (2). Ratnam, C. S. Venkat and Anil Varma. 1997. The Challenge of Change: Industrial Relations in Indian Industry. New Delhi: Allied Publishers. Ratnam, C. S. Venkata, Gerd Botterweck, and Pravin Sinha (eds.). 1994. Labour and Unions in a Period of Transition. New Delhi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Rose, Michael. 1979. Industrial Behaviour. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Roychowdhury, Supriya. 1996. ‘Industrial restructuring, unions and the State: Textile mill workers in Ahmedabad’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 36 (8). Saini, Debi S. (ed.). 1995. Labour, Law, Work and Development: Essays in the Honour of P. G. Krishnan. New Delhi: Westvill Publishing House. Sarker, Kanchan. 1994. ‘Social change and trade unions in a plantation system’, Man In India, 74 (2). Sarker, Kanchan and Sharit K. Bhowmik. 1998. ‘Trade unions and women workers in tea plantations’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 33 (52). Sawant, S. T. and Purnima Rao (eds.). 1994. New Economic Policy: Strategies and Problems. New Delhi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Shah, Nandita and Nandita Gandhi. 1998. ‘Industrial restructuring: Workers in plastic processing industry’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 33 (22). Sharda, Bam Dev. 1998. ‘Labour markets and status allocation’, Sociological Bulletin, 47 (1).

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Sharma, Baldev R. 1987a. Not by Bread Alone: A Study of Organizational Climate and Employer-Employee Relations in India. New Delhi: Sri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. ———. 1987b. ‘Organizational climate and supervisory-management relations in Bharat Ispat Nigam’, Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 23 (1), ———. 1993. Managerial Unionism: Issues in Perspective. New Delhi: Shri Ram Centre of Industrial Relations and Human Resources. Sharma, O. P. 1997. ‘Unorganised labour: Some major policy issues’, Social Action, 47 (2). Sherlock, Stephen. 1996. ‘Mumbai: Has organised labour risen to the challenge?’, Economic and Political Weekly, 31 (52). ———. 2002. Indian Railways Strike of 1974—A Study of Power and Organised Labour. Delhi: Rupa and Co. Sheth, N. R. 1958. Social Framework of an Indian Factory. Manchester: University Press; and 1984, Delhi: Hindustan Publishers ———. 1993. ‘Our trade unions: An overview’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 (6). Shinoda, Takashi. 2000. ‘Institutional change and entrepreneural development in small scale industries sector’, Economic and Political Weekly, 35 (33). Singh, A. M. and Anita Kelles-Vitanen. 1987. Invisible Hands. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Singh, C. S. K. 2002. ‘Daily labour market in Delhi: Structure and behaviour’, Economic and Political Weekly (Review of Labour), 37 (11). Singh, Manjit. 1991. Labour Process in Unorganised Industry: A Case Study of the Garment Industry. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Srinivas, B. 1993. Worker Takeover in Industry: The Kamani Tubes Experiment. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Standing, Hilary. 1991. Dependence and Autonomy: Women’s Employment and the Family in Calcutta. London: Routledge. Subharao, A. V. 1987. ‘Labour management co-operation and conflict in the steel industry: A tale of two sectors’, Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 23 (2). Tripathi, Dwijendra. 1997. Historical Roots of Industrialisation and Entreneurship in India and Japan: A Comparative Interpretation. Delhi: Manohar Publications. Tripathi, Dwijendra and Makrand Mehta. 1990. Business Houses in Western India: A Study in entrepreneurial Response, 1850–1956. London: Jaya Books; and Delhi: Manohar Publications. Tulpule, Bagaram and R. C. Dutta. 1994. ‘New technology, productivity, employment and workers’ response’. In Bagchi (Ibid). Unni, Jeemol. 2001. ‘Gender and informality in labour market in South Asia’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36 (35). Vanamala, M. 2001. ‘Informalisation and feminisation of a formal sector industry’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36 (36). Warrier, M. V. Shobhana. 2001. ‘Women at work: Migrant women in fish processing industry’, Economic and Political Weekly, 36 (35).

7 Women’s studies Abha Chauhan

Introduction Women’s studies in India emerged in the mid-1970s in response to multiple pressures at the local, national, and international levels. These could be seen in the second wave of feminism that engulfed the West in the late 1960s questioning gender inequality and discrimination in society, when mainstream disciplines were criticized for marginalizing women’s representation and their concerns. This was also the time when the United Nations declared the Women’s Decade (1975–85) during which several conventions for the elimination of discrimination against women were passed in the international forums, and a series of regional and international conferences were convened under its auspices to bring people together on one platform to discuss women’s issues. In India, a similar upsurge in the women’s movement was witnessed in different regions of the country around the same time. The setting up of the Committee on the Status of Women in India (CSWI) in 1971 and the publication of its report, Towards Equality (1974), the initiatives taken by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) to sponsor research on women in 1977, the formulation of the National Policy on Education (1986, revised in 1992), and the launch of ‘Women Studies Centres’ in the universities with support from the University Grants Commission (UGC 1986) provided further impetus to the growth of women’s studies in India. Other developments also contributed to the growth of women’s studies: (i) the passing of the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution (1992) providing for the reservation of one-third of the seats in the rural and urban local governing bodies for women (ii) the formation of the National Commission for Women (1992); (iii) the declaration of Women’s Empowerment Year (2001); and finally (iv) the National Policy for Empowerment of Women. The ‘studies on women’ in academia undertaken prior to 1975 (Altekar 1962; Cormack 1961; Hate 1969; Ross 1961) were seen as different from ‘women’s studies’ undertaken thereafter. Some of the important works in sociology where women were visible included those dealing with female sexuality (Ghurye 1953) or ethics of feminism (Wadia 1923). Wadia’s work dealt with the effects of feminist thought on marriage, motherhood, home life, education, and professions. C. Hate’s thesis on Hindu women (1946) and S.C. Dube’s review of the role of men

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and women in India (1963) were written during this period. Karve’s comparative study of kinship in India focussed on women’s everyday lives. Her paper on ‘The Indian Woman in 1975’ (Karve 1966) was a projection of the future patterns for Indian women based on the analysis of census data. Thus in the pre-1975 phase women were not totally absent in sociological writings, but the experiences and perceptions of women remained unresearched. The second wave of feminism in the West, however, saw criticism of the content and methods of several disciplines including sociology and anthropology (Oakley 1972; Smith 1987). At this time, a feminist critique of various disciplines began to question the invisibility of women and the gap between women’s perceptions and sociological knowledge. Of particular relevance to the social sciences has been the development of the ‘anthropology of women’ of the 1970s, and later the development of feminist anthropology with emphasis on gender relationships rather than women alone (Patricia Caplan 1985; Moore 1988). Their growth was instigated to undo biases and prejudices which were mainly due to lack of access on the part of social anthropologists to women of the society being studied and because of their preconceived notions about women of their own societies (Moore 1988). It has been pointed out in several writings that where male investigators described women as economically unimportant and ritually polluted and debarred from sacred practices, women ethnographers described them as being just the opposite (Rohrlich-Leavitt et al. 1975). The ‘community’s point of view’ was actually the ‘male’s point of view’ wherein women remained largely invisible (Srivastava 2001). Similar developments are noticed in the discipline of sociology with emphasis placed on the ‘sociology of women’ (Ollenburger and Moore 1992), and the ‘sociology of gender’ (Kramer 2001) that developed later. In India too the issues of concern for women’s studies brought about an academic shift in the mid-1980s in the focus from ‘women’s studies’ to ‘gender studies’, or from ‘sociology of women’ to ‘sociology of gender’. According to Sharmila Rege (2003b:10), ‘for those of us concerned with engendering sociology, it means moving from sociology of women to a more inclusive sociology of gender’. The conceptual and theoretical understanding of the two concepts—‘women’ and ‘gender’—differed in a meaningful way, though both of them found expression in many writings. The usefulness of ‘gender’ as an important category of analysis for ‘Women’s Studies’ was seen in understanding how women are situated in society, how they experience structures of oppression and how they respond to these, i.e. in the context of women’s subjectivity and agency of the patriarchal system that controls not only gender relations but also economic and class power, political and religious authority, or a combination of these (Geetha 2002). ‘Gender’ is regarded as an inclusive category and does not necessarily divert the focus away from women (Chanana 2001: 25); ‘women’ focussed studies, on the other hand, incorporate the gender dimension by focussing on the diversity of women’s experiences of structured inequality. Those who privilege the

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category women over gender argue that the shift to the latter is a replacement of the study of sexual inequality with the study of the differences between the sexes. The category ‘gender’ is seen as diverting the focus from specific issues concerning women in different spheres. However, those feminists, especially of the Third World (Black and Dalit feminists), argue that the category ‘women’ subsumes their specific issues under the larger homogeneous and universal ones and the use of ‘gender’, on the other hand, allows for the analysis of differences of race, class, caste, ethnicity, and nation (Rege 2003b: 9–10). However, the two can and must be seen as complementary and supplementary categories in more meaningful ways. The definitions of women’s studies and its subject matter would reveal that gender is an important dimension of ‘Women’s Studies’ as much as women constitute a significant component of studies related to gender. This became all the more relevant as ‘Women’s Studies’ got closer to being a discipline encompassing various dimensions including gender as well as other forms of stratification like caste, class, race, ethnicity, or nation which helped in understanding the specific issues pertaining to women belonging to these forms. In the course of time, ‘Women’s Studies’ began to be seen as an academic discipline (still contentious though) concerned with gender and having a feminist component which encompassed ‘an entire generation of scholarship on women, gender and feminism’ (John 2001: 238). By now it is understood to have built its own perspectives, theories, and methodologies. In an interdisciplinary perspective it addresses gender concerns, possesses a political commitment to change, challenges the boundaries of individual disciplines, and promotes interaction between them. It is with this perspective of ‘women’s studies’ that the present survey attempts to understand the works in sociology and social anthropology. It certainly does incorporate studies related to sociology of gender. The International Sociological Association (ISA) established in the 1970s the Research Committee (RC 32) on Women in Society. In 1998, on the eve of the 14th World Congress of Sociology at Montreal, Canada, ISA published a series of volumes on the heritage, challenges, and perspectives of social knowledge. The volumes were an attempt to ‘introduce feminist sociological knowledge more widely’ with the objective to illustrate and analyse ‘ways in which scholarly biases are being redressed and new knowledge created with feminist insight’ (Christiansen-Ruffman 1998: 11). It was in the late 1990s that the concept of research committees (RCs) was introduced in the Indian Sociological Society (ISS). Since then in every All India Sociological Conference, sessions are held in different RCs, one of them being ‘Gender and Society’ (RC 10). The ISS celebrated its golden jubilee in 2001 and decided to publish a series of volumes called Themes in Indian Sociology, based on the articles published in the ISS journal Sociological Bulletin during the last five decades. The first in the series (2003b) includes fourteen articles covering a broad range of issues relating to the lifespan of women in different social institutions—the family, the school, and the workplace ‘by feminist scholars towards engendering mainstream sociological discourse in India’.

