JOURNAL OF PEOPLE’S STUDIES - Volume 1, Issue 4
Journal of People’s Studies
ISSN 2455-3115 (Online)
Volume 1, Issue 4
A QUARTERLY JOURNAL
© Journal of People’s Studies, June 2016
LIST OF CONTENTS
- IMPACT OF RELIGION ON MENTAL HEALTH - Syed Akhtar Ehtisham
- TRIVENI SANGH IN LITERATURE AND THE LITERATURE OF TRIVENI SANGH - Pramod Ranjan
- THE REASONS AND TRENDS OF FARMER SUICIDE: ANALYSING THE SITUATION IN INDIAN STATES - Ankan Chakraborty
Review - Film (Sairat)
- INDIA’S GRUESOME REALITY OF ‘HONOUR KILLINGS’ - Flavia Agnes
For the past almost a year, a lot of discussions and debates have been going around India on the question of ‘Freedom’ (Azadi). Parallel to this, another aspect – nationalism vis-à-vis anti-nationalism and one’s loyalty towards nation – has remained much in public circles. Freedom of speech, expression, religion, thought, governance, choice of ones’ likes and dislikes has been upheld by the Indian Constitution and by various international laws, covenants and conventions to which India is also a signatory as well as ratified by the Indian state. Why such a critical discussion is needed at this juncture?
Goldy M. George
Section 1 - Special Articles
Impact Of Religion On Mental Health
In the seventeenth century, a wave of depression seemed to affect the Western world, especially men of genius –Thomas Gray and Samuel Johnson in England, Rousseau and Baudelaire in France, Tolstoy in Russia, Weber in Germany, and William James in America, among others. Far from being an affliction of the famous, diseases strikes the poor more often than rich and women more commonly than men.
In Muslim Morocco, music, dance and trance are used to cure ‘Paralysis, severe depression, and possession.’ In Italy, treatment of Tarantella was more and passionate dancing. Suicidal bombing, bomb blasts at girls' schools, and Sufi shrines could be ascribed to the puritanical self-denial of the Wahhabi creed.
From the sixteenth century AD onwards Europeans forcibly imposed their culture and beliefs on the whole world. The African Diaspora to the Americas did not relinquish their traditions as Europeans desired and created blues, rock ‘n roll, hip-hop, and jazz. Ten million Africans in Americas preserved and used their community celebrations as springboards for rebellion against white rule.
But the overall story is of cultural destruction. When the Russian navigator Thaddeus Bellingshausen visited Tahiti in 1820, he found the islanders wearing European clothes and women with shaved heads. Defeated, the Tahitians had little to do, but drink. This paper examines the intersection of religion and mental health via case studies of various religions in different parts of the world throughout history.
Syed Akhtar Ehtisham
*The author is a medical professional for more than five decades. He has been involved in the anti-nuclear war movement, human rights and peace questions. He remains an active member of Indian and Pakistani physicians' organisations. He is the author of 'God, Government and Globalization'. The author could be contacted at [email protected]
Keywords: Religion, Behaviour, Mental Health, Depression, Colonisation, Imperialism. Rebellion
Triveni Sangh In Literature And The Literature Of Triveni Sangh
Triveni Sangh has not surfaced much in mainstream academic writings from the perspective of the oppressed sections like the Dalit-Bahujans. In Hindi literature there are several references to this, however referred as a war of 1930s in most of the cases. In the eastern Hindi belt, several literary figures in most of their magnum opus novels, stories, poetries and biographies have consistently found it as a source of inspiration to write on the questions of working classes, peasantry and oppressed castes.
But what is this war of 1930s? The Indian history that we study does not refer to any ‘war’ or movement in the 1930s – one that could be a source of inspiration for lower-caste peasants and labourers. Clearly, this war is the war of the Triveni Sangh, the bugle for which was sounded by the backward castes of Bihar before independence.
