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An International Journal
VOL - 3 NO. - 2 JULY-DEC. 2013
Sl. Article Page
No. No.
1 "Invented and inventive traditions": 1-18
traditional medicine(s), continuity
and change in Central Asia
Barbara Potrata
2 Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung 19-34
among the Rai Community of Sikkim
Swati Akshay Sachdeva
3 Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Rural 35-54
Sindh: Rationalizing Life-world of Peasants
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin &
Firdous Mahesar
4 Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: 55-72
A Critical Assessment
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
5 Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of 73-86
Collective Memory and Rituals in Philippine
Colonial History
Roseanne DelParto
6 Comparative Dermatoglyphic Study of Hindu 87-94
and Muslim females of District Lucknow (India)
Sudhir Patel & Rahul Patel
7 Living Standard and economic condition 95-104
among Baiga of Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh
Jyoti Jhariya, Awadhesh N. Sharma and
Rajesh K. Gautam
1 Global Well-Being, Economics, and 105-108
Biotechnology in India and the United States
Edwin Dickens
2 Attitude & Awareness Regarding Reproductive 109-128
Health of Dhanuk women of Lucknow City
Preeti Singh
3 A Study of the extent of adulteration in the 129-138
most commonly used beverage- tea in four
major cities of Uttar Pradesh.
Seema Singh
4 Gender Gap in Breast Feeding Child: 139-146
Factors and Implications
Pratham Parekh
5 Legal Framework on Intellectual Property 147-162
Rights: A Comparative Study of Laws in
Indian Subcontinent
Shashidhar Mehta
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 1-18
*Barbara Potrata, Ph.D. Research fellow in applied Qualifative Research, Leeds
Institute of Health Sciences, University of leeds, U.K.
"Invented and Inventive Traditions":
Traditional Medicines, Continuity and Change
in Central Asia
*Barbara Potrata
In this discussion article I consider traditional medicine(s) in Central
Asia as social practices embedded in continuities and discontinuities
with the recent socialist past. I argue that among important continuities
are dominance of (Russian/ Soviet) scientific discourse, but also
readiness to embrace multiple healing modalities. I pay particular
attention to "invented traditions" as the mediators between continuity
and change. They represent continuity with socialism which invented
many "traditions" to help navigate through turbulent periods by creating
an illusion of timelessness, stability and continuity. Nevertheless,
invented traditions are also "inventive". I discuss this in case of (fringe)
healing modalities underpinned by spiritualities to argue that such
modalities bring into post-socialist social contexts new understandings
of work and identity formation, indicate transition into consumer society
and present a model of appropriate consumption while enabling those
who can afford it to subtly assert increasing social differences.
Key words: traditional medicine, Central Asia, (post)-socialism,
invented traditions, inventive traditions, consumerism
Introduction :
Awareness of the importance of non-biomedical systems for
health of the world populations have been growing since World
Health Organizations seminal summit on global health which took
place in 1978 in Almaty in Kazakhstan. Many official WHO
documents since then have recognised that traditional medicine based
on indigenous knowledge might offer culturally highly acceptable,
cheaper, and more accessible healthcare. WHO Resolution from
(2002)recommended development and implementation of national
policies and regulation on traditional medicines and those which
are outside their cultural environments known as complementary
and alternative medicine. Nevertheless, we have already criticised
the inadequacy of such understanding of traditional medicine by
pointing out that there is no unified traditional medicine thus it is
more appropriate to use the term traditional medicines. We also
stressed that focus on identifying active ingredients of biological
and non-biological materials with medical properties and effects
reflects overly-narrow, culturally specific, Orientalist
understanding of traditional medicines and practices (Potrata and
Akobirshoeva 2010).
Discussion :
In this discussion I move further away from such narrow
considerations of traditional medicines and I wrote about Central
Asian health traditions as cultural practices. I devote the least space
to those traditions which have been practices since ancient time
continuously, throughout socialism
until today. Such traditional
medicines certainly exist, but my attention is focused on analysis of
traditional medicines in Central Asia in the framework of continuities
and discontinuities with socialism in post-socialism, and the types
of processes which engender and support particular types of
traditional practices. I also discuss those types of traditional
medicines which bring new understandings into post-socialist
realities. My discussion is primarily based on ethnographic data
collected by the teams of UK and local researchers, academics and
practitioners, working within a research project Documenting local
knowledge, conducted by the University of Cambridge Central Asia
Forum in a number of Central Asian countries since 2006. The
research project consisted of several diverse and smaller projects,
looking at the issues of biodiversity and the way the humans interact
with their wider environment. Health was conceptualised as one of
such intersections (for more details see Potrata and Akobirshoeva
In this article I also use the data from several other research
visits to the Central Asian regions and places where populations in
large urban areas might look for help with their health problems.
During our research we visited bazaars in Sogd in Tajikistan and
Tashkent in Uzbekistan. We conducted formal and informal
interviews with the stall-holders who not only sell vegetables and
fruits, but also offer medicinal plants, herbal remedies and other
organic and inorganic substances used in traditional healing. In order
to address another severely under-researched area home remedies
and over-the-counter medicines (for more details see Qato, et al.
2008)we conducted systematic observations and interviewed
pharmacists working in the pharmacies situated in the vicinity of
these markets.
Invented and inventive traditions": traditional medicines.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 2
In search of health many people living both in urban and
rural environments visits traditional healers. These might include
those who practice within a particular religion (mostly Islam), those
practicing within traditional medical traditions (eg Traditional
Chinese Medicine) or those considering themselves shamans,
working with affected people with bricolage(cf. Lvi-Strauss 1966)
of different techniques and practices with long lineage and of more
recent provenience. In my theoretical discussion I also use data on
New Age practitioners of various complementary medicines and
spiritual practices, obtained in a comparable social context, post-
socialist Slovenia (Potrata 2002)
Traditional medicine under socialism :
When looking at the traditional medicines in Soviet socialism,
a two-fold development is discernible. The Soviet authorities
certainly encouraged the research into folk traditions and history
of different constituent ethnic groups (including their traditional
medicines - narodnamedicina) to uncover and study the world as
it was supposedly prior to being spoilt by emergence of private
property and unjust, exploitative social relations. Nevertheless,
Marxist theory postulates that communism is above all the project
of modernity, deeply committed to the ideas of science and
progress which will lead into the world of abundance and
plenty after the decisive class struggle. In the new world, the
new man will be able to completely command the natural world
(Nove 1987). In the course of increasing progress of science, folk
traditions might be colourful, endearing and nostalgic, but they are
ultimately backward phenomena. It is the Soviet medicine, based
on science, which was extolled during socialism.
Soviet state also had another reason to promote biomedicine.