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Of late the publication of series has become a trend. The series consists of anthologies of earlier published articles, or of articles on any contemporary issue. One finds this happening both in sociology as well as in women and gender studies. The Social Structure and Social Change series, brought out in honour of M.N. Srinivas, with five volumes, had one volume on women in India society (Shah et al. 1996). The book focussed on the social and human dimension of the process of development and the need to incorporate gender issues in policies and programmes. The Oxford India Companion to Sociology and Social Anthropology published recently (Das 2003: vols 1–2) does not include women or gender studies, or issues concerning them, although some topics touch upon them (family, domestic violence, social movements, etc.). Thus, it can be said that the feminist perspective has been largely missing in the studies carried out in the sociology and social anthropology of India. Interestingly, women and feminist series have articles of sociological relevance. The first volume of Issues in Contemporary Feminism (Sunder Rajan 1999) is on gender and caste (Rao 2003). It regards caste as an important issue, which was missing in the feminist debates and movement so far until then. Another series, Theorizing Feminism (Krishanraj), which intends to introduce key concepts in feminist theory, examines in its very second volume gendering caste (Chakravarti 2003a). Keeping in mind the nature of the two fields, the task of undertaking a survey of women and gender studies in sociology and social anthropology is indeed daunting and difficult. The dilemma of drawing boundary lines of the two disciplines, when it has been so easy to trespass, especially in the case of ‘women’s studies’—which cherishes its interdisciplinary nature—always persisted throughout this work. The effort to cull out the issues and studies at the ‘borders of sociology and women’s studies’ (John 2001: 253) and those that are located at the ‘academic borderlands’ (the territories that lie between the academy and activism (Rege 2003b: 29) has been a challenging one. The series of edited books covering diverse issues made the task even tougher. The effect was to limit the survey to topics more closely associated with the discipline of sociology and social anthropology, such as caste, community, religion, family, marriage, and kinship. Those dealing with broader issues like economic and political forces of change impacting society—such as violence, politics, globalization, conflicts and wars—which have become important issues in recent years impacting women’s lives, have also been dealt with. Though works of scholars from diverse backgrounds are included, those of sociologists have been particularly incorporated.

Growth of Women’s Studies and the Women’s Movement: Theory and Praxis This section traces the growth of women’s studies and its linkages with the women’s movement. It brings out the interface between theory and praxis by showing

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how issues of the women’s movement led to theoretical understanding in women’s studies and to the sociological writings and research. Women’s studies in India is said to have made its appearance around the same time as the publication of the Towards Equality Report (1975), which sent shock waves and ‘an acute sense of unrest about the roles we ourselves as teachers, researchers and political activists had played’ (Neera Desai et al. 2003: 53). It is usually agreed that women’s studies ‘involve action, intervention and conscious-raising’ (Karlekar 2000a: 118). ‘Encoded in the heart of women’s studies is a political commitment to social change and growth’ (Poonacha 2004). Often referred to as the ‘academic arm of the women’s movement’ and ‘a critical instrument in the educational process’ (Sharma 2002: 209), women’s studies provided theoretical and critical insights into women’s activism, which in turn was ‘informed by the dynamism of the women’s movement and the questions it posed’ (Pappu 2002: 225). Women’s studies had a two-fold challenge: (1) to deal with the activism of the women’s movement and to translate it into the academic context; and (2) to develop as a ‘multi-disciplinary knowledge system capable of understanding, explicating and theorizing the experiences of women in different locations and in changing times’ (ibid.). According to Neera Desai (2002: 32), an analysis of women’s studies in India can be attempted from three vantage points—initially as an area of research, action, and policy on issues concerning women, then as a discipline in the higher education system where teaching becomes crucial along with research and documentation, and finally, women’s studies as established by the apex educational centres for promoting research, teaching, and action. As said earlier, women’s studies calls for a demarcation between ‘women’s studies’ and the ‘studies on women’ that are undertaken as an academic exercise without political commitment to social change (Altekar 1962; Cormack 1961; Hate 1969) and proposes to remove the boundaries between the ‘academic’ and ‘action’ (Neera Desai 1998: 69). The ICSSR Advisory Committee on Women’s Studies specifically used the term ‘women’s studies’ instead of research on the ‘status of women’ (ICSSR 1977). Even now many of those who have been engaged in research on women and gender have not explicitly done so under the ‘rubric’ of ‘women’s studies’ (John 2001: 238) as, according to them, women are neither an oppressed category nor do they have political rigour. They are also not rooted in the historical background of the women’s movement and in the critique of mainstream disciplines. But whether the studies undertaken prior to 1975, or those that do not really fall in the criteria of ‘women’s studies’, should be considered as women’s studies or not still remains a contentious issue. The 1970s was not only a period of enthusiasm and the emergence of women’s studies informed by new theoretical insights and political activism, it was also the time when women’s studies attempted to understand the roots of women’s subordination. The reasons were sought in such aspects as biology, socialization, division of labour, property, production and reproduction, and in the corresponding theoretical perspectives focussing on liberal, socialist, Marxist, existentialist,

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and radical feminist ideologies. Each of these, while in agreement with the subordinate position of women in society, had different explanations for such a state of affairs. They tried to find the causation in biology, class, patriarchy, and culture. It was felt that the space occupied by Marxism about the idea of unity between theory and practice now seemed to have been taken over by feminism with its emphasis on gender justice and equality rather than class struggle. Women’s studies contributed to inter alia, the revival of the women’s movement in this country in the post-1975 period as much as the women’s movement provided dynamism to it. Most studies on the women’s movement in independent India can be divided into two main phases: women’s struggle up to 1975, and the ‘new’ social movement from 1975 onwards (Kumar, 1993; Omvedt 1990 1993; Singh 2001). Women’s movements prior to 1975 can be traced back to the social reform movements of the early nineteenth century. These movements campaigned against child marriage and Sati, and for widow remarriage, women’s education, suffrage and equality in civil rights, and openings for women in professions like medicine, teaching, and law (Chaudhuri 1993). Women supported Mahatma Gandhi and his non-cooperation and civil disobedience movement as well as the nationalist movement in large numbers (Kumar 1993). The years following India’s independence saw a weakening of women’s organizations and the marginalization of gender issues. The mid-1970s saw the emergence of a ‘new women’s movement’ with several groups emerging and building networks and forging alliances for the issues that were for the first time becoming central to the women’s movement (Fuchs and Linkenbach 2003: 1548–49). The studies on women’s movement identified several problems (Gandhi and Shah 1992; Kumar 1993; Sharma 1989) as the movement gained momentum with events like the imposition of the National Emergency (1975–77), the issue of ‘violence’ (Forbes 1996) instigated by events like the Mathura rape case, and cases of dowry harassment and dowry deaths in the late 1970s and early 1980s that led to mass mobilization, demonstrations and media coverage. These incidents prompted researchers to write on such issues which finally led to the amendments in these laws. During this period, movements like the Chipko movement in the Himalayan foothills and the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Gujarat brought critical issues of civil and democratic rights to public notice. The decades of the 1970s and the 1980s were also the decades of women/gender development and of large number of studies on women’s work, a few of which were supported by international aid agencies. These events shaped some of the policy responses. The Sixth Five Year Plan (1980–85) included for the first time a chapter on women and development. Several working groups were set up between 1977 and 1979 by the planning commission, the ministry of rural development, and the department of education to look into the issues of women’s employment, literacy, and village level organizations among rural women. The 1970s were dominated by empirical researches on developmental concerns, policy reviews,

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legislative and administrative measures, women’s work in the informal sector, and demographic trends (Kumud Sharma 2002: 210–11). The rise in communalism and religious fundamentalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and incidents like the Shah Bano case (1985) and the destruction of the Babri Masjid (1992) vitiated the political climate of the country. These issues brought out the diverse ideological underpinnings of those in the women’s movement who had become weary of the secular and objective credentials of women’s studies (Poonacha 2003: 2656–57). The 1990s opened the door to liberal economy. With growing globalization, the State became less responsive to women’s causes and concerns. The failure of the women’s movement to effectively address this issue fragmented the movement. The availability of funds determined the nature of women’s studies. Funding agencies set their own agenda and priorities while co-opting gender concerns. In the 1980s, feminist theorizing increasingly questioned the androgynous model of human nature and critiqued masculine ideology by pointing to the interconnections between women’s subordination and the destruction of the environment, the conflict situation, or nuclearization. Consequently, these fused the various environmental, peace and anti-nuke movements across the world. The multiple voices began to resonate in different aspects like art, culture, religion, literature, and sports. Women of colour and from developing countries pointed to the ways in which race, class, and gender intersected in complex ways to modify their lives. These ideas breached the private/public, nature/culture divide in Western theorizing (Rosaldo and Lamphere 1974) and also critiqued this dualism in the Indian context (Abha Chauhan 2001). Scholarship in women’s studies reached new heights as it problematized the concepts of sex, gender, identity, and agency (Poonacha 2003: 2656). At this time, one can clearly discern the shift from generalizing and ambitious models of grand theories in feminist analysis to the post modernist and post-structuralist positions focussing on the local, particular, and culturally specific differences. These studies questioned the distinctiveness of gender identity and emphasized on its deconstruction (Walby 1990). The notion of ‘difference’ between the white women and women of colour was seen in the way in which they perceived institutions. The family, for instance, seen by white feminists as a major site of women’s oppression by men, was visualized as a site of resistance and solidarity against racism by women of colour (Kaul 2001: 158). However, many feminists feel the limitations of the postmodernist trend, which, within the women’s studies, proposes to dismantle the category of women itself. They contest the claims of postmodernists to have a monopoly on theorizing diversity and complexity. In neglecting the social context of power relations, and in viewing power as diffuse and dispersed, postmodernism fails to recognize that systematic oppression of gender, class, and race persists (Jackson 1998: 24). In India, some feminists apprehend that given the theoretical developments of postmodernism to accommodate the differences and the political environment in

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the country, all kinds of conservative worldviews and ideological dispositions will be given space which would harm the basic tenets of women’s studies like secularism and human rights (Poonacha 2004). This was the time when ‘gender’ as an analytical category for studying structural inequalities in society and programmes of development became important (Nagla 2001). By the mid-1980s it was clear that the women in development/women and development (WID/WAD) approaches of the late 1970s and early 1980s, which focussed on bringing women into development programmes, did not address some of the root causes of women’s marginalization and exclusion. They treated women as beneficiaries and recipients of programmes and not as participants and decision makers. The Human Development in South Asia report (Mahabub-ul-Haq 2000) dealing with the gender question showed that a disproportionate share of the burden of human deprivation was borne by South Asian women in different fields like economy, law, education and health. Equally true in the context of India was that despite the efforts made by the government and other organizations for women’s development, the condition of women, especially of the girl child, remained dismal in the areas of education, health, employment, and crimes against women (Seth 2001). Thus, the gender and development (GAD) approach that emerged in the 1980s and extended into the 1990s addressed the inequities in the relations between women and men, which were seen as the fundamental problem in the process of development. The GAD approach encompassed the equity and empowerment approach (Mohanty and Mahjan 2003: 5). The period of the 1990s was also the time when the concept of ‘empowerment’ started gaining currency. As different from the welfare, development and equity approaches, the empowerment approach became more acceptable as it gave due consideration to the practical needs of women while focussing on their strategic needs which emphasized the transformation of the social structure to give space to women. The Eighth Five Year Plan (1992–97) document gave primacy to the empowerment of women with due emphasis on the sectors of employment, education, and health. Subsequently, the National Commission for Women was establishment in 1992. The year 1992 also saw the passing of the Panchayati Raj Act, a landmark Act which made provisions for reserving one-third of the seats for women in panchayats and urban local governing bodies, thus enabling close to one million women to occupy decision-making positions. Several works on Panchayati Raj with women as the focus followed (Kaushik 1993, 1995). Subsequently, the Ninth Five year Plan (1997–2002) document devoted, for the first time, a full chapter to women’s empowerment. As a consequence, the 2001 was declared as the ‘Women’s Empowerment Year’ (WEP); as part of the WEP, the ‘National Policy for Empowerment of Women’ was adopted. The UGC had introduced ‘Women Studies Centres’ in different universities and colleges since 1986 in order to promote the component of the empowerment of women by implementing the scheme ‘Development of Women’s Studies’ in Indian universities and colleges (UGC 2004a: 3).