Triveni Sangh is missing from Hindi criticism. Despite its deep impact on literature, the Triveni Sangh does not find even a cursory mention. What could be the reason behind the so-called Marxist, progressive and pro-people critics ignoring the influence of the Sangh on literature? Was Triveni Sangh’s ideology capitalist, retrograde or anti-people? Was it promoting aesthetic, existential-individualistic, or communal thoughts?
The reason the movement of Triveni Sangh and other similar movements, philosophies and thoughts are ignored by Hindi criticism is the lack of a Bahujan perspective. The elite perspective, of course, is always trying to consign such thoughts to the dustbin of history by either maintaining a silence on them or by making allegations against them. On the other hand, owing to its ingrained values, that section of the Indian elite that claims to believe in the so-called ‘Marxist, progressive and pro-people’ approach to criticism has yet to imbibe the essentials of these philosophies.
This paper is an attempt to walk through the unknown terrains of Triveni Sangh and it’s multiple propositions from within along with a critical literary review of some of those who have been hailed as the proponents of this literature of the marginalised and oppressed. It engages with the need for a Bahujan perspective of Triveni Sangh, the meaning of Triveni and the different types and patterns of conflicts and confrontations it underwent
The author is currently a PhD scholar in Hindi literature at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been associated with various newspapers and publications houses. He was the Consultant Editor of Forward Press till recently. He could be reached at [email protected]
Keywords: Bahujan, Dalit, Literature, Triveni, Social Justice, Dalit-Backward Movement
The Reasons and Trends of Farmer Suicide: Analysing the Situation in Indian States
A great deal of attention is paid to economic growth rates in India in recent years, with an ignorance of the on-going agrarian crisis. During the last two decades the agriculture sector has witnessed crisis such as decline in agriculture growth rate, rising numbers of farmers’ suicides, declining prices of several crops, and a widening gap between the agriculture and non-agriculture sectors. The agriculture sector is experiencing unprecedented crisis with stagnation or declining rural employment growth and as a result, food security and employment opportunities for the rural poor is eroding.
Farmers’ suicide in different parts of India has become a recurring phenomenon over the past one-decade or so, which reflects the deep-rooted agrarian crisis. Indian agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the people but in recent years it has experienced a slowdown in growth rates. This sector is experiencing unprecedented crisis with low productivity, high rural unemployment and food insecurity. In the past, availability of credits to farmers, along with subsidies on new inputs were as important determinant of investment in agriculture.
The aim of this paper is to analyse the pattern and the trend of the farmer’s suicide and the main causes behind it. It had been shown that farmer’s suicide rate is higher in several states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala. Both union and state government have implemented several kinds of policies and steps in favour of farmers but these cannot change the actual picture. The trends of farmer’s suicide have been increasing in the last few years.
The author holds a Masters in Agriculture and Rural Development from West Bengal State University. He could be contacted on [email protected]
Keywords: Farmer’s suicide, Indian agriculture, government policy, agrarian crisis, agrarian distress
Section 2 - Review
India's Gruesome Reality of 'Honour Killings'
Film: Sairat (English: Wild) 2016
Director: Nagraj Manjule
Producor: Nagraj Manjule, Nittin Keni, Nikhil Sane
Release date: 29 April 2016
Running time: 174 Minutes
The blockbuster Marathi film Sairat (Wild), directed by Nagraj Manjule, rated as the most important film of 2016, made history as it grossed the magic figure of 100 crores. While there is no doubt that it is a well-made film and tugs at the heart strings of young viewers, its theme of honour killing is the main reason for its popularity. The film helps to break the misconception that these gruesome murders of young girls and / or their lovers / husbands committed to save the family honour, are confined to the North Indian States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh Utter Pradesh and Bihar and helps to strike home the reality that it is a pan Indian reality, as prevalent in the Southern states which are generally considered to be less violent towards women than the North India States.
The writer is a women’s rights lawyer as well as a writer. She could be reached at [email protected]