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India Sociology

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India Sociology

Jigyansu Tribal Research Centre was established in 1979 and has since been working for the welfare and development of scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and other backward classes and economically weaker sections of the society. JTRC works in the interior tribal belts all over the country through its 11 state branches and about 30 project offices and is currently operating in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, H.P, M.P, J&K, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Rajasthan and Delhi as well as all the North Eastern Himalayan States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim. The reputation and prestige of JTRC has increased over the years due to its hardwork and commitment to the people it serves and excellent cooperation amongst the executives and staff. During this period JTRC has worked with about 115 major tribes and 275 minor tribes in India and in South East Asian Countries. JTRC is extremely proud of people's trust and participation in its activities in the remote areas and is deeply grateful to its friends and sponsors in Government of India, Inter – governmental Organisations, State Governments and NGO's for their support during the last two decades in this struggle for achievement. During this period JTRC has served about 50 lakh ST/SC people and about 4,00,000 children in the remote areas through its research, training and development divisions.The year 2004 is the Silver Jubilee year for JTRC.
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 13:35:47 -0000
From: "Meena Seshu"<>
Subject: US accuses NGO of 'trafficking'

Dear all,

Please read the copied news item below.

We strongly refute the charge that we are pro trafficking. This is a
defamation of us as individuals and as an organization that works
for the human rights of people in sex work. This accusation is so

We protest this colonial manner of dealing with any resistance, dumping

us as traffickers and criminals. After the girls were sent to the CWC,
out of the seventeen, thirteen proved that they were majors by
submitting authentic certificates of birth proving they were adults.
Out of the
four left, two were school going girls and only two were minors. The
CWC has the authority to release the girls and did so, To accuse us of
influencing the CWC is also untrue.!!

Brothel owners are not members of SANGRAM that is totally untrue.

The MOU with Avert and I have documentation to prove the same, was
on Mutual grounds and because we refused to sign the anti prostitution
clause of USAID, not because we are traffickers! In fact there are
external evaluations done by Avert society that strongly recommend that
SANGRAM project with women in prostitution should be made into a
demonstration and training center, as a best practice. !!

Meena Seshu
e-MAIL: "<>

US accuses NGO of 'trafficking'

Rema Nagarajan Hindustan News
Washington, September 29, 2005

US government is getting tough on the issue of trafficking of human
beings. Indicating its seriousness on the issue, the US
government-funding agency USAID terminated funding to the NGO Sampada
Grameen Mahila
Sanstha (SANGRAM) for reportedly supporting brothel owners and
obstructing the rescue of minor girls from red light areas.

SANGRAM is said to be the first NGO to be cut off from funding for
trying to thwart rescue efforts. "It is for the first time in India and

perhaps internationally, as far as I know. I want to believe this is an

exception, an anomaly. But we are reviewing other programmes and if
there is any specific information that an organisation is trying to
people from being rescued from any kind of trafficking we will be
looking into it," said Ambassador John R Miller, director, Office to
and Combat Trafficking
In Persons.

In a letter dated September 9, the office of AVERT, a joint project
of USAID and the Indian government, informed SANGRAM of the termination

of funding.

The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the US
State Department had received reports about SANGRAM's role in
"thwarting rescue efforts".

The US embassy in India and USAID are reviewing a bunch of grants to
examine if the grants are being used to fund work that is contrary to
the US policy on trafficking or HIV/AIDS. It is reliably learnt that
funds could be cut off to four or five more NGOs in India on similar
grounds as SANGRAM.

Restore International (RI), a South India-based anti-trafficking
NGO, was part of the raid organised by the police in May this year in
Gokul Nagar red light area in Sangli, Maharashtra. Seventeen minors
were reportedly rescued during the raid. According to the RI report,
SANGRAM, which has many brothel keepers as its members, has been trying
thwart attempts to rescue minors in prostitution.

SANGRAM in turn has termed the rescue "unlawful" and has questioned
the claim that 17 of the rescued girls were minors. However, an order
of a judicial magistrate dated May 30 this year states that of the 35
women removed from Gokul Nagar, "17 were reported to be minors". The
magistrate had ordered the case for custody of these minors to be
before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), the authority that deals with

juveniles who need protection and care.

Ambassador Miller points out that with the court itself confirming
that 17 were minors, it was not only a violation of US law or UN
convention but also of Indian laws on child prostitution and

RI Director Greg Malstead when contacted stated that they faced
significant opposition from SANGRAM against the rescue effort. He added

that while the had no wish to pick any quarrel with SANGRAM, his
organisation would "expose and counter any opposition, from whatever
to oppose rescue, protection and prosecution".