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Teaching of Women’s Studies in Indian Universities It is important to examine the process of the entry of women’s studies in Indian universities which can be traced in the women’s movement—indeed in the ‘women’s studies movement’—as well as in the political commitment to bring about a change towards gender justice and equality. Besides this, women’s studies within the realm of higher education has an extremely important role to play in providing direction to research work and in making available the analytical and methodological tools that feminist critiques of disciplines have developed. Women’s studies entered the university system with the establishment of the Research Centre for Women’s Studies (RCWS) at the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University, Mumbai, in 1974. It received UGC recognition in 1985, incorporating women’s studies into teaching and research programmes in university and colleges. This centre was unique for not only being the first of its kind in the country but also because its birth took place in a women’s university through the initiative of the university itself which then saw women’s studies as an adjunct to women’s education (Krishanraj 2003). SNDT Women’s University probably pioneered the use of the term ‘women’s studies’ for academic and action-oriented studies on women’s issues (Desai et al. 2003). The concern of RCWS for women’s situation in India received a further impetus with the release of the report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India which exposed the dismal condition of women’s lives followed by a series of research undertaken at the initiation of the ICSSR (Karlekar, 1982; Mazumdar, 1983; 1990). In 1981, the First National Conference on Women’s Studies (NCWS) was organized at SNDT Women’s University in Bombay with the twin purposes to stimulate and debate the concern for women’s issues by promoting women’s studies within higher education and to find for alternative approaches for its development in India (Sharma 2002: 212). Women’s studies was defined as the ‘pursuit of a more comprehensive critical and balanced understanding of social reality’ and a ‘critical instrument for social and academic development’ (NCWS 1981:10). The discussions about launching a movement for women’s studies saw several initiatives being taken by individual women or groups of women. The efforts of individuals like Madhuri Ben Shah—the then Chairperson of the UGC—Vina Mazumdar, and Neera Desai paved the way for the birth of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies (IAWS). A review of the curricula in different disciplines was undertaken by the NCWS and its findings showed the virtual absence of women in them (Desai 1988). It was during this conference that delegates from over 30 universities and representatives from NCERT resolved to change syllabi to accommodate women’s studies in the mainstream disciplines (Patel 2004). In April 1985, the IAWS, the University of Delhi, and the UGC co-sponsored a seminar to discuss the organization and perspectives of women’s studies in Indian universities. This formed the basis of the directives later formulated by the UGC in its guidelines. It may be noted that around this time, UNESCO’s Regional

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Office for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, convened a regional meeting in Delhi in collaboration with the ICSSR to promote women’s studies. This important seminar was opened by Dr Madhuri Shah, the then chairperson of the University Grants Commission. The meeting’s recommendations to the various governments in the region were to introduce courses on women and set up cells for research. It also asked UNESCO to take initiative in preparing teaching materials for women’s studies. Following that meeting, in 1985 itself, Dr Madhuri Shah took the decision to create ‘Women’s Studies Centres’ (WSCs) and wrote to the universities to initiate action and seek UGC support (see Chandrakala Padia 2004 for details). The UNESCO Regional Office for Social Sciences, then headed by Professor Yogesh Atal, commissioned scholars in several countries of the region to prepare teaching materials. Neera Desai and her team well involved in preparing a volume for India under UNESCO’s auspices. Most of the women’s studies centres focused on the introduction of courses, curriculum development, training of teachers, role of extension activities, methodologies adopted, and researches undertaken. By the end of the Eighth Plan (1992–97), 22 centres had been established in different universities and 11 cells in colleges (Desai et al. 2003). The national seminar, ‘Education for Women’s Equality’, held in New Delhi in 1985 was particularly relevant for the UGC. It was convened by the ministry of education to receive input for the formulation of the National Policy on Education (NPE). The policy included a section on ‘Education for Women’s Equality’ recognizing women’s studies as an instrument for the empowerment of women. It laid down that ‘education will be used as an agent of basic change in the status of women’ and ‘Women’s Studies will be promoted as a part of various courses and educational institutions encouraged to take up active programmes to further women’s development’ (ibid.). One of the major outcomes of this was the entry of the University Grants Commission into this field, it laid the guidelines for the promotion of women’s studies and finally set up women’s studies centres in different universities with a thrust on teaching, research, and extension. At the same time the dynamics of women’s studies attracted people who were concerned with revitalizing university education by bringing it closer to social issues. There was an increase in the number of ‘academic activists’ in the universities who felt concerned about issues such as the growing poverty, inequality, and violence in society. They began to participate in and write about such things in conjunction with those engaged in the women’s movement. The first demonstration of the emergence of a social and academic conscience was the widespread agitation against the Supreme Court verdict in the Mathura rape case (1978) acquitting the two accused policemen. It was spearheaded by four law teachers from Maharashtra and spread virtually across the country forcing the government to undertake a review of rape laws. Similarly, the issue of dowry harassment and dowry deaths captured the minds of the people in the 1980s and this was expressed in the form of several studies and publications (Kumar 1993; Kumari 1989).

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The support provided by the UGC for the establishment of centres/cells for women studies (WSC) led to the visibility of the discipline in the university system; doubts, however, remained about ‘whether women’s studies possessed clear objectives and whether it would ghettoize scholarship within the universities’, and about the fact that ‘it became a vast and heterogeneous field of study, continuously fed by feminist politics and movement agendas, giving rise to [a] different set of problems’ (Sharma 2002: 213). In the foreword to the book, Narratives from the Women’s Studies Family: Recreating Knowledge (2003), the then UGC Chairperson, Nigavekar, mentioned that ‘Women’s Studies as a significant discipline—with ramifications that flow not only into all the disciplines within a university but also into the policy, action and implementation of the Constitution of India—has come of an age in India’. In 1996, after Dr Armaity Desai took over as the Chairperson of the UGC, the Standing Committee on Development of Women’s Studies revised the guidelines for the UGC Ninth Plan (1992–2002). During the Ninth Plan (1997–2002), 13 new women’s studies centres were established, bringing their total to 34. In the guidelines for the Tenth Plan, the UGC decided to continue the scheme with financial support for various activities and programmes covered in the Tenth Plan. The number of women’s studies centres has now increased to 67. Even after several decades of constant efforts, women’s studies as a subject still remains at the periphery of academic interest (Padia, 2004: 3). At the University of Pune, the centre was set up within the Department of Sociology, but there was considerable resistance to it and it got somewhat marginalized when it was separated from the Department and made autonomous (Bhagwat 2002: 40), as happened with many other centres (John 2002a; Kumud Sharma 2002; Pappu 2002; Bhagwat 2002; Chaudhuri 2002). Besides these problems, it was noticed that there is a lack of discussion on women’s studies pedagogy. However, women’s studies centres have gained recognition in the universities of Pune, Mumbai, Gauhati and the Avinashlingam Deemed University, among others. The Women’s Studies Unit at TISS, Mumbai, has ventured into research and action projects and diverse areas of interest (Datar 2003) while the WSDC, Delhi University, has taken on the role of advocacy by organizing an policy debates and lobbying for science and technology, education for women, particularly the girl child, and the rights of child labourers and children of sex workers (Kaushik 2003). The WSC at Alagappa University has carried out many research-oriented projects and runs a Free Legal Aid and Counselling Centre. The UGC supports programmes for refresher course for teachers which are held every year and are quite popular. However, there is still a long way to go for women’s studies centres in the universities and colleges; to establish themselves considering the magnitude of the problems mentioned earlier. Women’s studies also face other problems today related to pedagogy, crises in higher education itself, reduced state funding and

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privatization within higher education, and dependence on foreign funding (John 2002a: 206). Women’s studies centres are burdened with different kinds of activities as they have the responsibility of teaching, training, and research with extension added as yet another dimension. At the same time, the WSCs are expected to respond to the demands of both the women’s movement and academy (Pappu 2002: 225). ‘These problems, especially the paucity of funds and donor driven agendas of various organizations and the manner in which NGOs have stormed the gender vagabond without commitment to any feminist ideology, have resulted in WSCs’ agenda being co-opted and left without any political activism’ (Menon-Sen 2001: 15). Works and publications on women face a similar situation as ‘the approach, the analysis, the arguments, the rigour, the policies don’t seem to matter’ (Pappu 2002: 232). Women’s studies has to play an extremely important role in the areas of research work, methodology, and theory. With the spread of globalization and the newer areas of study such as cultural studies and Dalit studies the task is difficult, but equally important and challenging (232–33).

Research Trends in Women’s Studies Various books and journals were consulted for the present review covering period from 1988 to 2003. In particular, the ICSSR Research Abstracts in Sociology and Social Anthropology and journals such as Contributions to Indian Sociology, Sociological Bulletin, Economic and Political Weekly, Seminar, and Indian Journal of Gender Studies were taken into consideration. Table 7.1 gives the yearwise distribution of the numbers of books and articles on women/gender studies that were published in the review period, and were closely related to sociological themes. In these publications, 20 different issues related to women have been discussed. The frequency of the themes in 272 publications in this period (excluding 41 edited books1) is shown in Table 7.2. Some of the themes mentioned in Table 7.1 overlap. It is therefore difficult to pinpoint the themes and relate them to a time period. However, it can be said that as women’s studies and women’s movement studies began to gain strength in the 1970s, the issue of violence, particularly dowry-and rape-related violence, became important in the decade of the 1980s; simultaneously, the question of development and empowerment acquired significance and Panchayati Raj and globalization/structural adjustment were the themes of study in the 1990s. At the same time, the issues of family and kinship and those of caste and Dalit women became pertinent as much as the questions related to theory and methodology that took women’s issues centre stage in all the vital concerns for academia, actionoriented programmes, and policy-making. Thirty-eight out of the 272 publications consulted, i.e. 14 per cent, have been written by men. Therefore, most researches related to the themes in women studies are undertaken by women.

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Table 7.1 Year-wise Publication of Books and Research Articles on Women 1988–2003 Year

Total

Books

Edited Books

Articles

Reports/ Papers

1988

16

7

3

3

3

1989

10

4

1

5

-

1990

9

5

1

2

1

1991

7

3

1

2

1

1992

15

7

3

4

1

1993

19

10

1

8

-

1994

9

6

1

2

-

1995

18

8

2

8

-

1996

24

12

3

9

-

1997

8

4

1

3

-

1998

38

14

6

17

1

1999

26

14

7

5

-

2000

16

7

2

7

-

2001

26

13

2

11

-

2002

27

8

5

14

-

2003

45

8

2

34

1

Total

313

130

41

134

8

Source: Author’s own.

