Monday, December 28, 2009

Presenting a canon of names of contemporary India

Indian Political ThoughtA Reader

Edited by Aakash SinghSilika Mohapatra

Price: $41.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-56294-2 Binding: Paperback (also available in Hardback)
  • Published by: Routledge Publication Date: 26th April 2010 (Available for Pre-order)
  • Pages: 320 About the Book
This Reader provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of contemporary Indian political theory. Tracing the development of the discipline and offering a clear presentation of the most influential literature in the field, it brings together contributions by outstanding and well-known academics on contemporary Indian political thought. The Reader weaves together relevant works from the social sciences — sociology, anthropology, law, history, philosophy, feminist and postcolonial theory — which shape the nature of political thought in India today. Themes both unique to the Indian political milieu as well as of universal significance are reflected upon, including tradition, secularism, communalism, modernity, feminism, justice and human rights. Presenting a canon of names and offering a framework for further research within the broad thematic categories, this is a timely and invaluable reference tool, indispensable to both students and scholars.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Introduction: What is Indian Political Thought? Aakash Singh and Silika Mohapatra Part 1: Provocation 1. The Poverty of Indian Political Theory Bhikhu Parekh Part 2: Evocation 2. Gandhi's Ambedkar Ramachandra Guha 3. The Quest for Justice: Evoking Ghandi Neera Chandhoke 4. Tagore and His India Amartya Sen Part 3: Secularization 5. Is Secularism Alien to Indian Civilization? Romila Thapar 6. Secularism Revisited: Doctrine of Destiny or Political Ideology? T.N. Madan 7. The Distinctiveness of Indian Secularism Rajeev Bhargava Part 4: Communalization 8. The Blindness of Insight: Why Communalism in India is about Caste Dilip M. Menon 9. In Search of Integration and Identity: Indian Muslims since Independence Mushiral Hasan 10. Sikh Fundamentalism: Translating History into Theory Harjot Oberoi Part 5: Modernization 11. Gandhi, Newton and the Enlightenment Akeel Bilgrami 12. Scientific Temper: Arguments for an Indian Enlightenment Meera Nanda 13. Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity Sudipta Kaviraj Part 6: Reconstruction 14. Reconstructing Childhood: A Critique of the Ideology of Adulthood Ashis Nandy 15. Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism Gyan Prakash 16. The Commitment to Theory Homi Bhabha Part 7: Emancipation 17. Justice of Human Rights in Indian Constitutionalism Upendra Baxi 18. Emancipatory Feminist Theory in Postcolonial India Ratna Kapur 19. Righting Wrongs Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Part 8: Conclusion 20. The Poverty of Western Political Theory: Concluding Remarks on Concepts like ‘Community’ East and West Partha Chatterjee

About the Author(s)

Aakash Singh is Research Professor at the Center for Ethics and Global Politics, Luiss University, Italy. His scholarly interests range from comparative political philosophy to liberation theology and applied critical theory.
Silika Mohapatra is Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Delhi, India. Her research interests include classical metaphysics, phenomenology, semiotics and the ethics of self and society.© 2007 Routledge, member of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa Business

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Label of tradition is an illusion of control

How to read holy books Posted on February 15, 2009 by Sandeep

An essay by Sri Krishna Prem (Ronald Nixon): When a man says he believes in something or other (I do not mean rational belief based on consideration of evidence) itwould be more correct to say that he hopes that it may be true and, action and reaction being equal and opposite, he at the same time fears that it is not. Every belief then has its corresponding doubt lurking some where in the shadow. It is for this reason that men of strong religious beliefs become SO fanatical. Silently gnawing at their hearts, insi diously whispering in their ears, is an army of doubts, shadowy beings inhabiting a twilight world but corresponding exactly with the beliefs which, like so many children’s kites, go soaring up into the bright sunshine. It is to silence those whispers, to lay those ghosts in the basement, that the believer strives with all his might to convert others to his creed. Criticism he cannot stand because of the echoes that it raises down below where all should be silence; and so, just in proportion as he increases the force of his own beliefs, he magnifies the tension within and, filled with an inner hatred of himself, he vents his explosive anger upon others. Thus from a mere fanatic he becomes a persecutor.
What, then, should be our attitude towards the ancient scriptures, or, indeed, towards books in general? Books may be divided into two classes: those that are based upon inner experience and those that are mere words strung together with more or less skill. The latter class may be ignored altogether. It may be asked: how, if we are ourselves ignorant, we may know that a book is based upon genuine experience? The answer is that the Truth exists already in our hearts, however ignorant our outer personalities may be; it is a sheer fact that words that spring from deep realization raise echoes within us if we listen to them with free minds. The words, as we say, mean something to us. Perhaps there may be other books, equally the fruit of some one’s experience, which raise no echoes within. In that case it is some lack of sympathy or of experience, some knot of prejudice in our minds, that prevents our hearts from acting as resonators, and so we pnt the book aside. When that happens it is doubtless a pity bnt it cannot be helped; we are not ready for that particular message and its study can do us no good.
If, however, a book does ‘mean something to us’, if we have reason, inner reason, to think that it is a record of actual experience, wc should set aside all questions of its date and authorship, its orthodoxy or heterodoxy, its agreement or disagreement with other books. Instead, we should give our hearts to its study, trying to penetrate behind the words to the thoughts and realization for the expression of which those words were selected. [Excerpted from the book Initiation into Yoga by Sri Krishna Prem, ISBN 0091256313]

