The Spectre of Justice Karnan haunts the Indian Judiciary


Dharmaraj Kumar

dharma rajIndian judiciary system is said to be confronted with a crisis of judicial accountability following the alleged contemptuous act of Prashant Bhushan in the Supreme Court, that too in the face of Hon’ble Judge Dipak Misra, the Chief Justice of India.  

This incident is taken as a serious threat to the existence of judiciary as one of the founding pillars of democracy per se. But the truth is, a fair judicial system has been in the centre of all political systems.

Actually, while listening to the case of Venkateswara Medical College in a five-judge Constitutional bench, Dipak Misra, the Chief Justice of India, himself was allegedly pointed out as one of the parties by Prashant Bhushan, an internationally acclaimed lawyer of the Supreme Court of India and also the son of Shanti Bhushan, a former Cabinet Law Minister.

It is very interesting to know that this matter of Venkateshwar Medical College bribery case reached the Supreme Court exactly at the time when one of the parties is said to be involved in it.


Mahatma Phule's Thoughts on Caste-Patriarchy: A Critical Evaluation


Sachin Garud

prof sachin garudIt is a well-known fact that at the time of India's national movement, there was another movement known as the movement of social engineering or social revolution, led by Mahatma Phule, who had pioneered the foundation of a social revolution in India. Although contemporary thinkers like Ram Mohan Roy, Justice M.G. Ranade and G.G. Agarkar were quite active in social reforms at that time, Mahatma Phule was different from them as he was the first non-Brahmin social revolutionary in India.

Phule believed that radical ideology must be complemented by radical practices, which was in striking contrast to the upper caste elite thinkers and social reformers of his time. He criticized the literature of Vedas and Puranas and Hindu mythological stories woven around deities that facilitated special privileges to Brahmins in every sphere of life. Brahmins always had the upper hand and authoritative power of decision-making, particularly in religious affairs. The significance of his movement was that it not only aimed to eradicate caste-hierarchy from the society but also protested against gender inequity. He advocated the progress of backward caste communities while emphasizing the importance of imparting education to women in the family. In other words, he insisted on gender equality in the field of education, property, jobs, and of course, in the family.


Speech and the Speaker's Identity


Tejas Harad

tejas haradIn 2016, famous Indian author Chetan Bhagat published a novel called One Indian Girl. This book was criticised by some women because the book's narrator, who is also its protagonist, is a woman. Bhagat, even though a man, is within his rights to have a woman narrator in his novel. But it is unfair to say that he cannot be criticised for the same. It is one thing to not let someone publish a book or ask for its ban after publication, and another to criticise someone for writing a particular book. There is a reason why academic criticism from the angle of 'identity' (in this case gender) has increased over the decades.

Men wrote androcentric literature. Women were invisibilized and silenced. They were not allowed to write, their contributions were erased, and they were stereotyped and derided in literature. The contribution of Savitribai Phule is still not acknowledged outside Ambedkarite movement. When Tarabai Shinde's tract A Comparison between Women and Men was published in 1882, she faced immense backlash. George Eliot aka Mary Ann Evans had to write under a male pen name. Women still do not easily find a place in shortlists of book prizes. Therefore, if Chetan Bhagat, known for his sexism, is criticised for writing a book from a woman's point of view, it shouldn't come as a surprise.


Surveillance and Punishment in the Village: Reflections on Imayam’s Pethavan


Karthick RM

Karthick RM 1"Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power."
-Michel Foucault

"What is a village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness and communalism?"
-BR Ambedkar

From the time when reports of social media accounts being monitored by states emerged to the introduction of the Aadhaar card in India, there has been considerable debate on the intrusion of privacy of individuals by governments and corporates. Of course, it does seem paradoxical how several progressives were complaining about internet monitoring - on their Facebook and Twitter profiles. The more intellectual among them, especially those who have had an unhealthy dose of postmodern cynicism, blame it as an inevitable effect of modernity. Explicitly in some cases, implicitly in others, we can see nostalgia for the simple, harmonious, organic community of the village...

Romanticization of the village is not new in India. Several nationalist thinkers, ecologists, Marxists, and postcolonialists, to name a few, have contributed to the construction of the village as an ideal and idyllic society. Readers of Ambedkar would also be familiar with his rigorous critique of the idea of the village. I look at the village not just as a sink of localism, but also as an effective 'organic' mechanism of surveillance, as or more efficient than any modern system, reflecting on an important recent Tamil novella.


கந்து வட்டி தனித்து இயக்குகிறதா?


டி. அருள் எழிலன் (T Arul Ezhilan)


arul“உன் இனத்தவனிடமிருந்து வட்டி வாங்காதே. பணத்துக்காகவோ, தானியத்துக்காகவோ கடனாகக் கொடுத்த எந்த பொருளுக்காகவோ வட்டி வாங்காதே. வேற்று இனத்தவனிடமிருந்து நீ வட்டி வாங்கலாம். ஆனால், நீ உடைமையாக்கிக் கொள்ளப்போகும் நாட்டில், நீ மேற்கொள்ளும் செயல்களில் எல்லாம், உன் கடவுளாகிய ஆண்டவர் உனக்கு ஆசி வழங்கும் பொருட்டு உன் இனத்தானிடம் வட்டி வாங்காதே”

என்கிறது திருவிவிலியத்தின் பழைய ஏற்பாடு.


தனிச்சொத்து துவங்கிய காலம் தொட்டு வட்டிமுறையும் மக்களிடம் புழக்கத்தில் இருந்து வருவதை பைபிள், இதிகாசங்கள், மன்னர் வரலாறுகளின் மூலம் நாம் அறிந்து கொள்ள முடியும். சோழப்பேரரசு வட்டி விஷயத்திலும் வரி விஷயத்திலும் மிக மோசமாக நடந்து கொண்ட சான்றுகள் உண்டு. வரி கொடாத ஏழை விவசாயிகள் ‘சிவ துரோகிகள்” என பட்டம் சூட்டப்பட்டனர்.

“கடன்பட்டார் நெஞ்சம் போல கலங்கினான் இலங்கை வேந்தன்” என்பார் கம்பர். உக்கிரமான போர் சூழலில் ராவணனுடைய மன நிலையை விவரிக்க கம்பருக்கு வேறு வார்த்தைகள் இல்லை. காரணம் கடன் என்பது அக்காலத்திலேயே அத்தனை கொடிய வடிவங்களுள் ஒன்றாக இருந்திருக்கிறது.


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