Journal article / Muslim League and its new challenges in Kerala

26 Feb 2020
Santhosh, R., and M. S. Visakh. ‘Muslim League in Kerala: Exploring the Question of “Being Secular”’. Economic and Political Weekly 55, no. 7 (15 February 2020).
Abstract: The political trajectory of the Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala displays a unique engagement of religion-based political mobilisation of Muslims with secular–democratic politics in India.
In the contemporary context of aggressive Hindutva politics, the Muslim League is faced with the dual challenge of resisting majoritarian communalism while simultaneously countering new mobilisations from within the community that are based on a radical Islamic identity, but deploy explicitly secular discourses.
A critical appraisal of this situation requires moving beyond the pre-occupation with the formal aspects of secularisation and instead arrive at more substantive conceptions of ‘being secular’ that embrace deeper commitments to secularism, such as plurality and toleration.
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

Call for Volunteers for Malayalam Translation

23 Oct 2019
Shilpa Menon
PhD student, Anthropology
University of Illinois at Chicago
Hello all,
I am seeking volunteers to assist me in the translation of a report from English to Malayalam. Titled ‘Gender-Affirmative Healthcare in Kerala: A Preliminary Report’, it was released in August 2019 under the aegis of Queerala, an LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization in Kochi, Kerala. Having a Malayalam version will make it much more useful to transgender persons and advocacy groups in Kerala. Volunteers will be
clearly attributed. Please contact me for more details.
Link to the report:
Thanks and regards,
Shilpa M
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

Book / Last Jews of Kerala

22 Oct 2019
Edna Fernandes. The Last Jews of Kerala. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2015.
ISBN-9781634502719 / 256 pages / USD 17.99
About the book (edited): The Last Jews of Kerala narrates the rise and fall of the Black Jews and the White Jews over the centuries and within the context of the grand history of the Jewish people. It is the story of the twilight days of a people whose community will, within the next generation, cease to exist. Yet it is also a rich tale of weddings and funerals, of loyalty to family and fierce individualism, of desperation and hope. On the threshold of extinction, the two remaining Jewish communities of Kerala have come to realize that their destiny, and their undoing, is the same.
About the Author: Edna Fernandes is a British Indian journalist who has worked for many leading international new organizations, including AP-Dow Jones, and Reuters. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journals and the International Heral Tribune.

Book chapter / Llife and achievements of Sri Narayana Guru.

21 Oct 2019
Thadathil, George. The Transformative Power of the One World Vision of Sri Narayana Guru. Lal, Vinay, ed. India and Civilizational Futures: Backwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics II. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019.
Abstract (edited): This chapter focuses on the life and achievements of Sri Narayana Guru, a transformative figure in the social, political, and intellectual landscape of modern Kerala whose impact has been felt across all communities even as he remains a largely unknown figure in north India. The manner in which one person’s intervention in one community is receiving attention from individuals and groups beyond the shores of Kerala, and outside the original community within which he had his receptivity, is shown as providing the transformative power to effect social change not only in Kerala but even beyond.
Narayana Guru and his successors in the Gurukula Foundation lineage provide the vantage point for the potential of the movement. The unique approach of the Guru in challenging domination without antagonising the other, nor deprecating the elegance of the self, cutting through the societal sham, offers a renewed advaita accessible to all, as argued in this chapter.
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

Journal article / Establishing the Ownership of an Early Printing Press in Calicut, Kerala

