Now you can view this blog on your mobile phones! Give a try.

Friday, February 27, 2009

'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'- Lecture Notes

The translation of the extract from the Dante’s Inferno (hell):
"If I thought my answers were to given to anyone who would flame could stand still without moving any further. But since never from this abyss has anyone ever returned alive, if what I hear is true without fear of infamy I answer you."

These words were spoken by a lost soul in the Dante’s Inferno. The condition of that soul and Prufrock is same, for both there is no escape. Prufrock’s condition and the condition of the hell is self induced. The instances are brought about by oneself.

The tile of the poem is ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ the emphasis on the ‘The’ tells us that T.S. Eliot speaks about the love song of everyone in that age i.e. love song of the entire western modernity. It also denotes the singular importance of this poem. It is considered in the poet’s opinion the defining love song- a reflection of what the average western man undergoes during that era.

In the title the first name of the lover is reduced to just initials and the middle name which is usually mentioned in initials is expanded. According to tradition and various cultures the name given to an individual is accompanied by a prominent person’s name, the households name and so on. Alfred was the name of a king at that time hence Prufrock expanded it for importance. Therefore we see that there is actually no identity of his own. This signifies a condition called as trunkage of identity and this stands for a certain crisis. His own identity is reduced to gain the identity of someone who is supposedly much more important than him. Prufrock as a name, on the other hand, reminds of something that is covered, hidden or protected, hence an inability to face circumstances.The title hence connects to the poem.

The poem
‘In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo’

The poet here in these lines has juxtaposed the sublime and ludicrous or ridiculous.
Here Michelangelo is supposed to be sublime.

Michelangelo must be talked about in an intellectual assembly or an artistic assembly.
Artistic assembly is that where persons who know about that particular art come. They all have enough knowledge about that and they come there to enjoy the art and not learn it hence there cannot be any influence or conversion. Whereas in an intellectual meeting there is exchange of ideas thoughts so there can always be a change in your ideas or you might change the ideas of others, hence there is scope for conversions, all the seminars, workshops etc. are hence intellectual assemblies.

But as we look into the poem we see that in the ‘room’ is neither an artistic assembly nor an intellectual assembly hence ludicrous. Hence the juxtaposition of sublime or something great and ludicrous or ridiculous.

Prufrock uses it in his song because he is a hollow man who tries to gain respect and importance by dropping in names to make it sound intellectual.

Also the constant association of women with silliness represents his patriarchal nature and prejudice towards women.

There is also the paradox of Michelangelo being homosexual and women talking about him.
In the second stanza he describes the evening by using the metaphor of a cat. Imageries used here are not at all pleasant as yellow is not supposed to be a pleasant colour and fog is also not pleasant taking into consideration the weather of England where people yearn for sunshine.
The extended metaphor of a cat is used here to describe the fog. This also has a very industrial imagery referring to the soot that falls from the chimney.

The whole imagery in the 2nd stanza is very interesting, there is this cat (fog) who is gets up from its sleep, moves around, there is a lot of action and enthusiasm, and falls back to sleep (Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.). Which shows the state of mind of Prufrock, who gets all active to do something (maybe propose his lover) but finally gives up.

In the third stanza, there is a contrast with Andrew Marvell’s ‘ To his coy mistress’. Andrew Marvell in his poem says there is no time otherwise he could have admired one part of his mistress for a thousand years and hence tries to persuade his mistress to make love with him and not waste anymore time. In contrast to this Prufrock tries to delay things (his proposal) by saying that there will be time ….

On the other hand Biblical reference is also used. ‘there is a time to do everything or for anything to happen there is a fixed time’ is a very spiritual idea. But here he uses it just to delay things.
In the fourth line he says ‘ There will be time, there will be time’, the same thing is repeated two times because he does not have the confidence and wants to buy time by repeating the lines.

Pinto, Anil. Class Lecture. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Christ University. Bangalore, India. 25 Feb 2009.

3 March 2009

The poem is about the subconscious and the conscious tension. It is a dramatic monologue with Prufrock’s beloved as the silent listener. The unconscious can also be also be taken as the silent listener here.

