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Journal - Volume 7, Number 2, December 2021

Volume 7, No 2, December 2021
Table of Contents
Origin of the Bengali Language
Dr. Udaya Kumar Chakraborty
Abstract The origin and development of the Bengali language genealogically is established by the eminent linguists. It is known to us that, National Professor late Suniti Kumar Chatterji in his monumental work, “The Origin and Development of the Bengali Language” [ODBL] (1926) reconstructed the root of Bengali grammatical words and established grammatical rules based on historical principles. In a word, he has glorified our Mother tongue Bengali language, when we were under the bondage of British rulers. Particularly, in my opinion, without any historical and comparative knowledge of linguistic attitude, descriptive or structural even generative vehicle of linguistic conception is one sided game. In respect of Bengali language, the task of a generative grammar is to discover the Internalized grammar of a native speaker. And this internalized grammar of a native speaker resulted through many stages of development of language or languages. The linguistic heritage native speakers of a particular language possess in their mind, actually in several domains of their brain inherited from time to time.
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Choices and challenges of consecrated women leadership in Faith Based Organizations in India
K. Gulam Dasthagir and Shilpita Gine
Abstract Contesting the popular claim of Faith Based Organizations as a sphere of women emancipation, endeavoring to investigate the extent of participation, representation, versus exclusion of the consecrated women leaders of these organizations, based on case study of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta using Qualitative data through in-depth interviews with the women leaders of these organizations and utilizing the theoretical propositions like R.W. Connell’s “gender order”, P. Bourdieu’s “habitus” and J.C Alexander’s “neo-functionalist” understanding of the civil sphere, this article argues that even when the increasing scale and scope of the organizations increase participation of consecrated women in the intervention activities of the organizations in terms of empowering the marginalized as per their defined duties, their participation in the governance of these organizations is limited. While the hegemony of socio cultural fabric of Indian society, constituted by the dominion of patriarchy has led to the gender stereotyping perpetuated through Indian tradition assigning descriptive roles to the women leaders of the organization, reinforced by theology which even though define their role as ‘empowering’ the marginalized, their duties continue to be of service providers.
Keywords Faith Based Organization, gender order, religious minorities, consecrated women, women empowerment
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Impact of Active and Passive Engagement in Musical Activity on Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Levels of NET/JRF Aspirants during COVID-19 Pandemic
Samarpita Chatterjee & Roan Mukherjee
Abstract The study evaluated whether musical activity has a significant impact on psychological parameters such as depression, anxiety, and stress among NET/JRF aspirants when the examination was delayed, and there was uncertainty of it due to the alarming situation caused by the continual rise of the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) in the country and worldwide. A cross-sectional, web-based study was conducted employing self-administered Google forms to gather data from a convenience sample of Indian students. The respondents of the form were allocated to four groups - the control group (neither engaged in musical activity nor were regular listeners of music), the active group (regularly engaged in musical activity), the passive (regularly listened to music) group, and an active-passive engagement group containing participant's who regularly engaged in both active and passive musical activity. Altogether 139 respondents were included in the study. Analysis of the collected data showed that all of the psychological variables studied showed a statistically highly significant difference (< 0.001) between the four groups. Multiple comparison tests also revealed that the studied variables in all the musical activity groups were significantly different (p < 0.001) from the control group. However, the variation in the parameters between the musical activity groups was not significant (p > 0.05). It was concluded that engaging in musical activity may considerably lower psychological distress in terms of depression, anxiety, and stress, in a worrisome, uncertain, and life-threatening situation of a pandemic when examinations are delayed or put on hold by the competent authorities.
Keywords Coronavirus, Impact, Music, Pandemic, Psychological health
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New Forms of Discipline and Punishment and their Effectiveness in Schools of Kolkata: Voices from Classrooms
Rikhia Ghoshal
Abstract This article deals with the issue of discipline and punishment in schools of Kolkata since the ban on corporal punishment through the RTE Act in 2009, thereby ending an age-old tradition in the processes of education and socialization of children. The article begins with a brief evolutionary overview of the commonly practiced forms of punishment in India and elsewhere. Using a qualitative methodology, the aim of the study is to first describe the current scenario of discipline and punishment in schools since the ban has been implemented and then uncover the perceptions of teachers and students regarding their effectiveness for classroom order/discipline and socialization/moral development of students, which have then been discussed and analysed from a sociological perspective.
