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IMJ

(International Multi Journal)


CFTRA Global
Confidence Foundation
A peer Reviewed Referred Journal
Vol. 1, No. 1, January - April, 2010

Chief Editor : Dr. Neelam G. Tikhha

Chief Editor :- Dr Neelam G. Tikkha

ISBN 8186067-25-6
Volume 1, No. 1, January - April 2010
Copyright@CFI 2010, Publisher : Confidence Foundation
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Editorial

CFTRA is a not- for-profit organization and a knowledge sharing


platform. It will also help building creativity, intellectual growth and
research sensibility. It is our endeavor to spread knowledge and
promote teachers, trainers, researchers and students worldwide. It has
become necessary to update and upgrade ourselves since
communication has become fast, inexpensive and no longer can
geographical space limit it. Any communication spreads so fast that it
is glocal. A click of mouse can transport words and infinite
knowledge to millions.
We welcome original articles and value the creativity and innovative
ideas therefore there are no publication charges. Scholarly papers on
any topic in any discipline are accepted.
We are coming up with IMJ Journal with ISSN guidelines for which
are mentioned in this issue .
Dr. Neelam Tikkha

Index

1.

American Diversity with special reference to Indian Caste Diaspora


M. Lal Goel

2.

Team Skills for the Gen Y


Dr. Neelam Tikkha

12

3.

Communication that Brings to Edge the Workplace


Sunand T

19

4.

Action Research A Language Teaching Tool


B. Sreenath Reddy

25

5.

Role of Khadi and Village Industries A Sustainable Development


With Reference to Silk Industry
Ratan Das

30

6.

Promise of Ecofeminism An Ecofeminist Reading of


Gita Mehtas A River Sutra
Dr. Nidhi Tiwari

36

7.

Progress, Prospects and Problems of Silk Industry in


Murshidabad District of West Bengal
Ratan Das

45

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American Diversity with special reference to


Indian Caste Diaspora
M. Lal Goel
Professor Emeritus of Political Science,
University of West Florida
www.uwf.edu/lgoel; lgoel@uwf.edu

Abstract :
Throughout history, all developed social systems (European, Islamic, Chinese, Hindu)
were socially and economically stratified. No society is a mass of individuals. European
society was organized along class, guilds, and religion (Catholics, Protestants, and
Jews), Islamic society along Muslims, dhimmis and kafirs and so on. India had castes, or
more accurately, jatis.
As a political category, caste in India is a result of British policies. The British
introduced the category of caste for purposes of counting population in the census that
began in 1871. The British began to rank order castes by status and economics. Many
petitions were filed by caste groups to seek higher ranking. Castes began to be organized
as political movements. The British granted special electorate to the Scheduled castes
around 1931. Mahatma Gandhi launched a fast unto death in 1932 to undo the partition
of India on the basis of caste. He almost died but he won.
Castes in India are different than classes in the West. Castes are not structured entirely
by economic differences. There are rich Brahmins and poor Brahmins. I grew up in
rural Punjab. As a general rule, Brahmins were among the poorer section of society.
This observation runs counter to the prevalent view in some circles that Indian society is
Brahmin dominated and Brahmin exploited.
The caste system in ancient times was not static. Castes rose and fell. Under extended
Muslim rule, a number of caste groups that fought against Muslim tyranny (for example,
Rajputs) were pushed to the outer edges of the social system. Among the sweeper castes
in India, one finds many Rajput gotras.
Different caste groups in India are comparable to different ethnic groups in the United
States. There are rich Italians and poor Italians, rich Irish and poor Irish, and so on.
Historically, American ethnic groups practiced endogamyJews married Jews, Blacks
married Blacks and Italians married Italian, and so on. This is natural. People seek
matrimony within their own social strata.
The caste defined Indian society is a model of multiculturalism. Different castes practice
their unique customs in marriage, child-rearing, food and worship. A multicultural

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society by definition is more democratic, open-ended, tolerant


Multiculturalism is much in vogue in the United States these days.

and

freer.

While there is much to celebrate about caste, any caste and birth-based discrimination
and preference, where it exists, must be combated.
Key Words: Pluralistic, monotheistic, spiritual

Introduction:
A recent article in Newsweek by Lisa Miller indicated that Americans are slowly
becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about
God, our selves, each other, and eternity. The author cites the following poll data: 67
percent of Americans believe that many religions, not only Christianity can lead to
eternal life, reflecting pluralistic Hindu ethos rather than monotheistic Christian view; 30
percent of Americans call themselves spiritual, not religious; 24 percent say they
believe in reincarnation; and more than a third choose cremation rather than burial.
http://www.newsweek .com/id/212155.
To this list may be added the growing caste-like pluralism and multiculturism of the
American populace. This essay describes features of Indias caste system, its origin, the
negative impact of Muslim and British imperial rule, and concludes with a description of
the caste-like pluralistic American social landscape.
Caste is Indias badge. When we think of Hindu India, we think of caste. Caste has
become the subject of national shame. All have paid tribute to the caste system: Gandhi,
Nehru, Ambedkar, Orientalists, James Mill, Abbe Dubois, and anthropologists G. S.
Ghurye and M. N. Srinivas. Caste is a specter that continues to haunt India. Yet, Indias
caste based society preserves and values social diversity.
Nicholas Dirks tells us that caste is not the basic expression of the Indian tradition.
Rather, caste is a modern phenomenon. It is the product of an historical encounter
between India and the British colonial rule. Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the
Making of Modern India, Princeton University Press, 2001, P. 5.
In pre-colonial society, Indians had multiple identities, consisting of temple communities,
village communities, lineage and family groups, occupational guilds and devotional
societies. Caste identification was one among the several social groupings. Under the
British, caste became a single term to categorize and systematize complex Indian
reality. See Dirks.
European travelers in the 16th and 17th centuries noted caste only in passing. They did not
emphasize its importance in understanding Hindu society. Alexander Dow of the East

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India Company published The History of Hindustan in 1768. He devotes only 1 page to
caste.
Caste did not strike early European writers as something peculiar to India. They knew it
in their own countries and saw it that way. J. S. Mill in his essays on Political Economy
said that occupational groups in Europe were "almost equivalent to an hereditary
distinction of caste".i
Abbe Dubois, a French missionary, was one of the most influential European travelers.
He learned Tamil and lived among ordinary people. Dubois had difficulty in converting
Hindus to Christianity. He attributed this difficulty to the Hindu caste prejudices.
Hindus are addicted to their superstitions and prejudices born of caste affiliation.
Nobody can change them. His book Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies (1816)
became the official gospel of the East India Company.
Christian missionaries in general were frustrated in getting Hindus to convert to
Christianity. Caste was blamed for their lack of success. All the abuse was heaped on the
institution of caste and on crafty Brahmins who kept the masses duped. After the 1857
rebellion, the British discouraged missionary activity. The British were fearful that
interference with peoples religious customs would foment rebellion.
Caste became rigid during extended foreign rule, especially under Muslim rule (12011707). A number of the caste groups that fought against Muslim tyranny were pushed to
the outer edges of the social system. I have been told that among the sweeper
untouchable castes in India, one finds many Rajput gotras, clan names. Writes Ram
Swarup:
With the advent of Islam the Hindu society came under great
pressure; it faced the problem of survival. When the political power
failed, castes took over; they became defence shields and provided
resistance passive and active. But in the process, the system also
acquired undesirable traits like untouchability. Alberuni who came
along with Mahmud Ghaznavi mentions the four castes but no
untouchability. He reports that "much, however, as these classes
differ from each other, they live together in the same towns and
villages, mixed together in the same houses and lodgings."
. . .during the Muslim period, many Rajputs were degraded and they
became scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Many of them still
retain the Rajput gotra . . .
The same is true of bhangis (sweepers). William Crooke of Bengal
Civil Service tells us that the "rise of the present Bhangi caste seems
from the names applied to the castes and its subdivisions, to date
from the early period of Mohammedan rule". Old Hindu literature

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mentions no bhangis of present function. In traditional Hindu rural


society, he was a corn-measurer, a village policeman, a custodian of
village boundaries. But scavenging came along with the Muslim and
British rule. Their numbers also multiplied. According to 1901
Census, the bhangis were most numerous in the Punjab and the
United Provinces which were the heartland of Muslim domination.ii
Ancient India had castes, but not casteism, the politicization of caste. Casteism is rampant
in India today. In its present form, casteism is a construct of colonial period, a product
of imperial policies and colonial scholarship. It was strengthened by the breast-beating of
our own reformers. Today, it has acquired its own momentum and vested interests.iii
The caste system in ancient times was not static. Castes rose and fell within their Varna,
the four-fold classification into Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Different
castes produced great saints revered by all. The great saint Ravi Das was an untouchable
Chamar, a leather worker. Saint Kabir was a Jolaha or weaver.
VARNA AND JATI
There are four varnas (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras), and hundreds of
jatis meaning birth groups or genus. Jatis are communities by birth which practice
endogamy (marriage within their own group). The jati marriage circle may consist of
some 500 families spread over 50 or 60 villages within a given region. Members of a jati
also follow common dietary rules and other social customs.
Each varna is divided into numerous jatis, birth groups. Some jatis are small, numbering
a few thousand members (the Saraswat Brahmins of Konkan region numbered 20,000
according to a 1971 survey). Other jatis are large and number into several million.
Theoretically, each jati belongs to a particular varna, but this is not always clear-cut.
Some jatis misperceive their varna or do not know which particular varna the jati belongs
to. Many lower castes identify themselves as Kshatriyas.
The four varnas are loose configurations with little organizational structure. Jatis are
better organized and jati associations are more common. When Mohandas Gandhi
decided to study in England in 1889, he was chastised by leaders of his Modh Bania jati
in Bombay, not the Vaishya varna. The jati rules prohibited crossing the black waters.
Gandhi ignored the protest and booked his steamship passage.
Jatis vary by region and state. Chetiars are found in the Southern states and Marwaris in
Rajasthan; both are mercantile communities.
ATTRIBUTES OF THE CASTE SYSTEM
The following features are commonly associated with the caste system.
Endogamy. Marriage is restricted to members within ones own caste. This feature
continues to hold sway even among the modern sections of society, although weakened.

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Occupational Specialization. Different castes pursue different occupations. Roughly,


the following occupational specialization was practiced. Brahmins=priests and teachers;
Kshatriyas=rulers and warriors; Vaish or Vaishya=merchants and farmers;
Shudras=service
occupations
such
as
carpentry,
barbering,
weaving;
Untouchables=leather workers and sweepers. The feature was not strictly adhered to
even in ancient times. In the Mahabharata, Acharya Drona was a Brahmin by caste and
yet he taught the science of weapons to his royal pupils, the Pandu brothers. Modernism
and urbanism has seriously eroded the occupational specialization by caste. All caste
members now enter government service, teaching and the professions.
Commensality. Caste membership restricts eating and drinking activities among
members of the caste. This was not true in rural North India where I grew up. Different
caste members shared their food and attended each others weddings (see more below).
Modernity has seriously eroded this feature even where it existed.
Hierarchy. There is some rank order among the castes in terms of status and prestige.
The rank order is not always clear nor is it accepted by all. It varies by region. In some
localities, Brahmins may be at the top; in another locality Vaishyas or Kshatriyas may
occupy that position. Status is not co-equal with economic ranking. Brahmins may have
a higher religious status but most are poor, especially in villages (75% of India).
Membership by Birth. One is born into a given caste. One does not voluntarily choose
it.
ORIGIN
The caste system has existed in India from very old times. Several factors contributed to
its birth. I describe four such factors.
1.