As the poet comes to the fourth stanza he is no more talking about where to go, all that is over now. But in the fourth stanza he goes one step back when he is again wondering whether he dared to propose or not. Then again we notice that there is no link between the 2nd and the 3rd lines of this stanza in normal terms as in the French movie called ‘Un Chien Andalou’. From saying “Do I dare?” he immediately turns to saying “Time to turn back and descend the stair”. Its almost as if he was turning back from that question itself. Here, according to me, as Prufrock goes down the stairs, a view from above gives an image of a man walking down the stairs and you can see his head from the top with a bald spot on it. In the lines of this stanza we see that the poet is concerned about his appearance and is not happy with it. He thinks he can make up for his baldness with his dressing. He is almost perfectly dressed but he is still not satisfied as he thinks that the pin that holds the necktie is too simple.
Then again he diverts his question to saying:

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?

If you think about it you will realize that disturbing the universe is a major thing, that has rarely happened in the history till now. And this person who cannot ask a girl a simple question talks about disturbing the world! In the next line he is trying to be optimistic by saying that there is time in a minute also, meaning there are so many seconds in a minute, to take decisions and then reversing them again,

“In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse”

In the fifth stanza, there is again a juxtaposition where he measures his life with coffee spoons. Life, which is supposed to be so precious and priceless, he measures it with coffee spoons! Hence the juxtaposition sublime and ludicrous.

From the sixth stanza onwards starts the most painful and disgusting of all imageries. The poet uses synecdoche here, which means a term denoting a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing , or a term denoting a thing (a "whole") is used to refer to part of it , a term denoting a specific class of thing is used to refer to a larger, more general class, a term denoting a general class of thing is used to refer to a smaller, more specific class, or a term denoting a material is used to refer to an object composed of that material.
In the sixth and seventh stanza the poet says he knows the eyes and he knows the arms respectively, which shows that he knows only in part and hence his mind is very fragmented.

“The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

Imagine about hundred eyes fixed on you observing your every move. How would it feel? In the context of the poem it is as if the eyes that look at you make you like a word and fix you somewhere. As Mr. Pinto shared that the first few days of going to a class is very uncomfortable as you are completely new to the students and they want to know you, hence observe you very carefully, if you move right all the eyes move right and if you move left all the eyes move left. Hence he admitted that he used to break the chalk pieces and throw it, maybe out of the window, so that at-least for that time the eyes would be distracted!

You may be thinking that this imagery is not very painful but if you further read on third and fourth lines of the sixth stanza, you could take it as an image of an alive insect in a biology laboratory which is pinned on the wall for the observation of students and he is wriggling on the wall. Wriggling as a word has pain and struggling in itself. He is pinned by the society, observed by them with curiosity and not compassion or sympathy, just curiosity. Then the last two lines of this stanza give an equally or maybe more painful imagery where he talks about the most dreaded kind of vomiting, during which, along with the materials in the stomach the excreta also comes out (butt-ends). It is painful beyond words.

Someone in the class asked Mr. Pinto, that why is it that the poet is using such unpleasant imageries for a supposedly love song. The answer that he gave was, that creativity and sensitivity at that age was so lost that even the love songs, according to the poet, seem to be so unpleasant and almost disgusting.

In the seventh stanza he uses this imagery where he uses artificial aspects and not natural ones (lamplight instead of sunlight). And he is distracted (digresses) by the perfume from a dress and not the presence of the female. In the sixth line of this stanza he uses an image that shows complete inactivity:

“Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.”

In this stanza the poet is portraying Prufrock as an emasculated man without any courage.

In the eighth stanza, at dusk he wants to go and watch the smoke that arises from the pipes of lonely men in whose, shirt-sleeves only he can see leaning out of the windows. At dusk normally people want to watch the sunset and maybe brilliant shades of the sky in the play of light. But this guy wants to watch the smoke rising from the pipe of these anonymous people.

In the ninth stanza:

<blockquote>“I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas”

Here if you try to visualise the imagery and put emphasis on auditory part of the imagery, it can be very disturbing. Here, the poet maybe prefers this painful thing than proposing to his beloved. Maybe that is why is he says that she should have been a pair of ragged claws and so on.

In the tenth stanza time is personified, where he says:

“And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!……”

In this stanza he uses the paradox of having the strength to ‘force the moment to its crisis’. to force a moment to its crisis is something that only God himself can do or maybe the Military heads, hence its a paradox.