Keywords RTE Act; discipline; corporal punishment; spanking; socialization; emotional harassment.
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The Cultural Importance of River Island Majuli: The Living Heritage of Assam
Piyasi Bharasa
Abstract Majuli, the river island is situated on the north-eastern part of Assam state on the River Brahmaputra. The island is famous for the Vaishnavite culture owing to its typical role towards living heritage in the region. The Vaishnavite faith was initiated in Assam by the Guru, Srimanta Shankardeva in the 15th Century, which is being continued as the foundation of cultural practices in the Majuli. The living heritage of Majuli island consists of drama, music, poetry and dance along with the performing art forms, which are in ritualistic practices only within the premises of the Sattra. Every year a large number of visitors and tourists visit the island to witness the Sattras and its multi-colored cultural heritage. Majuli was included in the ‘Tentative List’ of World Heritage Site (WHS) under cultural category at 28th Annual Session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee (WHC) held at Suzhou, China. Majuli Island was declared as the first island district of India by the Government of Assam on 8th September, 2016. The present research focuses on the living Vaishnavite cultural heritage perspectives of the island and its tourism potentiality
Keywords Island, Satras, Vaishnavite Culture, Living Heritage, Tourism
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Preserving the Cultural Heritage in Terms of Traditional Religious Practices: A Study among the Tai Ahoms of Assam
Supratim Bhattacharya
Abstract Cultural heritages carry a unique identity for a particular community or a society to the outer world. Traditional religious beliefs and practices of a particular community as a part of their cultural heritage maintain the age old identity of that particular community. Religious practices may be observed in a patterned scriptural way or through oral traditions. In the light of globalization many age old cultural heritages both tangible and intangible in nature going to be vanished from our world. Though in some society the members from elderly class and priestly classes are trying their best to preserve their traditional cultural values, but the modern younger generation is less bothered about their heritages. In this context the present paper focuses on the socio-religious practices of the Ahom people in a particular geographical setting of the state Assam in India. Religious beliefs, practices and values have great role to play in every society since the origin of the community living in the particular society. Through preserving their age old traditions a society or a community can manifest their unique identity to the greater world. The study revealed the consciousness and awareness of the people about their own tradition and customs. Observations and discussions are made on their present religious practices, their rituals related with marriage, birth and death and moreover how much they are concerned and worried about the preservation of their very own cultural heritages.
Keywords Cultural heritage, Religious practice, Preservation
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Fish Farming in Rice Paddy Environments: A Re-look at the Ingenious Agricultural Heritage of the Apatanis of Northeast India
Kuntal Narayan Chaudhuri and Shreyashi Chaudhuri
Abstract The rice paddy is an agriculturally-managed wetland ecosystem with the potential to produce additional aquatic plants and animals as food, along with the staple rice. A wide range of traditional fish farming methods are practiced by indigenous communities in the ubiquitous rice paddy agroecosystems of Northeast India. The Apatanis of Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, are a small but unique indigenous people of the Eastern Himalayas. Their intangible cultural heritage represents the time-tested harmonious coexistence between society and their natural environment. These settled agriculturists practice fish culture in their rice paddy terraces in the form of running water terrace rice-fish farming system, the most advanced traditional rice-fish farming technique in this region. This perfect blend of wet rice agriculture and culture fishery, further linked with animal husbandry and social forestry, is an ingenious agricultural heritage system that is integral to their cultural landscape and cultural heritage. This indigenous hill farming system sustainably uses and manages local natural and human resources to achieve a better balance between agriculture and the associated biodiversity that underpins the functioning of this food production system. This agrobiodiversity and the intersecting facets of the intangible cultural heritage of the Apatanis, sustain this advanced rice-fish farming method with socioeconomic and ecological benefits. The significance of this model farming system with innovative strategies in the form of a wide array of traditional knowledge practices, is that it caters to the global environmental agenda by supporting the livelihoods of the Apatanis, ensuring their food and nutritional security and protecting their environment.