Michaels (2000) argues that Soviet authorities tried to tie local
populations to the state through the biomedicine, and it has been
argued that in many present Central Asian states the governments
continue with this strategy (Johnson 2011). Furthermore, Soviet
authorities provided wide access to education and health system in
the Soviet era. Local Central Asian populations were less inclined to
use traditional medicines and have lost a large degree of knowledge
and respect for their traditional knowledge. Consequently, traditional
knowledge no longer represents continuation of collective memory
(Connerton 1989; Gills 1994). Indeed, several observers have
commented that today the citizens of Central Asian states are more
likely to learn about herbal remedies from books and friends (Nelson
Barbara Potrata
Voice of Intellectual Man 3
2004 for Kyrgiz republic; Sezik) rather than traditional sources, which
further contributes to the decline of traditional knowledge.
Nevertheless, communism and the Marxist ideas upon which
it is based also paradoxically contributed to preservation and
promotion of some of the traditional practices. The authorities had
introduced some of the traditional modalities into their public
healthcare system in the constituent parts of the Soviet Union. This
is because during socialism communist authorities throughout Soviet
Union in line with Marxist philosophy put equal importance on
environmental factors in disease aetiology (Michaels 2000), leading
to the formation of somehow unique preventive medical system
which was capable of accommodating multiple healing
modalities(Grabbe 2000). Therefore, alongside medical treatments,
comparable to standard Western care, the medical professionals
also prescribed spa treatments (massage, balneology), very often
together with various natural cures, herbal remedies and folk
functional foods, and used some other healing modalities, such as
cupping (using suction of warmed cups) and acupressure for
example by placing electrodes on relevant acupuncture points
(Grabbe 2000). Grabbe(2000) also reports that even today
healthcare professionals are often not only highly tolerant of
magical cures, but quite frequently believe in and use them.
Continuities :
The socialist era therefore had paradoxical impact on
traditional medicines (in Central Asia). On one hand, traditional
medicine, especially those modalities which were part of religious
traditions (for example Islamic religious tradition) were considered
backward and almost dangerous, outside discourse of socialist
progress and science, while on the hand several folk modalities and
remedies were incorporated and even thrived within the official
healthcare system. It is important to keep in mind that it is
questionable to what degree such integrated traditional medicine
is indeed traditional when it is practiced outside any socio-cultural
model, bereft of social meanings - that is only according to active
ingredients or actions of a particular remedy or treatment.
Nevertheless, the citizens of Central Asian states continue to trust
such treatments and cures, and they are more likely to trust similar
traditional remedies and treatments outside official healthcare
Invented and inventive traditions": traditional medicines.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 4
There is also another continuity. Soviet (Russian) science
continues to be the dominant discourse and gives strong legitimacy
and credibility to any healing modality. For example, some vendors
at the bazaars selling medicinal plants supported the claims about
the efficacy of the plants that they sold by showing potential
customers Russian (Soviet) scientific books, describing their
characteristics and medicinal properties. The members of the
Traditional medicine association of Uzbekistan - whose aim is to
promote traditional medicine of Uzbekistan - are keen to cooperate
in biomedical research into herbal medicine or other organic and
inorganic materials but when approached by our research team they
were rather at loss at suggestions of potentially other types and
fields of research in traditional medicines.
Scientific discourse might be successfully challenged by a
cultural one. For example, the vendors on the bazaars in Uzbekistan
and Tajikistan whose primary source of income was simply selling
vegetables and fruits sold naturally derived remedies alongside their
agricultural products. They were also able to give advice on which
herb(s), extract or natural remedy to use for a particular ailment.
Yet there were notable differences in their sources of authority,
reflecting both prestige of particular knowledge-base and cultural
prestige. In Tajikistan, the vendors could show or cite Soviet
(Russian) scientific articles and books to substantiate the use of a
particular plant, or they referred to the word of mouth. In Uzbekistan,
the vendors cited the works of IbnSina(Avicenna) - polymath and
medical pioneer whose works in medicine had far-reaching influence,
including in the West - works as proof of plants use and efficacy.
Ruptured realities and traditions :
A simple stroll in the marketplaces renders strong support to
the argument that Central Asia is a meeting point of many great
medical traditions(Keshavjee 2006) with a long, continuous history
and contemporary presence. Some products on offer are well known
since the ancient time from the local traditional medicine, for example
mumio, a complex organic and inorganic natural adaptogen. Vendors
in the bazaars of Central Asia recommend a considerable number
of spices to be used for medical purposes as described in classical
works of Unani medicine. This Greco-Islamic medical tradition
traces its roots both to ancient Greek medical theories of Galen and
Hippocrates and Islamic scholars, such as IbnSina (Avicenna)
Barbara Potrata
Voice of Intellectual Man 5
(Sheehan and Hussain 2002). Both foodstaffs and herbal remedies
might be recommended on grounds of their inherent hot and cold
properties, as described in this medical tradition.
Various oils of animal and plant origin, herbal mixtures and
herbs known from traditional Korean medicine might be sold side-
by-side with preparations known in Ayurvedic medicine (cf. Penkala-
Gawetcka 2002 for Kyrgiz Republic). Other great medical traditions
present in contemporary Central Asia include Turco-Mongolian
medicine and Persian healing modalities (Rasanayagam 2006). There
was certainly a marked interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine,
but some of the attitudes towards this healthcare tradition are
ambivalent and as traditional medicines are cultural practices,
affected by political issues. The problems are not Uzbekistans highly
integrated and culturally similar ethnic minorities, originating in
China, like Uyghurs and Dungans, and their traditional medicines.
Rather, the citizens of Uzbekistan might feel uneasiness when faced
with the Chinese whose economic activities are not only evident in
the number of Chinese entrepreneurs in Uzbekistan, but also highly
visible, for example in many roads and other construction projects
undertaken by the Chinese companies. The uneasiness about the
Chinese economic expansion is also reflected in the field of
traditional medicines. More than one person were highly critical,
claiming that the Chinese coming to Central Asia to source materials
needed for Traditional Chinese Medicine, plundering Central Asian
natural resources without consideration for the precarious natural
Even though it appears that many medical traditions have
long and uninterrupted history in Central Asia it is difficult to
ascertain whether traditional medicines in the bazaars are a revival
of traditions, suppressed during the Soviet times, or whether they
are indeed continuous, living traditions. The fact that stall-vendors
in both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan tended to support their
recommendations in regards to herbal remedies by Russian scientific
books on botany or books of IbnSina also indicates the lack of
traditional use of traditional remedies. Rather than relying on
practical knowledge of herbal medicines the individuals need to
rely on other authoritative sources forappropriate use of traditional
remedies. The need to support the suitable use of natural remedies
therefore indicates interrupted traditions. Furthermore, the findings
of several researchers point out that caution is indeed needed. For
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 6
example, a vast majority of Kehl-Bodrogis(2006) religious healers
in Uzbekistan have started with their activities after the break-down
of Soviet Union. By the same token, Louw(2006) does point out
that her informants who expect getting healed at the shrines of
famous Muslim saints and dignitaries in Bukhara visited these
locales during the communist times but it is necessary to point out
that they got healed and started to (regularly) frequent sacred shrines
after the independence in 1991.