From the sixth line onwards he uses the religious imagery. Where saints and prophets used to pray for a decent or a sacred cause this man prays and fasts and even weeps for asking this very simple question (proposing).
He also compares himself with the prophet from the Bible called John- the Baptist. John the Baptist was a man of conviction, and the king of that time, king Herad, feared him. He lived a life of penance without worrying about anything or anybody, not even the king. Hence the comparison of Prufrock with this great man is really ridiculous. Therefore there is a constant use of juxtaposition of something sublime and ludicrous.


Pinto, Anil. Class Lecture. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Christ University. Bangalore, India. 3 March 2009

4 March 2009

Eliot was 22 when he wrote the poem, it took him three years to write this poem. Anyone’s writings are a reflection of one’s age. But here we see that being 22, he talks about middle age crisis. It takes a lot to rise above your age and write. This poem is a piece of carefully thought critique of modern industrialisation. This is what primarily Mr. Pinto appreciates in the poem.

In the tenth stanza, ninth line, for the first time the poet tries to be a little honest by saying that he is not a prophet. He almost sees his end in the last two lines of this stanza and is afraid. Here he is probably referring to Emily Dickenson where she has a very pleasant take on death, she says that death comes as a lover to take you away.

In the eleventh stanza he says that when he eventually asks her the question, he might end up regretting it after all. He uses a list of things, again to delay (cups, the marmalade, the tea) . He uses a metaphysical wit here referring to the metaphysical poetry- to have squeezed the universe into a ball, to roll it towards some overwhelming question. Here we see that the question is not a question after all but a statement. He is again comparing himself with something divine. The rising of Lazarus from the dead was something that was always referred by the priests while praying for certain things. And he calls himself Lazarus.

In the end he is so scared that he eventually withdraws the statement immediately.


Pinto, Anil. Class Lecture. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Christ University. Bangalore, India. 4 March 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Workshop on “Perspectives on Caste and Gender in Early India” - Participation Report

National Workshop on “Perspectives on Caste and Gender in Early India

Participation Report

A visit to Forum for Contemporary Theory, Vadodhara (erstwhile Baroda) was a dream come true. I have been longing to visit it for the last eight years!

I participated in the Thirteenth National Workshop organised by the Forum on Contemporary Theory, Vadodhara during 2-5 February 2009. The general theme of the Workshop was “Perspectives on Caste and Gender in Early India” It was organised around selected textual readings, introductory and public lectures by the faculty and interactive sessions between the faculty and the participants. The workshop was conducted by Kumkum Roy, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, New Delhi; and Jaya Tyagi, Reader, Dept of History, Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University. The workshop was from morning 10 to evening 5. There were about 50 participants from different universities from History, literature, political science, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and art history.

Following is the write up on my expectations I had sent to the organisers

“As the workshop outline points out, a linear and stereotypical history of both caste and gender has been produced, circulated and consumed across academia and media. However, there have been recent alternative positions which challenge such a construction of caste and gender. These challenges, though significant, have not become a part of the mainstream academics. As a result there has been a significant information gap in understating many issues in social sciences in India. The workshop I am sure will address this need.

In specific, from this workshop I wish to know why and how the existing notions about caste and gender came to be constructed the way we perceive them; what social and political needs such constructions served; what necessitated the challenging of the constructions, the nature of newer questions on the constructions, the limitations of such questions, the way ahead; and the modes in which the newer questions could be integrated into the higher education curriculum.”

However, when I landed up at the workshop knowing history as a discipline became one of my primary concerns. Most of my questions throughout the workshop took this trajectory.

A fortnight before the workshop readings were sent to the participants. They included essays by BD Chattopadhyaya, Shereen Ratnagar, Romila Thapar, Aloka Parasher-Sen, Vivekanand Jha, Uma Chakravarthi, Thomas R. Trautmann, Allan Sponberg and Leonard Zwilling.

During the workshop all the participants had to make presentations based on the essays. I spoke on the Cultural Turn in Understanding Early History. In my presentation which primarily focused on the concerns of the first three essays in particular and all the essays in general, I observed Chattopadhyaya’s essay raised questions about the problem of material that historians engaged with early history had to address, and problem of material. My argument was that Chattopadhyaya asked for shifts in both. Ratnagar’s refusal and wholesale rejection of Tanika Sarkar’s work on tribal as the colonial construct was another important observation I made. I also mentioned the general problem in most essays where there was a conscious attempt to unpack the flattened concept of caste but the same attempt was not made in unpacking concepts such as gender, religion or community. In fact they were used quite unproblematically and as flat categories.