Meena Saraswathi Seshu, director of SANGRAM, in turn, defends her
organisation saying that it is strongly against child prostitution
that is akin to child sexual abuse but feels that "a simplistic
solution as raid and rescue merely offered patchwork relief". She
states, "In 1991, before SANGRAM worked in this area, every brothel had

minor girls in prostitution. Today, police and this organisation (RI)
found 35 of whom 31 are in dispute. Why is it that organisations that
for the rights of women in prostitution and sex work are considered pro

trafficking, which is a criminal offence or pro minors in prostitution
when it is clearly child sexual abuse."

Seshu claims that Malstead preferred to ignore the high-handness of
RI members during the raid, and instead, got his organisation in US,
Restore International to complain to SANGRAM's international

The rescued minor girls have been handed over to their parents who,
it is suspected, might have been complicit in their trafficking, as
indicated by the statement of some of the girls to RI members. With
wide-spread fears that the rescued girls might be forced back into the
trade, the US government is not amused. "If the US is going to play a
leadership role in abolishing this modern-day slavery in the 21st
century, then we need to ensure that US funds go to support that effort
not frustrate it,"
says Ambassador Miller.


Message: 2
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 22:43:27 -0000
From: "Meena Seshu"<>
Subject: Re: US accuses NGO of 'trafficking'

Dear all,

This is to inform you that Mr. Sampath Kumar of USAID Delhi called me
this afternoon on the 30/9/2005 and said that they are going to
investigate the news regarding SANGRAM - US accuses NGO of

He said that in a high level meeting at USAID today, it was decided
that they will investigate this deliberate defamation of both me as an
individual and SANGRAM the organization. He has assured me that they
going to deal with this matter immediately and has requested that we
wait till we hear from them.

He specifically requested that we do not go public on this issue till

he gets back to us.

I also think that it is in our interest not to shoot off responses but
to wait and give them a chance to refute this allegation.

But by Wednesday if nothing materializes then we will have to
strategize on the next course of action. I am worried that if we do not
it may appear that we accept this horrendous and unbelievable

Why is it that organizations that work for the rights of women in
prostitution and sex work are considered pro trafficking, which is a
criminal offence or pro minors in prostitution when it is clearly child

In solidarity,
Meena Saraswathi Seshu
E-mail: <>
Seminar on 'Sociology of Education in India: Looking Back and Looking Ahead' March 9-10 2006

<b>(JNU)Sociology of Education in India:

Looking Back and Looking Ahead</b>

Zakir Hussain Centre for Educational Studies, School
of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Seminar in Honour of Professor Karuna Chanana
March 9-10 2006

A two days long brain storming seminar in honour of
Prof. Karuna Chanana, one of the leading Sociologists
in the area of Sociology of Education, brought issues
related to the institutional domain and discipline,
changing contexts, knowledge construction and learning
processes, identity exclusion and inclusion,
contemporary concerns, equity and discrimination and

The seminar had Eight sessions chaired by renowned
Sociologists of the country- Prof. Yogendra Singh,
Prof. T.K.Oomen, Prof. Andre Beteille, Prof. Ratna
Naidu, Prof. S.L. Sharma, Prof. Avijeet Pathak, Prof.
Mohin Anjum The session started rather with an
emotional note highlighting Prof. Karuna Chananas
contribution towards the discipline and as an
academician of repute.

In the first session, both Prof. Chitnis and Prof.
Karuna Chanana presented paper on institutional domain
and disciplinary trajectory. They identified several
problems that academia is facing, institutional
constraints of Sociology of Education, intellectual
fragmentation and social and intellectual changes.
Prof. Suma Chitnis, in her paper among other points,
emphasized the need for network and voluntary work in
academics. She also mentioned about the academic
contribution towards the policy and programme
implementation. Education is instrumental in bringing
radical change in society. She said that School and
education should work towards social justice.
Prof. Chitnis emphasized the importance of funding on
institutions and disciplines and she also argued that
the importance of the disciplines also depend on the
national standing of the faculty.

Session II was chaired by Prof. S.L. Sharma and had
papers that addressed the issue of privatization of
education at University, IITs and general education.