Invented traditions :
It appears therefore that it is difficult to ascertain to what
degree traditional medicines are indeed traditional and represent
historical continuity, and to what extent they are situated in societal
change, indetermination, uncertainty and fragmentation, and are
actually invented traditions (cf. Laruelle 2007a; Laruelle 2007b;
Shnirelman 2009). The phenomena of inventing traditions are not
new. Hobsbawn and Ranger (1983) argue that much of what we
today consider tradition have been invented only relatively
recently. Traditions continue to get invented all the time and help
to navigate through turbulent times. Furthermore, according to
Giddens the invention of tradition in late modernity (or post-
modernity) is the attempt to forge a connection with the past, and
also wider frames of reference and in this way, to give a practice
certain credibility (Giddens 1991; Luhrmann 1989). Following
Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983), they are a means to facilitate the
understanding of a rapidly changing social reality in the modern
world. Invented traditions are therefore illusion of continuation in
rapidly changing social contexts.
Invented traditions have received only passing attention
from scholars of socialist societies even though I argue that they
were their frequent strategy to create an illusion of permanency
through time. This is because most socialist authorities came into
power with total revolution, aiming to destroy all remnants of the
old social order and start anew the communist society. Such radical
changes usually affect the notions of beginning of time. On one
hand, it often appeared to the citizens of socialist countries as if
time and history started with the day of revolution, sometimes
literally. This is not at all a new strategy. For example, French
bourgeois revolutionaries invented their own calendar to measure
the time after laying foundations for the new Republic (1793) and
the same calendar was re-used during another (socialist)
Barbara Potrata
Voice of Intellectual Man 7
revolutionary event which attempted another radical social change
Paris Commune (1871). On other hand, during socialism many
communal events, such as Festival of flowers or Exhibition of
agricultural machinery had become traditional already in their
third or so year. Traditions invented by socialist regimes therefore
conflate time, giving illusion of temporal persistence and continuity.
In post-socialism, invented traditions are an attempt to define certain
parts of peoples everyday lives as immutable and unchangeable in
the situation of rapidly changing social context (Potrata, 2002).
Invented traditions in Central Asian are therefore not a
continuation of the phenomena originating prior to the new post-
socialist social (dis)order. On the contrary, they are a symptom that
Central Asians are alienated from their traditional social context
and traditions, whatever these might be.
The example of a practitioner of invented traditions was the
one that we interviewed in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, who considered
himself practicing traditional medicine, including Islamic healing.
Yet he was a highly educated historian who became interested in
traditional medicine during his academic research relatively recently
and who had not been apprenticed by a practitioner working within
a continuous tradition. He improved his healing practice by
consulting other practitioners from his wide network which went
across several inter-state borders, by reading historical and
archaeological books as well as consulting popular press and
contemporary healers, including those working within (American)
New Age practices.
Shamans as mediators between the old and new :
Even though this practitioner claimed to work within
traditional medicine he in fact used a wide variety of practices in
his healing. His approach to healing is similar to various shamanic
practices which are usually prominent in the circumstances of a
society undergoing rapid change, like those in Central Asia. This is
because living in a time of rapid social change, in two worlds the
old and the emerging new one shamans do not care about purity
of ideas or practices, be they social, political or religious. Caught
between two social realities, shamans, as bricoleurs (Lvi-Strauss,
1966), creatively combine the elements of the old or traditional
world with parts of the new one in order to renegotiate the
understanding of social reality (in cross-cultural perspective
Burridge 1971; Cohn 1962; Comaroff 1985; Humphrey 1983). It
Invented and inventive traditions": traditional medicines.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 8
is therefore of no surprise that the rise of shamanistic healing has
been observed throughout Central Asia, including urban
environments (Humphrey 1999; Lindquist 2002).
It is not only the individuals who become shamans and heal
with their new powers post-socialist ills. It is often that the state
itself gets involved into inventing various traditions and their healing
practices. According to Shnirelman(1996) many of these invented
ideologies have a remarkably similar myth of origin regardless of
how different they seem, and of their different social contexts. Many
are about reviving traditions of ancestors who are believed to
have come first to certain territories as bearers of advanced
civilisation. Then, at a certain point in history, foreign conquerors
invaded and occupied the territory and completely subdued in every
respect autochthonous, culture. Consequently, the indigenous
culture is in the process of degeneration thus the prescribed solution
is to overthrow the conquerors and their ideologies and reestablish
the autochthonous traditions. By reviving the old religion and
their healing traditions of their highly sophisticated and advanced
ancestors, the golden age will be retrieved.
Shnirelman (1996) argues that through such myths, ethnic
groups (for example in Russia and the Baltic states) defend and
assert historical and territorial claims, cultural prestige and ethnic
identity vis-a-vis other competing ethnic groups. He cites the
example of the Tatars and Chuvash, two ethnic groups in Russia
who are involved in contesting historical legacies in order to increase
their cultural prestige and economic gain within the former Soviet
Union. By proving who had arrived in the present territory first
and who brought civilisation to the area, in many respects Tatars
and Chuvash are not only competing for the same territory, but also
for cultural and political prestige and consequently, economic
improvement, since the country with greater cultural prestige is
also more likely to attract funding (Shnirelman, 1996). He observed
the same process in Central Asia when discussing the competing
narratives on common ancient ancestors as Aryans or proto-Turks.
(see also Laruelle 2007b; Shnirelman 2009)
I contend that implicitly asserting territorial claims and
cultural prestige is also evident in the field of traditional medicine.
I have already mentioned that cultural discourse can successfully
compete with scientific one, citing as example the vendors in
Uzbekistan who used IbnSinnas works to substantiate the use of a
Barbara Potrata
Voice of Intellectual Man 9
particular natural remedy. In contrast, the vendors in Tajikistan
referred to Soviet (Russian) scientific works. Furthermore, in the
recent years in Uzbekistan many organizations have been established
(some under state tutelage) to promote and revive the work of this
great scholar. In Uzbekistan, it is stressed that IbnSinna was born
in Afshana near Bukhara and no factual errors are usually made as
to his ethnic origin or that of his parents. Yet Bukhara, Tajikistans
cultural capital, has only become part of contemporary Uzbekistan
in 1924 in the Soviet times, and a few years ago there have been
some rather isolated claims from Tajikistan to redefine the borders
of newly independent states to remedy the situation (Laruelle 2007b).
Even today a substantial Tajik minority lives in this area. In
Tajikistan, the presence of this great polymath is often reified. For
example, IbnSinas monument stands in Dushanbe, the capital of
Tajikistan. In 2006 Tajikistan named one of the Pamir peaks on the
border with Kyrgiz Republic - IbnSinna peak which is still known
as Lenin peak in Kyrgiz Republic. The ownership of IbnSinna or
promotion of his work as traditional medicine and part of national
heritage can therefore be seen as a subtle competition between the
two states over the territory and cultural prestige.
Alternative spiritual healing practices :
The state can therefore get involved into creating invented
traditions to stand for political legitimacy (Shnirelman 2009) and
assert cultural and political identities, especially when faced with
the rise of Islam (Laruelle 2007b). Invented traditions form a
spurious connection with the past and provide illusion of continuity
in fractured and fragmented times. Such traditions not only reflect
and mitigate discontinuity of post-socialism but they also invent
- create new meanings and new practices in, and for the new times.