Keywords Apatani, Arunachal Pradesh, fish farming, indigenous agriculture, rice paddy, Northeast India, traditional knowledge practices.
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Deforestation and Feminisation of Poverty: A Real Experience from Nayagram Block, Jhargram District, West Bengal
Manishree Mondal and Chayon Chakraborty
Abstract ‘Feminisation of poverty’, the term coined by Diana Pearce in 1978 simply explains three distinct issues: women face a higher proportionate percentage of poverty than men; women’s poverty is more severe than men, and, the incidence of poverty among women is increasing compared to that of men. The relation between women and their immediate environment is very close in the forest villages of rural India. The economic condition of these villagers is not so satisfactory. The womenfolk are poorer than their counterpart. Mostly women are responsible for the daily household jobs, and also contribute to the family income. They depend on forests resources for their household requirements and earning also. Deforestation is a life threat to them; it affects their time, labour and money resulting in further poverty. Thus, women are not only victimised in economic terms but also in social terms. This study narrates a real experience of ‘feminisation of poverty’ in rural marginal forest villages of Nayagram Block of Jhargram District in West Bengal. This study shows how deforestation, the only one reason of environmental degradation, enhances poverty among women
Keywords Feminisation of poverty, incidence, environment, deforestation, experience, income.
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Fairooz Jahan
Abstract Marriages in colonial Bengal were jeweled with sets of customs and rituals which depended on the caste and class hierarchy of native people. But while talking about such an important aspect in colonial Bengal, one can not only focus on the natives. The foreign population of nineteenth and twentieth century Bengal mainly consisted of British who at first intended to trade here and later settled down with a long term plan to rule. During this long span, besides the political and economic sectors, social and personal lives of this population were equally vivid. Though there are discussions on native marriages in several research works, the British and Anglo-Indian or Inter-racial marriages in colonial Bengal are not much discussed. Till eighteenth century, the British mostly had affairs with native women in Bengal but their main families were in Britain. After finishing their economic ventures, they used to leave their native bibis and kids behind to join their families overseas. But since the beginning of colonial rule, great number of British began to be posted in Bengal and they stayed for long time, sometimes for lifetime. These young and mostly unmarried officials used to start and continue their married lives in Bengal during their postings. Unlike the natives, marriage for these British officials was complicated due to the scarcity of British women. Thus, many British officials found wives from native women and some British women also married native elites. But inter-racial marriages were often more complicated. The objective of this study is to portray the main aspects of Bengali, British and inter-racial marriages in colonial Bengal, their resemblances and diversities and will shade some light on the sustainability of these ties.
Keywords Brides, grooms, customs, consent, qualification, sustainability, marriage, Bengal.
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Solomon Islary
Abstract Witch-hunting a social evil that has been prevalent in most of the traditional societies; it, is based on the superstitious belief hanging in a balance of myth and reality. The terms such as witching, witch doctors, witch-mongers, black magic spell, witch-finder, are some of the terms that is quite relevant in traditional societies. When one analyze the different terms and connotations of witch/witchcraft one of the most important thing that comes out both in the traditional or modern societies, eastern or western societies, developed or underdeveloped, women has been in the center of it, the so called witch has always been picturised as someone with an odd ugly look, having dreadlocks, crooked long nails, dilapidated clothes, carrying a broomstick or a rod etc. has often been used as synonyms with women. Assam is popularly known as the ‘land of magic and sorcery’. The practice of witch hunting in Assam in general and BTAD in particular is associated with the traditional belief on the existence of evil and evil-spirits and the power to harness evil spirit to perpetrate harm upon others with the help of the spirits on the will of the witches.
Keywords Witchcraft, Witch Hunting, Crime, Women, Rights, Superstitions, Tradition, Patriarchal Society, BTAD and Assam.