Can Carnatic music do with a little more sax? from churumuri by churumuri 

An evergreen debate on tradition versus modernity in Carnatic classical music has been revived with the music season on in full swing in Madras.
Last Sunday, T.M. Krishna, while arguing for preserving the integrity of the Carnatic tradition, wrote in The Hinduthat instruments like the saxophone and keyboard were just not cut out for the south Indian classical form.
This has drawn a response from the pianist Anil Srinivasan in the Sunday magazine of The Hindu:
“Tradition has become indelibly linked with the past. This is where the problems begin. We get autoregressive when discussing the preservation or conservation of a tradition. Trapping it in a time capsule and not allowing it to breathe or acquire newer characteristics is antithetical to the very notion of an intergenerational transfer….
“Historically, traditions were largely oral and were passed on from one generation to another….
“Music cannot be classified. To the human mind, the illusion of control or self perception leads it towards instant and automatic categorisation. We want to label everything we encounter because it makes us feel at least temporarily in control of the environment. And hence terming Carnatic music a tradition becomes a hook on which we hang our approximations of what we think South Indian classical music ought to be.”
In the same issue of The HinduAruna Sairam tells Dr Srinivasan:
“Tradition exists to show you who you are. Innovation should be encouraged to show you who you could be…. Innovation is an approach to an existing body of work that has not been thought of before. In that respect, each of us is innovating constantly…. Only two things matter: be true to who you are, and be sincere in what you want to articulate. If this happens, the music will transcend categorisation and analysis.”

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Poetic theory & dramatic art of Sri Aurobindo

Young Aurobindo's Vision: The Viziers of Bassora — Dr Manoj Kumar Mishra
A Commentary on Sri Aurobindo's Poem Ilion V. Murugesu
Sri Aurobindo's Yogic Consciousness & Poetry — Dr Nikhil Kumar
Sri Aurobindo and World Literature Goutam Ghosal
Rainbow Bridge: A Comparative Study of Tagore and Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo's prose style (with a foreword by V.K. Gokak)

The Renaissance on Sri Aurobindo's Criticism — Goutam Ghosal
The Birth of Savitr — R. Y. Deshpande
Towards New Age R. Y. Deshpande
Indian renaissance and future of the world - R.Y. Deshpande

Amal-Kiran: Poet and Critic

Sri Aurobindo and Greece — Amal Kiran (K. D. Sethna)
Talks on Poetry — Amal Kiran (K. D. Sethna)
Sri Aurobindo on Shakespeare — K. D. Sethna
Sri Aurobindo's Poetry and Sanskrit Rhetoric Jugal Kishore Mukherjee
The Wonder That is K.D. Sethna Alias Amal Kiran — Jugal Kishore Mukherjee
The ascent of sight in Sri Aurobindo's Savitri — Jugal Kishore Mukherjee
Sri Aurobindo and Sanskrit — Dr Sampadananda Mishra
Sri Aurobindo's Plays: A Thematic Study Sheo Shankar Jaiswal
The Plays of Sri Aurobindo: A Study S. S. Kulkarni
Sri Aurobindo and the Poets of the Dawn D. Venkateswara Rao
Sri Aurobindo: The Critic of English Poetry - D. Venkateswara Rao 
Sri Aurobindo: His Poetry and Poetic Theory  Prem Tyagi
Image, Symbol and Myth in Sri Aurobindo's Poetry G. S. Pakle
Sri Aurobindo: His Mind and Art — Dr Kalaamani
Sri Aurobindo: Critical Considerations O. P. Mathur
Dante and Sri Aurobindo: A Comparative Study of the Divine Comedy and Savitri Prema Nandakumar 
Sri Aurobindo: The Poet of Nature & Other Writings on Savitri — Asoka K. Ganguli
Sri Aurobindo's Savitri — Asoka K. Ganguli
Savitri, The Mother — Prof. M. V. Seetaraman
The dramatic art of Sri Aurobindo Avanindra Kumar Sinha 
Perspectives of Savitri: Volume 1 — Essays and articles by various authors