Here I refer to those (invented) traditions which are underpinned by
various spiritual practices many of which claim ancient lineage.
In the next paragraphs I am going to discuss those (healing)
traditions which are based New Age ideas and practices whose
presence has been noticed by the researchers in several Central
Asian states in Uzbekistan (Rasanayagam 2006) and Kyrgiz
republic (Penkala-Gawetcka 2002). It was discussed in greater
lengths as a spirituality underpinning Tengrism, an invented tradition
deployed in nationalistic means by mostly small groups of
intellectuals in Kyrgiz republic and Kazakhstan (Laruelle 2007a).
Invented and inventive traditions": traditional medicines.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 10
Despite her incisive analysis Laruelle(2007a) feels uncomfortable
discussing New Age spirituality, a nebulous and apparently highly
individualistic spiritual phenomenon because it is often considered
a Western, post-modern phenomenon. In contrast and in absence of
other comprehensive research in Central Asia or comparative social
contexts, in my extended research among the New Age practitioners
of complementary healing and spiritual practices in post-socialist
Slovenia I argue that this is indeed a complex phenomenon with
many individual interpretations, yet the practitioners operate within
only one understanding of health, illness and healing.
As all perennialists the New Agers believe that some concepts,
beliefs and practices are found across other religions and traditions
which make their individual practices syncretistic and eclectic. All
of them believe in the primordial state in which people hold divine-
like powers and are in constant communication with ultimate reality,
using subtle energies. But the humans are alienated from their
divine origin because society and its institutions, rules and
prohibition make them forget their divine origin. Consequently, the
society literally inscribes itself into their bodies in form of energy
blockages which make people ill. In order to regain health, those
affected must became aware of such distorted patterns of
thinking - which societal rule caused their disease and cleanse
themselves of them. This might be a process occurring during
multiple lives via reincarnation. It is also a continuous process of
self-realisation and self-perfectibility, moving from the lower
spiritual levels to the higher ones (Potrata 2002) When employed
within this specific understanding of health and illness, New Age
can also underpin other traditional practices, like some practices
from Traditional Chinese Medicine (eg using acupuncture to remove
blockages in bodily energies).
I continue to argue that New Age, however much being
appears to be similar to the Western one, is organically embedded
in both socialism and post-socialism. New Age, which in many
socialist countries started in the counter-cultures of 1960s and
became visible in 1980s, should be understood as a millenarian
utopia which in the recent past shared many common characteristics
with another millenarian, dominant yet competing utopia socialism
(see Cohns (1962) seminal work on millenarisms). Both New Age
and socialism share the belief that people are in quintessence good,
and the imminence of a massive social transformation which will
Barbara Potrata
Voice of Intellectual Man 11
result in the future world of abundance and plenty, where every
person will fulfil his of her inner potential - be what one could be -
and be a full master of his or her destiny. However, New Age also
opposed the dominant utopia in several important points. Whereas
socialism advocates revolutionary transition into the new future,
New Age advocates evolutionary approach, socialist insistence of
communality is opposed by New Age strong ethos of individualism
and entrepreneurship; and socialist atheism is juxtaposed to New
Age commitment to spiritual ideas. New Age does not go away in
post-socialism what used to be opposition to socialist reality is
now affirmation of post-socialist and neo-liberal context but as
millenarian utopia brings into new social reality core values which
this phenomenon shared with socialism in which most of the citizens
of post-socialism have been socialised into (Potrata 2007; Potrata
2004; Potrata 2002).
Spiritual healing practices as innovation :
I have paid particular attention (Potrata, 2002) to the New
Age concept of working on oneself which means that during the
process of self-perfectibility a New Ager continuously visits various
New Age workshops, happenings, lectures and healing therapies to
identify more and more distorted patterns of thinking which must
be cleansed. The New Agers therefore produce their identity by
consuming highly abstract New Age practices. These practices
consequently introduce in post-socialist social orders two new ideas.
Socialist understanding of work as physical labour is opposed
by the New Age one, that abstract work is also work. New
Age therefore introduces new understanding of work. Furthermore,
the phrase working on oneself refers to the old socialist
understanding of identity formation in which work - physical
labour - creates the value of a person (Holy 1992; Humphrey 1995a;
Lampland 1995; Pine 1996; Verdery 1996). In contrast, New Age
notion of working on oneself simultaneously implies the ideas of
both production and consumption. It has been argued that in
the West consumption has replaced production as the main identifier
of personal identity and meaningful social action (Appadurai 1986;
Bourdieu 1991; Douglas 1997; Miller 1996).
Working on oneself
thus describes post-socialist transition into consumer society.
The transition into consumer society of post-socialist social
context is not without issues. Sampson (1996) argues that one of
such important problems is question of what proper consumer
Invented and inventive traditions": traditional medicines.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 12
model constitutes. It also seems that post-socialist citizens do not
yet feel comfortable abandoning the idea of being the producers in
favour of being the consumers. It can be argued that spiritual
consumption is one of the models of proper consumption in which
uneasiness of this transition is mitigated by the spiritualisation
of consumption. It is also possible to speculate that all traditions
which are (seen as being) underpinned by various spiritual
traditions (eg Traditional Chinese Medicine, Islamic healing
practices etc.) can be appropriated as models of overcoming
uneasiness of transition into consumer society.
Consumptions of distinction :
Healing traditions based on spirituality ease transition into
society which is becoming increasingly consumerist and where social
stratification has become pronounced. I further contend that
consuming spiritual traditions can be means of subtle social
differentiation, or social distinction (Bourdieu 1991) in a society
and among those who find conspicuous consumption vulgar. We
have already argued (Potrata and Akobirshoeva 2010) that
traditional medicines can and should also be studied as consumptions
of distinction(Bourdieu 2010). We contended that at least better-
off segments of post-socialist Central Asian are increasingly
becoming consumers whose social positions are less affected by
their socio-economic determinants and increasingly more by their
judgements in taste and on distinction that their consumer
choices might bestow on them. More affluent segments of society
(and those aspiring to them) who have little problems to pay for
their prescribed pharmaceuticals use herbal remedies as health
supplements rather than instead as the medicines.
This was the situation in Uzbekistans pharmacies where the
consumers often looked for various traditional remedies and
nutritional supplements to enhance their health, rather than like in
Tajikistan where the consumers bought them out of necessity. The
same consumers in Uzbekistan might not be content to use traditional
remedies if these were suggested by the healers coming from lower
socio-economic class with little sophistication. Such situation was
described by Linquists (2002) in contemporary post-socialist Russia
where the clients were reluctant to consult a healer using rural healing
traditions because they perceived them as being uneducated, coming
from a lower social groups with little cultural sophistication.
