/ Vol 1 Issue 1


Issue Details

Journal of People’s Studies

Volume 1, Issue 1
© Journal of People’s Studies, August 2015



Theme Articles

  • Hindutva’s second coming: Understanding the Communal Challenge - Subash Gatade
  • Resilience Based on Hope, Honour and Dignity - Lenin Raghuvanshi, Shaila Parveen and Shirin Shabana Khan
  • Governance and Development in Panchayati Raj: Some Theoretical Implications - Nitin Kamble
  • Escalation of Child Labour Depresses Adult Wages - Davuluri Venkateswarlu and RVSS Ramakrishna
  • The State of International Studies in India - Md. Abdul Gaffar
  • Are we Heading towards Adivasi Genocide in Chhattisgarh? - Goldy M. George


  • Remembering P A Sebastian: The Doyen of Civil Rights Movement in India - Anand Teltumbde


  • Cultural Alienation of Adivasis Leads to Cultural Genocide - Priyanka Sandilya


The Editorial


It is quite exciting and pleasing to bring forth the first issue of the Journal of People’s Studies (JPS). The journal has evolved over a course of time due to several reasons. Most of the individuals associated with the journal, along with their academic and scholarly commitments, have been part of various socio-cultural, economic and political processes. This is the uniqueness of JPS collective, which one cannot find in most mainstream journals. While scanning on several journals it was observed that most of the journals are discipline-centric, and what was missing in those were ‘the people’.  For us communities and their inter-connection with various aspects in and around constitute the most important part. All of us are connected with various communities in different ways and means. The evolution of research disciplines has a critical historiography, which over a period of time has tended to ignore ‘human beings’ off and move to a more advanced level of the discipline.  It is based on these disciplinary focus such journals evolve. We, therefore, felt it necessary to give a different name in order to bring the core concern to the centre. Through several discussions and deliberations what emerged was people’s studies and therefore named it as the ‘Journal of People’s Studies’

Pragya Mishra

Goldy M. George

Section 1 - Theme Articles

Hindutva’s second coming: Understanding the Communal Challenge

Communalism and struggle for secularism happens to be an issue that demand our attention again and again. The rise of Modi as the Prime Minister of India is not only due to the communal fascist catalogue in India; rather it has a larger context of South Asia. There has been a consistent advent of similar communal fascist groups in most of the South Asian countries including Sri Lanka, Burma, Pakistan, and Bangladesh alongside, which threatens the secular democratic fabric of any nation as well as a region.

Today we have an India where the centre of gravity has shifted perhaps decisively to the right, in three crucial spheres: economy, secularism and democracy. While for Indians ascendance of the Hindutva right at the centre on its own has been an exception but if we look at this part of South Asia one could observe it as part of an overall pattern which has emerged in the second decade of 21st Century. One knows that we cannot limit ourselves merely to communalism, perhaps as the characterisation of this phase itself implies – may it be communal fascism or corporate fascism – it is essentially walking on two legs.

This paper is divided it into three parts. The first one builds the broader plank of the emerging situation. In the second sections I have tried to look at how we need to explode myths, raise new questions and practice interrogation. I have also tried to analyse the limits of the secular movement. The last part of the presentation focuses itself on Breaking New Grounds and few suggestions towards immediate, mid-term and long-term programme for fighting communalism and strengthening secularism.

Subhash Gatade

The author is journalist, writer, political thinker and human rights activists. He edits a Hindi journal Sandhan and has authored many books both in English and Hindi

Keywords: Communalism, Fascism, Hindutva, South Asia, Secularism, Secularisation, Hinduism, Genocide Convention

This is an elaborate version of the keynote address delivered in a two-day convention of the Unity Initiative of Secular Democratic Progressive Forces – Chhattisgarh held in Bilaspur on June 13-14, 2015

Resilience Based on Hope, Honour and Dignity

Torture and police atrocities further aggravate the already dire poverty situation and marginalisation of the downtrodden people in the majority of rural areas in different parts of the country. Torture normally happens in far-flung villages of the country where Dalits, backward social groups and minority are unable to fight effectively to defend their rights. They are the primary targets and victims of police torture. Without the awareness of their rights, these marginalised peoples suffer in silence and brokenness.

The combination of trauma from exposures to individual violence to structural violence and police torture creates significant impact on development, health and wellbeing of any individual. Trauma survivors may be able to describe their experiences objectively, but cannot necessarily address the vital personal issues of helplessness and guilt. Injustice and exploitation remains core to these traumas and therefore development, health and wellbeing cannot always proceed smoothly. Small steps for justice can accumulate and result in qualitative change in due time. The model village processes are based on the resilience theory. Torture free village is a village where every individual is assured of his or her social, political, economic, and cultural rights as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is living together within the society without any form of Torture and Organised Violence (TOV). PVCHR believes in participatory activism, which means collective demand generations through peoples' advocacy and social transformation that could create torture free villages through Testimonial Therapy based on healing, education and empowerment. The whole processes provides protection and minimise risk, there are many opportunity to participate, to make significant contributions to life of the community and to take on the role of full-fledged citizen.

