THE HEART OF THE MATTER – Development, Identity and Violence: Reconfiguring the Debate

THE HEART OF THE MATTER – Development, Identity and Violence: Reconfiguring the Debate Edited by Ravi Kumar (Aakar Books, Delhi, 2010)


  1. Acknowledgement
  2. Introduction – Ravi Kumar
  3. Thinking through Urban Debris: Violence, Terror and the State    – Nandita Badami and Anirban Nigam
  4. Through and Beyond: Identities and Class Struggle – Paresh Chandra
  5. “No Rehabilitation” is ecocide and genocide: Is there possibility of Hope? – Savyasaachi
  6. Ventilating Predicament of Development: New Economic Enclaves and Structural Violence in India – Manisha Tripathy Pandey
  7. The Artifice of Modernity in Nation-building: Analyzing the Case of “Postcolonial” Northeast India – Neikolie Kuotsu
  8. Developing Bastar: The Dandakaranya Project – Saagar Tiwari



Ravi Kumar
Glancing at the plethora of works produced in this direction over the last decade, displacement and violence seem the most popular characters of a much-debated, possibly over-debated area. Displacement has existed for centuries – for instance, kings would displace people from forests to convert the forests into hunting-grounds. But something about displacement today, makes it starkly different from the kinds that have existed so far. Perhaps, this difference can be understood keeping in mind the nature of modern nations which have emerged from the ashes of colonial empires, and have tried to ground themselves in the legacy of liberal democracy and the various other state-centric (people friendly?) paradigms of governance. The displacement of peoples from their areas of habitation under the garb of “development” can be seen across the history of Independent India; hopes of the people have been buried under the foundations of the “Temples of Modern India” which have been “constructed” one after the other, even as the state has continuously claimed to represent the interests of these very people. Of course, the nature and the degree of pretensions have changed, from the welfarist state to the neoliberal state…


Ghetto and Within: Class, Identity, State and Politics of Mobilisation

Ghetto and Within: Class, Identity, State and Politics of Mobilisation by Ravi Kumar (Aakar Books, Delhi, 2010)


  1. Acknowledgement
  2. Context of the Study
  3. Secularism, Nationalism and the Problematic of Religious Identity Formation
  4. Identity Formation and the Class Question
  5. Identity Politics and Ghettoisation
  6. Why Study the Ghettos: Some Methodological Considerations
  7. Identity Formation and the Ghetto: Reflections from the Field

Class and the Everyday life State
Control and Identity

8. Collective Identity and the Class Politics – Beyond the Appearances in a Ghetto


Chapter 1
Context of the Study
A study of the process of ghettoisation acquires relevance when the polity is being defined by identity politics and the politics of class is waning. The primacy of collective identity formation in politics has gained ground with the onslaught of neoliberal politics, laced with the ideas of localisation, difference and autonomy of subjects. Class as a category of analysis has been relegated to the background with a clear intent of marginalising possibilities of resistance to the system. A tendency, which is neither new nor surprising, to sustain the status quo has rejected dialectics as a method and class as the defining category of analysis. This is not to deny the conjunctural significance of identity politics insofar as it rips open subterranean repressions and resists the hegemonic powers and discourses. However, an identity politics, which fails to take cognizance of the balance of forces in class terms fails to transcend the systemic logic of repression and gets accommodated in the system…

The study of the ghetto explicated here makes an attempt to understand how certain physical and socio-economic zones within the city space remain outside the purview of contests to transform the essentially unequal social order. In fact, discourses within ghettos, which are defined by the sharing of a common religious identity and which see subjects as victims of an agenda furthered by the state or other segments of society, do not address inequities of various kinds and fail to locate inequality within the production relations that characterise it. Class is never a part of such discourses. These address extends only religion and caste based inequality (see Appendix I) and base themselves in the context of secularism and communalism, which in turn are analysed mostly in terms of their appearances, divorced from political economy. In the following pages an effort is made to understand how the idea of a collective develops from within the community as well as in relation to the outside world. It is a complex set which comprises of state, people and politics and which is explored to understand this dynamics which cannot be defined or understood without a context…