Originally it may have been based on Gunas, innate qualities, into the fourfold
classification of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Krishnas words in
the Bhagavad Gita may be quoted: The four varnas have been created by Me
through a division according to guna-karma, qualities and work. (4.13) Even if
once the caste system was a division of society based on gunas or innate qualities
and occupation, the system degenerated. It became fixed in birth and lineage. Sri
Aurobindo writes: There is no doubt that the institution of caste degenerated. It
ceased to be determined by spiritual qualifications which, once essential, have
now come to be subordinate and even immaterial and is determined by the purely
material tests of occupation and birth.iv

2.

Like other ancient societies, India was once divided into a number of tribes or
endogamous ethnic groups. Each tribe or ethnic group followed its own particular
customs and traditions. The tribal or ethnic groups became castes. Dr. Ambedkar
has drawn attention to this continuity between caste and tribe:
The racial theory of Untouchability not only runs counter to the results of
anthropometry, but it also finds very little support from such facts as we know
about the ethnology of India. That the people of India were once organized on

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tribal basis is well-known, and although the tribes have become castes, the tribal
organization still remains intact. v
Ambedkar did not subscribe to the racial basis of caste: i.e., the conquering Aryans
became the upper castes, and the conquered darker races became the lower castes.
The Aryan Invasion Theory on which the thesis is based is now discredited and is
no longer a dogma.
3.

Migration of people creates new castes. Jews and Parsees who entered India to
evade persecution at home survived as distinct groups within the multiethnic
Indian social mosaic. Jews disappeared in China because of intermarriage but
survived in India because of separate caste identity. Saraswat Brahmins on the
Konkan coast in western India are a caste group that migrated from Kashmir to
evade Muslim persecution. Tibetan Buddhists who fled to India with Dalai Lama
in 1959 are a new caste group. Tibetans largely marry amongst themselves and
follow common dietary and dress codes.

4.

Religious conversion leads to new castes. When a caste of weavers converts to


Islam, a new caste group is born.

CASTE WITHIN CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS


Christians and Muslims in India do not escape caste divisions. Both communities are
divided into a number of subgroups which function like caste groups. Christians include
Syrian Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Goan Christians, Adivasi Christians and are also
divided by state and region. A Tamil Christian may have little in common with his
compatriot in neighboring Kannada, much less in Delhi or Calcutta. Muslims are even
more divided: Sunnis, Shias, Bohras, Khojas, Ismailies, Ahmediyas,Wahabis and so on.
Christian and Muslim caste groups practice endogamyBohras marry among Bohras and
Catholics among Catholics. Admittedly, these practices are being eroded under urban
and modern influences. The following description of Muslim division is taken from
Imtiaz Ahmeds book, Caste and Social Stratification among Muslims in India, South
Asian Books, 1978, p. 142:
While there can be little doubt that the Koran recommends the
egalitarian principle, actual practice among Muslim communities in
different parts of the world falls short of the Koranic ideal.
Particularly in India and Pakistan the Muslim society is clearly
stratified. First, there is a line which divides the Ashraf from the
Ajlaf: the former are high and the latter low. The Ashraf are further
divided into four ranked subgroups: Sayyad, Sheikh, Mughal and
Pathan. Some would regard Muslim Rajputs as a fifth subgroup of
the Ashraf. The Ajlaf are similarly sub-divided into a much larger
number of groups. All these groups, the Ashraf and the Ajlaf, are
endogamous. Furthermore, they are hierarchically arranged in
relation to one another, the Sayyads occupying the highest and the
Sweepers the lowest position.

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The Ashraf-Ajlaf distinction is not limited to India or Pakistan. One of my Moroccan


Muslim students proudly told me once that he was an Ashraf and that other Moroccan
students at the campus were not. In Iran only Arab descent qualifies one to hold high
Vilayat-e-Faqih religious office. Only Arab descent from the Prophet Muhammads
Hashemite tribe qualifies one to wear the black turban. Other Iranian clergy wear white.
Ethnic specialization received scriptural sanction in India. Other than this fact, ethnic
specialization is not unique to India. It is common around the world. The Lou tribesmen
of Kenya, who live next to Lake Victoria, are fish merchants. Because of their reputation
and skills, the Lou control the fish trading business in countries of East Africa, as far
away as Mombasa. Even in the global business center of New York City, there are ethnic
concentrations by occupation. Hasidic Jews control the diamond trade in Manhattan.
The Vietnamese immigrants control and run most of the nail salons, and Koreans run
the convenience stores. Because some occupations are more lucrative than others
(diamond business for example), ethnic or caste income inequality is inherent.
Even Untouchability is not peculiar to Hindu India. It existed elsewhere. The Packchong
in Korea, Eta or Buraku in Japan, and Ragyappa in Tibet all had in common the fact that
these groups performed work that was considered polluting and impure. The work
consisted usually of animal slaughter, tanning of animal hides and scavenging. These
groups married within their own group (endogamy). The Eta in Japan lived separately
from the rest of society. Their work was associated with death, dirt and blood,
considered morally impure and unclean.vi Gypsies or the Roma people may be
considered European untouchables.
Just because untouchability existed in several countries does not excuse the disability
associated with it.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH CASTE IN RURAL PUNJAB
I grew up in rural Punjab (Ladda village in Sangrur District) in 1950s. My village
contained some one dozen different Hindu and Sikh jatis or caste groups. Population
count was taken by the number of family units, not individuals. Of the total 300 families
in 1950, the approximate caste breakdown was as follows: Jat farmers 180, Baniya
merchants 20, Brahmins 20, the service castes of Lohar (blacksmith), Nai (barber),
Carpenter, Teli (oil presser), Jolaha (weaver) 30, and two untouchable groups of Chamars
and Churahs (leather workers and sweepers) 25 each, for a total of 300 families. Some
20 Muslim families of potters and weavers left the village in 1947 to migrate to Pakistan
or to majority Muslim towns within India. Each caste was traditionally associated with a
particular occupation. But all did not pursue it. None of the Brahmin families pursued
the traditional priest-craft; some did farming, others did retailing or labor. Many of the
untouchables did share cropping, in addition to leather work. For each jati, the marriage
circle consisted of some 40-50 villages spread within a radius of about 50 miles. This was
60 years ago. With the availability of modern transportation and communication, the
marriage circle now encompasses a wider area.

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The village consisted of four contiguous sections or neighborhoods, called behras. The
untouchables occupied one of the four neighborhoods. All other castes were mingled in
the remaining three sections. Untouchable separateness was not strictly adhered to.
Members of the higher castes bought properties adjoining the untouchable quarter. The
primary school I attended was located in the untouchable section of the village and
nobody thought much about it. With the exception of the untouchables, all other caste
groups were intermingled. They shared each others food and water. They attended each
others weddings and special ceremonies. Even though food and water was not shared
with the untouchable, they were an integral part of the village social and economic fabric.
My Vaishya familys three immediate neighbors were a Brahmin, a Tailor and a Jat
farmer family. No taboo about sharing food held sway. As a child I accepted water and
food at the tailors home (technically a lower caste Shudra) and nobody in my family told
me otherwise. Nobody in the village identified the tailor as a shudra. Only after reading
books on caste did I know that the tailor belonged to the lower shudra caste. The barely
literate Brahmin neighbor pursued subsistence farming rather than the traditional priestcraft.
Many descriptions of caste system popular especially in the West are based more on
certain ancient law books (for example, Manusmriti, or the laws of Manu) than on ground
reality. Even sixty years ago in 1950, hereditary occupation was not much followed. The
principle of pollution and purity did not strictly hold sway. The status difference among
different groups was minimal. Only the practice of endogamy remained. And, things
have dramatically changed since my childhood.
Village identification was more important than caste or religious identification. When I
left India in 1956 to travel to the United States for study, the entire village walked two
miles to the railway station to send me off with their blessings. Many had teary eyes.
When I returned three years later, a similar reception waited for me at the village gate.
My emotional tie to the village is stronger than to my caste or religion. Even though I left
the village some 50 years ago, I make periodic pilgrimages there.
Mine was a peaceful village, like all other villages in the vicinity that I knew. Inter-caste
tensions were rare. Textbook accounts of inter-caste conflict are exaggerated or untrue.
There was small scale thievery but little serious or violent crime. There were no accounts
of girls being raped in the remembered history of the village. All lived in similar
housing, one or two room clay-brick houses with front courtyards where animals might
be tethered and cooking and washing were done. Their possessions were few in number.
Milk and honey did not flow, contrary to idealized versions of Punjabi rural life. But all
managed a healthful organic diet. There was the close-knit family and the larger village
community that gave one the sense of belonging. Fairs, festivals and wedding feasts
provided entertainment and gaiety. We lived reasonably contented lives.
In post-Independence India, caste has been politicized and arenas of conflict have
increased. Political parties now accentuate caste and religious divisions in order to garner
votes.

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Economic Disparity: The Untouchables were somewhat poorer than the rest in the
village, but not by much. All were poor. There was no correlation between upper caste
and economic standing. Theoretically, Brahmins were supposed to occupy the top rank;
in reality, they received no elevated status, economically or in prestige. Jat farmers and
Baniya merchants earned better than other jatis including Brahmins, individual cases
excepted. With land values skyrocketing in the recent decades, the gap between Jat and
non-Jat is even sharper. As 95 percent were illiterate, educational gaps were minimal.
One of my fond memories as a young student was to read and compose letters for the
villagers. Letters were exchanged only on special occasions--to announce births, deaths,
and marriages. Even though most adults were unlettered, they were not un-smart, unwise
or ignorant. With all my education, I would not want to match my wits with them.
The untouchables were fully integrated into the economic and social life of the village.
All worked together on the farm and all bought and sold from one and another. The
embroidered brocade shoes I wore at my wedding were made by the highly respected
village cobbler, an untouchable by caste and a friend of my father. I still own the flatsoled brocade pair. My village was typical of the ground reality in rural Punjab as I saw
it. The village had not changed much in several centuries. Major social and economic
changes occurred in the subsequent decades. In a 2010 visit to my native village, I was
informed that Jat farmers and untouchables not only worked side by side on the farm but
also now shared water, tea and food.
Brahmin poverty runs across North India. Swami Vivekananda tells us that his master
Ramakrishna Parmahansa was born into a very poor Brahmin family in Bengal. Writing
about the Brahmins, Vivekananda observes:
You have heard of the Brahmins and their priest-craft many
times. . . They are the poorest of all the classes in the country,
and the secret of their power lies in their renunciation. . . . Theirs
is the poorest priesthood in the world.vii
Writing about life in West Punjab, now part of Pakistan, Prakash Tandon gives a similar
picture of Brahmin poverty (Punjabi Century: 1857-1947, Chatto and Winds, 1961). I
write about Brahmin poverty to counter the often made statements that Brahmins are the
top dogs and that they have exploited India.
In South India in contrast, I have been told that Brahmins do hold land and property.
Temple entry was denied to the untouchables in the past. On the other hand, Brahmins
are systematically discriminated against in present day India, especially in Tamil Nad.
Reservation quotas in state employment for the lower castes are vigorously pursued all
across India. The temple exclusions for the untouchables and caste-based discriminatory
practices in employment of course need to end.
NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE ASPECTS OF CASTE
Caste has too long been the bane of Indian society. Negative aspects of the caste based
hierarchy in status and economic differences have received much scholarly attention.
Where these exist, they must go. Caste based discrimination where it remains must end.

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But the positive aspects of the caste system need to be recognized. Caste based society is
a tolerant society. It celebrates our cultural differences. Different castes practice their
own customs in marriage, worship, food and dress. Minorities, whether religious, racial,
language or ethnic, retain their cultural distinctiveness within the larger Hindu caste
system.
Caste system is a model of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic tolerant society. In contrast,
egalitarian societies that emphasize universalism (one set of laws and customs for all)
often use force and coercion to achieve oneness. Note the following negative
consequences of universalism.