Lenin Raghuvanshi

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of People’s Vigilance Committee for Human Rights (PVCHR), Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India

Shaila Parveen

Associate Professor, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith, Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India

Shirin Shabana Khan

Program Director, PVCHR, Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India

Keywords: Testimonial therapy, Torture, Organised Violence, Empathy and Torture free model village, Resilience

Governance and Development in Panchayati Raj: Some Theoretical Implications

The 73rd Amendment to the Constitution in 1993 was a landmark in the history of India. It brought democratic decentralisation at the grassroots to strengthen the roots of democracy in the villages. As a Constitutional mandate of decentralisation of power, it provided an opportunity for the socially excluded groups – particularly the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and women – to participate in the multi-federal institutions –the panchayats under the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). These grassroots institutions of local self-governance have come into existence with an obligation to ensure the empowerment of these groups excluded for centuries from the conventional socio-economic, cultural and political processes. Panchayati Raj is the re-experiment to bring democracy and democratic decentralised planning and strengthen its root in the villages of this country.

After two decades of PRI experiment, it is high time that we examined it with appropriate perspective and the complexities and inherent paradoxes involved in materialising democratic decentralisation through PRIs. The Panchayati Raj system has constitutional protection and sanctity, however, its development as organised institutions have been uneven across the different states, depending upon the political will of respective state governments. Since the British period, these institutions became the instrument of the ruling elite and, remained more or less; continue as caste panchayat still date.

Decentralisation through people’s participation from election to planning to decision-making to implementation and availing the end result is the basic framework of Panchayati Raj. While social justice and empowerment of weaker section is the soul of this system, transparency and accountability are the tools to strengthen it. This paper examines the theoretical implications in practice particularly from the prism of oppressed and marginalised sections.

Nitin Kamble

The author is an activist and currently a PhD Scholar with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India

Keywords: Decentralisation, Development, Grassroot Democracy, Caste, Power

Escalation of Child Labour Depresses Adult Wages

There has been growing concern for child labour across the globe and several efforts are being made by the governments, donor agencies, UN agencies and civil society organisations to eliminate child labour. This concern has been translated into action in several parts of the world where certain successful models have evolved that helped in bringing down the incidence of child labour. In this context certain interesting questions come up regarding its impact on the labour practices. It is argued that the labour of children, who were earlier available in large numbers in the labour market, depresses the wages and worsens the labour conditions of adults. Withdrawing children from the labour market would possibly cause rise in the wages for adults. The International Labour organisation (ILO) has developed labour standards and the broader concept of decent work (also including employment creation, social security and social dialogue) and recognised child labour as one of the important impediments to achieve the same. Any successful efforts in the direction of eliminating child labour should therefore also significantly contribute to the achievement of decent work for adults.

The reported large scale violations of child rights in cotton farm sector have caught the attention of many around the world. The specificity of hybrid cotton seed production is that the majority of workers in this sector are children, particularly girls. No other industry in India has such a high proportion of child labour in its workforce.

The principal aim of the present study is to examine the relationship between child labour and decent work for adults. It is argued that the presence of child labour reduces the bargaining power of adult workers and suppresses their wages.  Once the children are removed from the workforce, the demand for adult labour automatically increases which will in turn help them to improve their bargaining power for better wages and working conditions.  An attempt is made in this study to empirically test this hypothesis in hybrid cottonseed sector in Andhra Pradesh.

Davuluri Venkateswarlu

The authors is independent researcher on socio-political issues

RVSS Ramakrishna

The authors is independent researcher on socio-political issues

This study was commissioned by India Committee of Netherlands, FNV Mondiaal. This study was originally done in 2010. The present paper has been further updated with recent data for this edition of Journal of People's Studies.

Keywords: Child labour, Cottonseed industry, Adult wages, Labour market, Rural employment, Girl child labourer

The State of International Studies in India

Dominant perception of International Studies in India is of a discipline crawling its way through history in a state of inanition. Most of the experts of International Studies in India agree with such a conclusion. The factors seem to account for this dismal state of the discipline in India is the ‘resistance to theory’ that has been identified as one of the most formidable obstacle in the development of International Studies in India. The identity crisis emanates from a conceptual disorientation where a multidisciplinary area study is conflated with the discipline-oriented International Relations (IR).