Session III was chaired by Prof Avijeet Pathak. The
session has thrown insights on the several
socio-psychological aspects of knowledge construction
and learning process. Prof Krishna Kumar delve into
the psychology of children and the context in which
the child learn. He mentioned the illusion that with
the advanced tools of storage and transmission of
information that we process, a democratic distribution
of knowledge is possible for the first time in the
history of the world. Techno-knowledge is possible for
the first time in the history of the world.
Techno-hallucination also hampers our capacity to
notice how division of labour, and the allocation of
work-related identities, are changing in a manner
which gives overwhelmingly greater leverage to
employers than labour can expect to have in this phage
of economic development. Observing the current state
of professional work culture and skills that the
education institutions needed to impart, Prof. Kumar
argues that the average worker of the globalizing
economy is moderately skilled, highly replaceable, and
endowed with a view of life in which periods of
employment are sporadic and they are not expected to
lend a lasting identity. He deplored the fate of
education in the present days saying education too is
adjusting to this ideal by casualizing its main
workforce, namely the teacher. He emphasized that
redefining aims of education in this era as judging
how the labour in different spheres, including
education, will respond to politics and technology
associated with globalization.

Session IV on Identity, Exclusion and Inclusion:
Education of the Minority and Women was chaired by
Prof. T.K. Oomen. The papers range from Minority
education, Gender and class in educational

Session V was chaired by Prof. Andre Beteille. The
session addressed the contemporary concerns/ issues of
higher education. In his introductory remark Prof.
Beteille highlighted how Universities survived but
always in changing form. This change, according to him
is nothing new. This shifting is occurring always.
Taking the example of Oxford University, he mentioned
that it changed its focus from theology to modern
disciplines. One should not think the boundaries of
any disciplines will remain the same all the time, he

Dr. G. Nagaraju had a very interesting presentation on
Globalization and Organization of Information
Technology Education. His presentation explored
several sociological factors that are associated with
IT. He mentioned IT education excludes certain
sections and include certain sections. He also
emphasized the point that IT education has negative
impact on other basic research and education such as
physics, chemistry, mathematics etc. He touched upon
certain interesting aspects of Andhra society of how
IT influences the status of bridegroom, why girls
prefer to join IT education in comparison with other
education, regional disparities and caste disparities
in accessing IT education.

Prof. Dhruv Raina emphasized on the preservation of
ideals of knowledge. Dr. Leena Abraham deplored the
gradual disappearance of the research Universities and
institutions. She attributed several factors to it
such as hierarchization of Universities and
institutions and subservient of university education
to the market demand.

Session VI was on Equity and Discrimination:
Education of the Schedule Castes. The session was
chaired by Prof. Mohini Anjum. Dr. Ravinder Kaur spoke
on reservation in IITs. Dr. S. Srinivas Rao
highlighted the discrimination faced by both teachers
as well as students in the IITs. Prof. Wankhede and
Prof. Padma Valaskar also highlighted the
discrimination in the Indian education system.

The concluding session was chaired by Prof. Ratna
Naidu. The session made reflection on the views of the
several speakers in the seminar. The seminar had
several enthusiastic participants from all generation
of sociologists as mentioned by Prof. Suma Chitnis.

Prof. Karuna Chananas contribution towards shaping up
the sociology of education in India as a discipline
and her role as a leader, guide and philosopher were
highlighted. The brain storming seminar which spanned
two-days was a success.

Sociology Conferences Worldwide Upcoming events
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Social Movements In India: Poverty, Power, and Politics
(Book Review)

Title main entry. Ed. by Raka Ray and Mary Fainsod Katzenstein. (Asia/Pacific/Perspectives)
Rowman & Littlefield, [c]2005
311 p.
$34.95 (pa)

Twelve academics from India and the U.S. contribute nine chapters based on an April 2001 conference held at the U. of California, Berkeley, focusing on social movements and poverty. The essays examine the shifts in state-society relations in India through three post-Independence phases: the quest for poverty alleviation and development during the early post-Independence period; the transitional period of 1964 to 1984, when the Congress-dominated state failed to achieve significant poverty reduction and other types of social movements--environmental, women's, and caste--increased; and the more recent phase, from 1984 to 2000, when Hindu nationalism and neo-liberalism have influenced Indian politics. For students, scholars and researchers.
Look at USA as a gaint social engineering experiment where each generation is "influenced" by some outside group.

A write-up by person X

This morning, Times of India celebrates the headlines that, "Harvard gets biggest international donation in 102 yrs, from Tata Group." ... 752185.cms The timing on the eve of Obama's India visit has strategic importance. This whopping $50 million gift is part of a massive trend that deserves some thought, so here I go...