One of the crucial points that Kumkum drove home was how caste is studied without any reference to gender in early history, and consequently in other disciplines and the need to engender caste.

The workshop took the participants through the sections of Rig Veda, especially the marriage hymns, the Grihasutras, Manu Smriti, and Jataka Tales to trace the notions of caste and gender. There were also discussions on the structure and craft of these works. The rough age covered was 1500 BCE to 500 CE. In one sense the two concepts were explored both in Sanskrit and Pali or to put it in a problematic way, in Vedic and Buddhist traditions.

I made 26 pages of notes on the five days. And due to paucity of time (thanks to mid-sem evaluation and lecture preparations) I am unable to reproduce important points here, although I very much wish to.

Some of the issues that fascinated me:

  1. The saptapadi hymn does not occur in Rig Veda but in Yajurveda and not in the context of marriage but in the context of ritual sacrifice.
  2. Neither in Rig Veda nor Grihasuthras is woman given any equality with man either in rituals or running the household. She is more of means to achieve patriarchal goals.
  3. The Brahman and Kshatriya categories are not constant in the same hierarchy. In some texts the hierarchy is reversed.
  4. There are sections of Rigvedic hymns attributed (not conclusively) to women composers (I think it’s 2 and 7 mandala)
  5. There are multiple notions of Dharma. Different texts have different interpretations, or prescription of dharma. Also, Dharma is not a central term either in vedic or post vedic texts. It gets centrality only in Buddhist texts.
  6. The Buddhist philosophers called it Dhamma in Pali, which had a different understanding of it.
  7. Grihasutras only talk of two ashrams- bramacharya and grihasta. The other two get added in Manu Smriti.
  8. Neither in Rigveda (if my memory serves me right) nor in Grihasutra a girl child is an expected one. The prayers are constantly and only for the blessing of a son –male issue. I had humorously referred to it as ‘crisis of the male child’ during the workshop and wanted to know what could be the reasons for such a crisis. However, in the absence any study in this direction, we could not discuss much.
  9. The issue of male-male and female-female sexualities in Buddhist texts.
  10. The struggle within history and among historians working on early history to speak conclusively about the past due to lack of material and lack of corroborative evidence. I only sympathised with them imagining the enormous burden on them of giving a conclusive history which is only an impossibility.
  11. and many more….

I have benefited immensely from the following three

1. The reading material

2. The two resource persons

3. From the questions and interaction of my fellow participants.

The Forum

The origin and growth of the Forum fascinated me the most. It began as a discussion forum among social science and humanities teachers in MS University, Baroda. It was later registered as public trust and society. From 1996 every year it has been organising a national workshop in Baroda around different themes. In 1991 it launched Journal of Contemporary Thought, in association with International Lincon Centre, Lousiana State University, USA and Central Washington University. Currently this biannual journal is in its 27th number. The Forum is largely the vision of one man – P C Kar (now retired) with an active support of four-five teachers. But in terms of building scholars and academic culture it has done more than what any university can claim to. It’s primary focus is to build young scholars. In 2008, thanks to the generosity of the Balvantbai Parekh, Chairman of the company that manufactures Fevicol the forum has its own building, until then it functioned from Prof Kar’s house. Mr Parekh has given for free four large rooms – each for library, office and two for seminars – in the muti-storied building behind Baroda railway station. (May his tribe increase)

The Forum perhaps has the best library on theory in India. It also offers library fellowships to those who wish to make use of the library. They also have other research fellowships. For details, their website can be referred to. The most striking thing about the library is that it does not issue books to anybody, even to photocopy. Prof Kar said that that way they have been able to ensure that the books are read. I thought it was a wonderful concept.

I had nearly an hour and a half-long chat with Prof Kar. For me, he is a model to all the teaching fraternity to become academicians, with life long commitment to build academics, and not look at higher education as mere employment only to be stopped at retirement.

