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Recent Research On The Emergence Of civil society in Asia has illustrated that a range of nonstate actors have begun exercising a demonstrable influence on the politics of many countries in the region. Whether it be such grand manifestations as urban white collar workers or students mobilizing in South Korea to end the rule of Chun Doo Hwan (Lee 1993, 351); the urban Thai middle class uniting in the spring of 1992 to end the authoritarian Suchinda regime (Paribatra 1993); the more assertively political groups such as nongovernmental organizations in Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan working to protect the environment (Lee 1993; Paribatra 1993; Weller and Hsiao 1998); or the more prosaic groups of Chinese factory workers, entrepreneurs, crime syndicates, or qigong devotees slowly reworking the state's boundaries (Chamberlain 1993; Madsen 1993; McCormick, Su and Xiao 1992; Perry 1993; Wank 1995), nonstate actors are challenging the state's control over political life and attempting to redefine the political realm in ways that accommodate their own needs and interests. In Viet Nam, as Carlyle Thayer notes, the development of civil society is at a “nascent” stage in which there is still “little scope for the organisation of activity independent of the party-led command structures” (Thayer 1992, 111). However, despite their relative organizational weakness, Vietnamese citizens have begun asserting their own voice in politics. Emboldened by the 1986 Renovation (Dô'i Mó'i) policy's agenda toward “‘broadening democracy’” (Turley 1993a, 263), many Vietnamese have taken advantage of this opportunity to participate more directly in the political process.
Political conflicts around religious, caste and regional identities have multiplied in India. Whether one views these “million mutinies” as symptomatic of a growing crisis of governability or of a democratic revolution, analytical questions abound. Why is there apparently more violent conflict around identity politics in India today than at any time since Independence? To what extent do the character and intensity of recent conflicts differ from those of the past? What lessons can we learn from cases where community demands have been successfully accommodated? And, relatedly, what measures might alleviate the widespread destruction of life and property and create the sense of predictability on which all social order rests? The following essays analyze both the growing incidence of violent ethnic conflict in India and some of the conditions for their resolution.
Hu shi's play of 1919, The Main Event of One's Life (Zhongshen dashi), introduced spoken drama (huaju) to the modern Chinese stage, in imitation of the plays in the Western Ibsenesque tradition. Ever since then, May Fourth male playwrights such as Guo Moruo, Ouyang Yuqian, Chen Dabei, and others, in forming a tradition countering that of the Confucian ruling ideology, have treated women's liberation and equality issues as important political and ideological strategies (Chen 1995, 137–55). Female playwrights such as Bai Wei also depicted loving mothers and courageous daughters waging a fierce struggle against the patriarchal society, symbolized either by domineering and lustful domestic fathers or by new nationalist fathers already corrupted by the emerging revolution. The tradition on the part of both male and female playwrights of exploring woman as a metaphor for national salvation and a given political agenda was most fully articulated in the street theater that grew up during the period of the War of Resistance to Japan.
My mother grew up in a small Punjabi village not far from Chandigarh. As she chopped onions for the evening meal or scrubbed the shine back onto a steel pan or watched the clouds of curds form in a bowl of slowly setting homemade yoghurt, any action with a rhythm, she would begin a mantra about her ancestral home. She would chant of a three-storeyed flat-roofed house, blinkered with carved wooden shutters around a dust yard where an old-fashioned pump stood under a mango tree.… In England, when all my mother's friends made the transition from relatives' spare rooms and furnished lodgings to homes of their own, they all looked for something ‘modern. ’ “It's really up to date, Daljit,” one of the Aunties would preen as she gave us the grand tour of her first proper home in England. “Look at the extra flush system … Can opener on the wall … Two minutes' walk to the local amenities …” But my mother knew what she wanted. When she stepped off the bus in Tollington, she did not see the outside lavvy or the apology for a garden or the medieval kitchen, she saw fields and trees, light and space, and a horizon that welcomed the sky which, on a warm night and through squinted eyes, could almost look something like home.
