B1

DECODING STATE OF POLITICS OF INDIAN NATION

 State politics has evolved as an autonomous discipline with growing recognition of state as the primary unit of analysis. Politics in each state has its own internal dynamics, which differentiates it from others. There has been a growing realization that future analysis of Indian politics must concentrate on micro level analysis of political actions and processes of mobilization at local level. The internal power dynamics of states define the political power play at the centre. Political dispensation at state level demands meticulous scrutiny as it has an enduring effect on political configuration at the centre. Micro level analysis of internal dynamics of state politics has therefore now become imperative for an understanding of Indian politics and economy. State politics is no more an appendage of the discipline of Indian politics but has emerged as an autonomous discipline. The book State Politics in India, edited by Himanshu Roy, M.P Singh et el is a reflection of the exalted status of study of state politics as an autonomous discipline. Politics in each state has its own internal dynamics, which differentiates it from other states multifacetedly. In India we have a common Nationality but then we also have a customary identity attached. An Indian is also Aryan, Dravidian, Tamil, Assamese, and Punjabi etc. India is home to four major religions of the world (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism,) and accommodates all the religion of the world. Caste is another reality in India and all major religions in India are further differentiated on caste lines. Caste plays a vital role in underlining cultural differences within religion. There is also wide diversity on linguistic lines; there are 22 languages in the Eighth Schedule of India’s Constitution and more than100 languages spoken by more than 10,000 people each. “Yet there are commonalities across the boundaries at micro and macro levels. The common linkages are the expansion and intensification of capitalism and its social relations into the innermost peripheral areas, breakdown of the old structures and social mores, emergence of civil society, development of administrative transparency, growth of alternative party systems and the linkages of each state with the global capital. The liberalization of economy over the decades has speeded up the growth of commonalities across the states through uniform production process and consumption culture. 

305

INDIAN EDUCATION: THE HALLMARK OF ‘ADAPTIVE ENTERPRISE'

I n a span of time, when memory is being erased and the political relevance of education is being dismissed in the language of measurement and quantification, Ashok K Pandey's groundbreaking 'The Pedagogical life (Essays on educating India)' seems to be the legacy in this stream. This book, consisting both passion and principle, would help the students to develop a consciousness of freedom. It also recognizes authoritarian tendencies, empowers the imagination, connects knowledge and truth to power and describes how the world as part of a broader struggle for agency, justice and democracy. While describing 'valuing education', the author categorically offers the very best, perhaps the only, chance for young people to develop and assert a sense of their rights and responsibilities to participate in governing, and not simply being governed by prevailing ideological and material forces.When the author states: "In the global world, cultures and nations, economies and businesses, come together in cooperation and competition. Education in India has shown, the true hallmark of 'Adaptive Enterprise': instead of sticking to the age-old approach to education, where some experts and learned scholars ordained what was good for one and all. Such was the model before and after Independence until well up to the nineties. In the earlier paradigm we followed 'make and sell' model and now we have entered in the era of a 'sense and respond' model," he wants to know the exact requirements regarding skills and competencies. When the author surveys the current state of education in India, he finds that most universities are now dominated by instrumentalist and conservative ideologies, hooked on methods, slavishly wedded to accountability measures and run by administrators who often lack a broader vision of education as a force for strengthening civic imagination and expanding democratic public life.

302

AN EMPEROR LOOKING FOR SPIRITUAL EMANCIPATION

I t’s seldom that somebody who studied history at St Stephen’s College and later Oxford, choses to write a text on history in Hindi language. This pioneering effort is to be appreciated for scholarship levels in the Hindi language publications have not shown to achieve the same benchmark as those in English. No wonder, given the increasing number of students craving for quality texts in Hindi language, a great market for translated texts is flourishing. According to Zaman he chose to write the book in Hindustani and not Urdu or English, for he wanted to write in Akbar’s language. “He was a great proponent of communal harmony and had a deep knowledge of religions. Akbar gave the world something new, be it his architecture, clothes, philosophy, poetry, political acumen. At the peak of his life, after winning all wars and being the most powerful man, he looked inward to find a place in the spiritual space,” says Zaman, adding the book will be translated into English. Shazi Zaman is a trained historian in limited sense as he has been a practicing media person known better for his creativity in producing extraordinary television news features. ‘Akbar’, is based on the life and times of the Mughal dynasty’s best known ruler - Akbar, who also enjoyed the epithet of being the Great. According to the author’s own admission, the book contains many hitherto unknown and unsolved aspects about Akbar, and is a result of 20 years of intensive research.Thus his attempt of doing a historical text demands greater attention for the sheer difference in approach a media person would adopt from a practicing historian and also the time management skills he must have utilized to given equal attention to his vocation and evocation. Zaman claims that he kept himself away from films, TV Serials and even books on Akbar so that his research was not impacted by these. The idea was to reach primary sources of information. In this endeavour he read a lot of available literature penned by writers considered close to Akbar, regional or vernacular sources and even letters written by Christian priests. He also put a special focus on studying Mughal era drawings that were available.To reach the very heart of Akbar’s life and times Shazi Zaman researched material associated with Akbar from Kolkata’s Indian Museum till London’s Victoria Albert. Here he studied Akbar’s drawings or those made by artists at the beckoning of the emperor.