Journal article / Sub-national Voting in National Election

Ray, Subhasish, and Anil Varughese. ‘Economic Voting in Multi-Level Contexts: Evidence from Kerala and West Bengal in India’. Electoral Studies 73 (October 2021), Article 102378. Published ahead of print, 14 July 2021.

Abstract: What determines electoral support for national incumbent parties and state-level challengers in sub-national pro-poor contexts?

Based on survey data from Kerala and West Bengal, collected prior to the 2019 national election, we find that voters were more (less) inclined to vote for the sub-national incumbent relative to the national incumbent if their household economic conditions were perceived to have improved (deteriorated) relative to national economic conditions.

Our findings indicate that voters in these settings correctly assume that the sub-national incumbent cannot be held responsible for changes in national economic conditions, but the existence of a strong welfare state at the sub-national level creates expectations that the sub-national government is responsible for personal welfare. Hence, the national election is used to assess the economic performance of both the sub-national and the national incumbent.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2021.102378

 

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Journal article / A Feminist Re-Writing of the Sabarimala Judgement of 1991

Uma, Saumya. ‘Menstrual “Impurity”, Women’s Access to Public Worship and the Law: A Feminist Re-Writing of the Sabarimala Judgement S. Mahendran v The Secretary, Travancore Devaswom Board AIR 1993 Ker 42’. Indian Law Review. Published ahead of print, 28 June 2021.

Abstract: The central concern of the case was the constitutional validity of a long-enforced prohibition on women aged 10–50 from entering the Hindu temple at Sabarimala (in Kerala), with the intersection of freedom of religion and equality rights of women as its backdrop.

The Kerala High Court’s judgement of 1991, which upheld its validity, was followed by a complex web of litigation and protests, culminating in the Supreme Court judgement of 2018 in Indian Young Lawyers’ Association v. State of Kerala. The 2018 judgement, with a majority of 4:1, held that the prohibition was unconstitutional and discriminatory against women.

However, by adopting a feminist analysis, I demonstrate not only that the Kerala High Court judgement overlooked women’s right to freedom of religion, but that the tools to deliver a more gender-equal judgement were fully available to the High Court in 1991, and had the potential to be applied to the issue.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/24730580.2021.1937893

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Book chapter/ Religious Identity, Family, and Gender in Malabar Migration

Rose, Sharon. ‘Migration, Gender, and Religion: A Study of Malabar Migration and Gendered Christian Identity in Girideepam (1961–71)’. In Home, Belonging and Memory in Migration: Leaving and Living, edited by Sadan and Pushpendra. Routledge India, 2021.

Abstract: Malabar migration refers to the mass movement of peasants from Travancore to Malabar that began in the early 1920s and lasted till the late 1970s. Malabar migration and the history of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Malabar are closely interrelated.

This chapter explores how religion became central to a mass migration and the relationship shared by the migrants and the Church in the process of the migration. The chapter also examines how various discourses on gender and family became pivotal in the establishment of the Church in Malabar.

Girideepam, a magazine published by the Telicherry diocese between 1961 and 1971, is taken as the primary source of information for understanding the notions of religious identity, family, and gender with respect to Malabar migration.

More info: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003199120-9

 

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Journal article / In Malayalam Horror-Comedies, the Yakshi is Still Trapped in Monstrosity

Aiyappan, Arya, and Johnys P. Stephen. ‘Yakshi at the Crossroads: Gendering Horror and Trauma in Malayalam Horror-Comedies’. Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Published ahead of print, 29 June 2021.

Excerpts (edited): Scanning through Malayalam horror films brings us across three iconic ghost representations—the Yakshi, the Pretham, and the Bhootham. Malayalam cinema’s configuration of these iconic representations differs from those conceptualised in the West. Malayalam cinema initiated the horror genre representing the ghost as a Yakshi, the spiteful feminine principle with an insatiable thirst for avenging the sufferings that she endured in life and death, Pretham is a unisex term designating a spirit, harmful or otherwise, whereas Bhootham often signifies a mischievous yet loving and helping genie, predominantly male.