Stalin liquidated 30 to 40 million Russians in order to create a classless egalitarian


communist society in the Soviet Union. The same goes for Maoist China.
The Islamic conquest of the Middle East resulted in the exile and murder of hordes
of non-Muslims, called Kafirs. Non-Muslims, when tolerated, were turned into
Dhimmis, third-class citizens. Before the advent of Islam, the Middle Eastern
countries were religiously and ethnically diverse. Jews, Christians, and Pagans
lived side by side in equal status.viii
During the Church sanctioned Inquisition that lasted several hundred years in
Europe, especially in Spain and Portugal, many were tortured, liquidated or exiled.
Inquisition reached as far as Goa on the Indian coast.ix

With emphasis on pluralism and cultural diversity, the caste based society escapes such
large scale onslaughts on people. Different caste, religious, ethnic and language groups
follow their particular modes of living and religious belief.
i

Quoted in Ram Swarup, Logic behind perversion of caste, The Indian Express, 13 September,
1996.
Available at: http://indianrealist.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/what-caste-actually-was-like/ . A
must read piece.
ii

Ram Swarup, Ibid.

iii

Ram Swarup, Ibid.

iv

Sri Aurobindo, Indias Rebirth, p 27

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches, V 1, p 303.

vi

Harold A. Gould, The Hindu Caste System, V. 1, Delhi: Chanakya Publishers, 1987, p 82-83.

vii

My Master, delivered in New York City, published in Inspired Talks, RamakrishnaVivekananda Center, NY, 1987, p. 157.
viii

See Bat Yeor: Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, Fairleigh Dickinson
University Press, 2001

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ix

Richard Zimler reports in his book Guardian of the Dawn that the Portuguese Inquisition in
Goa was the most merciless and cruel ever developed. It was a machinery of death. Over the
250 years (1560 to about 1812), any man, woman or child could be arrested and tortured for
simply saying a prayer, wearing a religious symbol or keeping an idol at home. The Portuguese
are nostalgic about Goa and think of it as a glorious island, peaceful, multicultural and
prosperous. Indians also are not aware of the horrors of the Inquisition in Goa. Visit:
http://www.christianaggression.org/item_display.php?id=1126738163&type=articles .
ix

There are different accounts as to when Christianity came to Kerala. It is now generally agreed
that Christianity was not introduced by St Thomas in the first century but by Syrian merchant
Thomas Cananeus in the 4th century. See http://folks.co.in/2009/11/st-thomas-in-india-myth-ortruth/
ix
Most Indian Jews have migrated to Israel in the recent decades for economic reasons. They
did not depart because of any persecution or discrimination in India but for economic advantage,
as publically stated by them.
ix
Koenraad Elst, Who is a Hindu?, Voice of India, 2001; Ch 1, at: http://voiceofdharma.org/
books/wiah/ch1.htm .

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Team Skills for the Gen Y


Dr. Neelam TIkkha
Abstact
The world is shrinking day by day and the products are moving great miles . It has
become very essential to understand cultural differences. Moreover, the demand of the
day is increasing and the world is becoming more and more competitive. Corporate
houses prefer people with good soft skills since they would have a good team that would
lead them to progress.
It is believed that high levels of IQ, that is intelligence quotient, may give you an
interview but high levels of EQ , emotional quotient, will reward you with a job and life
long altitude. But, It is a sad reality that Education curricula in India and other
developing countries lay more emphasis on the development of (IQ) but do not focus on
developing Emotional quotient (EQ) . Emotional quotient relates with the development of
soft skills. The world is becoming global and piercingly competitive every year. To have a
competitive edge, one needs to have an edge over others by having interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills are very important, since an individual may be a good worker, but
may not be a group worker, and the demand of the day is group worker. The real growth
of the organization takes place, only when a person is able to work in a group. These
interpersonal skills which help to function in a group are termed as Soft skills.
Key Words: Interpersonal skills, Soft skills, Emotional quotient

Introduction :
It is believed that high levels of IQ, that is intelligence quotient, may give you an
interview but high levels of EQ , emotional quotient, will reward you with a job and life
long altitude. But, It is a sad reality that Education curricula in India and other developing
countries lay more emphasis on the development of ( IQ) but do not focus on developing
Emotional quotient (EQ ) . Emotional quotient relates with the development of soft skills.
The world is becoming global and piercingly competitive every year. To have a
competitive edge one needs to have an edge over others by having interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills are very important since individual may be a good worker but may
not be a group worker and the demand of the day is group worker, because real growth of
the organization takes place only when a person is able to work in a group. These
interpersonal skills which help to function in a group are termed as Soft skills.
Definitions: A look into Wikipedias definition, of soft skills, will lucidly explicate the
meaning and the use of the term in modern sense:

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soft skills as a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ"


(Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality
traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits,
friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with
other people.[1] Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a
person's IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job
and many other activities. 1
Another elaborate definition has been given by Mohan Rao,2 a technical director
with Emmellen Biotech Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mumbai [ Images ] defines a 'good attitude:
"It is a behavioural skill, which cannot be taught. However it can be developed through
continuous training. It represents the reactive nature of the individual and is
about looking at things with the right perspective. You must be ready to solve problems
proactively and create win-win situations. And you must be able to take ownership that is
the responsibility for your actions and lead from the front without calling it quits at the
most critical moment."
Hence, it is observed that, a number of CEOs and human resource managers prefer to
hire people with high levels of soft skills and train them for the specific jobs that are
available. They are looking for learning to learn . They are also looking for competence
in listening, reading, writing and computing skills. According to the Managers and
CEOs, hard-skills do not matter much, at the time of the interview, since the everchanging impact of the technology has given the workers , a short shelf life as far as hardskills are concerned.
It is easy to find people with hard skills that have the capability to operate machinery or
fulfill other tasks but there is a scarcity of people with soft skills, which are highly
required by the most companies as has already been mentioned that in India and other
developing countries, soft skills training has become even more important since the
education system does not include personality development or any of the soft skills
required for future jobs, anywhere in its stream of academic curricula. Corporate houses
invest a lot of money on soft skills training in order to groom their employees to help
them develop interpersonal skills so that they can present themselves in a better manner
and improve their performance.
A survey was conducted by the Workforce Profile, (source: www.workforce.com) , who
concluded in to believing that , the more valuable is the employee , who can grow and
learn as the business changes. 3
Soft skills "are as important, if not more important, than traditional hard skills to an
employer looking to hire -- regardless of industry or job type. This could offer a major
breakthrough as educators and training providers seek to develop and cluster training
courses to fit business and industry needs."
4

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Top 60 soft skills


The Workforce Profile defined about 60 "soft skills", which employers seek. They
are applicable to any field of work, according to the study, and are the "personal traits
and skills that employers state are the most important when selecting employees for jobs
of any type." 5
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.

Math.
Safety.
Courtesy.
Honesty.
Grammar.
Reliability.
Flexibility.
Team skills.
Eye contact.
Cooperation.
Adaptability.
Follow rules.
Self-directed.
Good attitude.
Writing skills.
Driver's license.
Dependability.
Advanced math.
Self-supervising.
Good references.
Being drug free.
Good attendance.
Personal energy.
Work experience.
Ability to measure.
Personal integrity.
Good work history.
Positive work ethic.
Interpersonal skills.
Motivational skills.
Valuing education.
Personal chemistry.
Willingness to learn.
Common sense.
Critical thinking skills.
Knowledge of fractions.
Reporting to work on time.
Use of rulers and calculators.

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39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58.
59.
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Good personal appearance.


Wanting to do a good job.
Basic spelling and grammar.
Reading and comprehension.
Ability to follow regulations.
Willingness to be accountable.
Ability to fill out a job application.
Ability to make production quotas.
Basic manufacturing skills training.
Awareness of how business works.
Staying on the job until it is finished.
Ability to read and follow instructions.
Willingness to work second and third shifts.
Caring about seeing the company succeed.
Understanding what the world is all about.
Ability to listen and document what you have heard.
Commitment to continued training and learning.
Willingness to take instruction and responsibility.
Ability to relate to coworkers in a close environment.
Not expecting to become a supervisor in the first six months.
Willingness to be a good worker and go beyond the traditional eight-hour day.
Communication skills with public, fellow employees, supervisors, and customers.

According to me some more could be added to this exhaustive list like


Negotiation Skills
Tackling Mercurial Mavericks Adapting to Change
Mentoring
Ability to lead through precepts
Walk the talk
Willingness to take initiative in community work
Being responsible for creating good image of organization in the community and society
at large.
Willing to change attitude and approach.
Technical competence
Computing competence
Ability to undertake learning all life
Good interpersonal skills both transmitting and receiving information.
Working with multilingual teams.
Interdisciplinary knowledge and ability to work with such teams

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Ability to work with multilingual teams


Thinking laterally and creatively
Flexibility to tackle and solve wide ranging ill defined problems
Ability to interact with other discipline and cultures should be well developed.
Problem solving based learning ability.
Empathy
But, The most important one is communication, communication
and communication.
The following case studies will illustrate the importance of soft skills:
Case Study : 1
A teachers handbook was bought from Flipkart .com . Before making a purchase a clear
cut information was given on phone by a very helpful executive. But seller and purchaser
both did not realize that book is useless without students book. When the customer
mentioned this problem, Flipkart immediately refunded the money along with postal
charges on the return of book.
This case reflects a helpful approach, good communication skill and empathy which is
very essential in furthering the business and retention of old customers.
Case Study :2
An individual paid for hotel booking through ICICI credit card. The individual was
overcharged because of some technical error at the website .The matter was reported to
the Credit Card department . An executive from the department said , Dont worry even
if the payment has been done we would support you and take up the case for you and
immediately interim cash was credited to the account. Without any reminders things were
done. It had built up an image of the service provider and it also helped in giving
confidence to use the card more.
The above mentioned case reflects very powerful communication skill and empathy.
Case Study : 3
An individual escalated the complaint to the MD of ICICI Lombard and the case was
directed to the executive and the executive replies that since the file has been closed now
whenever you meet with another accident then I will get the repairs done that have not
been done this time. And further, there are mails being sent again and again, that ask for
same information.

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Any organization with its good intentions of helping customers will fail to get the
desired results even with highly effective catch lines like Khayal Apka if people on
the lower rung are not educated enough for soft skills.
What we find missing in this case was empathy and Communication Skills.
Case study : 4
O Generals inverter Ac was a total failure in 49 C temperature in Nagpur but the service
engineer kept on forcing the customer to believe that it is perfectly OK. The customer
was not satisfied but still service engineer was forceful and kept on insisting. He was over
confident about his product and would remark My company is so big that if one or two
customers are not satisfied with our product than that would not harm my companies
image or profit. After a lot of experiments at the cost of the customer the product was
taken back after deduction of INR 6500/= The customer care was also too irresponsible
Another major attitude, that company employees reflected, was that they would neither
respond to the mails nor phone calls and throughout the organization from top to bottom,
same work culture was reflected.
This case reflects that empathy and good attitude are missing out and Communication
Skills are poor. The company has ruined its image by tackling the issue pathetically.
When the company spends so much money on the advertisements why does it not spend
money and a little thought on tackling with the customers?
The Smyth County Industry Council, a governing body based in the US, conducted a
survey recently. The results of the survey was called the Workforce Profile which found
"an across-the-board unanimous profile of skills and characteristics needed to make a
good employee."
The most common traits, mentioned by virtually every employer, were:
~ Positive work ethic.
~ Good attitude.
~ Desire to learn and be trained. 6
CONCLUSION :
In fine, it takes time for soft skills to sink into ones behavior pattern and hence the soft
skills training must be given at school and college level so that when an individual takes
up any job , he will be able to take up responsibilities effectively at later stages.
Notes and References:
1.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_Intelligence_Quotient

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2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

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http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/the_hard_truth_about_softskills.html
http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2007/jan/08soft.htm
http://www.educationalservice.net/education/education-001/ese20090534_softskills.php
http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2007/jan/08soft.htm
www.eiconsortium.org/pdf/emotional_competence_framework.pdf
www.visionrealization.com/Resources/.../Emotional_intelligence.pdf
etd.uasd.edu/ft/th9629.pdf
http://bookboon.com/en/business-ebooks/personal-development

Bibliography
Ivey Andrew, Time To Market, bookboon.com, e-book, 2010.
Goleman Daniel, Emotional Intelligence, Bentam Books, New York,1995.