The Crisis of Elementary Education in India

Publication Announcement

The Crisis of Elementary Education in India (Sage: New Delhi, 2006)


  • Introduction
  • Equality, Quality and Quantity – The Challenges of Education in India Dilution, Distortion and Diversion
  • A Post-Jomtien Reflection on Education Policy: Child Rights to Elementary Education – 
  • National and International Provisions: Operationalizing the Constitutional Guarantee of Right to Education – 
  • Issues of Resource Crunch and State Commitment: Marginalization of the Equity Agenda
  • Educate Girls, Prepare Them for Life?
  • Inclusive Education in the Context of Common Schools – 
  • A Question of Equity, Social Justice and School Reforms: Terms of Inclusion – 
  • Dalits and the Right to Education Educational Deprivation of the Marginalized: A Village Study of the Mushar Community in Bihar – RAVI KUMAR

Global Neoliberalism and Education and its Consequences

Publication Announcement

Global Neoliberalism and Education and its Consequences, Edited by Dave Hill and Ravi Kumar (Routledge: London and New York, 2009)


  • Foreword – NICK GRANT
  • Introduction: Neoliberal Capitalism and Education
  • Neoliberalism and its Impacts
  • Neoliberalism, Youth, and the Leasing of Higher Education – 
  • Higher Education and the Profit Incentive
  • Trading Away Human Rights? The GATS and the Right
to Education: A Legal Perspective
  • Education, Inequality, and Neoliberal Capitalism:
A Classical Marxist Analysis – 
  • Brazilian Education, Dependent Capitalism,
and the World Bank
  • World Bank Discourse and Policy on Education and Cultural
Diversity for Latin America
  • The News Media and the Conservative Heritage Foundation:
Promoting Education Advocacy at the Expense of Authority – 
  • Markets and Education in the Era of Globalized Capitalism
  • Education in Cuba: Socialism and the Encroachment
of Capitalism

Neoliberalism, Education and the Politics of Capital: Searching Possibilities of Resistance

That the instruments of imparting education extend beyond the classical notions of classroom learning is a fact few can disagree with today. It is, however, not enough to realise that the process of educating a human being transcends the limited universe of whatever form of formalised institution of teaching-learning transactions and is finally linked to the approach that one adopts to comprehend the processes of knowledge formation. This process of education is also closely linked to the desires of the dominant social structures to limit our view of the complex processes of knowledge creation. A limited and fragmented view of the world not only hides the systemic contradictions but also makes possible a process of regimentation. For instance, one can never fully appreciate the fact that the elite castes of India – not unlike the entrenched hegemonic class interests in any social order – need to segment the processes of education so that it in turn sustains the segmentation of the social order. Not unless one overcomes one’s ideological myopia to grasp the link between the processes of knowledge production in a society and its larger logic of production.  It is this myopia that compels us to explain the teacher-taught relationship through the undemocratic metaphor of teacher as god. It is the intrinsic uncritical appeal of such a metaphor that leads us even today to claim that the teacher reveals the path to the kingdom of god. And it is this belief in the existence of a particular kind of system that celebrates the existence of gods – which bases itself on uncriticality and opposition to dissent, and concomitant subordination to spiritual and/or temporal authorities – that is responsible for our failure to understand how, for example, the Dronacharya-Eklavya relationship, by virtue of it being embedded in class-caste relations, is an expression of the segmentation of society along class lines through segmentation of education. And this holds true as much for ancient India, as for us in our times, wherein a vision of understanding educational processes as going beyond classroom and institutionalised structures is seldom encouraged. Even if it is done the connections between the mode of production and educational systems is rarely explored.

Read the whole article at Radical Notes