Despite mutations of the horror genre into horror-comedies that have conferred positive connotations on the Pretham and the Bhootham over time, the Yakshi is still trapped in her monstrosity. The current article probes this monochromatic construction to understand how these representations work, why the Yakshi is denied a positive makeover, and what happens to both the characterisation and the genre when humour is interspersed.

She [Yakshi] remains the evil symbol wreaking havoc, never salvaged from the negative shades. Popular films rehash this image endlessly securing it in our ethos. Humour aggravates the injury, disarming her of any presumed threat by laughing at her to other her. Contemporary society is neither bogged down by the Yakshi trope nor inclined to deconstruct it. Deep-seated refusal to accommodate the bold feminine accounts for the reluctance to characterise the Yakshi in a way other than how it was conceptualised by the Brahmanical patriarchal society decades ago.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/10509208.2021.1939623

 

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Journal article / Forest Fire Risk Zone Mapping of the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

Nikhil, S., Jean Homian Danumah, Sunil Saha, Megha K. Prasad, A. Rajaneesh, Pratheesh C. Mammen, R. S. Ajin, and Sekhar L. Kuriakose. ‘Application of GIS and AHP Method in Forest Fire Risk Zone Mapping: A Study of the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Kerala, India’. Journal of Geovisualization and Spatial Analysis 5, no. 1 (June 2021), Article number 14.

Abstract: Forest fires are one of the most common natural hazards that occur in the Western Ghats region. There are many protected areas in this part of the Western Ghats; therefore, fire can pose a serious threat to habitats and wildlife. In the past, fires have also affected the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.

The objectives of this study were to demarcate the fire risk zones using GIS techniques and to evaluate the influence of each factor on fire initiation. The following factors were selected for the analysis: land cover types, slope angle, aspect, topographic wetness index, distance from the settlement, distance from the road, distance from the tourist spot, and distance from the anti-poaching camp shed.
The analytical hierarchy process method was used to determine the weights, and ArcGIS and ERDAS Imagine software tools were used to create the fire risk zone map. The area of the prepared map is divided into the following five risk zones: very low, low, moderate, high, and very high. The risk zone map has been validated using fire incidence data for the period from 2002 to 2020 collected from the forest fire portal of the Forest Survey of India.

It was found that 71% of fire incidences fall in high-risk and very high–risk zones of the prepared map. The validation using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, with an area under the ROC curve value of 0.795, confirms the prediction accuracy of the risk zone map.

The prepared fire risk zone map will help the planners, officials of the forest, and the disaster management departments to take appropriate mitigation measures in order to prevent future fires and thereby protect the valuable forest resources.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41651-021-00082-x

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Event / International Online Workshop on Academic Writing and Communication Skills, Research Methodology, Reference Management and Academic Publishing

Archbishop Kavukattu Central Library, Assumption College (Autonomous) Changanassery in association with Lore & Ed Research Associates organizes 30 Days International Online Workshop on Academic Writing and Communication Skills, Research Methodology, Reference Management and Academic Publishing.
Dates: 24 July – 23 August 2021   Time: Evening
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Journal article / (OA) Women in Cinema Collective: From Resistance to Leadership

Mathew, Jimin S., and Alna Mariya Isac. ‘From Resistance to Leadership: The Role of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) in “Voicing the Women” in the Malayalam Film Industry’. Journal of International Women’s Studies 22, no. 6 (June 2021): 150–56.

Abstract: On 17 February 2017, a popular film actress in the Malayalam film industry was sexually assaulted and harassed in a running vehicle as she was returning from work. A group of women came together as a collective to support the survivor and to address some of the problems plaguing women in the film industry.

The heinous crime was a blow to the conscience of the state of Kerala, which is considered the most educated and well-governed state with better living conditions when compared to all the other states in India. It revealed the long-silenced and unquestioned reality of gender issues related to the safety of women, pay parity, exploitation, etc., in the Malayalam film industry.

Though the inception of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) resulted from the chaotic situation of an unfortunate incident, this was the beginning of a resistance movement against the existing and persistent gender problems in the Malayalam film industry. Attempts were made to encourage discussions and strive to find solutions.