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Communication that Brings to Edge the Workplace


Sunand T
ABSTRACT
The voluminous work in todays organizations and the inevitability of working in teams
for the accomplishment of organizational goals often lead to misunderstandings among
employees. In this process, our assumptions and fallacies, personal idiosyncrasies, and
our own personality traits precipitate the workplace environment. This leads to a crisis
and contributes to increased miscommunication. Diverse views and perspectives on how
work should be done or shared invariably lead to misunderstandings. This leads to
miscommunication creating bad blood among employees in the organizations. If
misunderstandings persist too long, the stability of the organization itself would be at
stake. This affects the employees and vitiates the atmosphere prevailing in the
organization. In this article, the writer is making an attempt to understand the nature of
conflicts generally prevailing in organizations from a very practical perspective.
Differences of opinions, of course, exist among peers or between superiors and
subordinates. However, determination to resolve issues amicably should never be
abandoned. Sincere intentions to resolve issues and a desire to put aside individual
interests for the sake of the organization should be of paramount concern for any
employee. Only when issues are resolved amicably can organizations function smoothly.
Maintaining good interpersonal relations by reducing misunderstandings should be the
responsibility of every employee in the organization.
Key Words: Miscommunication, interpersonal relations, manage conflict

INTRODUCTION: Workplace communication is increasingly becoming important in


todays organisational life. Employees are spending considerable amount of time at the
workplace today.
Given the nature and complexity of todays workplace, relationships have assumed
significant importance. Successful communication, hence, necessitates that employees
have good listening skills, good nonverbal communication, and the desire to establish
supportive and understanding climates. They should also be able to manage conflict and
resolve misunderstandings. There is pressure to perform to the expectations of the
management, the clients, and the organization as a whole. And so, in our haste to live up
to the myriad expectations of the ever changing demands of the organization and society
at large, employees are under an intense pressure to perform. In this process, there is
bound to be friction and misunderstandings between peers. There can also be
miscommunication between superiors and subordinates. Hence, interpersonal conflict
seems to be an inevitable reality at the workplace today. Before we try to understand
what interpersonal conflict is all about, let us delve a little deeply into what we mean by
interpersonal communication.
What exactly is interpersonal communication?

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Interpersonal communication is selective, systemic, unique, processual (is an ongoing


process) transactions that allow people to reflect and build personal knowledge of one
another and create shared meanings (Wood, 2010).
Beebe and Redmond define it as the process of interacting simultaneously with another
person and mutually influencing each other, usually for the purpose of managing
relationships. According to Martin Buber, a 20th century philosopher, relationships lie
along a continuum of I-It, I-You, and I-Thou.
In an I-It relationship, the speaker treats the other person based on the societal role. For
example, in interactions between a bus passenger and a conductor, or between a customer
and a server in a hotel, there is hardly any self-disclosure. We ask for the ticket and the
conductor issues the ticket. We order an item in the hotel, and the server gets it. Beyond
this, there is hardly any communication between the two. In I-You communication
mode, both the communicators recognize each other as individuals, and there is some
amount of self-disclosure. In the terminology of Patricia Sias, this relationship
approximates collegial peers. There is mutual respect and a bit of personal element in
such transactions. In I-Thou mode of communication, there is highest self-disclosure
between the two participants in communication. We have I-Thou relationship with very
few people in life. Again, in the terminology of Patricia Sias, this may approximate
special peers. The participants know each other well, and can predict the others
behavior to a reasonably good extent. (Miller and Steinberg, 1975). At the organisational
level, we are expected to have I-You level of communication with our peers,
subordinates, and superiors.
Going by Martin Bubers communication continuum, what is the nature of
communication in organizations? Is it an I-It, or I-You, or and I-Thou? According to Julia
T. Wood, it is important to have and maintain I-You communication in organization. This
is fundamental and necessary.
Now, why does miscommunication take place in organizations? What conflicts result due
to miscommunication? What is conflict basically? Interpersonal conflict occurs when
there are different views, interests, or goals between individuals. (Wood, 2010).
Communication scholars William Wilmot and Joyce Hocker define an interpersonal
conflict as an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who
perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from the other party in
achieving their goals. So, incompatible goals and scarce resources are the essential
elements of an interpersonal conflict. According to Kory Floyd, conflict in interpersonal
relationships is natural, can be direct or indirect, harmful, and beneficial too. (Kory
Floyd, 2010)
CONFLICT IN ORGANIZATIONS:
All these different ragesroad rage, air rage, whatever rageare all symptoms of the
same thing: We all have too many commitments and too little time. Lynne McClure,
McClure Associates.

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It is natural, thus, to have miscommunication in organizations. When miscommunication


gets escalated over a period of time, it results in breakdown in communication leading to
gradual eroding of relationships. Employees exhibit their behavior in different ways
during a conflict.
Different people express their resentment in different ways at the workplace.
CAUSES OF CONFLICTS
In an educational institution, conflicts are natural. But what could be some of the reasons
for conflicts? Conflicts can take place due to inequality or injustice in workload
distribution, invigilation duties given to staff during exams, delegation of departmental
responsibilities. Other reasons could be when a coworker is progressing in his/her
professional career. Sometimes, when a coworker is recognized by the management of
the institution for professional reasons, it can cause some sense of uneasiness and
insecurity in others. And all that is required is a spark to ignite an imaginary conflict.
Miscommunication between employees takes place due to cognitive fallacies. Some
common fallacies include:
1. Halo effect: Based on one trait we see in the other person, we generalize or
attribute many other qualities to him. For example, if somebody tells us that a
certain coworker is lazy, then we also assume that he is irregular, aggressive, rude,
etc.
2. Allness fallacy: It is the belief that one can say everything there is to say about
something.
How do individuals deal with or respond in conflicts?
Aggressive communicators resort to shouting, screaming, and accusing. They become
even more provoked if the listener is a passive communicator. Using abusive language,
threatening, becoming hysterical, and rallying support from others for their
assumptions is common. An aggressive communicator would say, I tried my best to
understand, resolve, and forgive the person, but everything failed. And so I had to shout.
This, generally, could be one of the ways a person with an aggressive style of
communication reacts. Most aggressive communicators claim to be assertive in dealing
with conflicts, and consider themselves to be sanctimonious even!
Passive communicators, generally, do their best to avoid, ignore, or pretend that there
was no conflict. Since passive communicators suffer from low self-esteem and are timid,
they do not speak assertively. They wish that the problem or conflict would subside in
due time. They do not assert themselves. A standard answer of a passive communicator
would be like this: It is not a big problem. Things will subside. In fact, there is no
conflict here. That means a passive communicator even denies there is a problem.
Withdrawing, denying the existence of a conflict are some of the ways a passive
communicator does.

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Assertive communicators are those who disagree respectfully. They do not let others talk
to them rashly or let others heap abuse on them. In a conflict situation, they express their
opinions frankly and boldly, but with due respect to others. They believe in an I winyou win approach. An assertive communicator would protect the face of the listener.
They help people maintain a positive face (Goffman). In a conflict situation, hence, an
assertive communicator protects his own face and the face of the listeners. Brown and
Levinson in their classic work on politeness define face as the public self-image that
every member of a society wants to claim for himself/herself. Face is a social image that
individuals would like to preserve for themselves.
So, what essentially an assertive communicator does is to protect the face of the persons
in conflict.
Some common statements communicators would utter in conflict situations:
Aggressive speaker:
1. You were completely wrong.
2. You did it, not me. (Emphasis on you)
3. You did not inform me.
4. You were supposed to inform me, but you didnt
5. How am I supposed to know that?
6. Who are you to tell me that?
7. I dont care.
8. Who cares?
Passive speaker:
1. I was wrong.
2. Its okay.
3. Leave the issue here.
4. I dont know.
5. I shouldnt have done that.
6. God is there.
7. Let God take care of the situation.
8. Time will heal.
9. I dont know anything about it.

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Assertive speaker:
1. I understand your perspective, but please listen to me too.
2. You may be right; however, I wish to add..
3. I am not blaming you, but there could have been a better way of dealing with
this
4. A little clarification would have resolved this issue between us.
5. I am sorry that this had to happen, but ..
6. I am sorry if you are hurt because of what I said. I didnt mean that.
7. I believe we should resolve this issue amicably, and it is possible.
How to resolve conflicts?
Most conflicts can be resolved if our concern for ourselves is matched with concern for
others.
It is natural to think about our self interests; however, it is equally important to empathise
with the other persons situation too. We should cultivate genuine concern, empathy for
others. A sincere altruistic attitude goes a long way in resolving problems at the
workplace. Respecting others views is very important.
According to researchers Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, there are two underlying
dimensions in our approach to dealing with conflict. They are as follows: our concern for
our own needs and desires, and our concern for the other partys needs and desires.
There are five major strategies for engaging in conflict. They are as follows: competing,
avoiding, accommodating, compromising, and collaborating. (Floyd, 2009)
Competing: The competing style represents a high concern for your own needs and
desires, and a low concern for others needs. The person just wants to win at the cost of
the other. Here, one person wins and the other person loses (Floyd, 2009). It is at the cost
of the other person. There is aggression and lack of concern for the other person. Power
is the distinguishing characteristic here. Physical or implied force is used here. In
organizations, people use implied force when they want to win at any cost. Superiors can
use implied force to get their work done (Adler and Rodman, 2006).
Avoiding: Here the individual simply ignores or fails to deal with the conflict. They even
deny that there is a conflict. This is more or like a loselose situation, neither of the
individuals has any gain. A nation may gain military victory at the cost of thousands of
lives, large amounts of resources, and a damaged national consciousness hasnt truly won
much. It is only a pyrrhic victory. On an interpersonal level too, this holds true. Most of
us have seen battles of pride in which both parties strike out and both suffer. This

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approach does no good to the individuals or the team or the organization. (Adler and
Rodman, 2006)
Accommodating: Here, there is high concern for the other party but a low concern for
the self. In the accommodating style, the person gives up his needs to meet others needs
just to protect the relationship. It is keep the peace in their relationships (Floyd, 2009).
Compromising: It involves a moderate concern for others needs and desires. Here, both
parties give up something in order to gain something. They may not get exactly what
they want, but all parties leave the conflict having gained something valuable. There is
some satisfaction of having gained something. (Floyd, 2009)
Collaborating: Here, the individuals believe in I win- You win mode of
communication. They try to ensure that both the parties gain. This requires patience,
energy, and time since the needs of both the individuals should be met. This is also called
the collaborative approach. (Floyd, 2009)
CONCLUSION:
Conflicts are natural at the workplace. Unless employees have a sincere desire to resolve
all outstanding issues amicably, it is difficult to think of successful organizations! In
resolving conflicts, there should be empathy. Accusations, assumptions, rashness,
aggressive tone and negative body language do not serve the purpose at all. People in
conflict in organizations should willingly come forward, agree to disagree respectfully,
think of the big picture and resolve issues at the earliest. Unresolved issues can
precipitate the crisis further. This does not help the individuals or the organization.
Bibliography
1.

P. Brown, P. and S. Levinson, Universals in language usage: Politeness


phenomenon in Questions and politeness: Strategies in social interaction (E.
Goody Ed.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978) p 56-289.

2.

Wood, J. T. (2007). Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters.


Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

3.

Sias, P.M. (2009). Organizing Relationships: Traditional and emerging


perspectives on workplace relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

4.

Emmanuel, Sunand T. Striving to Communicate. Technocrats Magazine 2008


Issue, Vasavi College of Engineering, Hyderabad.