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Health care and Health practices among Tribes: A study on ‘Yaws’ Disease among Tribes in West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh
Dr.J. Rani Ratna Prabha
Abstract Indian tribal communities are economically, socially, and culturally different from other communities. Their health care issues are different from others because of their remoteness, poor infrastructural facilities, inadequate health and educational opportunities, poor sanitation, traditions and customary practices and traditions. Indian central and state government initiated several welfare measures to improve the general welfare, including health, education, and sanitation among tribal communities. But majority of them are still following the traditional and indigenous health care practices. Home-based medication, native medicinal preparations, treatment from private unqualified health practitioners, and occasional visits to Primary Health Care (PHC) centers are the practices followed by the tribal communities. Hence the present paper focuses on the medical practices followed by the tribals to deal with an endemic disease called 'Yaws' in West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh.
Keywords Tribal, Health-Care, Indigenous, Endemic, Yaws.
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The relevance of dietetics in Gandhian philosophy: Mapping the trajectories of his experiments
Debashish Mitra
Abstract This article argues for analytics of dietary habits of Mahatma Gandhi through an argument around his practices and manner of articulation on discourses on food; his experimentation around dietetics and its relation to political goals in the light of colonial governmentality. Gandhi's dietetics practice intervened with the construction of Oriental as the 'others', showing that the subject (Indian) domain constituted the hegemonic order of colonial reign by presenting the superiority inherent in the colonial culture. In this regard, this article describes the emergence of Gandhi's alternative dietary habits, with analyses of discourses on scientific treatment of food as a part of daily livelihood, while understanding and arguing for the importance of dietetics as an integral part of the political world of modernity. It concludes that the broader contours of Gandhian philosophy and its introduction in Indian society through nationalist politics are uniformly appended with the formulation of his experimentation, not only with his philosophical and political goals but also with his daily practices dietetics constitute an essential part. Throughout, there is an attempt to present the symbolic and discursive construction of dietetics and experimentations to negotiate the individual's character.
Keywords dietetics, experiments, Gandhi, Ahimsa, vegetarian
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Food Culture in the Socio-Religious life of the people in coastal Odisha: With special reference to Pitha
Bibhu.K. Mohanti
Abstract The article focuses on pitha (a traditional cake) culture in the context of socio-religious practices in Odisha, India. It makes an attempt to show the way pitha are offered to Lord Jagannath and how it is also enjoyed as a household food by the people during festivities at the household or at community level. An attempt is made to emphasize on the traditional socio-religious practices related to pitha that still continue with availabilities of ingredients in the local niche. The Sree Jagannath temple of Puri being one of the four Dhams of Vaishnavite culture is also known as Bhojana Kshetra or Anna Kshetra for the gods. The presiding deity is also the epicenter for all socio-religious activities of the region and beyond. It is also an attempt to show how the populace of the region celebrates different festivities and gives due respect to nature and supernatural forces, thereby facilitating in creation of a conducive environment for co-existence.
