Stanley ka Dabba...warm, succulent, wholesome...BUT yet...

We don’t really come across many “children films” in India.   I believe it was S S Vasan, the old doyen of south Indian cinema and founder of Gemini studios, who once remarked that there cannot be any children’s films.   For children enjoy what we as adults enjoy and perhaps enjoy more. So an average MGR film or a Rajkumar film is as much a children’s film as they are a film for an adult.  For even if we seek to define a children’s film as a film which has a child or children as its protagonists, would Louise Malle’s Goodbye, Children , a film about a bunch of school kids in world II France be characterized as an children’s film? It would be more appropriate to refer it as an anti-war film. Similarly Vittorio de Seca’s Bicycle Theives which explores through its neo-realism the working class world of post war Italy with a child as one of its central characters can hardly be seen as a children’s film.   But let us not get into such definitions and conceptualizations of wh

Reimagining education, learning and society...some ramblings

Schools, learning, teaching, universal access, textbooks and more ...Matters educational are tenuously holding centre stage in contemporary India where otherwise facetious debates on corruption, gender violence, caste and communal fracases, economic stimulus and likes, form the cynosure of public attention,   determined and defined mostly by hyperventilating TV news anchors and some by scholars and experts  in ed and op ed pages of leading dailies. But in their discourses, issues connected to education emerge often in terms of numbers: poor enrollment, high drop out rates or when lamenting the qualitative aspects; poor infrastructure, pitiable computing, reading and writing abilities, ( resulting mostly from) woeful teaching standards. However such concerns appear very normalizing wherein other knowledge paradigms and possibilities of learning and teaching is barely taken cognizance of. So even when the tardy enforcement of RTE, viewed to be a progressive legislation to universaliz

Tribes, castes,...their evolution, culture and problems...

Introduction - This relates to the chapters on tribes in the NCERT history textbooks. Often for young and old the word tribe has strong symbolic associations and much of it is as adjectives like ‘uncivilized’, 'uncultured', ‘primitive’ and more severely ‘barbaric’, ‘savage’.   Though many of these attributes do have a historical significance, in the discourse of commonsense these features carry strong negative connotations. These chapters in NCERT books - 'What books and burials tell us' ( Class VI TB), 'Tribes, Nomads and Settled Communities' (Class VII TB) and Tribals, Dikus and the Vision of Golden Age (Class VIII TB) seek to present a much needed corrective. But rather than dealing with these chapters separately in classes VI, VII and VIII,  it can be done as one long unit for a more comprehensive and contemporary understanding of tribal issues. The word tribe is a very loaded term and therefore I have tried to qualify the word often, though no