Barbara Potrata
Voice of Intellectual Man 13
I further argue that those healing traditions which require
strong commitment to spirituality are premium consumptions
themselves because following Appadurais(1986) definition, spiritual
consumptions can be considered luxuries. As luxuries, healing
products and practices are limited to the elite, in this case to the
spiritual elite. Since not many people are fully involved in
delivering healing, in this sense practices and products, such as
herbal remedies are scarce and a specialised knowledge is required
for their proper consumption. Like luxuries, the consumption of
spiritual healing traditions are linked to person, body and personality.
The healing traditions with strong basis in spirituality are form of
subtle luxurious consumption in post-socialist societies for those
who can afford it yet abhor conspicuous displays of wealth. In this
way the consumers of spiritual medicines can assert subtle social
differences in the societies where the gap between the rich and the
poor has after the collapse of socialism widened quickly.
Conclusion :
In this discussion I considered traditional medicines as
continuities and discontinuities with socialism and argue about
innovative ideas which they bring into post-socialist social contexts.
I did not dedicate much time to continuous, living traditions. I did
argue, however, that when discussing traditional practice(s) there
are some important continuities with the socialist era which had
somehow contradictory impacted on traditional medicines. On one
hand, providing widely accessible, modern healthcare based on
science was important for the legitimacy of new (Soviet) socialist
authorities. Consequently, traditional knowledge systems had to be
presented as backward and unhealthy. On other hand, based
on the same Marxist ideology Soviet healthcare systems were able
to incorporate different health modalities and the citizens of post-
Soviet countries are familiar with the use of such health practices
which in other countries might be described as magic. The
continuous dominance of discourse of (Soviet-Russian) science and
familiarity with healthcare systems incorporating diverse healing
modalities are two important continuations with socialism.
Another continuity is a cultural mechanism of inventing
traditions to create an illusion of duration of new socialist state
formations, their social and moral orders. Nevertheless, the
phenomenon of invented tradition is also embedded in social
rupture which occurred when the great social experimentation of
Invented and inventive traditions": traditional medicines.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 14
socialism was abandoned. I argued that many traditional medicines
which claim ancient roots are in fact invented. As such, they bring
into fragmented post-socialist social orders the ideas of continuity,
durability and stability. Another type of traditional healing practices
is also engendered by large-scale changes and consequent fragmented
social orders because its practitioners the shamans - are creative
bricoleurs who can mediators between the old and the new
social worlds and heal the wounds of change. Various invented and
shamanic traditions might find encouragement by those new nation
states which by such subtle means compete for history, territory
and cultural prestige. Whereas in the Soviet times it was medicine
based on science which was one of the means of giving legitimacy
to the new regimes it might be traditional medicines of arguably
ancient, highly advanced and distinguished ancestors which give
support and legitimacy to the new political regimes of post-socialism.
The traditions are not only invented but they also
inventive and have a potential for bringing new, contemporary
understandings into changed social realities. I argued this in case of
(fringe) healing practices with strong commitment to spirituality,
many of which claim having long history. I contended that fringe
New Age spiritual healing practices bring into new social orders
new understanding of work in which abstract work is also
legitimate form of work. They also introduce the idea of transition
into consumer society and uneasiness of this transition is mitigated
by spiritualisation of consumption. Furthermore, spiritual healing
traditions do not only mitigate moral anxiety of transition into global
consumer society. They are a subtle way of luxurious consumptions
which give distinction to those who abhor conspicuous display
of wealth. The study of traditional medicines is therefore more than
just examinations of pretty flowers with medicinal properties they
are simultaneously studies of continuity, change and innovation of
their social contexts and historical circumstances.
1. In this article I prefer using socialism to communism or
post-communism since these societies do not comply with
what theoreticians of communism define as communist.
2. Yet the notion of consumption as work also reflects social
reality since for many citizens of post-socialist countries.
For them, consumption is not a leisure activity but hard
Barbara Potrata
Voice of Intellectual Man 15
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 18
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 19-34
*Dr. Swati Akshay Sachdeva, Dept. of Social Systems and Anthropology, School
of Social Sciences, Sikkim University, Gangtok, Sikkim, India. PIN-737102.
Email- swatiakshay@yahoo.com
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among
the Rai Community of Sikkim
*Swati Akshay Sachdeva
The Samkhalung is a sacred symbol for the members to the Rai
Community The Rai Samkhalung is important in the ancient religious
belief and it is equally significant in the present world. The Samkhalung
is a summarising symbol because it is primarily an object of culture to
which a sacred meaning has been attached by the community members
. It is a cultural construct because living in proximity with nature right
from the beginning led the Rai community to attach a special symbolic
significance to the three stones. Because of its strong spiritual and
cultural relevance the three stones continue to be worshipped in the
community even now. It is in fact a symbolic land mark of the community
and therefore this symbol appears in all the important aspects of the
community life starting from marriage to death.
Key words: Khambu Rai Mundum, Ninnamma,, Mang Samkhalung
Introduction :
Members in a society associate themselves through the
exchange of expressive forms to which meanings are attached. The
symbolic functions consist in capturing the world through turning
it into signs which are events of expression to be exchanged (Tarot
1999: 59). The symbolic does not simply reflect the mental state of
individuals and their symbolic meaningfulness goes beyond the
subjective state they contribute to create. While owning and
internalising the symbolic forms that it creates, the group accedes
to a collective conscience that governs it, and can at any moment
identity itself in the mirror of its symbolic devices: the symbolic is
the sine qua non of its own self recognition as social reality (Levi
Strauss 1960: xiv). Human beings and their reasoning remain
fragmented because of multiple cultures, values, goals and systems
that are present in the society. However, every culture has certain
key elements which are specific and crucial for its organisation.
The idea and notion of key elements have persisted under a variety
of rubric, Cohen (1948) has called them focal values, Dubois
(1955) called them integrative concepts, Albert (1956) called them
dominant values, Schneider (1968) in his study of American
kinship called them as Core Symbols and Ortner (1970) called
these key elements Key Symbols.
According to Ortner (1970) every culture does not have only
one key symbol but there may be many. They may be called
summarising or elaborating depending on the meanings given to
them by the members of the society. Summarising symbols are those
which are seen as summing up, expressing, what represent for its
participants some kind of powerful emotions, this generally includes
the religious symbols. On the other hand, the elaborating symbols
are accorded central status in the culture on the basis of their capacity
to order experience, they are more analytic and not religious.
This paper is an attempt to understand the summarising nature
of a key symbol in the Rai community which is reflective in the
nature of worship of the three stones or Samkhalung (Chula
Dhunga) by the community members. In this paper I am trying to
study the significance of the Samkhalung and also highlight its
importance as a cultural and sacred construct for the Rai community
of Sikkim.
Kirat Khambu (Rai) :
Khambus or Rais are the descendents of ancient Kiratas from
the prehistorically occupied area of Khambuwan. The word
khambu etymologically means an aborigine people who live or
reside in mud houses, forts or palaces The Rai community call
themselves as Kirat. The wordkirathas been possibly derived
from cirata, cireta or cirayita, also known as kirata-tikta
or anarya-tikta a bitter plant of the non-Arayans, grown in the
lower regions of the Himalayas, which forms the country of the
modern Kirantis or Kiratas. This is the name of a drug which was
obtained from the Kiratas by the Aryans and used for medical
purposes (Singh 1993).