Family, Marriage, and Kinship The studies on family, marriage, and kinship have formed an important subject matter for sociological research in India. Though dealing with women in some context or the other, ‘women’ remained peripheral in such analyses. According to Neera Desai, ‘it is shocking that women have been so invisible in research in these areas, which are associated ideologically with women and women’s lives’ (1998: 59). The main themes in sociological studies like marriage, kinship, family, caste, stratification, and community, regarded as being intrinsically linked to

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Table 7.2 issues themes studied during the survey Period Issues/Themes

Number

1. Theory/Methodology

25

2. Women’s Studies

42

3. Women’s Movement

15

4. Status/Culture

13

5. Socialization/ Seclusion/ Education

15

6. Fertility/Health/ Sexuality/ Sex-Ratio/

11

7. Family/Marriage/ Kinship

24

8. Economy/Technology/Informal Sector/Wk. 9. Develop/ Empowt/ Panchayati Raj/ State

9 10

10. Ecology/Environment/Globalization/ Struct Adjustment

9

11. Property/ Land Rights

8

12. Dowry

12

13. Widows

5

14. Religion/ Personal Laws

10

15. Caste

16

16. Dalit Women

9

17. Village/ Rural / Tribal Women/ Commu.

10

18. Conflict/ War/ Peace

13

19. Violence Against Women

9

20. Domestic Violence

7

Total

272

women and having a wide coverage, should have resulted in the fruitful development of both sociology and women’s studies. But this has not happened ‘despite the discipline’s unusual reflexivity, and despite the repeated emergence of gender and feminism as subjects of dispute’ (John 2001: 239). An earlier review, ‘Sociology of Kinship’, for the ICSSR, done in 1970–72 (Dube 1974), based on an extensive survey of methodological and sociological

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literature, ‘brought in women only contextually and no special focus on women’s issues and problems was suggested for further research’ (Dube 2001: 51). The centrality of studies on family, marriage, and kinship in sociology meant that women had not only been invisible but “their experiences had been ignored’ (Rege 2003b: 13). In the review of the articles published in the Sociological Bulletin, Rege notes that during 1952–70, there was a predominance of articles on marriage, family, caste, social problems, and rural and urban sociology, and the presence of women. But as articles on these themes decreased in the following decade, it marked a greater invisibility of women. In the post-1975 period, there were a few studies related to sex roles, socialization, and processes of decision making in the family (ibid.: 23–24). The decade of the 1970s however, ‘is significant in terms of the increased sensitivity to the history of the discipline, its teaching and research programmes’ (ibid.: 24), which paved the way for the studies that gave more visibility to women and provided paradigmatic challenges in the decade to follow (ibid). Family. Most of the earlier studies on family in India have remained dominated by Indology, or ‘Book-view’ (Ghurye 1955; Kapadia, 1956), or law (Maine 1972), or confined to studying the forms, structures, and functions of family and concentrating on the debate between nuclear and joint family as well as on the distinction between ‘household’ and ‘family’ (A.R. Desai 1980; I.P. Desai 1964; Gore 1968; Kolenda 1987; Shah 1973, 1998a). These latter studies, as different from the earlier ones based on Indological and legal perspectives, followed a proper ‘sociological’ approach and were embedded in the fieldwork tradition. Shah’s work, in particular, focused on the ‘household dimension’ of the family, the commensal and the co-residential group, and on the question of the disintegration of the joint household rather than of the ‘joint family’ (1973, 1998a). Regarding the nature and direction of change in the joint family, those influenced by Western scholars believed that family is inconsistent with industrialization and associated economic and social patterns, and would, therefore, disintegrate in the process (Morrison 1959; Ross 1961). Others were of the opinion that the joint family will not disintegrate but will adapt itself to the modern industrial setting by adopting a reconciliatory path (Kapadia 1956, 1959, 1966; Madan 1989). This argument was supported by various empirical studies conducted simultaneously both in towns and cities as well as in villages (I.P. Desai, 1964; Gore, 1968; Rao, 1968; Ross, 1961; Singer and Cohn, 1968). The concepts and arguments, such as ‘family as a process of partition going through many stages’ (Madan 1989), ‘break up in the joint family in rural India’ (Kolenda 1987, 1996), ‘developmental process’ (Shah 1998a), ‘developmental cycle of the domestic group’ (Gould 1968; Vatuk 1975), and the ‘nuclear family is merely a stage in the joint family cycle’ (Desai 1964: 44–47), indeed became important tools for understanding the change in the form of the family and household, albeit without the centrality of gender concerns. Even in the studies where the family was held responsible for reproducing inequalities within the society,

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gender-based inequality—an inequality embedded in the oppressive structures of family ideology based on age and gender hierarchy—was overlooked (Béteille 1999). However, some of these studies on family, though not gendered analyses of the institution, focused on examining the changes in roles and relationships within the family and somewhere touched upon the subject of women—particularly the kind of support the family provided to women in child-rearing and caring (Karlekar 1987); the emotional and physical burdens that woman, especially the daughters-in-law, bear and the adjustments they make (Gore 1968); the changing status and role of women in the nuclear family (Ross 1961); and on caste endogamy and spouse selection (Shah 1998a: Chapter 8). S. C. Dube (1955), in his study of an Indian village near Hyderabad, mentioned family ties, the conflictual situation between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law as well as several cases of wife beating. The developments in family, marriage, and kinship studies in India have followed and reflected the changing paradigm and concerns of anthropology and sociology in the West—changes in perspectives from evolutionist, diffusionist, functionalist, and structuralist to the most recent ones in post modernist and deconstructionist trends with important inputs from Marxist and feminist theory (Uberoi 1999: 5). In India, the perspectives of British social anthropologists have heavily influenced the studies on society and kinship, like Srinivas’ (2003) work dealing with the relationship between religion and society amongst the Coorgs of south india and his description of the Coorg localized lineage or okka linked to the community’s ritual practices. Most of the papers in J.S. Bhandari’s two volumes on kinship and family in the north-east (1996) can be classified as structural analyses of kinship done in the style of the classical British anthropologists; of course, some authors analysed kinship in terms of its cultural context as well. As different from Srinivas’ work and his emphasis on the descent theory is the work of Louis Dumont (1983) drawn from the arguments of the French structuralist Levi-Strauss. Dumont’s focus has been on alliance theory, which he applied in his understanding of the south Indian kinship and Dravidian kinship terminology. In a recent study, Raymond Jamous (2003), in his account of kinship and rituals in a Meo community in north India, following Dumont, engages with the kinship terminology, the relation of kinship and territory, marriage alliance, and marriage rituals and prestations. Recognizing the critical importance of kinship in the social organization of many societies, one finds a lack of gender perspective in these studies. As feminist critics pointed out the gap between women’s experiences in their everyday lives and the sociological knowledge, the studies on family went beyond analysing women’s status, roles, and relationships within the household to viewing the family and household also as a site of exploitation and violence (Uberoi 1999: 36) and how it actually functioned ‘as a unit of production, reproduction and consumption in the wider society’ (ibid.: 6–7) impacting women’s lives. It is argued that the household cannot be treated as a private entity separated from the

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context in which it is embedded (Saradamoni 1992). In recent years, a need has been felt to study the interface between family and gender as different from the traditional understanding of family which is not a space of harmony but also of power relations, its interrelatedness with society and the state and those forms of living that refuse to correspond to the traditional notion of the family (Pernau et al. 2003). Socialization. Considerable attention has been given to the socialization of the girl child and the internalization of gender identity through different mechanisms like pre-puberty marriages or life-cycle rituals by sociologists and anthropologists (Das 1988; L. Dube 1998, 2001). The socialization of the girl child embedded in the patrilineal kinship and caste ideology is associated with the belief that the ultimate destiny for girls is marriage and relocation to the husband’s house (Dube 2001). The rituals and ceremonies are important in making girls aware of their fragile purity and play a crucial role in the very process of growing as women (ibid.). The studies have shown that both caste and class dimensions affect gender socialization. A study in a multi-caste village in Gujarat provides insights into gendered socialization and entitlements defined by caste through families wherein girls of higher and middle castes are placed much better than those of the lower castes (Desai 1998: 66). Some works have also focussed on the need to develop appropriate programmes and policies for child and human development which are culturally specific (Saraswathi and Kaur 1993). The studies by feminist scholars show that family is both a unit of support as well as a place of restrictions for girls and the unequal gender division of labour. There has been a constant neglect of and discrimination against girls as reflected in the expectations and entitlements to resources like health care, food, nutrition, education, and material assets (A.M. Basu 1989; Minocha 1984; Palriwala 1996; Papanek 1990). An important work on interrogating women’s education focusses ‘on the interaction between socialization and education as processes, between the family, home, and the school which provide the ideological bases for inequality between women and men’ (Chanana 2001: 20). The girl child is a victim of substantial abuse of a physical, psychological, and emotional nature (Multiple Action Research Group 1996), much of which is carried out within the home. Not surprisingly, there has been a constant decline in the female child sex-ratio over the decades (Agnihotri 2000). Also, child labour has shown an increase with a substantial expansion in both rural and urban areas (Chaudhuri 1996). Kinship. Certain recent studies have shown the relationship between gender and

kinship by analysing how the differences in kinship systems and family strategies account for critical differences among societies and the ways in which gender operates. Leela Dube’s (1997) study on women and kinship, a product of discussion on the United Nations University Project ‘A comparative study of women’s work and family strategies in South and Southeast Asia’, deals with the interplay

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between kinship and gender. Dube endeavours to uncover, through a study of kinship practices, both the material and ideological underpinnings of women’s lives. Observing that gender studies often bypass kinship systems assuming that these are immutable structures, she argues that to the contrary kinship and its rules are highly relevant to the conduct of our everyday lives, providing the key organizing principles of resource allocation, division of labour, recruitment of individuals to groups, placement, inheritance as well as access to food and nutrition, health care, education, and authority and decision making (ibid.: 5). In this study, Dube focuses on three kinship systems—patrilineal, matrilineal, and bilateral—and convincingly argues that the patrilineal kinship system of South Asia, as different from the bilateral kinship system of South-East Asia, is more hierarchical. This argument is not new in Dube’s work and can be traced to her earlier writings. The theory of the unequal contribution of sexes to reproduction, particularly in patrilineal communities, where a man provides ‘seed’ and woman the ‘field’ for the birth and growth of the child (Dube 1986, 2001) provides the justification for alienating woman from power, decision making, control over labour and property, and her sexuality. This is different from matrilineal (Dube 1986; Saradamoni 1999) and bilateral communities, especially of South-East Asia (Leela Dube 1997) and of many of the lower castes (Kapadia 1995) that have their own theories of procreation and understandings of women’s entitlement. Other feminists have extended this argument further correlating the type of descent system and other features like marriage, residence, and succession with women’s position in society and their ‘bargaining power’ (Agarwal 1994, 1997). A few others have focussed on the different types and ways of restrictions like seclusion and purdah (Papanek and Minault 1982; Sharma 1978; Vatuk 1982) and their access to the public domain on equal terms with men (Agarwal 1994; Sharma 1980). In the rural areas of Rajasthan, where women live under a triple authority structure (head of the household, their husbands, and a senior woman), food consumption and control comprises a metaphor for intra-household distribution and authority (Palriwala 1996). In fact, since the 1980s, there have been a considerable number of studies which demonstrate the consistency between demographic variables like sex ratio, household size, fertility rates, and mortality rates and the regional patterns of kinship organization (Agarwal 1994; Basu 1992; Bhat 1996; Kolenda 1987; Patel 1994) especially while contrasting the northern and southern regions of India. Phenomena like the low sex ratio and the adoption of practices like amniocentesis are seen as linked to the kinship system and family relations in the most economically prosperous states of north India—Haryana and Punjab (Das Gupta 1987)2. However, Dube’s argument (1997), relevant in many of these situations, generalizes the condition of women in the South Asian (mainly patrilineal) and South-East Asian (largely bilateral) kinship systems as hierarchical/asymmetrical and relatively egalitarian respectively. Yuko Nishimura (1998) in her study provides a fascinating gendered account of the kinship, property rights, and marriage

