Friday, September 25, 2009

Politics of caste, gender & religion

[The politics of immigrant identity negotiation is rather starkly framed in the title of a paper by Arvind Rajagopal: “Better Hindu Than Black?” By choosing actively to identify in terms of religion, rather than allowing themselves to be categorized simply in terms of the more limited logic of ascribed American racial identities, Hindus from India and Muslims from West Africa, for example, can improve their chances of achieving recognition as full members of the polity. Multi-religious denominationalism and American identity
from The Immanent Frame by Richard Amesbury. In the emerging dispensation, Taylor predicts, “it will be less and less common for people to be drawn into or kept within a faith by some strong political or group identity, or by the sense that they are sustaining a socially essential ethic.”]
[Gender, Migration, and the Public Sphere, 1850–2005
Edited by Marlou Schrover, Eileen Yeo
The decision to emigrate has historically held differing promises and costs for women and for men. Exploring theories of difference in labor market participation, network formation and the immigrant organising process, on belonging and diaspora, and a theory of ‘vulnerability,’ A Global History of Gender and Migration looks critically at two centuries of the migration experience from the perspectives of women and men separately and together. ISBN: 9780415801720 Published September 15 2009 by Routledge.]
[R. Jagannathan, in DNA, suggests that the reason may be caste. Centuries of caste-based protection has made Indians reluctant to change; afraid to abandon the old even after it has outlived its utility. Therefore, he says, we are afraid of the outcome of democracy.
“Caste is like the shell of the tortoise. When faced with predators, the tortoise withdraws into its shell. Caste was the protective shelter under which the Indic peoples withdrew when confronted with the radical new ideologies of Christianity and Islam. So successful has caste been as protector, that even the others have adopted it. Caste now permeates Indian Islam and Christianity, not to speak of Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Put another way, caste is a force independent of Hinduism.”
Read the full article:
BJP’s succession blues. ‘Caste is what has made Indians fearful of change’
from churumuri by churumuri]

A definitive account of human emotions is hard to establish, and hence we have to make do with whatever appears as rigorous and scholarly. [TNM]

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