20 Oct
Alex, Shiju, Cibu C. J., and Sunil V.S. ‘Chathurangapatanam Arunachala Muthaliyarude Vidyavilasam Achukudam’ [The Vidyavilasam Press of Chathurangapatnam Arunachala Muthaliar]. Malayalam Research Journal 12, no. 2 (May-August 2019): 4387–4411.
Abstract: ഈ പ്രബന്ധത്തിൽ താഴെ പറയുന്ന കാര്യങ്ങൾ സമർത്ഥിക്കുന്നു:
വിദ്യാവിലാസം അച്ചുകൂടത്തിന് തുടക്കമിട്ടത് കോഴിക്കോട് മുൻസിഫ് ആയിരുന്ന അരുണാചല മുതലിയാർ ആണ്. കാളഹസ്തിയപ്പ മുതലിയാർ ആണ് വിദ്യാവിലാസം അച്ചുകൂടത്തിന് തുടക്കമിട്ടതെന്ന ചരിത്രകാരന്മാരുടെ വാദം ശരിയല്ല.
അരുണാചല മുതലിയാരുടെ അച്ഛന്റേയും മകന്റേയും പേര് ഒന്നു തന്നെ ആയിരുന്നു—കാളഹസ്തിയപ്പ മുതലിയാർ. മുത്തച്ഛന്റേയും ചെറുമകന്റേയും പേര് ഒന്നു തന്നെയെന്ന് വിവേചിച്ചറിയാഞ്ഞത് കൊണ്ടാണ് കാളഹസ്തിയപ്പ മുതലിയാരാണ് വിദ്യാവിലാസം പ്രസ്സ് തുടങ്ങിയതെന്ന തെറ്റിദ്ധാരണ ഉണ്ടായത്. യഥാർത്ഥത്തിൽ മു അരുണാചല മുതലിയാരും, അരുണാചലത്തിന്റെ മകൻ കാളഹസ്തിയപ്പ മുതലിയാരും ആയിരുന്നു ഓരോ കാലഘട്ടത്തിൽ വിദ്യാവിലാസം പ്രസ്സിന്റെ നടത്തിപ്പുകാർ.
അരുണാചല മുതലിയാർക്കായിരുന്നു സർക്കാർ ഉദ്യോഗം ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നത്. അദ്ദേഹം 1850 തൊട്ടെങ്കിലും കോഴിക്കോട് കോടതിയിൽ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥനായിരുന്നു. ഏകദേശം 1865-1866 നോടടുത്ത് അദ്ദേഹം  കോഴിക്കോട് മുൻസിഫ് ആയിരുന്നു. മുത്തച്ഛനായ/ചെറുമകനായ കാളഹസ്തിയപ്പ മുതലിയാർ കോഴിക്കോട് മുൻസിഫ് ആയിരുന്നു എന്ന ചരിത്രകാരന്മാരുടെ വാദം സ്വീകാര്യമല്ല.
അരുണാചല മുതലിയാർ വിദ്യാവിലാസം തുടങ്ങുമ്പോൾ അതൊരുകല്ലച്ചുകൂടമായിരുന്നു. ഈ കല്ലച്ചുകൂടത്തിലെ അച്ചടി ശ്രമങ്ങൾക്കു ശേഷം 1860-1861ൽ മഞ്ചേരിയിൽ ഒരു ലെറ്റർ പ്രസ്സ് സ്ഥാപിച്ചു. തുടർന്ന് 1864ൽ ആ അച്ചുകൂടം കോഴിക്കോട്ടേക്ക് മാറ്റി. 1864 തൊട്ട് കോഴിക്കോട് നിന്നാണ് വിദ്യാവിലാസം പ്രവർത്തിച്ചത്. മഞ്ചേരിയിൽ ലെറ്റർ പ്രസ്സ് സ്ഥാപിച്ചുകൊണ്ടാണ് വിദ്യാവിലാസം തുടങ്ങിയത് എന്ന ചരിത്രകാരന്മാരുടെ വാദത്തെ ഞങ്ങൾ നിരസിക്കുന്നു.
1907നോടടുത്ത് വിദ്യാവിലാസം പ്രസ്സിൻ്റെ ഒരു ശാഖ തലശ്ശേരിയിൽ തുടങ്ങി.
1945 വരെയെങ്കിലും വിദ്യാവിലാസം പ്രസ്സിൻ്റെ കോഴിക്കോട് ശാഖ പ്രവർത്തിച്ചു. അതുപോലെ 1977 വരെയെങ്കിലും തലശ്ശേരിയിലെ വിദ്യാവിലാസവും പ്രവർത്തിച്ചു.
Abstract (English version): It is commonly believed that Chathurangapatanam Kalahasthiyappa Muthaliyar established the Vidyavilasam press in Manjeri/Calicut during 1862-1864. Drawing on digitized and other historical sources available in Europe and India, we show in this paper that it was, in fact, Arunachala Muthaliyar who established the Vidyavilasam press, and that it was Arunachala Muthaliyar who was the Munsif of Calicut court.
Also, we have located a new lithographic press that was established by Arunachala Muthaliyar before establishing the letter press. As part of this research, we are unearthing a few documents that have not yet been documented in Malayalam printing history.
More info and full text: Please contact Shiju Alex.
Shared by Shiju Alex, Independent Researcher, Bengaluru  (
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