One talk I gave compared how harvard studies China with great respect, while India is seen through the human rights lens - caste, women's "oppresion", minority "oppression", etc... Others gave specific areas of biases as well - from Aryan theory on. The result was that Mishra went back and advised the Ambanis to NOT give Harvard a dollar, until they would make changes to their stance on India. China, I was able to show, gets treated as a serious civilization. One factor was that China studies is done largely in Mandarin while India is studied in English. Also, China regulates visas for western scholars such that it blacklists those it finds troubling, whereas India is open and welcomes everyone without supervision, and fails to do any analysis after the fact as to whats being produced. In fact, Indians find it a compliment when westerners study them, as though suffering from an inferiority complex of feeling left out. Finally, a key difference is that Indian intellectuals are heavily anti-India because of pseudo-secularism and marxism deeply entrenched in Indian intellectual circles, and most important Indian scholars are western trained and/or funded and/or craving to be in their good books for fame and prestige. Chinese do not suffer such complexes, which in India are the after-effects of colonization. This is because Gandhi got superseded by Nehru in defining the elitist Indian ethos. Gandhi was emphatic about his Indianness, whereas Nehru bragged to John Kenneth Galbraith that he was the "last white man to rule India."

But the lure to become famous in harvard and dine with the who's who of white american establishment is too powerful for Indians to resist. The real "success" for most is when they are recognized by the west. This is what the west knows well, having studied Indian culture for centuries, and used precisely this knowledge to manage, control and topple one raja after another in the 17th and 18th centuries. Take the kids to Cambridge, play polo with them, have western women to flirt, etc. - so they can feel like admitted to the club as honorary whites in front of other Indians. After independence, the brits got replaced by the americans, hence the strategic importance of places like harvard.

Some years later, there came a call from a prominent Indian that Anand Mahindra was being roped in by Harvard, and he had given them office space in his Mumbai HQ. So I was set up for a persional one-on-one meeting with Anand Mahindra. He is a very decent, gentle, open-minded executive for sure. He listened to my frank talk. He was unaware of these issues which clearly bothered him. But he made clear that he owed a lot to harvard, as they had given him a scholarship to study there when his father had refused to support him go there. So it was payback time for him, nothing more. I also suggested to him that Indians who want to fund Harvard should fund their business school, which has become pro-India, but NOT the humanities which are the nexus of this "south Asian" nonsense. A few days later, at Mr. Mahindra's suggestion I had a brief phone chat with Harvard's Sugata Bose who was visiting India as harvard brand ambassador to raise funds. I have publicly criticized Sugata Bose for his writings that depict pre-Mughal India as uncivilized, his idea of colonial problems focusses only on British but exempts the islamic colonizers, and he sees de-colonization as the return to a unified south asia under quasi-islamic civilization (positioned as "secularism"). This, of course, his girlfriend and co-author, Ayesha Jalal, has very skillfully managed to make into the core curriculum on south asia at places such as Harvard. (Jalal while not on the Harvard faculty was on the committee of their South Asia program until I pointed this strange anomaly out, and then she suddenly left that visible spot.) Prof Bose was cordial and frank, and we agreed to continue to chat later - which never materialized. Bose also lashes out against his great grand-uncle, Subhash Chandra Bose, the freedom-fighter, portraying him as a fascist. Music to the ears of the harvard establishment. These folks bring in Kashmir separatists, Maoists, "abused Hindu women", Dalit activists, etc. routinely as the "voices of the real India." Anand Mahindra announced last month that he is donating $10 million to Harvard specifically designated for the Humanities.

I mentioned that Chinese government and Chinese private donors do an annual report on the state of China Studies in the west, just like any industry analyst would do for an indistry, and this guides them where and how to invest. This gives them the basis for evaluating a given program and negotiating from a position of knowledge about what is what in the discipline. He was candid in confessing that he had not studied the south asia studies discipline to be able to tell me what went on in depth. But, he remarked in typical India style, he thinks the persons involved in such studies seem like "nice guys" and decent folks. I responded that in evaluating a business investment, the due dligence would not be based on whether the management team were "nice guys" or decent folks in their personal lives, but that it would look for hard-hitting data and evidence to evaluate. Had he or anyone else studied the writings of such departments over the past 50 years, to be able to evaluate what was going from the Indian point of view? The answer then reamins the same today - no, they have not!