Is such a concept possible? To my mind there are five other such experiments each realised in different ways- CSSS, Calcutta; Subaltern Studies collective, Calcutta; CSDS, Delhi; CSCS, Bangalore; and the one in Bombay – the name slips my mind. However, the point to note is all these centres came out of universities and not colleges. Moreover they could conceive it in government institutions and not private. This leads me to a long-disturbing question – is there something in the structure of private institutions which does not allow such initiatives to emerge? We have not seen such initiatives coming from the staff of St Stephen’s, St Xaviers, Loyola, Lady Sri Ram and the like. Another point to note is that such initiatives have not come from science streams, but only from humanities/social science space. Question then is why?

To make the best of the journey – Sabarmathi +

Since I reached a day earlier due to limited train facilities, I visited Sabarmathi, which was also a dream come true. Gandhi had stayed here from 1917 to 1930 – the year of Dandi March. I spent nearly four hours going round the house where Gandhi had stayed and the Gandi museum. It was quite a learning experience.

I also visited MS University Fine Arts dept which is ranked no three in the world. It was an amazing experience. I also visited the University library. I found students making use of the library reading room a lot. It was full. But books were hardly updated. We have a far better and updated collection. But their journal section is better than ours.

For library

From Sabarmathi I picked three VCD’s on Gandhi. One of them has Gandhi’s audio. They are available for borrowal in the library. I also bought all the past issues of Journal of Contemporary Thought and quite a few other books. The entire cost coming to Rs 10,000. All of them should be available for borrowal this week.

What do I intend to do with the Workshop

  1. Use the insights to enrich the syllabi in the dept
  2. Try and put together the insights/training from this workshop and the Psychology conference on Intimacy and come up with a paper. I wish to work on the notions of intimacy in early texts. I wish to engage with sections of Rig Veda, Grihasutras, Manu Smriti and Buddist texts.
  3. Use the insights to build my PhD


I am grateful to the Mr Kennedy and Dr Krishnaswami for the permission granted, and the management for partly sponsoring the participation.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Forum for Contemporary Theory

June 15 – July 11, 2009
Venue: Apostolic Oblates Secular Institute--Spirituality Centre
Manganam, Kottayam, Kerala

For more information click here to visit the Forum website.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tips to do better in the exam-given by Mr.Pinto (mainly for 1st year students)

After a 'wonderful' the 1st year students in the Optional English/British Literature paper, Mr.Pinto gave us a few tips in class to improve our performance in future exams...:).Here they are and I hope they are of some use to all of you!


P.S.these are all Mr.Pinto's tips and are NOT a figment of my imagination..:)


A two/three-hour written examination does not test all that you know. It's primary purpose is to test the comprehension of classroom teaching. It wants to evaluate to what extent can the student express what s/he has comprehended. Hence, in an written examination, answer the questions and not the write what you know about a particular area. Formal collegiate examinations are never about testing the overall ability or knowledge of the learner. To that extent the examinations are clearly influenced by behavioral psychology of Skinner and company.

1.Please draw margins in the 5 minutes before the exam. Preferably, 1cm for the left margin,half a centimetre at the top and quarter centimetre each on the right and bottom sides respectively. You may also draw lines after each answer.

2.Begin or end your answers with the question.

3.Quote from the text, on the text. Also, you may argue for/against the author's views and ideas.

4.Write the corresponding question number in the margin (not in the main page) while answering the question and not in serial number order as they WILL result in a loss of marks as such answers do not correspond to the respective question.

5.If you exceed the word limit by 10-15%, marks will be deducted.Therefore, adhere to the word limit.

6.Understand the text and works similar to the text. Formulate ideas and support or argue them.

7.Quote ONLY if you are sure. If you are not sure, do not use the '...'/ "..." symbols.

8.Use single quotes for the titles of poems and essays.In case of the name of a book, novel, play etc., underline the title of the text.

9.Do not quote your teachers in exams. While quoting from somewhere else, preferably written or published sources-site the source.

10.Ensure that you are grammatically correct. A few examples:-

(a)Writing 'English' with a small 'e' tends to bug teachers...:) as it reflects the lack of basic grammar of the language.

(b)Writing 'I' with a small 'i' is NOT acceptable.

11.You cannot use short forms like 'don't', coz, &, and can't. Please use full forms like do not, because, and, and cannot.


Pinto,Anil.Class lecture. Christ university.Bangalore,India.17 Feb 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Wrongs of Right Wing - BBC Report and my Quick Comments

Following is the link to BBC report of Ring Wing (BJP/Sri Rama Sena/Bhajarangdal/RSS) vandalism in Mangalore and other parts. Click here for the link.