Before the unification of Nepal in 1744 under the rule of
Prithvinarayan Shah Nepal was divided and ruled by different chiefs.
The name Rai is of more recent origin, as the Gurkhas conquered
the land, they gave the more important people among the Khambu
the title of Rai meaning Chief ( Rai 2005).
The Khambus or Rais have different clans (thars) like
Bantawa, Chamling, Thulung, Kulung, Lohorung, Baijing,
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among the.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 20
Dungmali, Nechereng, Khaling, Chaurasaya, Runchenbung, Dumi,
Chinthang, Sampang, Lambichong, Sotang, Thuila, Yaku,
Mewahang, Puma, Waling etc. These clans have been categorised
into two moieties i.e. Kashi gotra and Lhasa gotra (Sinha 2005:
27). Lhasa gotra claim their origin from Lhasa and eat beef. The
two moieties are non hierarchal (Sinha 2005: 28).
The Khambus are believers of animism. Their belief is called
Ninnammism or Mangchhamism. Ninnamma refers to a formless
almighty female deity. The mythological stage of Ninnamma is
represented by its myths called Mundum. Gaenzle defines Mundum
as follows: The oral tradition of the Kiranti groups is generally
known under the term mundhum or muddum, or other cognate terms
which slightly vary among the different ethnic groups. But the core
meaning of this term is very much the same in all these groups. It
means that this is their Tradition (in the sense of a shared cultural
ethos based on a remembered past), their common ancestral way of
life, and everything that has come down from the ancestors in this
oral tradition is regarded as sacred and binding. If we look at the
comparative aspects of this indigenous term, we can see that all the
terms among the different Rai groups and the Limbu point at a
common root *dum, which appears to relate to the Tibetan term
sgrung: and this means something like fable, legend or tale sung
by the bards. Other variants also point to the term dpe, which in
Tibetan means pattern, model parable. (Gaenzle 2011: 281)
Mundum are oral traditions and means of cultural continuity, they
are inherited and passed down from generation after generation.
They are regarded as truly holy and are powerful scriptures. The
corpus of Mundum is myths which are sacred, legend, mythological,
they can be spiritual songs or ceremonial dialogues. This is regarded
as inherited knowledge concerning the universe, creation of living
beings, ancestors (Subba 2009: 357).
Mundum is a corpus of oral myths and is used by the Mangpas
or Bijuwas (general term used for the specialist of Rai religious
traditions) to communicate with their ancestral deities which are
referred to as Kul or the Mang and other natural objects. Mundum
governs every aspect of the Rai people and it is of utmost importance
for the community members. The Khambu Rais do not have any
written religious book, however, they have started documenting the
Mundum which are recited by the Mangpas in a written form (Allen,
N.J 1976, Martin, G 1991, Chemong, I. S, 1961).
Swati Akshay Sachdeva
Voice of Intellectual Man 21
The Rais worship their ancestors, Mang or Kul (i.e., Pitri
puja). Kul or Mang refers to the ancestral deities and their worship
holds an important place in community. The most venerated deities
are Sumnima and Paruhang, who are the manifestations and
symbolism of male-hood and female-hood and then come the
ancestors of the sacred kitchen or Samkhalung. All religious
functions of Khambu-Rais are performed by Mangpas or Bijuwas.
It is believed that all the Rai religious specialist (Mangpas) have
been sent by the male deity or Paruhang. There are five categories
of specialist in Khambu-Rais society, these are the Mangpas,
Bijuwas, Nakchhong, Mabimi and Dowang.
These days because
of the migration and inter-mingling with different communities social
changes are taking place as a result their own way of conducting
the rituals have undergone tremendous changes. The Rai community
believe that people are created by the earth and ultimately have to
go back and rest in the earth itself, therefore, the earth is considered
creator, preserver and ultimate nucleus of all activities. Therefore
earth or Henkhama ritual is usually done by this community. The
existence of life on earth is not possible without the suns energy,
therefore, sun is worshipped. The air or Hukhak is also worshipped
because of its indispensible nature for mankind.
Symbols carry multiple meanings and the study of cultural
life requires isolating symbols, identifying their meanings, and
analysing how they resonate within a specific dynamic cultural
context therefore, there is need to understand culture and its
importance in creation of this sacred landscape for the members of
the Rai community .
Culture: Its Role in ascribing Meanings to Symbols :
Culture can be described as a matter of meaningful actions
and expressions, of utterances, symbols, texts and artefacts of
various kinds, and of subjects who express themselves through these
artefacts and who seek to understand themselves and others by
interpreting the expression they produce and receive. (Thompson
1990: 122) Culture is acquired and transmitted through social
interaction and shapes the way people perceive the world around
them (Hannerz 1995: 68) thereby it is often learned and lived
unconsciously. The culture of a group is handed down through
stories, ideas and material items and at the same time it is produced
by interaction between people who consider themselves to be a part
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among the.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 22
of that group. Culture consists of such symbolic vehicles of meaning,
including belief, ritual practices, art forms, and ceremonies, as well
as informal cultural practices such as language, gossip, stories and
rituals of daily life (Geertz). These symbolic forms are the means
through which social processes of sharing modes of behavior and
outlook within a community take place (Hannerz 1969: 184). One
of the ongoing debates within cultural anthropology is whether this
endeavour should be undertaken from a materialist vantage point
of view or rather stress on interpretation from a symbolic point of
view. This tension is epitomized in the divergent understandings of
culture advocated by Marvin Harris, Clifford Geertz, and Turner
Harrish in his famous book Cultural materialism: the
struggle for a science of culture has emphasised on the emic
perception. He insisted that while both of these perspectives
were distinct, yet they were convergent at the realm of reality. A
methodology grounded in the etic perspective of culture allowed
anthropologist to pursue the objective, cross-cultural study of social
practices According to him the anthropologist regards it as a duty
to represent the hopes and fears, values and goals, beliefs and rituals
of different groups and communities seen from within, the way
people who belong to these groups and communities perceive them
to be, and the way they want them seen by others and at the same
time also describe and explain what people are actually saying and
doing from the standpoint of the objective study of culture and history
(Harris 1979).
A study of culture that accentuates a symbolic understanding
of culture can be employed to ameliorate the deficiencies inherent
in an ardently materialist perspective. From this view, the realm of
the symbolic is the origin and basis of human behavior (White
1949: 22-39). Rather than being merely the byproduct of material
forces at work, a symbolic approach views culture as intrinsically
embedded in public actions through which people engage with the
outside world of both other people and things in a meaningful way
(White 1959: 235-236). The daily expression of creative action
serves as a public meditation on the values that a people hold dear,
a story they tell themselves about themselves (Geertz 1973: 448).
