In 2010, the Khap Panchayats of Haryana launched a vociferous demand to amend the Hindu Marriage Act to prohibit marriages between persons of the same gotra, who are descendants in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor. Khaps are caste councils among the Jats who function as a deliberate adjudicative body over their caste members.
Society & Culture
Attired in bright silks, adorned with elaborate jewels, bells on ankles, and moving with stylized facial expressions and hand gestures to artfully sliding melodies atop a continuous, complex percussion accompaniment; this performer would be the visual representation of Indian dance for audience members ranging from first-time viewers to spectators more familiar with the art form.
Sustained economic growth over the past decade has triggered dramatic changes in the way that Indian cities relate to villages, a relationship that is often described as a continuum.Whether associated with the aggressive expansion of private enterprise that sees great potential in rural markets, or the government’s burgeoning welfare schemes, or indeed, the policies shaped through “public-private partnerships,” the pressures associated with this churning are felt at many levels.This is especially true for those organizations working in rural areas that were est
The rapid growth in motor vehicle ownership and activity in India – motor vehicle numbers have doubled every six or so years from 1980 to 2004 – has provided mobility to millions, and contributed to employment and the economy. This trend is, however, causing a wide range of adverse impacts. Perhaps the most serious of these impacts, in health and welfare terms, result from road traffic accidents.
Contrary to popular fears, the Delhi Commonwealth Games, which ended on October 14, 2010, went off without too many hiccups and were attended by all seventy-one member countries. Though the Commonwealth Games, a competition held every four years for nations of the former British Empire, weren’t the spectacular success that India might have hoped for – to be placed alongside the 2008 Beijing Olympics or the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa – it wasn’t a disaster either.
In light of India’s 64th Independence Day, I am compelled to think about the idea of the country to which I am committed: a sovereign, secular, democratic republic, where what would separate independent India from the colonized nation would be the ethos of democratic constitutionalism; governance that would be according to procedure established by law, overseen by the people’s representatives in Parliament, adjudicated by an independent judiciary, and implemented by an accountable Executive.
Despite recent wide sweeping reforms in Indian education at the school level, reviews of India’s college education structure are clouded by endless controversies. The demands to “liberalize” college education have leaned on the need for new investments at a critical juncture of India’s growth. However, for one-fifth of the country’s population, the biggest challenge faced is the absence of quality in current standards of college education. The inadequacies in educating vast numbers of Indian youth far exceed issues of regulation or demand-supply deficits.
Paralleling the growth of India’s economy has been the concomitant increase in India’s global engagement. While this has been most manifest in the growth of trade and financial flows, the movement of people has also become more important. Since the 1830s, international migration from India under British rule comprised largely of unskilled workers from poorer socio-economic groups who went to other colonized countries. Between 1834 and 1937, nearly 30 million people left India and nearly four-fifths returned.
Later this year, the Bar Council of India will introduce an ambitious measure that modifies the qualifications required to practice law in India. Law graduates will now be required to take an examination after graduating to complete their enrollment to the bar. An examination that tests legal knowledge is a common prerequisite for enrollment in several countries, and the measure aims at creating a minimum standard amongst graduating law students. While the measure’s primary target is lawyer quality, it should also indirectly serve to improve standards in legal education.
Why is there so much opposition and anxiety among some sections of the Indian elite – particularly among its upper-caste intellectual class – on the question of enumeration of caste in the Census of India 2011? My answer is simple: India would legally become a caste society. The formal recognition of caste as a national category implies that the Indian state is going beyond the constitutional recognition of caste as a category to measure disability (i.e., untouchability, atrocity, and social backwardness).