1. Murder in Mudukulathur

    Murder in Mudukulathur

    The killing of Immanuel Sekaran in September 1957 became a major flashpoint in Tamil Nadu politics. Memories of the Mudukulathur riots have been moulded to perpetuate and intensify caste conflict in the region ever since. Prof K.A. Manikumar’s Murder in Mudukulathur: Caste and Electoral Politics in Tamil Nadu (2017) helps set the record straight. Below is the preface to his monograph. Terrible caste violence broke out in 1957 in eastern Ramanathapuram district (Tamil Nadu). The reasons for [...]
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  2. The Accidental Autocrat

    The Accidental Autocrat

    In 1953, C. Rajagopalachari, chief minister of the erstwhile Madras State brought in the Modified Scheme of Elementary Education. It turned out to be his undoing. D. Veeraraghavan’s MPhil dissertation, edited and annotated, with an introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy as Half a Day for Caste?, offers a unique account of the fallout of the law and the pedagogy behind it. Here’s Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s foreword to the book: Rajaji was conservative. That, to borrow a part-phrase he coined[...]
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  3. Putting a lid on it

    Putting a lid on it

    Calamities feel like calamities only when the citizenry above a certain class deems them to be so. Earthquakes, tsunamis, epidemics – these do not discriminate, and hence become topics of 24-hour news coverage. But there are other calamities that claim far more lives. Surprisingly – or unsurprisingly – we hardly ever hear about them. Subhash Gatade, in this extract from Modinama: Issues That Did Not Matter (also in Hindi), talks about one such, reminding us in the process that apathy kills[...]
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  4. Book Launch – Half a Day for Caste?

    Book Launch – Half a Day for Caste?

    Friday, February 7, 2020: The Madras Institute of Development Studies in collaboration with the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) and The Dr Dilip Veeraraghavan Memorial Trust hosted the launch of Half a Day for Caste?: Education and Politics in Tamil Nadu, 1952–55 at the Adiseshiah Auditorium, MIDS. The book is an edited, updated version of Dilip Veeraraghavan’s (1958–2009) MPhil dissertation, published posthumously by LeftWord Books. [...]
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  5. 'The criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism': Raosaheb Kasbe

    'The criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism': Raosaheb Kasbe

    When Raosaheb Kasbe's Zot was published in Marathi, in 1978, RSS cadres made a public bonfire of it at the Janata Party convention in Pune that year. The book presented an incisive critique of M.S. Golwalkar's Bunch of Thoughts, the main ideological treatise of the RSS. Kasbe traced the historical roots of cultural nationalism as outlined by Golwalkar, and exposed its authoritarianism. His study of the functioning of the RSS revealed its communal blueprint, its anti-modern views and anti-democra[...]
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