Keywords Socio-religious practices in Odisa, Festivities at the household or at community level, traditions, vaishnavite culture
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Has the Flag Ship Programme of India Met Its Vision in Reality? : A Qualitative Study on Open Air Defecation among women in Rural India*
S. Kalyani and Nikita Ruth D’cruz
Abstract India is a country where people living in the luxurious atomic age co-exist with people living like those of ancient Stone Age While we have made phenomenal progress in technology and infrastructure, still poor sanitation practice and unhealthy environment is proven to be continuing. The year when Swachh Bharat Mission, the flagship programme was launched, Kancheepuram district in Tamilnadu had scanty sanitation coverage of 55.96 %. Over the years, the district officials working under this mission have constructed over 1, 81,166 toilets and have declared the district “Open Defecation Free (ODF)” on February 27, 2018. While the ODF status was announced, the challenge of sustaining the status yet remained and on the contrary, other parallel surveys kept discrediting this status. This study focused on eliciting the determinants of Open Air Defecation (OAD) and if still persistent, it’s perceived health effects and to draw suggestions for halting the practice by women respondents. A qualitative study was carried out in September 2019 in Asoor, a rural village in the district of Kancheepuram, after a multistage sampling. The guide comprised questions about Open Air Defecation (OAD), determinants, sanitation practice, perceived health, non- health, environmental and social effects. The guide also comprised questions to obtain personal recommendations by respondents on combating the practice (if existent). Focus group discussion (FGD) and 6 in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted among students, leaders, adults and elderly women till data saturation was acquired. Regardless of the challenges, under the aid of UNICEF, UNDP, the central and state government, etc. the village made remarkable progress over the last few years in sanitation and reduction in number of open air defecators. However, following the study, multitude of favoring reasons for continuation of OAD were identified: lack/incomplete toilet structure, habitual, poor attitude towards latrine usage, comfort, occasion to be combined with walking/jogging, poor awareness about the ill effects of OAD and low economic status to maintain if owned/used toilet. Space constraint, incomplete structure and unsuitability for elderly/under five age group population were mentioned in particular, for the households who had subsidized toilets. Almost all the participants of the survey perceived contamination of water and soil apart from the transmission of illness like fever and common cold due to the practice. Through the survey we concluded with a concrete statement that a lot more is needed for adaptation of a proper sanitation practice than toilet construction and follow up. In order to achieve/sustain an ODF status and to attain the Sustainable Development Goals interventions should be clearly multidimensional. Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), efficient fund flow system, penalties for trespassers, converting OAD spots into recreational or agricultural fields, proper engineering, etc. were few of the recommendations drawn from the field study.
Keywords Swachh Bharat, open-air defecation, women, determinants, rural, sanitation
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Citizenship, Cross-border Migration and India’s foreign Policy A Paradigm shift: Assessment of the Rohingya Crisis.
Sumit Kumar Minz and Roshni Kujur
Abstract India’s foreign policy towards refugees has always been welcoming in nature since India got independence in 1947. But India’s stand is different in case of stateless Rohingya, which is also criticised by the global community. Rohingya Community is one the ethnic minority groups living in Myanmar, a Budhhist majority nation. They have been facing persecution by their government through various forms since Myanmar got independence from British colonial rule. Time and again Rohingya have been fleeing from their dwelling place to the various parts of the world, particularly to Asian nations. India considers the Rohingya as illegal migrants and a threat to the internal security of the country. Whereas. International Organisations and especially western countries have been continuously pressurising Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya issue. But India never interfered into the matter of Myanmar, as it looks like India does not want to disgruntle Myanmar for a healthy bilateral interest. The paper intends to study the foreign policy for Refugees in contemporary India in general and Rohingya issue in particular. It also analyses the Citizenship Act of India in giving a scope to the stateless communities.
Keywords Citizenship, Cross-border Migration, Foreign Policy, Refugee, Rohingya, CAA, NRC
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Gender Preference and Culture Construct in a Matrilineal and a Patrilineal Society: A Study in Alipurduar District, West Bengal
Suchismita Sen Chowdhury
Abstract Gender is guided by the social norms and values. The concept of gender is often community specific. It depends on the social organization. Gender roles are the product of cultural construct. The status of man and woman significantly varies in a patrilineal and a matrilineal society. The present study on gender preference was done among the Mech, a patrilineal tribe and Rabha, a matrilineal tribe of West Bengal, India. The aim of this study was to find out the perception of the men and women of these two different kinds of societies regarding gender. How tradition and modernity in influencing the gender role and decision-making process has been observed. The study has been done on hundred respondents, fifty from each community. Data was mainly collected through individual and group level interviews. It was found that descent rule is the most important contributing factor for gender preference. Female are given priority in matrilineal society, while male gets prominence in patrilineal society. The change has been observed in the decision-making process. In both the societies’ decision regarding economic and family matters are taken jointly. The reason for women’s participation in important family matters was possible due to education and economic independence in patrilineal society. In Rabha society women are decision taker. They also take leading role in marriage and property related issues. Both the tribes still follow their tradition. Yet modernization is gradually influencing the perception regarding gender in these societies.
Keywords Gender preference, gender role, decision making, cultural construct, matrilineal descent, patrilineal descent, The Mech, The Rabha
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