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practices of the Nagarattar—a mercantile community of Tamilnadu. She emphasizes the strong position of married Nagaratter woman (the Acchhi), which is strengthened by the practice of high dowry, though there is hardly any support for divorce and remarriage in the community, thus constraining women’s ability to make choices to a large extent. In north Indian kinship systems in particular, women’s kinship relations and the ways they construct them in their conjugal homes present a complex picture (Raheja and Gold 1996; Vatuk 1975). There are also ways in which natal families of women in patrilineal societies of the north extend social and physical proximity and support to women on many issues, an important one being access to reproductive health care (Unnithan-Kumar 1999). A married daughter depends heavily for emotional and physical support in times of widowhood and desertion on her siblings and kin (Desai 1990; Sharma 1980). In many instances, as projected by Helen Lambert (1996) in her study of Chawandiya village of Rajasthan, men also utilize the ties established through married women’s natal villages for political and economic reasons. Besides this, it is also visualized that there are other variables like caste, class, age, and ethnicity that mediate kinship principles as well as wider forces which affect women’s position in society. For instance, the emphasis on the bilateral kinship system of South-East Asia does not explain why religious fundamentalism has lowered the status of women or in what way the process of industrialization has resulted in the phenomenon of the commercialization of sex in such societies. Similarly, how does one explain the increase in the incidence of female infanticide in the more egalitarian southern kinship region of Tamil Nadu? One finds here a close association between kinship and caste as among Brahmins in the south, who practice patrilateral cross-cousin marriage compared to other nonBrahmanical castes amongst whom matrilateral cross-cousin is a preferential form of marriage, the notion of female sexuality and chastity are of prime importance (Kapadia 1995). This is closer to Leela Dube’s position as she considers the material basis of caste and unequal distribution of resources as being interlinked with kinship (Dube 2001; Rao 2003b; Srinivas 1996b). There is a need to go beyond kinship and caste ideologies as the prevalence of asymmetry is noticed in the southern kinship systems as well. How do we understand the nature of patriarchy among the lower caste groups or do we just believe that it is because of the percolation of Brahmanical ideology and indeed the result of the process of Sanskritization? The increase in female infanticide is seen as being due to the process of Sanskritization where communities ‘claim comparability with upper caste culture’ (Mazumdar 1992) and feminist sociologists argue that it is Brahmanical ideology that has percolated to even Dalit men rendering caste as a critical category of analysis, something ignored by both Marxists (with emphasis on class) and feminists (focussing on patriarchy) (Rege 2003a) Dowry. The other area where the deterioration in women’s status is considered to

be due to the Sanskritization process is the all-pervading menace of dowry and

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the concomitant negative attitude towards girl children and the legitimization of infanticide in communities where the poor fear dowry (Karlekar 2003: 1134–35). Sociological studies have shown how dowry has spread to several lower-caste groups (Epstein 1973: 179; Srinivas 1984: 14–15) and other religious communities like Christians (Caplan 1999: 357–79), and also how it has grown in content and dimension due to the rise in prosperity and the large-scale injection of cash in different regions (Benei 1995) including the remote and hilly areas (Sharma 1984: 72). The decade of the 1980s in particular saw a large number of cases of dowry harassment and dowry deaths (Kumari 1989). Though there was nationwide condemnation of these incidents and subsequent legislative measures were taken to amend the Dowry Act (1983), which made cruelty to a wife a cognizable and nonbailable offence, the situation only worsened. It is a matter of concern as well as of sociological enquiry to find out the factors that perpetuate the system of dowry and indeed are considered desirable and necessary by girls and women themselves for their own self and for their natal families. Dowry in the traditional understanding refers to the gifts that are given voluntarily to the bride to be taken to her conjugal household. Thus, it is the fulfilment of a material obligation on the part of bride’s family towards the bride, which also serves as a moral basis for the establishment of a relationship between the two families (Sheel 1999: 17). It has been regarded as a woman’s streedhan, property to be devolved to her on her marriage (Goody 1973), which is different from, and must not be connected with, the more recent ‘modern monstrosity’ (Oldenburg 2002; Srinivas 1984: 13). In many communities of south India, dowry is regarded as pre-mortem inheritance, including also immovable property like land and its produce (Dube 1997: 39–40). In some communities (such as the Nagarattar of Tamil Nadu) dowry belongs entirely to women (Nishimura 1998), while in some others women have little control over it (Sharma 1984). The debate regarding dowry as a form of women’s property gained importance with some arguing in its favour in the given context, at least as an interim (Kishwar 1988, 1989), and others opposing it (Agarwal 1994: 483). A situation where dowry brings monetary gains and status to the girl and her family, where a large number of women continue to support giving and taking of dowry (Teja 1993), and correspondingly, where they do not come forward to ask for their share in parental property (Sharma 1984), thereby bargaining their positions, especially in the conjugal household, needs probing. One way to improve women’s economic status is to establish and work for women’s rights in land, especially in the case of rural women (Agarwal 1994), but gender equality in land will remain a far-fetched dream till the issue of landlessness is addressed in its entirety (Jassal 2001). Women’s access to property and economic resources is considered to be extremely important, especially their right to property in different family and civil laws, and it is felt that reforms within personal laws are necessary for gender justice end equality (Agnes 1999).

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Feminist scholars, particularly those operating within a Marxist framework, have seen women’s confinement to the domestic, reproductive spheres, and their mobility to access the public domain on equal terms with men as an impediment to their position. They suggest active participation by women in productive work as well as control over resources and property. In the context of the Indian family, Amartya Sen (1993) points to gender as a major basis of disadvantage affecting notions of entitlement and access to land, food, education, and medical attention (Das Gupta 1987; Papanek 1989–90; Sen 1999). Some authors have stressed the point that it is women’s restricted access to land as the major production resource in South Asia that has placed the greatest limits on women’s bargaining position in the family (Agarwal 1994: 53–71; Jain 1996; Sharma 1980). Matrilineal Societies. An important aspect in the studies of kinship in India has been

the focus on matrilineal societies (Dube 1974). Leela Dube’s works (1996, 2001) show the inter-linkages between matriliny and Islam where both have coexisted in a manner which did not disadvantage women. The continuation of her argument would be that South-East Asian Muslim communities rooted in matrilineal or bilateral kinship enjoy much greater freedom of movement and participation in economic production than patrilineal Muslims in the northern part of the subcontinent. Her recent book, Anthropological Explorations in Gender: Intersecting Fields (2001), represents over 50 years of her work consisting of articles previously published in different journals and edited volumes, most of which have been already referred to in the present volume (Dube 2001). A common thread running through the essays is the complex and diverse relationship between gender and other areas of stratification like caste, class, and religion and the significant role of kinship organization in determining the structures of power that keep women subordinated in the family and community. The opening piece by K. Ganesh (2001) situates Leela Dube’s work against the backdrop of historical and contemporary development in gender studies in India. Ganesh highlights the vacuum that existed in the field of women’s studies and anthropological studies of kinship after Karve, and maintains that Leela Dube ‘has been a catalyst in the development of gender and kinship studies in India’ (ibid., 15). Matriliny Transformed, authored by K. Saradamoni (1999), is an important work on matriliny from the gender perspective. It covers the period from 1729, when the state of Travancore was formed, to the mid-1920s when matriliny was altered comprehensively through legislation. In another article, Saradamoni (1996) focusses on the changing marriage and kinship relations during colonial rule among the Nayars in south India as a consequence of the series of legislations, especially between 1920 and 1930, dealing with rules of inheritance, succession, marriage, and joint family. The author believes that matriliny supported features which strengthened the social and economic position of women and offered a sense of security as well as autonomy to women, linked in the last instance to

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their right of permanent residence in their natal homes which is no longer the position. Studies on matrilineal kinship systems in the north-east have shown that complete equality does not exist even among the matrilineal communities like the Khasis of Meghalaya. It is seen that among them the ‘ideas and norms regarding kinship and gender roles, which are apparently weighted in favour of women, are not so in fact’ (Nongbri 1999: 178, 2003: 184). However, the process of change, first through the introduction of Christianity, then through modernization, and more recently by the Meghalaya Succession Act (1986) that gives every member of the Khasi and Jaintia tribes the right to ‘dispose his property at will’, led to the weakening of women’s position (ibid.: 185). The process of change in the matrilineal communities of the north-east brings its own contradiction and highlights the trauma of a community caught in the midst of transition and the way in which gender is constituted in the face of modernization and change (Chako 1998).

Family, Kinship, and External Forces In recent years, the focus of family and kinship studies has shifted to examining the impact of a wider arena like the state and the market, or forces such as migration and globalization (Sethi 1999). Much of the gender inequality in India persists because the State has failed to reduce gender disparities in education, economic opportunities, inheritance laws, property rights, and political power (Dreze and Sen 1995). The dialectical relationship between the macroeconomic and political processes and the structural relations of gender, family, and kinship and the mutual implications of kinship and gender are the themes explored in Rajni Palriwala and Carla Risseeuw (1996). Control over, and support for women are both shifting as a result of historical processes ‘intensifying vulnerabilities and resuscitating oppressions’ (ibid: 21). At the same time, women are trying to moderate these processes in their own interests as actors. Palriwala and Risseeuw believe that what is recognized is a knowledgeable assessment of changing structures and relations of kin support. The contributors to the volume, on their part, provide feminist insights into the way people’s commitments are lived out within, and mediated by, the family. Another book in the series about changing kin and security networks in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (Risseeuw and Ganesh 1998) challenges the stereotypical notion that family and kinship are unchanging and stable and raises a host of questions on the concept of ‘agency’ as women appear to be not only coping with changes but also initiating some. The book is a gendered analysis of kin and security networks that women make use of in different situations across the two regions, especially in crises situations as in the case of India’s partition in 1947 when education was used as a part of family strategy to equip girls to earn if a contingency arose where they needed to (Chanana 1998, 2001: Chapter 3).

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Naila Kabeer and Ramya Subramanium (1999) criticize the gender-blind trajectories of state, market, and community actions in India. Karin Kapadia’s article in the same volume on landless labourers—Pallar women from Tamil Nadu—shows how capitalist organizational techniques reinforce and enhance the marginalization of female wage-earning contributions, increasing their day-today struggles.3 The most basic struggle of women revolves around procuring the basic necessities of life such as food, water, fuel, fodder, and shelter. This struggle is grimmer as women have little control over the conditions and products of their labour (Gothoskar 1992). Struggles for them differ in various organized and unorganized sectors, each having its own implications (Jhabvala 1992; Vijayan 1992). The question of ecology, environment, and globalization acquired importance in the 1990s. Questions have been raised as to how development affects the local environment and women (Shiva 1988). Similarly, it is argued that though the new reproductive technology gives women freedom to have better control over their bodies, it creates new forms of dependence upon the state and the technology itself, extracting a heavy price in terms of financial costs and adverse effects on women’s health (Jyotsna Gupta 2000). The introduction of new technology, even in rural areas, has strengthened the base of patriarchy through caste ideology which helped perpetuate gender subordination and gender stereotyping (Roy and Singha 1995). Thus, the studies have brought out the adverse effects of the structural impact and globalization on women in the 1990s (Rajput and Swarup 1994). An edited volume of the CWDS4 relates women’s lives with globalization and tries to understand the gender impact of economic changes, particularly of structural adjustment but less of globalization as the latter involves many more things beyond economy. The papers in the book focus on the impact of structural adjustment and globalization on health-care services (Karlekar 2000b), the social sector (Prabhu 1995), environment (Kumud Sharma 2002), natural resources and poverty (Sumi Krishna 2002), and how these in turn impact women’s lives. Of sociological interest is the paper by Deshmukh-Ranadive which deals with the interface between the household and the macro-environment and the individual and the household. In another significant book, Deshmukh-Ranadive (2002) develops a model to understand the household function of production, consumption, and the distribution of economic goods and services.