Geertzs symbolic anthropology, often termed as the semiotic
approach, saw symbols as vehicles of culture, in that symbols
transmit meaning and communicate ways in which people should
Swati Akshay Sachdeva
Voice of Intellectual Man 23
see, feel, and think about the world. Believing, with Max Weber,
that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself
has spun, I take cultures to be those webs, and the analysis of it to
be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an
interpretive one in search of meaning. (Geertz 1973: 5) Culture, in
his sense, is not locked up in the heads of individuals but is embodied
publicly through an organized collection of symbolic systems which
produce worldview, ethos, shared values, etc., Geertz was not very
interested in the practical social effects of symbols but rather
deciphering which acts were symbols (in the imaginative universe
of the people) and how they shape the way people think and
communicate about the world, how they influence personhood and
social relations.
Victor Turner (1957) on the other hand, was less interested
in symbols as windows into the integrated ethos and worldview of
society but was interested in symbols as operators of the social
process. His focus was on the pragmatics of symbols, that is, how
symbols operate as active forces in social processes. On the other
hand, Turners interests focused on the ways in which societies
coped with internal contradiction and disharmony. Turner saw
symbols and symbolic action as the important means by which
societies maintained solidarity. Symbols have the ability to move
actors from different statuses, solidify relationships, resolve
contradictions, and create social norms.
A synthesis of these divergent viewpoints emerged through a
grounding of a symbolic construction of culture within tangible
observations drawn from the material world. This united concept,
believed that culture is not an interpretation superimposed on these
material facts, but integrated within them. To believe as Geertz
(1973) does that culture provides a guide to human action, the
cultural symbols act as model of
in guiding and shaping of human
action in everyday life.
Here Geertz says, the sacred symbol shapes individual action
by inducing in the worshipper a certain distinctive set of disposition
(tendencies, capacities, propositions, skills, habits) which lend a
chronic character to the flow of this activity and the quality of his
experience (Geertz 1973: 91). Symbols are the vehicle of conception
and it consists with meaning. The meaning produces through the
process of social interaction. According to Geertz, symbols have
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among the.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 24
the social construction of meaning, only when people agree that a
particular symbol is going to be used to refer to a particular thing.
Hence, a symbol is some thing, which stands for some thing else.
The development of culture thus depends upon the development of
consensus of meaning for the symbols used. The ability to develop
culture (and religion) and to transmit culture (and religion) stems
primarily from another human character mans ability to
manipulate symbols to engage in symbolic interaction .According
to Geertz, in a culture, symbols are embodiments of ideas, attitudes,
judgment and beliefs. An individual through their socialization
process internalizes these symbols which exist in the stock of
knowledge of a particular society
Samkhalung or the Chula Dhungaof Rai Community :
The three tall stones called Samkha lung (Sam means holy,
Kha means place and lung means stones) have to be placed in
every home making a hearth called Samkh (Holy kitchen.) The
Samkhalung is called the Chula dhunga in local parlance because
in the lingua franca of the state i.e Nepali, Chula means a hearth
and dhunga means stones. It is believed that ancestral deities dwell
in these stones, and since each thar has different ancestral deities,
therefore these stones have different names. The people of the Lhasa
Gotra call these stones as Suptulung, Taralung or Sawalung (men),
Shakhalung or Chekulung (women). The people of the Khasi Gotra
regard these stones as Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (which shows
that they have been influenced by the Hindu religion) however ,
this hinduisation of the Samkhalung is not correct and they are not
the fertility symbols of Shivalinga of Hinduism (Paruhang
Sawanam:Visesank:Sakewa Parwa: Ninnamma ra Henkhammaq ko
Utpatti 2008: 33-41).
The first stone is known as Sakalung, which symbolises
were the soul of Phengma dwells. The second stone is known as
Deepalung, symbolises the place where the soul of Lekpa dwells.
The third stone is known asThankalung, which symbolises the
stone were the soul of Nakchhong Susuli dwells. In the Mundum of
Paruhang and Sumnima, their daughter Phengma, Nakchong
Susuli(religious shaman priest) and a young man Lekpa were
turned into stones in the power testing competition of Paruhang
and Sumnima. These stones became the deities of the Khambus rai
Swati Akshay Sachdeva
Voice of Intellectual Man 25
belief system called the Samkhalung. The Rais worship the three
stones of the Samkhalung because they believe the spirits of their
ancestors reside here (Subba 2009: 365-367).
When the Samkhalung has to be set up in a household, the
Mangpa looks into the horoscope (jokhana) of the head of the house.
It is from this he is able to know the direction and the place from
where the sacred stones of the Samkhalung can be brought. These
stones are generally found near the river bed and the head of the
household along with the Mangpa and unmarried girls go in search
for them and bring them to the house. Once in the house the Mangpa
also decides the direction in which these stones will be placed.
The three stones are set-up on a triangular formation. It is
compulsory for a family belonging to Rai community to have a
separate room where the three stones can be placed. It is the main
source of Eternal Power or the abode of deities for the members
of the community. It is said and believed that the soul of their
ancestors (Raipas, forefather and Raimas, foremother) reside in
this sacred hearth and that in no circumstance the Rai community
should neglect the traditional customs of worshipping the three stone.
Ritual practices at the Samkhalung :
The Samkhalung the three stones of the fire place is
considered the most sacred place of the Khambu Rais. According
to the late Bichar Singh Rai, even if the Samkhalung is not used
for the whole day, at least in the morning and in the evening lighting
up of fire and praying generate a spiritual power equivalent to
chanting Om, Brahma, Vishnu Mahesh. Rai community believe that
Aum or Om gives birth to all the creation of god and god itself.
Though the forms of gods are different yet they are the same is
what is believed by the Rai Community (Paruhang
Sawanam:Visesank:Sakewa Parwa:Ninnamma ra Henkhammaq ko
Utpatti 2008: 33-41). These days many Rais are converting to
Hinduism and its impact can be seen in the coexistence of the
Hindu deities along with Rai traditions.
The ritual called Pitra or Mang puja (Kul puja) occupies the main
status among the rituals performed by the Rai community and this
ritual is performed by the members of the family at the Samkhalung.
It is very important for the members of the Rai community to perform
this ritual. While performing this ritual they light the fire in the
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among the.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 26
furnace and call the names of their forefathers and offer food grains,
millet, ginger, water etc. The water used for the ritual is collected in
a pot made of dried bottle gourd and is called wabuk or salawa
(Paruhang Sawanam:Visesank: Sakewa Parwa:Ninnamma ra
Henkhammaq ko Utpatti 2008: 33-41).
The ritual for the ancestor is performed twice a year, once in
ubyauli (a festival before sowing up of seeds in the month (April-
May) and udhauli (a festival after the harvest of the crop in the
month of (Oct Nov) by the Mangpas. It is believed that the entire
family would be inflicted with hardship, pain, illness and utter
misery, if this ritual is not performed by the community members
The Samkhalung is also essential in many other rituals of
social organisation among the Rai such as birth, marriage and death
ceremonies. When a child is born in the community he/she is
introduced into the Samkhalung and the father requests the deities
to look after this child. At the time of marriage when a girl is leaving
the house of her parents she is again taken to the Samkhalung and
the deities are requested to allow this girl to leave the house. When
a girl gets married to a boy of the Rai community, it is very essential
for her to be introduced in the Samkhalung of the grooms house as
a mark of acceptance in the family. If a girl belongs to same
community i.e., Rai, she is fully accepted in the Samkhalung and
will be able to perform all the rituals observed by the family.