Through their vision of ‘equal spaces and equal opportunities for women in cinema’, the WCC creates a platform to voice issues that women face in workspaces and calls for policy reform at the government level.

This article discusses the WCC’s inception as a collective resistance to patriarchal privileges, analyses the limitations and dynamics of cinema workspaces, and looks at how dialogues continue to bring change, urging an investigation into gender issues and the difficulties that women in the industry face.

More info and full text (OA): https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol22/iss6/15

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Journal article / Politics of Knowledge Production in Pollution Governance

Binoy, Parvathy. ‘Pollution Governance in the Time of Disasters: Testimonials of Caste/d Women and the Politics of Knowledge in Kathikudam, Kerala’. Geoforum 124 (August 2021): 175–84.

Abstract: This paper draws on fieldwork conducted in the agricultural village of Kathikudam [in Thrissur District] in Kerala.
The paper looks at the ways in which the production of knowledge of contemporary pollution governance in India is configured through the reproduction of marginalisation through the devaluation of knowledge held by racialised and caste/d subsistence women farmers in Kathikudam.

This paper also illuminates how this production of knowledge and the attendant marginality it produces creates a sedimented form of disaster in the community.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.06.008

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Book chapter / Performing Ramayana in Kutiyattam

Shulman, David, Margi Madhu Chakyar, and Indu G., in conversation with Rustom Bharucha. ‘Reflections on Ramayana in Kutiyattam‘ in Richman, Paula, and Rustom Bharucha, eds. Performing the Ramayana Tradition: Enactments, Interpretations, and Arguments, pp. 213–37.. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Abstract: Set in Nepathya, a Kutiyattam performance training centre in the village of Moozhikkulam (Ernakulam District, Kerala), this two-part interview focuses on conversations with Sanskrit scholar and Kutiyattam expert David Shulman, followed by another interaction with two of the leading Kutiyattam performers in India today, Madhu Margi Chakyar and Indu G.

While the exchange with Shulman focuses primarily on the philosophical and literary resonances of Kutiyattam via Shaktibhadra’s play Āścaryacūḍāmaṇi, the conversation with Madhu Margi Chakyar and Indu. G. elaborates on the actual training process and rigour that go into performing Kutiyattam.

Avoiding the binary of scholarship and practice, this two-part interview demonstrates how the knowledge surrounding Kutiyattam cannot be separated from what Shulman highlights as ‘extreme individualisation’ and the complexities of ‘temporality’ in performing Kutiyattam. Conversely, Madhu Margi Chakyar and Indu G. reflect on how they position themselves as performers in relation to matters concerning textuality and the interpretation of āṭṭaprakārams (acting manuals), which constitute a form of knowledge in its own right.

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Book chapter / Performing Ramayana in Nangyarkuttu

Narayanan, Mundoli. ‘Writing Her “Self“: The Politics of Gender in Nangyarkuttu’, in Richman, Paula, and Rustom Bharucha, eds. Performing the Ramayana Tradition: Enactments, Interpretations, and Arguments, pp. 186–210. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Abstract: This chapter provides a historical perspective on the evolution and contemporary significance of Nangyarkuttu, the ‘female’ derivative of Kutiyattam, which developed into an independent solo performance form by the late-20th century. Against this background, the author focuses on the artistry and innovations of one of Nangyarkuttu’s leading performers, Usha Nangiar, who has succeeded over the years in recovering and reinstating several major female characters who had disappeared from the Kutiyattam stage.

Calling attention to two marginalised female characters from the Ramayana repertoire, notably Mandodari and Ahalya, the essay delves deeply into Usha Nangiar’s process of research as she recreates performances around them, combining an approach that is both deeply subjective and scholarly.

Through excerpts from a detailed interview with the artist, the author demonstrates how Usha Nangiar’s interpretations of these roles, while drawing primarily on the performative tradition of Kutiyattam, constitutes a radical revisioning of the same tradition.

More info :  https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780197552506.001.0001/oso-9780197552506

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