Gender, Caste, and Communities The work on caste and communities—tribal, ethnic, or religious—from the gender perspective has remained more or less an uncharter field of enquiry, even though the disciplines of sociology and social anthropology abound with such works, most of which have been ethnographic accounts (S.C. Dube 1951, 1955; Elwin 1939, 1947; Furer-Haimendorf 1939, 1943, 1979; Grigson 1938; Hutton 1921; Majumdar 1962; Rivers 1906). The trend of such comprehensive studies

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and intensive fieldwork seems to have declined, and in the case of gender studies the terrain is even less explored. Some of these studies show the dilemma, fostered to a great extent by the British legacy of census identification of communities, of classification which renders, for instance, the same group as a ‘caste’ or ‘tribe’ and even within the caste—a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe, or even the other backward class (OBC). The sociological understanding of these communities, thus, shows a great variation from such identifications.5 For example, the Kol and the Korwa (Hindus) are scheduled castes in Uttar Pradesh (UP) but in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh they are scheduled tribes. The Meos (Muslims) could only be classified as OBC in Haryana, UP, and Rajasthan at different intervals of time, though the area they inhabit is a contiguous tract around the Aravali range called Mewat, and the people living in three differenrt states behave as a single endogamous group (Chauhan 2003). However, the gender implications of such artificial, basically administrative, distinctions have still not been properly investigated. The study on the Girasia of Rajasthan by Maya Unnithan-Kumar (1997) reveals this dilemma. She focuses on how individuals and groups construct boundaries within communities in hierarchical and non-hierarchical terms. The Girasias do this by drawing similarities and differences in identity formation with groups like the Rajputs (Parmar clan) and the Bhils, even though the Girasia are classified as scheduled tribe today in Rajasthan while in neighouring Gujarat they fall under the category of OBC because of their somewhat better economic condition. The Girasia women are marginalized, regardless of whether the practice of brideprice or dowry is observed, owing to a shared ideological devaluation of women’s labour and weak control over resources. It is indeed a difficult exercise, especially regarding those communities who live in close approximation to the caste village and become more or less a part of the regional caste hierarchy occupying a lower position. Such placements are tantamount to a double discrimination of caste and patriarchy for women, as analysed for the Saharia tribe of Madhay Pradesh, who are classified as a Primitive Tribal Group (Chauhan 1999). The studies on matrilineal communities like the Khasis of Meghalaya (Chako 1998; Nongbri (1999, 2003), the Nayars (Saradamoni 1999), and the Kurichiyas of Kerala (Aiyappan and Mahadevan 1990) depict how forces of modernization and change installed patriarchal values and undermined women’s position. Even for patrilineal communities, there are significant accounts that show how contact with the wider society led to the loss of women’s economic and political roles (Chaki-Sircar 1984) or to their customary rights on land (Kishwar 1999). The studies of these twin processes of Sanskritization and modernization among both tribes and castes suggest that the two processes do not oppose but mutually reinforce each other and are detrimental to women’s position in society. Hence the focus on gender, caste, and class becomes crucial in sociological analyses, including those that focus on processes of change. In India, the emphasis on caste remained central in most of the sociological and anthropological research from the 1950s until the 1970s—generally described

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as a ‘village studies era’. All aspects of village life—be it the economy and division of labour, or local politics, or organization of the kinship and marriage systems—were shown to be functionally interconnected with the caste system (Atal 1968; B.R. Chauhan 1999; S.C. Dube 1955; Mandelbaum 1988; Mayer 1960). Louis Dumont (1970) emphasized in his treatise that the caste system is based on the principle of hierarchy—the binary opposition of pure and impure became the most important element that provided unity and consensus to Indian society. There were criticisms of Dumont’s textual conceptualization of caste, particularly by those who argued that the lower castes have their own alternative ideologies (Berreman 1991; Mencher 1991) and that castes need not be placed along a continuous hierarchy but could be discrete categories (Gupta 1991, 2003: 515–17). Common to all these criticisms of Dumont’s theory is the argument of the Brahmanical ideology of caste and, more generally, of the hierarchy of social inequality (Fuller 2003: 484–85) whether of oppressed untouchables (Mencher 1974), ascetic renouncers (Madan 1982), or women (Dube 1996: Kapadia 1995: Raheja and Gold 1996) and indeed of women belonging to the Dalit catgory (Guru 1995; Jogdand 1995; Rege 1998) . Karin Kapadia (1995) shows that gender identities are tied with caste and class as the Pallar women—the Dalits in Aruloor village in Tamil Nadu—continue to be landless and treated as untouchables. The book consists of the lower-caste contestations of the Brahmanical construction of the Tamil cultural universe by drawing a clear line between non-Brahmin and Brahmin values, symbols, and discourses like the control of women’s fertility as being more central amongst the lower castes, whereas female sexuality and chastity being of primary importance to the upper castes—a norm which is emulated by upwardly mobile lower castes groups. However, even though Kapadia’s critique of Dumont’s views on caste provides an alternative view of caste hierarchy, there seems to be a tendency to romanticize Pallar women’s greater freedom, resourcefulness, and equality, ignoring the patriarchal constraints of the community from which women have little escape. Maya Unnithan-Kumar’s study (1997) did provide a corrective to this perspective by trying to understand the identity construction of Girasia women through the similarities and differences with other communities like the Rajputs and the Bhils rather than associating tribal features with the community officially identified as a ‘scheduled tribe’. Leela Dube (1996, 2001, 2003) has examined the gendered structures that caste practices rely on. Her article explores the relationship between caste and gender and examines the way in which caste impinges on women’s lives and the role of women in maintaining and, to an extent, changing it. The discussion focusses on three interrelated and overlapping themes—occupational continuity and the reproduction of caste, food and rituals, and marriage and sexuality. In these aspects, caste continues to be dominant even though the changes are witnessed in (i) the the loosening of rules governing commensality, (ii) the nature

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and magnitude of social interactions, and (iii) the negotiated arranged marriages within the defined limits. Therefore, it is not just reservations, or caste-based electoral politics, which is keeping caste alive as it is generally understood, but also factors like unequal control over property, unequal division and performance of labour, the endogamous marriage system, and the larger family matrix within which everyday rituals of caste, like worship, marriage rites, and food, are enacted. Women who uphold the family traditions and, more specifically, maintain the purity rules in the kitchen are honoured and respected. But at the same time they perpetuate caste and its restrictions in their everyday lives (Dube 1996: 6–9). The point that the subordination of women and the control of female sexuality are crucial to the maintenance of the caste system, strengthened by endogamous marriages, is evident in Uma Chakravarti’s (2003a) work. This book is a systematic attempt to work out the interface between caste and gender. Drawing from the historical sources, religious texts, anthropological and sociological literature, Chakravarti shows how gender is critical to the formation of caste. The book unmasks the mystique of consensus in the working of the caste system to reveal the underlying violence and coercion that perpetuate a severely hierarchical and unequal society.

Dalit Women The early 1990s saw the assertion of autonomous Dalit women’s organizations both at the national as well as the regional levels, throwing up crucial theoretical and political challenges (Rege 1998). The demands by Dalit and other lower-caste women are not merely for inclusion but for an analysis of the gender relations that are inflicted by the multiple and overlapping patriarchies of caste communities which produce various forms of vulnerabilities. A significant shift in the feminist thought of the 1980s and 1990s at the international level was the increasing visibility of Black and Third World feminist work. The essays in Anupama Rao (2003) provide a good introduction to current debates in Indian feminism. These were stimulated by the renewed national debate about the politics of caste following the contentious ‘Mandal decision’ in 1989. They trace the emergence of Dalit Bahujan women as a recognizable political collectivity and note lower-caste women’s vulnerability to sexual violence and harassment. For them, patriarchy is no less inflicting than caste. Dalit women have been the target of upper-caste violence, and were treated as ‘property’ by Dalit men (Dietrich 1992a, 2003: 57–79). The caste basis of violence against women suggests that both party-based organizations and autonomous women’s groups left Brahmanism unchallenged, the former by collapsing caste and class categories, and the latter by collapsing caste into sisterhood (Rege 2003a: 90–101). Ignoring caste-based identity politics led to the bypassing of several forms of violence and the backlash that Dalit women face. However, there

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is a need to be cautious of the postmodernist notion of plurality and difference as in the name of ‘difference’ the unequal power structure and relations are ignored. Sharmila Rege suggests that ‘a shift of focus from “naming difference” or “different voice” to social relation that converts difference into oppression is imperative for feminist politics’ (1998: 40). The focus on caste acquired a new meaning in gender studies in the 1980s and 1990s with the realization that within the broader patriarchal male domination, caste-based mechanisms of oppression needed to be addressed in a more systematic and meaningful way and through women’s own accounts of their experiences, especially of Dalit women. This concern can be visualized in the contemporary democratic upsurge and the awakening of the self-consciousness of oppressed women backed by the growing critical feminist theoretical and ideological paradigms of protest and resistance (Fuchs and Linkenbach 2003: 1546). Caste and its role in social transformation became the focus of debate as the centrality of caste was recognized in feminist scholarship and the women’s movement.

Sexuality/Widowhood Leela Dube (2001) tried to build a framework which puts sexuality at the centre of the debate on caste and gender. Ritualization of virginity and glorification of marriage and motherhood are mechanisms to control and contain female sexuality. She holds the view that violence against women is underwritten in these forms of articulation by gender (162–63). Even access to education for girls, as well as the type, quality, and duration of education, and the way girls make use of it, is largely determined by the way in which female sexuality is controlled (Chanana 2001). The studies on sexuality in feminist researches since the early 1990s have come a long way from an ‘Indological’ model of conjugal relations where sexuality was deemed legitimate only for the production of male offspring to ensure the continuance of ritual offerings to ancestors and not primarily for the production of pleasure (K.M. Kapadia 1966). Reference to sexuality now is also found in the anthropological literature on Hindu life-cycle rituals, marriage, childbirth, and female puberty (Dube 1998, 1997; Good 1991). Thus, feminist researchers now address male and female sexuality as a major topic of both theoretical and practical concern which had remained dormant for a long time (John and Nair 1998; Uberoi 1996). This approach gives centrality to sexuality in the constitution of notions of tradition, modernity, and nationhood. Of importance, from a sociological perspective, are the essays in John and Nair (1998) that focus on the control of female sexuality at the centre of the acts of violence that come as a punishment or infringement of permitted marriage alliances in north India (Chowdhry 1998a), and the notions of shame, honour, and chastity as being central to organizing women’s own understanding of their bodies at the different stages of life in a fishing village in Tamil Nadu (Ram 1998). This is even more poignant in the case of Viramma, a Dalit woman from Tamil Nadu,

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whose story is narrated in her own words (Racine and Racine 2000), which reveals shows the relationship between sexuality, caste, and acute poverty. It shows that though Viramma internalized her oppression she never surrendered even in adverse circumstances. Widowhood is perhaps the ultimate patriarchal institution reflecting a structure of total control over all aspects of a woman’s life, her sexuality, her children, and her material possessions (Chen 2000). The vulnerability of all widows remains where the patriarchal ideology mediates through kinship and caste (Chen 1998). Culture is expressed in differential forms among the widows like those at Vrindavan or Varanasi leading ascetic life, or those who are required to enter into levirate unions due to the deep-rooted mistrust of them even in old age (Chowdhry 1997, 1998a). There are widows like the aged whom no one wants, those with children to look after, and those who are struggling alone for their livelihood (Chen 2000).