Journal article / Malayalam Cinema and Christian Subjectivity

19 Oct 2019
Markose, Ambili Anna. ‘”The Green Pastures and Still Waters” in Malayalam Cinema: Reflections on Environmental Legacies, Christianity, and Minority Politics’. South Asian Popular Culture. Published ahead of print, 10 October 2019.
Abstract: The representational politics of Malayalam cinema post-1990s establish a normative Christian subjectivity predicated on cultural ecology and community identity.
This is also a reiteration of the caste-community underpinnings of land politics and regionalism that have bearing on the modernity experiences of Kerala.
The political and cultural premises within which Malayalam cinema construct this new mode of articulating the religious self is examined through select films produced in the period.
This paper argues that this Green politics of Malayalam cinema is pivotal in structuring a legitimate Christian subjectivity; specifically the Syrian Christian self, in a way as to compliment the dominant imaginations of region, religiosity, and modernity.
This discourse on the Christian interventions in the cultural public sphere also points to the contested genealogies of Christianities and the minority question in contemporary Kerala.
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

Book Chapter / Legacy of Sree Narayana Guru

18 Oct 2019
Sujit Sivanand. “Sree Narayana Iconography: Its Transformation and Impact on Society and Politics.” in Lal, Vinay, ed. India and Civilizational Futures: Backwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics II. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019.
Abstract (edited): This study of visual imagery characterising Narayana Guru (1855–1928) lays open engaging insights into the use of imagery in the spiritual and political domains. Often, imagery is used by opposing interest groups, each one representing the Guru as champion of selective aspects of their own ideology.
The paper explores how these obvious contradictions find room in the continuing legacy of the Guru. Also, sketches, paintings, and sculptures of the Guru continue to be forceful media in shaping these different narratives of the Guru, whether used as an object of a wishful visual (darsan) for believers, or used on captivating book covers meant for questioning students of philosophy. Imagery continues to drive story lines of this Guru, who upheld universal humanistic values, without mapping political, religious, or ethnic dividing lines anywhere on the globe.
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

Research Project Funding / Azim Premji University, Bengaluru

17 Oct 2019
Azim Premji University launching a Research Funding Programme to strengthen and elevate action on climate change. This is designed to promote increased understanding, and to explore possible action and responses on the climate crisis in India.
High quality proposals that examine significant questions of public concern in the following three areas are invited:
Climate change education and outreach
Climate change policy and action
Climate change adaptation in various sectors of development practice
Last Date : October 31, 2019
Shared to the KSM by : Muhammed Afzal P., Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS Pilani, Pilani.

Book review / Contested Knowledge: Science, Media and Democracy in Kerala

15 Oct 2019
Gopakumar, Meera. Review of Contested Knowledge: Science, Media and Democracy in Kerala, by Shiju Sam Varughese. Social Change 49, no. 3 (September 2019): 551–53.
Excerpt: Shiju Sam Varughese’s Contested Knowledge: Science, Media and Democracy in Kerala is a compelling work that moves beyond the focus on scientific institutions and practices as frameworks of analysing public engagement with science. Forefronting the emergence of ‘risk societies’ as a frame of enquiry, Varughese undertakes a detailed study on the relationship among science, media, and the public, and the role of the media in representing science in the context of Kerala through scientific controversies that emerged in the 1990s.
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

Journal article (OA) / Gendered Outcomes of Housing Formalisation in Kerala and South Africa

14 Oct 2019
Meth, Paula, Sibongile Buthelezi, and Santhi Rajasekhar. ‘Gendered Il/Legalities of Housing Formalisation in India and South Africa’. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 51, no. 5 (August 2019): 1068–88.
Abstract (edited): Urban interventions, such as state-led housing provision in India and South Africa, establish new legal landscapes for urban residents (formerly slum/informal dwellers), who become homeowners, legal occupiers of spaces, ratespayers, and visible citizens, although not in ways that are necessarily contingent.
These material-legal processes are also acutely gendered, underscoring wider calls for a feminist approach to legal geographies.
Informed by a comparative empirically driven study, this paper explores how, in both contexts, urban interventions work to enhance gender equality through improving women’s material shelter in the city, and introduce tenure security, often prioritising very poor women.
Yet, their implementation is riddled with slippages as well as operating within a broader poverty-patriarchy nexus. This means that these legally framed benefits have occurred alongside complex and perverse outcomes including unemployment, gendered tensions, and acute loss of privacy for some.
Housing interventions produce uneven legal geographies, with persisting gendered inequalities and poverty distorting residents’ abilities to benefit from material-legal interventions aimed at improving their lives.
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup