17 12 2014
17 12 2014
Book Launch Programme at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities(CSH)
A book: Caste in Contemporary India written by Professor Surinder S. Jodhka, a brilliant academician, was launched at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities, New Delhi. The programme was organsied by CSH to release this book under the chairmanship of Prof(Dr) Leila Choukroune, Director of the CSH and Head of the Globalisation and Regulation Research Area. A brief introduction was given by Prof(Dr) Leila Choukroune about the book. Prof(Dr) Satish Desphande, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics( University of Delhi), Prof Gilles Verniers, Assistant Professor in Political Science, Ashoka University and CSH Research Associate, Dr Jules Naudet, CSH Senior Research in Sociology and Head of the Politics and Society Research Area shared the dias. All of them discussed briefly about the book. Faculties, scholars, and students from JNU and other universities attended this programme. High tea was served to all the participants.
Many in urban India tend to believe that caste would and should have disappeared by now had it not been politicized and used by wily actors in India’s electoral politics. Its institutionalization through the reservation policy, the quotas for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes, is also cited as the other reason for its continued survival. Against the popular middle-class assumption that the continued presence of caste is a result of incomplete modernization of India’s economy and its cultural values, the book constructs a different trajectory of caste. The institution of caste has seen significant changes, particularly during the past four or five decades.
This change has been experienced almost at all levels and almost in all regions of the country, although not following a single evolutionary or linear path of progression.
More importantly, even when the institution of caste and the social and economic structures sustaining it undergo significant changes, caste has not disappeared. Even in regions where the change in social and economic domains of rural life has been quite “radical” and the older order of caste has nearly disintegrated, caste-based divisions and inequalities continue to matter and often overlap with the emergent disparities of the new economy, both rural and urban. The realities of caste in contemporary times are also not exhausted by analyses of electoral politics.
Caste matters in multiple ways and in different spheres of social, economic and political life, sometimes visibly, sometimes not so visibly. The book is an outcome of Prof. Jodhka’s work on caste completed over the past decade and half. Most of this research has been in the form of empirical explorations of contemporary manifestations of caste carried out both in rural as well as in urban settings in northwest India.
They represent a specific mode of engaging with the subject, which is different from the manner in which caste was imagined and studied by sociologists/ social anthropologists and other social scientists until the 1970s, or even in the 1980s. However, the book is not only about documenting the empirics of caste in contemporary India, but tries to present a framework that would hopefully help us understand social inequalities in other societies as well.
Academic Profile of Prof Surinder S. Jodhka
Prof. Surinder S. Jodhka
Prof. Jodhka researches on different dimensions of social inequalities – old and new – and the processes of their reproduction. Empirical focus of his work has been the dynamics of caste and the varied modes of its articulation with the nature of social and economic change in a neo-liberal€ India; studies of agrarian social change and contemporary rural India; and the political sociology community identities. His publications include Interrogating India€™s Modernity (ed. OUP 2013); Caste: Oxford India Short Introductions (OUP 2012); Village Society (ed. Orient Blackswan 2012); Community and Identities: Contemporary Discourses on Culture and Politics in India (ed. Sage 2001). He is editor of the Routledge India book series on €˜Religion and Citizenship. He is among the first recipients of the ICSSR-Amartya Sen Award for Distinguished Social Scientists, for the year 2012.
Inputs by Rahul Kumar, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Editor, Sagar Media Inc.
17 12 2014
17 12 2014
Statement by Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, on killing of children in Peshawar, Pakistan
New York, 16 December 2014. The horrific, callous killing of more than one hundred children today in Peshawar, Pakistan must do more than shock the conscience of the world – as it will.
It must also summon us, all the more, to support the parents of Pakistan who wish for their children the best possible education – and all those who are working to provide it.
UNICEF extends our heartfelt sympathy to the families of the children who have been lost. We mourn with them.