Conflict, War, Peace, Politics, and Violence With the escalation of conflicts and the growing concerns of feminists around these issues, since late 1990s research on conflict, war, peace, politics, and violence is gaining ground in women and gender studies. Conflict situations impact women’s lives considerably, especially of those living in the underdeveloped postcolonial states and under oppressive patriarchal structures. Despite the sharing of this common milieu, women are also separated by caste, culture, ideology, religion, ethnicity, and nationality, each of which on its own, or in association with other dimensions, impinges upon women in situations of conflict. It is these aspects that make the studies on conflict and war sociologically important. Women have been victims of violence due to war and war like situations as well as conflict situations of physical and sexual abuse and rape. They become victims of displacement and forced migration. However, they also play an active role in combating violence and war through peace and conciliations. In a recent work, Anuradha Chenoy (2002) traces the course of militarism in South Asian countries, which, combined with fundamentalism and national chauvinism, reinforces patriarchal practice. The book gives detailed accounts of women’s experiences of militarism and, for the first time perhaps, provides a feminist perspective to the growing militarism in South Asia. The author examines the parallels between sexism and militarism and also analyses the interface of militarism and other forms of oppressions and exploitations. The most stunning cases of community and state violence against women occurred during the time of the partition of India (1947), but equally appalling was the silence on the women’s question. This was till the time feminist works started emerging on the history of women’s experiences of the partition based mainly on oral narratives (Butalia 1998; Menon and Bhasin 1998), which provided rare insights into the lived experiences of women caught in conflict and gender politics

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of the partition. Menon and Bhasin (1998) set out to uncover the violence of the event from the perspective of women who lived it, whether they were abducted, rendered destitute, recovered, widowed, rehabilitated, or worked with women in refugees camps. It can be said that though women have often succumbed to the pressures and willingly accepted their roles and participated in conflict situations, they have also negotiated with violent conflicts and worked out strategies of resistance and opposition. The studies have begun to challenge not only the marginalization of women’s representations in conflict situations and peace processes, but also the patriarchal project in which they are located. The confinement of women’s experiences of the conflict paradigm has also been critiqued. Veena Das (1990a) deals with the violence related to communities and riots. Her own essay in the book on the anti-Sikh carnage (1990b: 345–98) explores how the widows of the Delhi Sikh carnage took the symbols of mourning and pollution and gave them a political meaning in defiance of the authorities who wanted them to terminate their mourning. Rita Manchanda’s (2001a) book is related to war and peace, and the six chronicles presented in it focus on women’s variegated negotiations with conflict and their capacity to move beyond victimhood to agency. The articles span the gamut of the conflict in the South Asian region involving Kashmiri women in the north to Tamil women in Sri Lanka and those caught in the Muttahid Quami Movement in Pakistan to women in the Chittagong Hill tracts in Bangladesh and the women trapped in tribal conflicts in Assam and Nagaland and the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. Manchanda’s own essay ‘Women in Kashmir Conflict’ (ibid.: 42–101) seeks to challenge the victimhood discourse by focussing on women’s narratives about the manner in which Kashmiri women have shaped survival and resistance strategies and confronted political violence. This can be seen in their ‘stretched’ roles when grieving mothers sacrifice their sons and transform the mother as agency taking their private grief into public space and politicizing it through groups like the ‘Association of Parents of Disappeared’. Similarly, Paula Banerjee’s essay (2001: 131–76) explores the grey zone between victimhood and agency. In this, the two ends of the agency, spectrum are captured through the testimonies of women supporters of the insurgency movement on the one hand, and the work of women’s peace groups on the other. A more recent work by Urvashi Butalia (2002) is related to women’s voices from Kashmir. These are voices not just of victims but also of those playing different roles from caretakers to participants or from combatants to peacemakers. The essays in the volume—authored by Krishna Mehta, Pamela Bhagat, Neerja Mattoo, Hameeda Bano, Shakti Bhan Raina, Sahba Hussain, Kshama Kaul, among others—bring out in their own ways the fear, the loss, the personal scars, the pain, and, most important, the techniques of survival in different situations of agony. These studies, thus, create a different kind of methodology which takes into account women’s experiences in their own voices, through methods like oral

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history and personal narratives. However, most of these studies concentrate on issues such as identity or politics, and ignore other aspects of social structure and culture.

Theoretical and Methodological Issues Important contributions in women and gender studies are perceived in the context of the difference that came about in the theoretical and methodological underpinnings, especially since 1975. The studies undertaken were significant as they critiqued the mainstream discipline, challenged the invisibility of women or their partial and biased representation, introduced ‘gender’ as a critical category of study, understood gendered analysis of the topics, produced research which combined academics with activism, brought out studies with alternative perspectives like a Dalit standpoint or subaltern approach, and, in a significant way, tried to introduce new methods and techniques of research as well as different ethics and values in fieldwork. The feminist methodology and theory in sociology focusses on unearthing women’s inequality, promoting activism to bring about gender equality and justice, and enquiring into women’s lives from the standpoint of women, i.e. letting women talk of their lived experiences. They challenge the claim to objectivity, rationality and ethical neutrality professing that women’s lives, experiences, and status become invisible in the objectification process. They question the dichotomy between objective and subjective and the break in the connection between knowledge and experience. The methods of study and analysis employed are largely qualitative involving a more subjective approach by utilizing such techniques as ethnographies, oral histories, extensive interviews, and observation studies (Ollenburger and Moore 1992: 62–66). The recent trend in feminist studies, influenced by the postmodernist trends of ‘difference’ and ‘deconstruction’, brought an important theoretical input to women’s studies. In the West the centrality of perceptions of white, privileged and heterosexual women was challenged and deconstructed by different people including the blacks, the homosexuals and the like (Wilkinson and Kitzinger 1993). In India, a similar trend is visible wherein the Dalit critique of mainstream Indian feminism emerged in the 1990s with many feminist Dalit organizations and Dalit Bahujan feminists pressing for the inclusion of Dalit women’s concerns (Rege 2003a). Thus in women’s studies attention is being given to the formulation of concepts and theories in sociological writings. Substantive issues such as those of sexuality, violence towards women, and ‘the body’ came to the fore. There were conceptual and theoretical disagreements over questions such as the nature of patriarchy or male power; the relationship between gender, power and inequality; other forms of domination and exploitation; and the extent to which women shared their subordination or were influenced by other factors such as those of

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social class, caste, religion, or nation. The contributions of the works that focus on the different sites where sexuality has been constituted and located in different sets of discourses (John and Nair 1998) and those that focus on the role of gender in the construction of community and nation in post-colonial India (Jeffery and Basu 1999; Rajan 1999) illustrate the ways in which state and community have structured gendered identities. These studies also provide a different methodological point besides the use of qualitative techniques like oral history and narratives, that is, of women’s agency and going beyond the victimhood paradigm. A related area of interest deals with the question of ‘embodiment’, as the natural and essentialist understanding of ‘body’ is challenged by focussing on bodies in interaction and as socially located. It is through our embodiment that we recognize each other as gendered beings and engage in sexual practice. With the body becoming a focal point of feminist debate, it is important to consider how everyday understandings of gender and sexuality are mediated through embodied experience (Jackson 1998: 142). Embodiment as an important area of sociological research is gaining ground as it is being understood that aspects like caste, community, sexuality, religion, nation, race, and gender in their complex interconnections are inscribed on women’s bodies (Thapan 1997) and reconstituted and reframed on situations of conflict and war (Butalia 1998; Chenoy, 2002; Manchanda 2001a; Menon and Bhasin 1998). It is possible that in situations of war, conflict, and violence women’s agency is at its best, but it is a feature of women’s lives in all aspects wherein women identify contexts and ways to resist disadvantages and discriminations and deploy their agency. A methodological device emphasizing on the subjective dimension in many such studies is to increasingly listen to the voices of women (Kumar 1993). These are voices about the partition of India in and around 1947 (Butalia 1998), about conflict in Kashmir (Butalia 2002; Manchanda 2001b), about women under stress and strain who face domestic violence (Karlekar 2003), about women in everyday life (Jefferey and Jefferey 1996), about rural women and women farmers (Bagwe 1995), about Dalit women’s attempts at self-definition through resistance and modification of cultural codes (Franco et al. 2000) and about women who experience and resist the impact of ecological degradation, poverty, and patriarchy in the Himalayan region (Cranney 2001). The discipline of sociology stretches across different fields like political sociology, cultural anthropology, urban and industrial sociology, rural and agrarian society; so does the field of women’s studies. As women’s studies is interdisciplinary, focusing on listening and collecting women’s voices, their ways of knowing and doing things, and the expression of their experiences, it requires collecting data through research methods that are largely qualitative in nature showing the diverse ways in which feminists wish to produce knowledge. These methods described as feminists’ research methods are designed to attain three main goals—to document the lives and activities of women, to understand

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the experiences of women from their own point of view, and to conceptualize women’s behaviour as an expression of social contexts. The interdisciplinary nature of research in women’s studies, as well as sociological analysis, calls for the use of a range of methodologies. Data using these sources provides new insights and different perspectives, vital for the process of reconstructing and describing varying realities. Some of these are life histories, stories, and biographies (Bagwe 1995; Bhave 1988; Jeffery and Jeffery 1996), case studies (Desai, 1990; Karlekar 1987; Jetley 1987; Mitra 1989), oral histories and narratives (Butalia 1998, 2002; Menon and Bhasin 1998; Thapan 1997) and literary pieces and autobiographies (Karlekar, 1991; Sangari and Vaid 1989). A significant contribution emphasizing the role of the anthropologist ‘self’ becoming important in the fieldwork in recent years is the work Anthropological Journeys (Thapan 1998). The book is based on the significance of experiences and vision and the many voices and silences of both the subject and the anthropologist. Its main focus is on the process of research, mainly fieldwork, and within this the ‘subjective’ elements. It is argued that studying oneself or one’s own community may help probelmatize and dismantle this self–other dichotomy. The essays emphasize the ways in which fieldwork experiences are journeys into discovering the self (Veena Das, Loes Schenk-Sandbergen) and that learning one’s cultural and ideological biases is important even before beginning the process of anthropological enquiry (Savyasachi). A section of the book, particularly relevant from the feminist perspective, focusses on essays which bring into view the gendering of the anthropologist’s self in the field and the importance of being sensitive in this process. Saraswati Haider’s dialogue, whereby the anthropologist shares her own experiences with the subjects, and Madhu Kishwar’s argument of ‘learning to take people seriously’ tend to bring native researchers and their subjects together. Feminists conducting field research face similar and many other ambiguities, even though they emphasize on reflexive discussions, personal narratives, and unstructured interviews and empathize with the subject and the situations leading to the development of the reflexive and inter-subjective construction of knowledge. The acceptance of middle-class educated women doing research among Dalit women in the residential quarters in Delhi and the dilemma of one’s position and role in the field have been brought out quite poignantly by Malavika Karlekar’s (1995) search for women’s voices in reflections on fieldwork. Leela Dube (2001), in her three encounters in the field in different periods—among the tribal Gond women of Chhattisgarh, in a predominant Rajput village—Khalapur, of western Uttar Pradesh, and in the Lakshadweep island of Kalpeni inhabited by matrilineal Muslims—situates herself differently in these locations as woman but as woman belonging to a particular caste, class, and religion. The significance of all these studies lies in the new areas and methods of research in gender studies which are related to sociological enquiry.