Some quick notes (If time permits will produce a well-researched academic article here)
1. The recent developments in Mangalore have thrown up interesting observations for me.
a. There is a strong support base for the right wing recent vandalism in Mangalore both among the grown ups and the young.

b. The opposition has been from the open but small vocal individuals.

c. Unlike post-Godhra carnage and post-Babri Masjid demolition, the incidents in Mangalore - attack on churches, nunnery, unprovocated but hand-in-glove police brutality inside several churches, inhuman and illegal detainment and treatment of BV Sitaram editor of Karavali Ale daily, the multiple cases filed on him in different police stations across Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, the mute response of both Christians and Muslims to such injustice to individuals, attack on Muslim residential areas with police support in Ullal and other parts of the districts, the brutal attack on young girls in a pub by taking law into their hands and thereby becoming a parallel state-system, the numerous attacks on boys and girls from different religious communities while in interaction - have not been theorized. I am yet to come across any serious articles in EPW or similar journals on these issues. The silence of social science and humanities scholars across India and aboard is really conspicuous. The academic responses to Rajkumar abduction, protest against Fire, and Water, Beauty Pageant in Bangalore were far quicker- written within weeks.

d. The response of the BJP-led state government has been one of constantly trying to twist the tales to take political mileage of every sort or politicise it further to attack the other political parties - Congress and Left in particular.

e. Catholic church which preaches love-discourse towards others which is distinct from the 'tolerance-discourse' put forth by the right wing, has over a decade and a half has never seen social violence as an issue to be engaged with, but has only responded when the attacks are particularly focused on its institutions marked by buildings only.

f. A very concerned response has overwhelmingly come from a lot of non-christian and non-Muslim citizens.

g. The Muslim and Christian communities in Mangalore have hardly made any investment in building intellectuals among its members - may be because they did not want to get the established systems threatened. Because of this, they do not even have a language to respond to the violence - other than one of counter violence.

h. The media because of its flawed idea of 'balancing views' and 'objectivity' plays into the hands of the right wing.

i. Lack of good ethics on the part of the media has led the right wing to zero down on those who oppose right wing views in the media to be attacked both physically and through media.

j. I think post-babri Masjid Media has not really learnt how to respond to the rise of right wing in India.

k. We still do not know how to change the terms of the debate of right wing, esp in the case of Mangalore.

l. The corporate leaders like Narayana Murthy have not seen it as a moral responsibility to rise to the occasion. But, they had a lot to say in support of neoliberalism.

m. The right wing-led nation discourse has eroded the moral and ethical stand among the TV-IT families.

n. In Bangalore, curiously, a lot of part-time activists who participated in many protests and meeting related to Tibet and such issues have been withdrawing from mailing lists of NGOs and other socially conscious groups because, now it is not about sth out there but about us. They cannot digest the ruling right wing criticized in Karnataka. My follow up of those opting out of such lists shows that all of them belong to upper castes and work in the corporate sector in Bangalore.

o. The real estate boom in Mangalore has a close link to the rise of recent violence of right wing in Mangalore as most of those arrested and accused in recent attacks have real estate agencies.

p. The 'caste' as it is practiced and its hierarchic manifestation in Mangalore is seen in the groups involved in the violence too. While the RSS has largely been a upper caste male organisation, The Bhajarang Dal caters to men of slightly lower castes/communities/social groups in the higheracrhy. Those castes and 'Hindu' /communities/social groups which are denied membership in both right wing groups have formed Sri Rama Sene. In Ramayana, Sri Rama Sene was the name for the army of Monkeys. One can now see how within right wing social meanings of hierarchy based on birth are played out and Right wing is not one undivided house, although their ideological origins seem to similar.

q. There has been a constant attempt to see judiciary, executive and the legislature as systems out there independent of what is happening in Mangalore. But I think we need to see that they are very much part of these developments. Minus their coming together these incidents cannot happen. In other words the state itself is communal.

r. Within the Catholic church the 'charismatic' movements perhaps have done the most damage when it comes to building socially conscious people within the religion-group. The religion came to be constructed as the ultimate site of resolution of all social, economic, political, and personal issues. This then led to creating an apolitical subjects, who would now not believe in social intervention. (This is partly an insight I am borrowing the conversation I had with William da Silva two years ago)

Monday, February 09, 2009