5.

Floyd, Kory (2009). Interpersonal Communication, The Whole Story

6.

Understanding Human Communication, Ronald B. Adler and George Rodman,


Oxford University Press, 2006, Ninth Edition

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Action Research - A Language Teaching Tool


B. Sreenath Reddy
ABSTRACT
The action research is an individualistic or a collaborative activity for finding solutions
to everyday, realistic problems of the classroom. It is a process through which
practioners study their problems scientifically in order to guide, correct and evaluate
their decisions and actions. In the educational set up i.e. school / college, the practioners
are teachers and their colleagues who strive to improve and enhance their personal as
well as organizational goals. Thus action research is very important tool to improve and
enhance the quality of educational objectives. In this paper presentation an effort is made
to present the theoretical and practical aspects of Action research, and a brief sample
design for application of Action research to solve the problem of Spelling Mistakes of
the 11th grade students of A9 class of RGUIIIT.
The teacher uses many concepts in planning and Organizing effective teaching and
realizing the objectives of teaching. A teacher may come across several types of
challenges in presenting and achieving the learning objects .Therefore, it is essential for a
teacher to solve those problems scientifically. The appropriate teaching strategies may not
be effective unless and until the problem are solved .
The classroom problems can be solved by employing the action research process .It is a
method for solving the problems of teaching objectively and systematically. This is useful
for improving and modifying the teaching process.
Meaning of Research :Research is a process to study the basic problems which contribute in the edifice of
human knowledge. The research process establishes new truth, finds out new facts,
formulates new theory and suggests new applications. It is a purposeful activity which
contributes to the edifice of knowledge.
'' Research is a systematized effort to gain new knowledge''
Morey
Educational research :The principle focus of education is the development of a child .It's aim is to bring the
desirable change among learners. The basic problems of teaching and education are
studied in educational research.
'' Educational research is that activity which is directed towards the development
of science of behaviour in educational situation.'' WM. Traverse

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Educational research aims to make contribution towards the solution problem in the field
of education by the use of the scientific method, which focuses on critical reflective
thinking.
Types of Educational Research:The objectives of educational research is to contribute to the existing knowledge
in the form of new theory and facts in a particular field studied. It may not always
contribute to knowledge development but suggests new application for practical problems
.Thus, the educational researches are classified broadly into two categories.
1)

Fundamental or Basic Research.

2)

Action research or Applied Research.

Meaning and definition of Action Research:


Stephen M Corey applied this concept of Action research for the first time in field
of education. It is a process by which practitioners attempt to study the problems
scientifically in order to guide, comment and evaluate their decision and action.
''Action research is a process for studying problems by practitioners scientifically
to take decision for improving their current practices.'' Stephen M Corey.
The concept of action research is being used in education since 1926. Buckingham has
mentioned this concept for the first time in his book Research for Teachers, but Stephen
M Corey has used this concept for solving the problems of education.
Objectives of action research:The following objectives can be achieved by adopting the action research projects:

To enhance the performance and aspirational levels of students.

To develop scientific attitude among administrators, principal, and teachers and


solve their educational problems.

To improve the working conditions of the Educational institutes.

To create a healthy environment for teaching learning process.

To improve and modify the classroom teaching learning strategies.

To develop interests, attitudes and values in students.

Steps of action research:1.

Identification of the problem:- The teacher should be able to identify the


problem and must realize the seriousness of the problem.

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2.

Defining the problem:-After identifying the problem, it should be defined so that


the scope ,boundaries, the action and the goal may be fixed .The scope helps to
localize the problem in terms of class, subject in which a teacher encounters a
problem.

3.

Analyzing the causes of the problem:- Analysing the factors responsible for the
cause of problems helps us to formulate the hypothesis. It also tells us whether
the factors are under the control or beyond the control of an investigator .

4.

Formulating the action hypothesis:- An action hypothesis is formulated after


identifying and analyzing the factors which causes the problem .The statement of
action hypothesis has two aspects: Action and Goal. It indicates what action has
to be taken for achieving the desired goal.

5.

Design for testing the action hypothesis:- In action research one hypothesis is
tested at a time. The design of action research is flexible and can be redesigned at
any time according to the convenience of the research. The design is developed
for testing the feasibility of the proposed hypothesis. If the hypothesis is not
accepted second design is developed for testing another hypothesis.

6.

Conclusion of Action research project:-After testing the hypothesis, the results


are collected and studied in depth and analyzed .After analyzing data some
inferences are drawn. The conclusion statement indicates the prescription for the
assumed practical problem of the class room. The conclusions are useful in
modifying the current practices of the school or class room.

Experimental project of Action research


An experimental project is designed for solving the problems of English teaching.
1.
Topic of the project : A study for improving the spelling errors in English
language.
2.

Investigator : An experienced teacher of English language.

3.
Background for the project work : An English teacher has observed and
experienced that students commit more errors in spellings. He came across several types
of spelling errors in students assignments, composition, translations and in their written
work.
4.
Objectives of the project : An action research is planned to achieve the following
objectives

To make students know about the importance of correct spellings in English


language.

To make them sensitive towards spelling errors in English language.

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To improve the English spellings of the students.

To improve the level of achievement in English.

5.
Importance of the project : English is an International/global language. It is very
important for communication in our country as well as abroad. To have good hold on
language is a professional requirement now-a-days. Therefore students must learn
language correctly.
6.
Field of the problem : The field of the study is the Spelling Errors in English
language.
7.
Specification : The problem is located in the 11th grade students of A9 section in
RGUIIIT, R.K. Valley. The students of this class commit several spelling errors in
English.
Analyzing the causes of the problem:- The causes of the problem are identified so that
tentative solutions may be designed. The causes are analyzed as given below

Causes
1. The students doesnt
complete their written
assignments.
2.Teacher doesnt give
due attention / importance
to spellings during the
class hours.
3.The students donot have
clear understanding of
English grammar or have
a strong foundation in
grammar.

Evidence

Control

The assignments are always


incomplete

Under the control of the


teacher.

By conducting
dictation,enquiring the
students / supervising the
written work.

Under the control of the


teacher.

Students poor oral response


to the questions based on
grammar

May or maynot be under


the control of teacher

The analysis of the causes of the problem provides the basis for the formulation of action
hypothesis.
Formulation of Action hypothesis:- The following two action hypothesis have been
developed by considering the causes.

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1st hypothesis:- The modification or improvement may be done in English spelling errors
by proper correction of English written work/ assignments. It refers to the action part.
2nd hypothesis:- The spelling of words and their meanings should be emphasized by the
teacher to improve the spelling errors in the English teaching. This part concentrates on
goal.
The action hypothesis is tested by using the design of the project Design for testing action hypothesis: - The first action hypothesis is tested by employing
the following design
S.No
1

2.

Activity

Source

Time

The teacher designs a list of


written work assignment in
English Language.

Text books & prescribed


syllabus for the weekend

5 days

A blue print of the tests to be


administered is made for the
complete lesson/module

Prescribed syllabus for the


week.

3 days

3.

The teacher will assign daily


based written work to test the Various model papers, previous
exam papers.
different aspects of language.

1 week

4.

The teacher evaluates the


written assignments and assigns
grades / marks.

2 days

Teacher evaluates the


assignments

The data is collected during the project work and the marks/grades are analyzed. If the
project result indicates significant improvement in reducing spelling errors in English,
there is no need to test the second hypothesis.
Conclusion:The project work done is evaluated in terms of statistical representation. The results are
studied and analyzed and then the hypothesis is accepted or rejected. The percentage of
errors is also calculated and conclusion or suggestions may be proposedinthe form of
remedial measures for the problem.
Works Cited 1.
Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques - C R Kothari, 2nd edition, New
Age International Publications.
2.
Research Methodology and Statistical Tools P. Narayana Reddy and GVRK
Achayalu, 1st Edition, Excell Books New Delhi, 2008.
3.
Statistical Methods S.P.Gupta S Chand & Sons, New Delhi, 2005
4.
B.Sreekanth Reddy, Research Scholar in English, JNTU Anantapur 515002.

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Role of Khadi and Village Industries


A Sustainable Development with Reference to Silk Industry
Ratan Das
Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce,
Durgapur Government College, Durgapur- 713214

ABSTRACT:
Khadi symbolizes a decentralized, democratic, socio-political and economic system.
Khadi is the symbol of the principle of promoting sustainable development by using
renewable energy and other natural wealth, eliminating the evil of environment pollution
and at the same time conserving the non-renewable energy and natural resources for
future generations. This is the way to decentralize the economic system i.e. to bring it
within the reach and control of the masses and thereby to gain control over the political
and social system. Only then it will be possible to control the economic and political
power to a great extent which gives rise to corruption and misuse of power by creating
monopoly. The objective of this paper is to discuss the role of Khadi and Village
Industries in West Bengal as well as in India.
Keywords: luminaries, resuscitation, indigenous, massive, spiraling, deprivation, spendour, down-trodden,
potentiality, globalization

INTRODUCTION
Gandhiji the father of nation conceived kadhi as the best instrument for giving
concrete expression to the Swadeshi sprite for making effective the boycott of foreign
goods in general and foreign cloth in particular. Khadhi was also expected to provide an
opportunity to every man, woman and child for cultivating self discipline and sacrifice as
port of the non-co-operative Movement.
Gandhiji set up the all Indian Khadi Board in December, 1923. In 1925 all Indian
spinners Association (AISA) of Akhil Bharat Chakra sangha was formed. In the Thirties,
Gandhiji turned his attention to other village Industries and as a result all Indian village
Industries Association (AIVIA) was formed.
In 1948, Akhil Bharat Sarva Seva Sangha took over the activities of AISA and
AIVIA. In January 1953, the government of Indian set up All Indian Khadi & Village
Industries Board(AIKVIB). Thereafter, a Bill was introduced in parliament proposing the
establishment of a commission with Power executive as well as Administrative for
proper development of Khadi and Village Industries. And AIKVIB was accepted as an
Advisory Body. Then Khadi and Village Industries Commission come into being April,
1957.

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The West Bengal Khadi & Village Industries Board was set up by the government
of West Bengal under W.B.Act XIV of 1959 and took over the activities from erstwhile
Advisory Board on 1st April 1960. One of the main functions of the West Bengal Khadi
& Village Industries Board is to grant financial assistance to the rural entrepreneurs
/artisans/co-operative societies /registered Institution /Panchayat Raj Institution to enable
these to take up various scheme according to approved programmes of Khadi & Village
Industries Commission.
The objective of the Board: The board objectives that the KVIC has set before it
are 1) generate employment opportunities in rural areas. 2) To develop entrepreneurial
silk among rural unemployed youth. 3) To achieve the good of rural industrialization. 4)
To mobilize Bank Finance looking to the limited resources of KVIC.
The Board has concentrated its programmes and activities mainly for development
of (i) Khadi & (ii) Village Industries. Khadi and Village Industries have the unique
capacity to generate large employment opportunities in the rural areas at a law capital
cast as well as creates entrepreneurship development and have therefore industries
develop local initiatives, co-operation and spirit of self - reliance in the economy and at
the same time help in utilization of available manpower in rural areas for processing
locally available raw materials by adoption of smile techniques. Mirzapur,
Raghunathganj and Piarapur areas of Murshidabad district is farmers for the grade
varieties, white the Bishnupur in Bankura district is famous for the exclusive Baluchari
design. In production of Silk Khadi the state contributes 36.37% of total silk Khadi
production in Khadi and Village Industries sector and ranks in 1st position in overall
performance under KVIC.
SILK AND KHADI INDUSTRY
It is interesting to note how the famous silk industry, whose fame was world-wide,
and which was once sold in the world market in the measure of gold, was integrated in
the Khadi industry and was saved. The silk merchants like Sudhansu Sekhar Bagchi
brought world fame for this industry before the first world war. The industry declined
during the first world war. The position became even worse in the post-war period. The
world economic depression (1929) struck the industry hard.
Lalitmohan Saha of Chak Islampur of Murshidabad attempted his best to get in
touch with Sri Jerajinijee, principal member, All India Spinners Association, Bombay
Province and founder-member of Khadi Bhandar, Kalba Devi Road, Bombay, who was at
that time entrusted with the work of marketing the Khadi products commercially by
Mahatma Gandhi. Sri Saha tried to convince Jerajinijee for taking the silk industry in the
Khadi fold as Silk was the only main indigenous village industry of Murshidabad District
in particular and Bengal in general.