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Gaps in Research The last ICSSR survey included a section entitled Women’s Studies and Women’s Development (Karlekar 2000a) for the first time in the survey series. Some of the research gaps mentioned in the last survey are filled, to an extent, in the period under survey in the present volume; however, there is much that remains to be done and to that list of an unfinished agenda one will have to add new emerging concerns. Viewing family as a site of women’s discrimination and exploitation through the socialization process, and control on sexuality, entitlements, and resources (Leela Dube 1997), and also as a place of domestic violence in the form of dowry deaths, incest, foeticide, marital rape, and so on, became important in the 1980s (Karlekar 1998, 2000b, 2003). It was the development in women’s studies that brought in an alternative perspective to the widely prevalent structural–functional viewpoints in the study of family. However, there is still a need for empirical research on all forms of domestic violence. Such studies will not only provide documentation of data, but also question the stereotypes with which the researchers work and the policy makers formulate laws. Karlekar (2003) notes that in India there is a tendency to club most marital violence under the overall heads of ‘dowry’, ‘dowry violence’, and ‘dowry deaths’ (1142) glossing over the other causes and forms of violence in the family, widely prevalent but not researched and hardly talked about (such as incest), taken for granted (wife beating), and not even acknowledged (marital rape), each of which merits its own study. Dowry, despite having been declared illegal, continues as before and remains an intrinsic part of every Hindu (as well as of other communities) marriage. The form, nature, and type of dowry transactions have changed in the recent years where dowry has taken a more coercive and instrumental form calling for its widespread condemnation. The other aspect of it, where it is a pre-mortem inheritance, a woman’s streedhan, and where women have customary right on dowry including land, and where it provides them and their natal families honour and prestige, needs to be dealt with more thoroughly. The question of women’s claim to property under the Hindu Succession Act, 1955, requires a further probe and re-examination. Since women’s access and control of property (through marriage or otherwise) is crucial in determining their position, some empirical research that investigates in detail what possession of property does to women, not only in the sense of meeting their financial requirements but also in making them feel more confident and secured as shown in a few case studies (Jetley 1988), would be worthwhile. There are a few studies on dowry, but most of them are not fieldbased accounts and have become outdated. Other areas need immediate sociological analysis are those of customary and personal laws as well as family reforms. With little uniformity and codification of personal laws and the ruling of fatwas and panchayats’ diktats, the situation

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of women under religious and customary practices has become indeed vulnerable. This, in many ways brings about changes, especially among the minority groups, like the Muslims (Hussain 1998). Of equal importance is the issue of how the religious leadership and the government legitimize the identity constructions of a religious community on the basis of personal law, thus essentializing religious identity and patriarhchal practices (Hasan 1994). Indeed, the debates about personal laws in post-colonial India have been about community identities with the conceptualization of women as the markers of the cultural community (Mukhopadhyay 1994). The issue of personal law reforms has been manipulated for political gain by both the State and religious leaders and any claim for Muslim women’s rights, it is said, must necessarily confront dominant religious traditions and State policies which support the patriarchal structures of authority (Narain 2001). Specific studies on these issues and how such laws are manipulated at the ground level to the disadvantage of women are required. The other dimensions of family that require investigation and analysis are what Uberoi (1999) calls, ‘the emotional tenor of family relations’ (36) involving such aspects as love, sex, marriage, and family life. In fact, there are many activities within the family and the household impacting women’s situations that need to be captured for a proper understanding of how family and kinship work as units of authority allocation, resource distribution, division of labour, etc. Leela Dube (1997) suggested that these were critical areas in which more empirical studies was required. Such studies will also enable one to look for the ways in which women articulate the rules and create the mechanisms to resist the patrilineal structural constraints (Chauhan 2003). Equally important in the changing context is to visualize how kin and security networks operate as support structures and how women make use of them, especially in crisis situations (Chanana 2001). Valuable literature has emerged in recent years on gendered analysis of war, conflict, and violence, but there are very few studies which focus on exploring the family and kinship dimensions or other social and cultural support structures. How do women handle crises in the family? How are relations (based on age, gender, marital aspect) affected in such situations? How do family members take on the crises? What are the alternative support structures people look for? What happens to the education of children and the marriage of girls? There can be innumerable such questions and the answers to them have to be searched for by looking into people’s lives and recording their experiences. Such situations and those where women in the family and community experience the effects of wider structures of polity and economy, of the market and the state, and indeed of the processes of globalization, could also be considered. There are some studies which focus on the shifting circles of support for women (Palriwala and Risseeuw 1996) and changing kin and security networks (Risseeuw and Ganesh 1998) under such structures and women’s ways of negotiating and finding space in difficult circumstances. The articles in both the volumes mentioned above on India are, however, few

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(three each) and based on earlier published works (Leela Dube 1998; Saradamoni 1996; Palriwala 1996), which calls for more studies in different geographical and cultural areas. This brings us also to the question of studying different communities, the question of ethnicity, and perhaps that of identity politics from a gender perspective. Community studies have declined over the years, though interest in such studies began to be generated with the debate centring around the present census, that whether ‘caste’ as a category should be included in the census (as it was done during British rule) or not Both sides expressed their views and among those who supported the inclusion, the opinions ranged from the activism aimed to end discrimination based on caste (Pinto 1998) to its implications for social science as well as applied research, especially in sociology and social sciences (Deshpande and Sundar 1998). Two points merit consideration here; one that there is very little use of census data by sociologists, except by a few of them (Shah 1998b) and, it is said, that a huge amount of data lies unattended and unanalysed. Second, it is indeed a difficult and mind-boggling task to collect reliable information from census data considering the ambiguity in the demarcation of categories in the census itself, as well as the diversity on various grounds that different communities present, cutting across regional as well as religious lines. However, nothing should stop sociologists from venturing into these debatable issues and their implications; what is important in women’s studies is the women-focussed study of communities and gendered analyses of community-related emerging issues like identity formation and politics. The studies on identity formation are important owing to the assertions by various sections of society and also the contentious issues of identity basis, as, for instance, for the Kashmiris is it the cultural identity which is more important or the religious identity or it could also be asked is it ‘gender’? These questions are particularly important in the context of communities placed in ‘fuzzy’ categories and sharing traits of different religions, as the Meo of Mewat (Mayaram 1997). This is also the case the Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir, who are Muslim by faith but were placed in the category of scheduled tribe in 1991. This new identity has given political space to the Gujjars (who now want the Gojri language to be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, especially since Dogri has found a place) and generated an aspiration among others like the Paharis to ask for reservation. Many case studies, narratives, oral histories, biographies, and autobiographies, as well as personal accounts of women’s experiences in different areas, are still waiting to be recorded. More anthropological explorations, as in Leela Dube’s work, and as many anthropological journeys as in the essays in Meenakshi Thapan’s (1998) volume are required to throw light on the personal accounts of fieldwork from the gender perspective. What difference does an identity of a woman, and more specifically, of a particular kind of woman (her caste, education, job, marital status, etc.), make in the field, and how does ‘situating’ her in

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the field resolve, the questions of methodology, objectivity and ethics? These are some of the issues not covered adequately in the sociology of gender and women’s studies. Women’s narratives of the type of Viramma (Racine and Racine 2000) are required, and also of those women who suffered and dared to challenge the caste system and the patriarchal structure, like Phoolan Devi, or any other lesserknown women whose initiatives are not well known. There is also a need to go beyond the victimhood paradigm to include women’s stories of success without valorizing or essentializing their experiences, especially of those women who opt for unconventional professions like the army or sports, or those who are the decision makers, like the panchayat leaders, thus challenging the public/private and domestic/politics divide. In this sense, these studies will not be contributing to feminist methodology alone, but also to the larger areas of sociology. The agenda for the future involves filling in the gaps discussed in this section. The focus has to be on bridging the space between sociology/social anthropology and women/gender studies. There has indeed been a shift towards women/gender studies and feminist anthropology and sociology wherein more emphasis is being laid on gendering the discipline of sociology and also to taking the issues in sociology to gender studies. It is felt that the need for the former is more as expressed by various scholars quoted in the survey of how issues of gender have remained at the margins of sociology and social anthropology (Chanana 2001; John 2001; Uberoi 1999, 2003). It is the task of the feminist sociologists to undertake this venture, for the onus of gendering the discipline lies on them more than anyone else. The gendered analysis of kinship, caste, and family that has begun to take place needs to be strengthened by theorizing these issues as well as by undertaking empirical research. This will tell us that caste, for example, is lived and experienced by women differently, and a further argument will let us know that it has a different kind of impact, for instance, on Dalit women. As women’s studies focus on the relationship between theory and praxis, it is important to sustain this and bridge the divide between the two which seems to be growing in recent years (Poonacha 2003). The studies in the feminist scholarship must strengthen the women’s movement and feminist action. The areas that have become important for the women’s movement, such as dowry, rape, domestic violence, development and empowerment, reservation, communalization and criminalization of politics, personal law, and the civil code, have sociological significance and need to be dealt with from a feminist perspective. Dowry and the question of property to women generated certain sociological writings (Srinivas 1984) and debate (Agarwal 1994; Kishwar 1989; Sharma 1984), but very few studies exist on women’s own perception of dowry, its practice in different communities, and the extent to which women have control over it. Similarly, sociological studies are required on topics related to domestic violence, like foeticide or infanticide, to find out why it is being practised or why a particular community or people have taken it up, and not simply to condemn these. The

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reservation issue, so fervently discussed in the women’s movement with shifts in ideological stands, where women did not favour reservation on grounds of merit, to the present situation when it is supported on the grounds of the unequal power relations and patriarchal and casteist forces that operate in society, needs to be looked into from the sociological viewpoint. The issue of Panchayati Raj has to go beyond finding women’s representation to the impact it has on gender relations in the family, community, and society. After the Shah Bano case and the Ayodhya incident, as well as the other events that followed, in particular Godhra and its aftermath, the questions related to communalism, uniform civil code, and family laws became important. As the issue of gender and law reform acquired prominence (Agnes 1999), the debate on women’s role in Hindu nationalism and the concept of womanhood within religious nationalism commenced (Basu 1993; Sarkar 2001; Sarkar and Butalia 1995). The disciplines of sociology and social anthropology call upon the feminist scholars to delve into these issues and conduct research in these areas to bring out how women’s lives and actions are determined by caste, kinship, community, and religious affiliations, and what meaning women assign to these and construct their everyday world. It is important to penetrate the paradigm of the majority– minority divide and look for relationships and interactions between communities and the commonalities as much as the differences between them. Various fuzzy communities of India, identified as 415 by K.S. Singh (1992), still follow customary rules and different faiths with very different principles. Besides this, there are many more communities which follow similar aspects, like clan (including 131 Muslim groups), lineage, sects, property, residence, adoption, maintenance, as well as many rituals and ceremonies. In what way has the relationship changed in recent years? In what sense does religion become important