In one meetng after another for 15 years, I have raised such issues. One example of such an article I wrote in 2003 is on, titled, "Does South Asia Studies undermine India?" (See: ) I have also proposed that India could use its own India Studies and even South Asian Studies based in Indian universities (as a way to study neighbouring countries with an India-centric lens). I have argued that the money used to fund one Harvard chair (at least $5 million) could fund a whole department of scholarship in India. The irony is that even those who claim to be patriotic, nationalists, including those being described as "Hindu nationalists," seem confused and mixed up. The GOI has given major funding to western studies of South Asia - including both BJP and Congress led governments. Yet there is not a single government or private philanthropist report on the state of this "industry" that studies India, which consists of several thousand scholars full-time who come from various disciplines - religious studies, history, anthropology, sociology, political science, human rights, women's studies, etc. On the other hand, China Studies in the academy is secure in China's hands, with western scholars are "outsiders" craving to be allowed entry.

Before spending money, one must have a strategic clarity as to what ideas of India are to be promoted. Otherwise, well formulated ideas of India by various other institutions get to dominate - such as ideologies of seminaries, US government thinktanks, academic south asian marxists-islamists, etc. Indians participate but not on their own rules. Tragically, Indians do not even have clarity on this amongst themesleves much less being able to project it. At a gathering at Ram Jethmalani's house last year, I was invited as the featured speaker for the evening. I spoke on this very issue that Indians must take control of India Studies. One prominent woman activist (Madhu Kishwar) diverted the issue by asking whether the studies would be done in Hindi! The whole gathering easily got distracted by any odd and irrelevant idea, that should not have diverted them from the core proposition being discussed. Some others asked "whose idea of India" would be studied, would it be the Muslims' idea and dalit idea, or would brahmins dominate? Indians do not even have a consensus on what is India as we want to see it.

Earlier this year, there was a rumor that Infosys founder Narayan Murthy was giving $15 million to harvard to translate and publish ancient Indian texts into English, for popular reading. On the surface this seems good for us. But the details count and such details are typcially glossed over by Indians. The editor appointed for the series is none other than Prof. Sheldon Pollock (Columbia), even though he takes an explicitly Marxist view of Sanskrit - explotation by brahmins of dalits, women, muslims, etc. His famous writing, "The Death of Sanskrit" laid out his idea of its history as a source of power in the hands of a few. He has been editor of the CLAY series of Indian Classics already, and one has to see that to get an idea of his biases. (See: ) While doing a great job bringing out the "beauty" of the indian materials, the fact remains that he simply assumes and states the Aryan invasion/migration theory as a given without even raising any issue with it. Very elegant and beautifully produced, this series already has 46 volumes in print, and its influence is considerable. My concern was that the Murthy family might not have invested time and resources to go into the details of the issues at stake in the translation of Indian classics in the west. The Murthy donation will also take this new series from harvard, and send it back into Indian education, making this "Made in USA" depiction of Indian Classics the canon for Indians to study as their definition of themesleves. This is what max Mueller's works did a century ago. It is their money and they have a right to do what they please with it. But wouldn't it have been wiser if they had funded something to do with their area of expertise and competence, so they could at least evaluate and monitor professionally, and not depend on "they are nice fellows" level of naivete. When this rumor was critiqued by me, the head of the Hindu American Foundation inquired and concluded that the runor was false based on his "inside" information from the Murthy's. A few days later the official announcement was made. Also, Prof. Pollock was awarded the Padma Shri award by GOI at a Republic Day ceremony in Rashtrapathy Bhavan, for his great contributions to the study of sanskrit.

None of the reactions from the "Hindu activists" have made any sense either, be it issuing petitions or writing angrily to the parties concerned. They have failed to understand the deeper mechanisms at work. You dont fight a patient's infection by holding playcards shouting slogans against the germs! The doctor has to understand the mechanisms of the disease and how/where to intervene. But a lazy, incompetent man (despite his good intentions) would have no time to go to med school and learn all that, and THEN be competent to defeat the disease. He is in too much of a hurry, wants to make a big splash in public to look important; and hence he stands outside the hospital shouting slogans against the germs. This sounds like a strange analogy, but if you examine closely the "activists" at work, it is a fairly accurate one.
Vishram Gupte, a writer based in Goa, India, speaking on 'The World Social Science Report 2010: Some Non-Eurocentric Observations' at the Multiversity International Conference on Decolonising Our Universities held in Penang, Malaysia, 27-29 June 2011.

Video below:

shri Gupte comes across as a extremely decent, level headed and learned speaker. (IMO)

There are other related videos on the same subject as well. Some serious and commendable efforts!

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