The involvement of the state in the academic discourse has provided very little space for independent and critical work to emerge. There exists a close relationship between the International Studies in India and the state resulting from the fact that subject matter of former is ‘state’ itself. When it comes to decision making, practical experience is considered much more helpful to statesman than large volumes of scholarly work. Even if the state wants to engage with the academic community, it only seeks readymade policy capsules, which can be easily gulped rather than the painful internalisation of rigorous theoretical enquiry.

Academic enterprise gets particularly inhibited by informational frugality of the Indian state. This dimension also makes academics vulnerable as favours are only granted to those who are willing to participate in the designs of the state. In fact, Indian state has used the informational asset to colonise the discipline.

In this sense, the paper will examine the problems confronted by the students of international politics in India. Having related to Indian Universities, which offers International relations, it will address the problematic of lack of theory in IR. The paper also will attempt to locate the debilitated factors to the growth of International Studies in India.

Md. Abdul Gaffar

The author is a Research Scholar at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

An earlier version of this article has published in Economic & Political Weekly July 11, 2015, 50 (28) 22-25. This version of the paper has been updated for Journal of People's Studies

Keywords: International Studies, India, Identity, Area Study, International Relations

Are we Heading towards Adivasi Genocide in Chhattisgarh?

Sori has risen from the ashes as the symbol of Adivasis struggles in India over the past one decade. Adivasis and the ongoing Maoist conflict and anti-Maoist operations – whether it is under the erstwhile peace movement of ‘Salwa Judum’ or the ongoing ‘Operation Green Hunt’ – need a critical scanner. Many Sori are victims to state violence for the benefit of the corporates.

There are several laws in India that favour the Adivasi populations, however most of them are either not implemented properly or forced to stay defunct. Two important laws namely ‘Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act-1996 (PESA) and the ‘Forest Rights Act-2006’ (FRA) were enacted after long struggles by the Adivasi people. These are active on papers yet inactive in real terms. The two laws could have prevented several conflicts in India. On the other hand most the Adivasi zones in Central India are severely under Maoist menace. Despite the menace of Maoism, the corporate houses are finding a red carpet welcome in the State. This is not just in one part, but a common feature across the state, where there is a mineral resource. Thus land alienation is the eventuality for the Adivasis. The entire theory of development seems to be banking on the belief that Adivasis have nothing valid with them, no education, no knowledge, no wisdom and therefore they have no culture or civilisation. This antagonistic approach of the state has created much of the troubles for the Adivasis. Thus the plunder of resources has a rationale of development.

The paper is an attempt to explore the interconnections between corporate greed, land acquisition, sustenance of the conflict, gross violation of human rights, targeting Adivasi population, non-implementation of pro-Adivasi laws, strict implementation of anti-Adivasi laws and several patterns of misinterpretation of Acts and laws. It also raises the question of justice concerns and justice delivery mechanisms. How the ‘conspiracy theory’ of elimination by pitting Adivasis against each fits to perfection is investigated. This would lead to mass-scale Adivasi genocide in south Chhattisgarh – one of the last frontiers of Adivasi India.

Goldy M. George

The author is an activist for Dalit and Adivasi rights for the past 25 years. He has submitted his PhD in Social Science from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India

The term Adivasi is used to denote the Tribal communities of India. They are officially notified as Scheduled Tribes as per the Constitution of India

Keywords: Adivasi, Maoist Conflict, PESA, FRA, Land alienation, Chhattisgarh

Section 2 - Document

Remembering P A Sebastian: The Doyen of Civil Rights Movement in India

Our friend and comrade, P. A. Sebastian, who was the face of Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) for decades, has passed away on July 23 morning around 10 AM. He was staying in an old aged home in Goa for the past six months, after shifting from Kerala .Due to a prolonged illness he was given medicine and breakfast through nasal pipe as scheduled. Around 10 AM when they wanted to take him for bath he just went cold.  The home called the nurse and then the doctor, who declared him dead upon his arrival.

Anand Teltumbde

The author is a professor with the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) and also the General Secretary of Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai, India

Section 3 - Review

Cultural Alienation of Adivasis Leads to Cultural Genocide

Book: Sacrificing People: Invasion of a Tribal Landscape
Author: Felix Padel
Publisher: Orient Blackswan, Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-81-250-3868-9
Pages: xxxiii + 465.


The book ‘Sacrificing People: Invasions of a Tribal Landscape’ under review is a historical re-setting of those tribal images by the Indo-British anthropologist, Felix Padel. This is a new and updated edition of the previous one The Sacrifice of Human Being: British Rule and the Konds of Orissa. The journey of the book, like the struggle of the Konds, is from colonial intrusion to developmental destruction. In other words, the book looks at the colonial roots of the relationships between the ‘Adivasis’ – the indigenous people in tribal areas of India – with the rest of the country.

Priyanka Sandilya

The author is an activist cum researcher. She is currently an MPhil-PhD scholar at School of Rural Development, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur, India