In the years immediately prior to Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910, the historian Sin Ch'aeho posed a fundamental challenge to conventional assumptions about the limits of Korean territoriality: was the nation bound to the peninsula or did it more properly extend into the lands of Manchuria? For Sin, the answer was straightforward. Despite writing during the waning years of the Chosŏn dynasty—a time when the court could neither defy Japan's imposition of a protectorate nor resist Japanese pressure for Emperor Kojong to cede the throne, and when thousands in the Righteous Armies (Ŭibyŏng) were dying at the hands of the Japanese military in defense of the peninsula—Sin nevertheless called brazenly for a Korean Manchuria.
Numerous ethnic movements have over the years confronted the central state within India's multicultural democracy. India thus provides laboratory-like conditions for the study of these movements. In this paper I analyze three such ethnic movements—those of Tamils in Tamilnadu during the 1950s and the 1960s, of Sikhs in the Punjab during the 1980s, and of Muslims in Kashmir during the 1990s—with the aim of explaining both their rise and decline. The focus will be less on details of these movements and more on deriving some general conclusions.
Accounts of the various local, congressional, and national elections held in the Philippines since 1986 have highlighted three enduring features of Philippine democracy in the post-Marcos era. First of all, large numbers of politicians who held office for many years in the Marcos and pre-Marcos periods have won reelection, as have numerous other members of long-entrenched political families (Soriano 1987; Gutierrez 1992). Secondly, most of these politicians and clans have been known to enjoy not only political longevity but also economic preeminence within their respective municipal, congressional, or provincial bailiwicks, through landownership, commercial networks, logging or mining concessions, transportation companies, or control over illegal economies (Gutierrez 1994). Finally, evidence that fraud, vote-buying, and violence have decisively shaped the conduct and outcome of these elections (Tancangco 1992) has led some commentators to conclude that the celebrated transition from “authoritarianism” to “democracy” in Manila has been less than complete in its local manifestations (Kerkvliet and Mojares 1991, 5). With the revival of electoral politics in 1987, analysts thus began to offer evocative descriptions of, and various explanations for, the distinctive nature of Philippine democracy, with references to political clans, dynasties, caciques, warlords, and bosses appearing with great frequency in journalistic and scholarly accounts, and terms like cacique democracy, mafia democracy, feudalism, warlordism, and bossism gaining considerable currency.
By the time the Yongzheng emperor (r. 1723–35) issued the above edict in January 1728, criticism of Beijing's new confrontational approach toward the native chieftains of southwest China had already reached embarrassing proportions. With increasing frequency, civilian and military officials in Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan referred to the state's abolition of native chieftainships as “senseless,” “a plan devoid of vision and purpose,” and “wantonly destructive of life and property.” Ortai (1680–1745), Yue Zhongqi (1686–1754), and several other officials recently assigned to the southwest by Yongzheng were labeled “reckless opportunists” intent on inciting disturbances among native chieftains and the indigenous non-Han peoples of southwest China in order to further their careers (ZPYZ, He Shiji 2a–3b; Ding Shijie 16b; Ortai 1:95a–b; Famin 21a–24b; YZSL 46:20b–21b). According to one influential official assigned to the southwest, “Your humble servant takes this opportunity to inform [the emperor] of the devastation and misery caused by [Ortai's] actions, in hope this policy towards native chieftains will be brought to an end and we can resume the strategy of peaceful assimilation initiated during previous reigns” (ZPZZ, Zu Binggui 1772.6).
Reports from india's northeastern states—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura—rarely deal with the positive aspects of their institutional development processes. The national media mainly concentrates on the disquieting stories of unrest, insurgence, and violence. The negative portrait of this region offered by both the press and scholarly studies in India and abroad must be distressing for the people of the Northeastern region.