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ROLE OF KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES


The role of Khadi and Village Industries is still meaningful since about fifteen
lakh of spinners and weavers in two lakh of villages are getting full time and part time
employment by means of spinning wheels and looms. If the Government were a bit
liberal to provide assistance, many times more of the unemployed rural population,
especially the seasonally unemployed people, whose number comes to not less than
fifteen crore according to experts, would have been benefited with employment. They
would be able to earn something through this programme. It is worth mentioning in this
context that the number of the unemployed is on the increase. Although half a century has
elapsed since independence and crores of rupees have been spent in the name of
development on plans conceived by eminent persons with the resultant massive inflation
and the burden of indigenous and foreign indebtedness, the number of the unemployed is
ever spiraling. Not only this. Government statistics reveal that more than one third of the
population are below poverty line. It means that they are to find consolation in the lap of
sleep on empty stomach. The leaders of the country are not able to find any alternative
means of eradicating poverty than that demonstrated by Gandhiji with a little capital.
Evidently the poor countrymen is not going to tolerate the deprivation for long
without protest.
No wonder that Khadi is entering into the twenty first century with its message of
work is worship and simple humanity with the mega industries conducted by multinational companies. Khadi is expanding among rural people. Khadi needs a different
evaluation today as it carries with it artistic beauty and the thought that it is free from all
kinds of pollution which the mill cloth is not. The lost glory of Muslin and Baluchari is
coming back in the twenty first century. All cottage industries are on the way to revival.
In this Murshidabad district an infinitely small place in the map of India its glimpse has
brought a certain hope of the sun rise. It would like to see to resurgence of the artistic
skill and intricate workmanship of Khadi and other cottage industries in greater glory
and splendour.
We know from history that when in 1935-37 administration reforms were made,
congress government was established in eight provinces, Gandhijis Khadi and cottage
industries programmes were implemented. But, in Bengal, there was non-congress
Government that did not take care to implement them. Congress President Subhas
Chandra Bose in his Haripura address in 1936 stressed the need of simultaneous
development of Khadi and Village Industries with the large scale industries. In the
inauguration of first planning commission committees meeting also, he stressed the
point unequivocally.
With the break of the world war II and the occurrence of the severe famine in
Bengal called the Panchasher Manwantar this silk Khadi industry suffered a set back.
The poor weavers, the silkworm rearers, the mulberry planters, the spinners, all belonging
to the depressed class or the low class people of the society died by thousands. No

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wonder they met the same fate in the Chhiattarer Manwantar (Bengal era 1176,
Christian era 1770) two hundred thirty eight years ago.
West Bengal is famous for Silk and Muslin industries and it is the treasure of
Khadi Industry of India. The statistics enumerate that about 15 lakh artisans are being
engaged in Khadi sector throughout India and amongst it 1 lakh is supported and
provided the employment opportunities in West Bengal Khadi sector. At present, in this
state there are about 40 crore of Silk Khadi production and 10 crore of Muslin Khadi
production. This Industry, the integration of Rural Constructive Gandhian Programme
and thought, is extended extensively in the remote villages where the poverty stricken
paupers and poor helpless masses are fully dependent to live from hand to mouth on
Khadi activities and also in the Tribal sub-caste classes of the society as a means of
livelihood of the down-trodden masses Khadi Industry is a potent weapon based on
economic-social order for their economic upliftment and today we are not able to realize
and feel the potentiality of Khadi sector in this Globalization era.
In consideration of the growing importance of dispersed and weaker section of
Craft and Industries the Government of India launched special programmes throughout
the country by setting up the All India Khadi and Village Industries Board in 1953 and
the Khadi and Village Industries Commission in 1957, the former an advisory body and
the latter an autonomous promotional institution. On these two bodies was assigned the
role of sponsoring, developing and financing traditional Village Industries and Khadi on
the basis of certain principles adopted for the purpose. This opened up new vistas for the
neglected sector of the Cottage Textile Industries struggling for survival against all odds.
The impact of the activities of these All India Bodies was considerable indeed upon the
Industries in the decentralized sector in this State. The objectives were to provide a good
backing to the artisanbased traditional industries by improvement in the outmoded
technology by loan and grant assistance and by linking this sector with the wider
consumer circles through market development measures. The aforesaid All India Bodies
all established by the Government of India helped much in the development of silk and
cotton handloom Industry of
the State. The old fame of Silk Textiles with exquisite
craftsmanship and unrivalled vibrant colours, though not fully, was revived and Bengal
Silk regained its market in India and abroad. Popular in world market were the hand
block printed dress materials in silk from West Bengal known as Murshidabad Silk in
various designs.
The following table indicates production, sell, employment and artisans earnings of a
few Khadi and Village institutions of Murshidabad district of West Bengal during the
year 2009- 2010:

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Name of the Khadi and Village


institutions

Producti
on (Rs.
in lakh)

Sell
(Rs. in
lakh)

Employment
(Numbers)

Artisans
earnings
(Rs. in
lakh)

1. Chandrakanta Lalitmohan Resham


Khadi Samity, Khagra, Msd.

604.40

731.95

5329

256.92

2. Silk Khadi Organisation, Khagra,


Msd

32.21

35.43

121

14.97

3 .Doulatabad Silk Khadi 0 Gram


Seva Sangha, Chak Islampur, Msd

55.50

48.12

619

21.04

4. Gramin Silpodyog Sangha, Chak


Islampur, Msd

185.00

200.0

1010

45.00

5. Chak-Resham Khadi Samity Ltd.,


Chak Islampur, Msd

40.26

35.35

650

6 .Palli Unnayan
Inslampur, Msd

95.15

79.79

1170

31.35

7. Silk Khadi Unnayan society Ltd.,


Chak Inlampur, Msd

35.00

34.75

400

3.20

8. Pallishree Khadi Kendra, Chak


Islampur, Msd

22.00

20.68

250

5.76

9. Burwan Silk
Burwan, Msd

24.50

24.40

200

4.00

10. Upendra Smrity Seva Mandir,


Chak Islampur, Msd

48.00

64.00

520

14.80

11. Mahila Khadi Gram Sangha, Chak


Islampur, Msd

23.08

23.70

280

6.69

Sangha,

Khadi

Chak

Sangha,

8.81

Source : Khadi & Village Industries Board, Berhampore, Murshidabad

Marketing is one of the major activities of the board. The board generally procures the
products of the certified Khadi Institution / Societies financed by the board as part of
marketing support and sells out those goods to the customers through its retail outlets/
showrooms situated at different important locations of kolkata metropolitan area as well
as in same district of West Bengal.
CONCLUSION
There is a great scope of Silk Khadi and Muslin Khadi Industry in West Bengal and a
great opportunity earmarked in the self-employment generation of the poor rural masses
of the society. It is very pertinent to mention that about 70% of the artisans engaged in

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this industry are the women and Khadi is a means of subsistence level of living to the
homeless, wretched, poor deserted women who render the service independently with
self-respect and prestige.
Khadi and Village Industries are very indispensable in the poor and developing country
like India where unemployment is the most pressing problem. This is the only labour
intensive industry and has a unique capacity to generate large employment opportunities
with less capital and aims at maximum utilization of locality human and natural resources
of achieving rural development and balanced economic growth, there is the least
disturbance of ecology and pollution in Khadi sector.
Khadi & Village Industry programme is implemented through non-government
organization, co-operative societies and individuals assisted directly by KVIC through
state KVIB, public sector Banks, their regional Rural Banks and a few selected cooperative Banks. In Murshidabad, the silk co-operative societies, sericulture, reelers and
weavers under Khadi & Village Industries Commission are financed by the district
Central Co-operative Bank Ltd.
Reference:
1.
Old Murshidabad: Historical Memories Jadunath Sarkar, page 131
2.
Murshidabad District Gazetteer L.S.S. O Malley , page 2-5
3.
N.K.Sinha The Economic History of Bengal, Vol. I , Calcutta 1962,
PP. 48-57
4.
K.K. Dutta Our old Silk Industry in Krishnath College Centenary Volume,
Berhampore, 1953, P.215
5.
Googhegans Silk in India , P.5
6.
Murshidabad District Gazetteer Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya, Page 142, 192
7.
Statistical Department, Berhampore, Murshidabad.
8.
Department of Sericulture, Berhampore, Murshidabad
9.
Handloom Development Office, Berhampore, Murshidabad
10.
Khadi Commission, Berhampore, Murshidabad
11.
Resham Silpa in Bengal, Govt. Printing Press, Bengal, Calcutta
12.
Economics of Rural Bengal, K.B. Saha, 1930

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Promise of Ecofeminism- An Ecofeminist Reading of


Gita Mehtas A River Sutra.
Dr. Nidhi Tiwari
Associate Professor of English
RIE, (NCERT),

Message of passing Time,


Sanctuary and Salvation,
You dissolve the fear of time
O Holy Narmada .
A River Sutra.
Abstract:
Ecofeminism have always raised their voices against mans ruthless destruction of
nature in the name of development, and, the parallel victimization of women to suit the
interest of man. As a movement ecofeminism started in 1970s and acquired significance
in 1980s and 1990s. The focus of ecofeminism has been the domination of women and
the destruction of the nature.
In India, Vandana Shiva has highlighted the need to protect earth and nature so
that environment can be saved. Apart from Chipko Movement in U.P., there has been
an active concern to save the holy river Narmada. Megha Patkar has been a dynamic
environmental activist with her Narmada Bachao Andolan. Among the supporters of
the Narmada Bachao, the most prominent voice is of famous writer Arundhati Rao. She
has not only expressed her views on saving the river, but has also expressed active
concern about the lives of people who dwell near the river bank. Thus, she is a true
ecofeminist who has regard for the principle of life- be it human, be it nature.
Key Words: Ecofeminism, Geopiety, green paradise lost

Introduction:
Ecofeminism have always raised their voices against mans ruthless destruction of
nature in the name of development, and, the parallel victimization of women to suit the
interest of man. As a movement ecofeminism started in 1970s and acquired significance
in 1980s and 1990s. The focus of ecofeminism has been the domination of women and
the destruction of the nature.
In India, Vandana Shiva has highlighted the need to protect earth and nature so that
environment can be saved. Apart from Chipko Movement in U.P., there has been an
active concern to save the holy river Narmada. Megha Patkar has been a dynamic
environmental activist with her Narmada Bachao Andolan. Among the supporters of
the Narmada Bachao, the most prominent voice is of famous writer Arundhati Rao. She
has not only expressed her views on saving the river, but has also expressed active

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concern about the lives of people who dwell near the river bank. Thus, she is a true
ecofeminist who has regard for the principle of life- be it human, be it nature.
The essence of Narmada and her deep impact on the lives of Indian masses is
beautifully captured by Gita Mehta in her, A River Sutra. The novel interestingly
reflects ecofeminist concerns and weaves a pattern to indicate what the promise of
ecofeminism can be. The most important feature of ecofeminism Geopiety seems to
form the spinal column in this novel which presents the multifaceted Narmada.
Before proceeding on an ecofeminist reading of Gita Mehtas A River Sutra, it becomes
essential to understand the characteristics that embody ecofeminism. Initially
ecofeminism arose as a protest against nuclear activities that posed a threat to human
existence. Noel Sturgeon, an ecofeminist author who attended the Nevada nuclear
protest in 1970, wrote in this political context, the environment served feminists as a
medium for the connection of critiques of militarism, capitalism and neocolonialism.
As the movement grew it started incorporating other voices which included equity of
more pressing concern to the impoverished and socially marginalised; to landscapes of
urbanization, racism, poverty and toxification.
The fundamental concepts that emerged were connected to nature woman
relationship, Geopiety, green paradise lost, reweaving the world and healing the
wounds. All these concepts are explained succinctly by Irene Diamond and Gloria
Femen in their work Reweaving the world. The first is the concept of Geo-piety which
means that the earth is sacred. It relates with nature worship and is often reflected in
novels and several writings, specially in ecofeminist pagan activist Starhawk. Such
literature often presents a spiritual view of nature. Here, the goal of ecofeminism is to
restore and preserve earths wholeness.
Ye-fu Tuan had expressed that man was shaped out of this land by the hands of God.
Geo-piety cover a broad range of emotional bonds between man and his terrestrial
home He feels that since nature nourishes man so much it becomes necessary for man
to give reverence to nature and protect the beautiful nature from those who intend to
harm it.
Indian religion also venerates the feminine aspect of nature. Earth goddess is known as
Prithvi and jaggaddharti. The Vedas and Puranas have described many natural resources
like mountains, rivers, trees, herbs, forests in feminine terms and even mythical stories
have been created around them. For instance the Rigveda presents the crimson streak of
day break as Usha, the Mistress of dawn, whose brilliant effulgence spreads out piercing
the farmless black abyss.(Madhu Khanna, 127) Food is personified as Annapurna,
Sakhambari. The herb Tulsi also has a myth woven around it. Similar are the tales of
river Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati who have been worshipped down the ages in India.
So simple is the logic in these religious beliefs what is regarded as divine will
automatically be preserved.

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Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
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This profound concept of Geo-piety has led to the concept of earth as Green paradise
which is so rich in its mineral wealth that it is indeed a gift of God to mankind.
However, man in his lust for more has forgotten to look after this treasure. The
consequence of mans ambition, greed, desire to control nature and women has led to
an acute crisis, that is, the loss of this Green paradise. Ursula K. Guin in A Very Warm
Mountain explains how the earth is almost on the verge of an end due to what the
human have gone on doing to the earth destroying vegetation, experimenting on every
living and non-living things and taking away all her mineral wealth. It has led to
volcanic eruptions, global warming and acid rain. The face of green earth is entirely
disfigured.
Elizabeth Dodson in Green Paradise Lost (1989) unearths the flaws in the initial chapters
of genesis: with its command to subdue the earth at the bottom is posited by genesis.
Thus, patriarchy steps in and with it comes the shift in soil linked communities where
earlier the country as Motherland is now masculine nation state. Ecofeminists indicate
how oppression of women is linked to subjugation of land and often terms like rape the
land, tame nature are used in common parlance. All this clearly shows how the
balance of life is disturbed and the Green Paradise is degenerating.
To regain the Green Paradise and maintain the ecological balance the Ecofeminists state
that instead of conquering nature, man must start to co-operate with nature. There is a
dire need to reweave all the basic requirements that will regenerate life and promote the
welfare of the earth. Even the Man-woman relationship will demand a new insight
where men learn to respect women. In Reweaving the world; the Emergence of
Ecofeminism (1990) Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein insist on correcting the
culture-nature dichotomy. An ethic of care, compassion and nurturing of life is needed to
lead to healthy interactions between man and women and also between man and nature.
Similar thought is advocated by Vandana Shiva. The feminine principle is based on
inclusiveness and its recovery in men, women and nature is the recovery of creative
forms of being and perceiving (Shiva, Staying Alive, 53).
Once it becomes possible reweave the fabric of life all wounds can be healed. Not only
will women gain her status, voice, freedom, but nature also will thrive and again the
world will look green and vibrant. This is the promise of ecofeminism a world that is
full of happiness in human relationships and a world that is free of pollution and
environment degradation.
Gita Mehtas A River Sutra is a refreshing novel because it presents the splendor of
nature and tries to relate man to the song of nature. The most positive feature of
ecofeminism, that is, Geo-piety forms the foundation of this novel. All the characters in
the novel are associated with the Holy River Narmada and she is the source of comfort
for them. Many come to her banks to seek solution for their problems and return back
with satisfaction.

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IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

The narrator is a bureaucrat who now works as a manager of a guest House situated
amidst hills and forests overlooking the river Narmada. The tourists who visit the area
share their lives with him and turn to River Narmada for solace and directions in their
lives. This is the sutra or the thread that connects the river to each character.
The reverence towards nature, specially towards the Holy River Narmada clearly reveals
Geo-piety. The narrator shares what he has heard about the sacred river:
The river is among our holiest pilgrimage sites,
Worshipped as the daughter of the god Shiva. (A River Sutra)
As the narrator describes the area where he lives, he sketches the beautiful landscape and
also covers the beliefs and lifestyles of the different communities that surround the spot.
An interesting tale is about the tribals of the Vano village who were known for their
strength as they could prevent Aryans from invading their areas for a long time. The tale
goes thus:
Indeed the Vano village deity is a stone image of a half-woman with
the full breasts of a fertility symbol but the torso of a coiled snake
because the tribals believe they once ruled a great snake kingdom
until they were defeated by the gods of the Aryans. Saved from
annihilation only by a divine personification of the Narmada River,
the grateful tribals conferred on the river the gift of annulling the
effects of snakebite, and I have often heard pilgrims who have never
met a tribal reciting the invocation
Salutation in the morning and at night to
Thee, o Narmada!
Defend me from the serpents poison. (p6)
The belief that their goddess curse people who were possessed is also widely prevalent
among the tribals of Vano.
As the novel progresses, the reality of this belief is tested The Executives story in the
novel depicts apathy how a young executive in Assams tea-estates, one Mr. Nitin Bose,
is afflicted with a madness which is incurable. The state of Nitin is such that he has
forgotten his own name and presents himself as Rima Bose His uncle send him to the
narrator for treatment as per belief that only river Narmada has been given the power to
cure him. The investigation of his diary by the narrator unfolds the reasons behind his
insanity
Nitin Bose was posted to the tea-estate in Assam. Initially he led a life that was aloof
from drinks and women and immersed himself in reading books of his grandfather. Later
he related for a full year with Rima, a labourer on the tea-estate. She taught him the
secrets of love ad made him appreciate the secret rhythms of nature, until he

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CFTRA Global
CFI-2010

IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

understand why his grandfathers books called these hills Kamrupa, the kingdom of the
God of Love., (p129)
However, this state came to an abrupt end when he was called back to Calcutta by the
company. Rima was heartbroken. But, she expected him to return. Nitin was shocked
when he learnt that Rima was the wife of a coolie. Suddenly he felt that she was ugly
and felt ashamed of his behavior. Later when he was sent back to the tea garden to
organize things he dreaded seeing Rima. Though she didnt come to him yet every night
he felt she is outside, singing songs of love. All this filled him with guilt. Finally on the
night of the eclipse she calls him outside by his name. When he faced her, she performed
a magic by breaking a coconut. After that Nitin fell unconscious. When he regained
consciousness he repeated Rimas name several times and sang the tribal song sung at
marriage.
The local priest tried some tricks to treat Nitin and asked him to note everything he
remembered in a diary. The priest told Nitin Someone has taken possession of you. The
magic you are under is stronger than my powers. Your memory will be affected. You
will believe yourself to be someone else. Thus we see that the Green Paradise of love,
life and health for Nitin Bose are lost as he had exploited the woman. He didnt show
regard for the women and even nature. He tried to settle things by sending money for
Rima, reducing the nature of their relationship to consumer-commodity. Hence, nature
and women conspired to take away his sanity.
Yet, a chance is given to Nitin to heal the wounds and reweave his life. The priest
advises, If your sahib wants to recover his mind he must worship the goddess at any
shrine that overlooks the Narmada River. Only that river has been given the power to
cure him. (p137)
Thus, Nitin reaches the guest house that faces the Narmada. There he is taken to the
shrine of the goddess by the tribals. Mr. Chagala tells the narrator, The tribals will beg
the goddess to forgive Mr. Bose for denying the power of desire. (p141) He explains
further, This is just the principle of life. She is every illusion that is inspiring love. That
is why she greater than all gods combined. Call her what you will, but she is what a
mother is feeling for a child. A man for woman. A starving man for food. Human beings
for God .And Mr. Bose did not show her respect so he is being punished. (p142) To
make amends for his mistakes Nitin Bose is asked to make a mud image of the goddess.
He joins the procession and carries the idol to the banks of river Narmada and chants the
lines, Salutations in the morning and at night to thee, O Narmada. Defend me from the
serpents poison. As the idol is immersed in the holy waters of Narmada, it begins to
disintegrate. Nitin stays in the bungalow for three weeks and goes to the river daily,
standing waist deep in the water (p147) and prays to Narmada. Finally, it is geo-piety
that restores his mental health and he returns back to life. Thus, reweaving of the world
is possible and the wounds are healed when the principle of geo-piety is followed. The
narrator discusses the case of Nitin with a medical practitioner Dr. Mitra. The doctor
admits that such cases are possible. He comments:

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CFTRA Global
CFI-2010

IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

A mere glimpse of Narmadas waters is supposed to cleanse a


human being of generations of sinful births. (p151)
Being a scholar on Narmada, he gave more information about Narmada to the narrator.
He said:
You know, the great Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy wrote
about Narmadas holiness and the religious suicides at
Amarkantak- people fasting to death or immolating themselves
on the Narmadas banks, or drowning in her waters in order to
gain release from the cycle of birth and rebirth. (p152)
Dr. Mitra also spoke about astrological beliefs about River which were as follows:
On top of all that mythology, theres the rivers astrology. Her
holiness is believed to dispel the malevolent effects of Saturn so
all manner of epileptics, depressives and other unfortunates rush
to her banks. And yet, the Narmada is also a magnet to scholars.
Towns on the banks of the river are now renowned for the
learning of their Brahmins. It is as if reason and instinct are
constantly warring on the banks of the Narmada. I, mean even
the war between the Aryans and the pre-Aryans is still
unresolved here. (P152-153)
All the mythology and astrology about Narmada points about geo-piety.
The Courtesans Story throws light n how nature and women
are ill-treated resulting in the loss of the Green Paradise, Here, an
old lady who was formerly a courtesan comes to the narrator in
search of her daughter who too had been a courtesan and had
been abducted by the dacoit Rahul Singh and taken to the
jungles. As she narrates her story one discovers the change in
public opinion towards the courtesans and also the change in
situations. She says:
Oh friends, how shabby has changed in my lifetime.
Where there used to be gardens now we have factories. Our
gracious old buildings have been torn down to be replaced by
concrete boxes named after politicians. (p167)
Adding further she comments:
The city is owned by men who believe every human being has
a price, and a full purse is power. Trained as scholars, artists,
musicians, dancers, we are only women for them. (p167)