This paper suggests that an excessive preoccupation with violence and a narrow reading of the implications of insurgent violence on the part of the observers are responsible for a substantial misunderstanding of the Northeastern political processes. As a result, the positive aspects of community formation, the linkage of communities in wider political institutions as parts of the Northeastern administration and representative systems, and the contribution of these processes to the national systems remain largely unexplored. The history of insurgence is rarely narrated in the context of an equally long history of peace, social collaboration, political reconciliation, democratic participation, and innovations in institution-building and sustenance. Even the received narrative of violence is deeply flawed due to its frequent inability to attend to the possible rationality of forced desperation, and its insensitivity to the long-term constructive implications of many anti-authority struggles.
In rally upon rally over the last half-dozen years, Shiv Sena party supporters have been exhorted to intone, “Say with pride, that we are Hindu” (“Garva se kaho hum hindu hai”). In Hindi, not Marathi. This incantation as a centerpiece of Shiv Sena events would have been scarcely imaginable in the early years of Shiv Sena. Both the stress on a Hindu identity and the use of Hindi in political sloganeering are indicative of a major shift in the politics of regionalism in Western India.
This turn to Hinduism is what seemed to underly the outbreak of violence in Bombay on a scale never before witnessed in the city. In the winter of 1992–93, Bombay experienced the worst Hindu-Muslim conflagration the city has ever known. According to Human Rights Watch, over 1,000 people were killed, and tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands fled the city (1995, 26–27). It is a shift in which the once-local, nativist party in Bombay, the Shiv Sena, now finds itself the dominant political force in the state of Maharashtra, with a ready capacity to incite widespread violence, extract rents, and shape public policy and legislative initiatives (including the decision to first nullify and then renegotiate the Enron power project that recently captured global attention). This article attempts to understand the role of religious nationalism in the ascendancy of Shiv Sena.
During the period from 1795 to 1850, the East India Company Raj in India viewed forests chiefly as limiting agriculture. In Bengal, forested lands, classified as wastelands, had been included in zamindari (landlord) estates (Ribbentrop 1900, 60). Colonial administrators of this period also tended to perceive forests as being inexhaustible. Much of the woody vegetation, however, was not timber quality, being the product of a landscape long under shifting cultivation. The East India Company continued Indian rulers’ practices of selling blocks of forests or individual trees to timber merchants for a fixed down payment that encouraged great destruction and wastage in their extraction (Stebbing 1922, 35, 61). No attempts to introduce conservancy were made in the North West Provinces (NWP) or Bengal until after the revolt of 1857, even though the value of NWP sal (shorea robusta) forests was known from the time of the Gurkha wars in 1814–16, and the reports of Dr. Wallich, Superintendent of the Calcutta Botanical Gardens in 1825 (Stebbing 1922, 66–67, 201).
Eighteenth-century chinese commentators were eloquent on the subject of official corruption, characterizing it as one of the greatest scourges on the Qing state and society. Xu Wenbi (n.d.), in an administrative handbook based on his experiences as magistrate of Yongchuan county in Sichuan province from 1764 to 1768, bemoaned the devastating effects of corruption on the Chinese populace, writing: “Wherever corruption manifests itself, there are a hundred stratagems to suck out the lifeblood of the people. How can one imagine that the wealth of the region would not be exhausted in the space of a few years?” (Xu n.d., 1:26a). Yin Huiyi (1691–1748), who served as Henan governor from 1737 to 1739, stated that avoiding corruption should be the primary goal of any provincial official. “An official who has been appointed to a post should, first and foremost, remain pure,” he wrote, adding, “No matter whether his rank is lofty or humble, in the end, incorruptibility should be his most precious jewel” (Yin 1940, 4–5). Using similarly strong language, the renowned official, essayist, and historian Qian Daxin (1728–1804) pronounced that “when a single individual is corrupt, an entire dynasty may erupt into chaos” (Qian n.d., 2:10a–11a, 1:124–25).