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CFTRA Global
CFI-2010

IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

All this account reveals how the Green Paradise is lost. Later the old womans daughter
arrives and tells the narrator how the dacoit Rahul Singh was basically a good man, how
life made him a dacoit, yet he was kind to the poor. . He had treated her well and married
her. But he died in a police encounter and she had no desire to live without him. As a
courtesan and a dacoits wife she would be put in jail by the police for the rest of her life.
Hence she decides to end her life by drowning in the Narmada. She convinces her mother
about it.
The narrator is told about this incident by Mr. Chagla thusOnly that she was happy her daughter had died in the Narmada
because she would be purified of all her sins. (p190)
Here the belief that even suicide in Narmada isnt considered a crime; rather a libration
from the cycle of birth is proved right. However, one wonders if this is indeed the right
path.
The story of Naga Baba and Uma is the culmination in the promise of Ecofeminisism.
The girl who was given the name Uma by Naga Baba was barely seven or eight years
old when he saw her at a brothel. She was being exploited and forced into prostitution at
such a tender age. The sight made him take a big decision, that is, to rescue the child
from such a miserable plight. He demanded from brothel keeper to give the child to him
as alms on Shivaratri. The woman agreed out of respect and also fears to hand the child
to him for ever. Yet she remarked
And do not curse me later when you find what trouble she
brings. She doesnt even have a name. Her own father calls her
misfortune. (p246)
The fact that her own father sold her to the brothel keeper indicates the victimization of
women. Not only man ruining Green Paradise but even women are accomplices in the
act. The girl has no name. The customers call her Chand.
However, an effort is made by Naga Baba to restore the dignity of women. He tells
her,you will never have to fear such men again. (p250) He take s her in the forest and
makes her grow amidst nature. She learns chanting and meditation under the guidance of
Naga Baba. They live near the river Narmada and told her, Tonight you become a
daughter of the Narmada. (p254)
Uma stayed near the banks of River Narmada with the Naga Baba for three years. She
observed him singing songs in praise of Narmada. She learnt the songs and when she
grew older she started singing in temples during festivals. People started calling her
Singer Saint and the Naga Baba allowed her the freedom to live alone because he too
needed to work for his enlightenment. Uma becomes a famous river minstrel. A hint is
dropped as the Naga Baba comments about her future-

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CFTRA Global
CFI-2010

IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

To find a husband, like the Narmada found her Lord of Rivers . (p280)
The transformation of Chand to Uma is indeed Regaining the Paradise. Geo-piety is
clearly established when the narrator co-relates Umas song of Narmada with her own
personality. Let us read the linesIt is written in the scriptures
That you were present at the birth of time
When Shiva as a golden peacock
Roamed the ocean of the Void.
You reminded the Destroyer
Creation awaited His command
You were present at the Creation
By Shivas command you alone will remain
At the destruction.
She turned to face me and she no longer seemed young. Perhaps it was
unlit bungalow rising like the shadow of a deserted temple behind her that
made her now seem ageless. (p277)
The ageless River Narmada and her flowing waters of life are worshipped in the river
minstrels song. Umas devotion to Narmada makes her appear ageless to the narrator.
This unique blending of nature and women is certainly the promise of Ecofeminism.
Gita Mehta has used her pen deftly to bring her readers close to view nature worship
which is and inseparable part of Indian life. The stories that depict women sensitize the
readers to wards their sufferings and degradation. But, there is always hope and
regeneration when women and nature work to restore happiness to mankind.
Ecofeminism finds firm footing in Gita Mehtas A River Sutra as each tale mesmerizes
us with its message of Geopiety.
Works cited
Diamond, Irene and Orenstein, Gloria Feman. (1990) ed. Reweaving the World :The
Emergence of Eco-Feminism. SanFransisco: Sierra Club Books.
Gray,Elizabeth Dodson.(1979).Green Paradise Lost. Wellesley MA: Roundtable Press.
Khanna, Madhu (1995) Nature as Feminine: Ancient Visions of Geo-Piety and Goddess
Ecology, Man in Nature .ed. Baidyanath Saraswati New Delhi : D.K.Print.
Le Guin, Ursula (1989) Women and Wilderness, Healing the wounds: The promise of
Eco-Feminism. Ed. Judith Plant. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers.
Mehta, Gita. (1993). A River Sutra, New Delhi: Penguin books India (P) Ltd. All textual
citations are from this source.

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IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

Shiva, Vandana.(1988) Staying Alive : Women, Ecology and development in India.


London; Zed Press.
Sturgeon, Noel.(1997) Ecofeminist Natures:Race,Gender,Feminist Theory and political
Action. New York: Routledge.
Tuan, Yi-fu.(1976) Geo-piety: A Theme in Mans Attachment to Nature and to Place.
In Geographies of the Mind. ed. David Lowenthal and Martyn Bowden. New York:
Oxford University Press.

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IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

Progress, Prospects and Problems of Silk Industry in


Murshidabad District of West Bengal
Ratan Das
Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce,
Durgapur Government College, Durgapur - 713214

ABSTRACT:
Silk industry in Murshidabad of West Bengal is the livelihood of a large rural population
and hence deserves all encouragement. Silk fabrics of the district are popular in the
domestic market as well as for export. A good portion of silk fabrics are produced here
exclusively for export. Since this industry provides one of the basic necessities of life,
contributes to industrial production, employment and export earnings, the healthy
development and rapid growth of this industry of the district is, therefore, of vital
importance. So obstacles to the production, marketing and financing of sericulture in the
district must be removed by the Government, collective efforts of rural populace,
entrepreneurs, researchers, financing agencies and marketing channels.
Keywords: intensive, pivotal, topography, conducive, generation, intermediaries, hindrance, dimension,
eventually, substantial

INTRODUCTION
Murshidabad has a fertile land. Its soil and climate within the Gangetic plain have
brought a favourable atmosphere for growing mulberry and tending silkworms.
Topography of the district helps for carrying out mulberry cultivation and silkworms
rearing. In the Indogangetic plain, nature of the soil is mostly alluvial and loamy which is
mostly suitable for mulberry plants and a major portion of cocoons is produced in
this area of the district.
Favourable soil and climatic conditions, huge production of mulberry leaves, availability
of skilled labours, expertise and skill of artisans / weavers, availability of raw silk for
reeling and ultimately weaving of silk clothes are considered very conducive to the
healthy growth of silk industry of Murshidabad.
The locational advantages have the important bearings on the economy of production and
future viability of silk industry in the district.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Sericulture is a labour intensive and employment generating sector in the district. It is
playing a pivotal role in solving unemployment problem and is providing livelihood to
thousands of people, specially for rural folk / retarded people of the district. A good
portion of the total population of the district is engaged in sericulture that gains
importance next to agriculture. As per census report of 2001, this sector provides whole
time and part time employment to about 105000 persons in the rural, sub-urban and urban

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CFTRA Global
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IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

areas of the district, of whom more than 25% belong to the scheduled caste
scheduled tribe communities.

and

It has been observed that there is a great opportunity of generation of employment to


this agro-based cottage industry in the district.
In comparison with agriculture, sericulture can provide a maximum number of
employment in the district because mulberry cultivation and silkworms rearing provide
employment throughout the year. Agriculture can be made twice or thrice a year whereas
sericulture is conducted five times in a year in the district. It indicates that sericulture is
an effective tool for generating gainful employment in the district and it can also
provide employment to the agriculturists even during their slack season.
That is why the employment opportunity in sericulture is increasing day by day in the
district. Thus, this sector becomes a labour intensive industry in the district.
LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURE
It has been found in course of survey that silk cocoons are produced in the district with
the help of old equipments. Most of the silk yarn are produced here in country charka and
consequently there is a low productivity of silk in the district. Maximum numbers
of farmers and reelers do not use improved and modern equipments and machineries
due to inadequacy of finance.
LACK OF ORGANIZED MARKET
As there is no organized market in the district as well as in West Bengal, the
sericulturists, reelers and weavers of silk face many difficulties at the time of selling their
products. The entire business starting from mulberry cultivation to silkworm rearing and
production and sale of silk fabrics are conducted in open market in the district.
The exploitation by mahajans, middlemen and silk merchants is one of the main problems
of silk industry in the district. Generally they are bound to sell their products at low
prices to the local merchants owing to lack of organized market in the district.
EXPLOITATION OF INTERMEDIARIES
The silk merchants advance money to the sericulturists, reelers and weavers of the district
at their need and they compel them to sell their products to them at a low rate. The
mahajans and middlemen often control the prices of raw materials to finished products
due to lack of organized market in the district. Owing to these difficulties, they often
become victims of the intermediaries who deprive them of their selling price or real
wages. Since there is no proper marketing facility in the district for selling silk yarn, the
private reelers have to sell the reeled yarn at a low price to the silk merchants /
middlemen to get quick return of working capital for further operations.

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IMJ (International Multidisciplinary Journal)


Vol. 1, No. 1, January April, 2010
ISBN 8186067-25-6

INSUFFICIENT CAPITAL
Insufficient capital is a main drawback of financing of sericulture in the district. The
sericulturists, reelers and weavers of the district are generally poor and as such they have
not the capacity to invest sufficient capital to improve their production through better
investment. Most of them cannot operate profitably sericultural activities because of lack
of finance. The silk co-operative societies sometimes suffer from shortage of fund.
INSUFFICIENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
It is found that in respect of post-cocoon stage, financial assistance under National
Sericulture Project in the district was insufficient during the period of study. It is
observed that financial assistance in the pre-cocoon stage was greater than that in the
stage of post-cocoon development.
It is also found that in the post-cocoon stage, there was no financial assistance for fixed
cost in respect of silk weaving industry. Though the district is pre-dominantly silk
weaving centre of West Bengal, the silk weaving industry here is deprived of getting
financial assistance for fixed cost. So, increase in the both as well as both for fixed cost
and variable in financial assistance is desirable.
NON-INVOLVEMENT OF NATIONALISED BANK
The sericultural practices are region and season specific in nature and hence, the
financing differs from place to place and activity to activity. In Murshidabad, sericulture
is a sector where institutional financing or more appropriately bank financing is yet to
make much progress. While the district has enormous potential for development of
sericulture and has received considerable attention from the fifth five year plan, the
involvement of banks in financing activities is rather negligible. Only the District Central
Co-operative Bank meets the requirements of the sericulturists, reelers, weavers and the
silk co-operative societies of the district as per NABARD or KVIC scheme. The pressure
of the total work load including financing of sericulture is heavy and hence the sanction
and disbursement of loan to the beneficiaries take much time. Therefore, it is high
time for the Nationalised Banks to come forward to participate actively in providing
financial support to the industry as a whole.
CONCLUSION
Since this industry provides one of the basic necessities of life, contributes to industrial
production, employment and export earnings, the healthy development and rapid growth
of this industry of the district is, therefore, of vital importance. Although the State
Government has taken several positive steps, but due to lack of infrastructural facilities
and inadequacy of financing, it provides a hindrance to the sericultural activities. So
obstacles to the production, finance and marketing of sericulture in the district must be
removed by the Government, collective efforts of the rural populace, entrepreneurs,
researchers, financing agencies and the marketing channels.

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Adequate financial support, proper labour management, positive support of the


Government, prompt marketing facilities including regulated market, improved and
modern technology and proper training can provide the sericulture / silk industry a new
dimension to the society. Eventually, it will contribute a substantial part for an overall
development of the district.
Reference:
1.

Economics of Silk Reeling, Indian Silk, 16, CSB, 1977: S. R. Charsby

2.

Silk Production and Weaving in India, C. S. I. R. Pub., 1949, New Delhi: C.


C. Ghosh

3.

Report on the Survey of Handloom Weaving Industry in Bengal, Govt. of


Bengal, Calcutta, 1936: N. C. Chakravarty

4.

Sericulture in West Bengal, Geographical Analysis, 1992, Saswati Mukherjee

5.

District Statistical Handbook 2001, Murshidabad

6.

Compendium of Statistics of Silk Industry, CSB, Bangalore, 1999

7.

District Gazetteer, Murshidabad, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya

Central Sericultural Research And Training Institute, Berhampore,

9.

Department of Sericulture, Berhampore, Murshidabad.

10.

Sericulture Manual 1- Mulberry Cultivation: Dr. G. Rangaswami, page 34.

11.

Sericulture in West Bengal, Geographical Analysis, 1992, Saswati Mukherjee.

12.

Field Survey Panchgram-Khargram-Nabagram, Murshidabad.

13.

Field Survey, Bhabaninagar Resham Silpi Samabay Samity Ltd., Murshidabad

14.

Field Work, Chak-Islampur Resham Silpi Samabay Samity Ltd., Murshidabad

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