However, if the girl is from other community, she is only introduced
to the Samkhalung, but will not be accepted in the Mang Puja. In
such circumstances it is observed that one of the boys from the Rai
community takes this girl as his sister and now she becomes a
member of his community. The boy who accepts this girl as his
sister is then supported by ten other members (this is called Das
Kirata) from the community and henceforth this girl can take part
in all the ritual associated with the Samkhalung.
When a person in a Rai family dies, on their demise their
body is placed in front of the Samkhalung, but the death should be
natural, there should be no wounds or cuts on the individuals body.
The Rais have a custom of burying the body, and it is believed that
the Mabini goes to the burial ground and brings the departed soul
of the deceased and persuades it to live in the Samkhalung along
with the souls of the venerated ancestors Raipas and Raimas. The
researcher was confused as to whether the Mangpas really
Swati Akshay Sachdeva
Voice of Intellectual Man 27
instrumental in successfully guiding the soul of the deceased back
to the Samkhalung and the researcher was informed of an incident
by one of her respondents that as a child he had seen his grandmother
enter the Samkhalung on request of the Mangpa. If a person dies
an unnatural death due to some accidents, suicide or a women dies
during child birth, the soul now ceases to be pure and hence is not
allowed to enter the household as a result the bodies of such
individuals are not brought into the house, to protect the family
from evil. It is the duty of the Mabini to guide these souls and many
a times these souls are very reluctant to leave the house, but the
Mabini cajoles and takes these souls and shows them their
destinations and henceforth prays to them not to disturb the members
of the family.
The Rai community advocates equal status to both male and
female that is the reason why the stone on the right side resembles
the male and the stone set on the left represents the female and this
speaks of greatness and prosperity of both male and female in the
community. However, according to the people of the Rai community,
the women cannot sit in the rituals if they are having their menstrual
Mythology connected with the Samkhalung :
God created the male deity Paruhang and the female deity
Sumnima. One day Paruhang mesmerised by the beauty of Sumnima
dropped a golden comb from the sky. Sumnima liked the comb and
started to imagine how the person would be who possessed such a
beautiful comb. Paruhang wanted to test Sumnimas love for him
and he guised himself as an ugly man, Sumnima on seeing him
became very angry and refused to marry Paruhang. Paruhang
manifested himself in his original form and Sumnima regretted her
decision of not marrying him. But, Paruhang wanted to take his
revenge on Sumnima and as a result there was a drought on earth,
Paruhang left a drop of his Parulep (semen) which Sumnima drank
and started to fall sick. Seeing her condition Paruhang sent
Nakchhong Susuli (shamanic priest) to look after her. He told her
that she was pregnant and that a female child was developing in
her. Sumnima said that she would marry this child to Susuli. A
baby girl was born and she was named Phengma, Phengma fell in
love with a young man Lekpa, but to her disbelief her mother told
her to marry Susuli who had grown very old by now. There was a
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among the.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 28
fight between Susuli and Lekpa, in which the latter was killed. Seeing
this Phengma committed suicide and turned into stone, Susuli and
Lekpa also turned into stones and it is believed the souls of these
three started to dwell in these stones and thus came the practise of
worshipping the Samkhalung. This mythology fulfils mystical,
cosmological, sociological and pedagogical functions for the
members of the society.
Mythological functions of Samkhalung :
The Samkhalung is a sacred symbol for the members to the
Rai Community, it has various functions. It has a mystical origin
because the origin of the three stones has a myth associated with it.
However the myth has been hindusized and confused with the
Shivalingum, but it is incorrect to make such comparisons.
Sociologically, the Samkhalung is a place of worship were different
members of the community come together and worship, this creates
a community feeling and a respect for ones culture. The Samkhalung
(or the rituals and belief connected with it) positions the person
within the family and the society. It places the present individual in
a lineage with the ancestral clan. Pedagogically, the myth has been
interpreted in terms of law of life, ethical laws, worship of gods
and goddess, natural divinities and protection of the environment.
The Samkhalung also explains the mystery of after life. It is with
the guidance of the Mabini that the souls of the Raipas and Raimas
dwell here.
The Rai Samkhalung is important in the ancient religious
belief and it is equally significant in the present world. Rai
community are believers of Mother Nature and emphasise that all
her creations should follow and celebrate the udhauli/ubhauli
festival, doing so would not only make the ancestral souls happy,
but also make earth, sun and wind bring happiness, peace and
prosperity to the whole human race as well as the community.
The Spiritual principal and Scientific significance of the
Samkhalung :
According to the Rai religious cosmology the late
Kripashalyan Rai writes that when Rai Yogis were in deep
meditation, they saw the divine light which Rai call (Ki-ri-ri), hence,
the word Kirat came into existence this explains the reason why
the Kirat Community light fire in the Samkhalung and perform
puja chanting their religious Mudum (Paruhang Sawanam:
Swati Akshay Sachdeva
Voice of Intellectual Man 29
Visesank:Sakewa Parwa: Ninnamma ra Henkhammaq ko Utpatti
2008). The Samkhalung forms the sanctum sanctorum of the Rais
and the seat where the spirits of the ancestors are worshipped.
Everything which is produced at the land has to be offered at the
Samkhalung before it is consumed by the community members.
According to science, the entire universe is based on the three
states of matter solid, liquid and gas. These matters are interacting
with each other i.e. one cannot exist without the other. Had there
not been solid like rock and soil, liquid like water would not be
collected, without water, clouds would not form and the plants
which give us oxygen gas after combining with water and sunlight
would not be there. Without water, cultivation would also not be
possible to sustain the human race. The solid matter (earth) being
the sustainers of all the life forms is considered nucleus of all the
activities of mankind. Hence, the Rai community worship the mother
earth. This is the scientific reason behind installing three stones.
This triangular power forms the base for the existence of all life
forms in the planet earth. (Paruhang Sawanam:Visesank:Sakewa
Parwa:Ninnamma ra Henkhammaq ko Utpatti 2008)
According to another scientific finding any object having a
triangular shape has the ability to attract the unseen eternal power,
that is why people in Egypt mummified the dead bodies of their
King (pharaoh) in triangular shaped pyramids. This was most
probably known to the forefathers of the Rai Community hence the
Samkhalung is set up in a triangular shape and the three stones
reflecting the triangular shape must be worshipped by them
(Paruhang Sawanam:Visesank:Sakewa Parwa:Ninnamma ra
Henkhammaq ko Utpatti 2008).
It is believed that the world came into existence due to a
vibration underneath the earth surface. Animals and birds can also
generate such vibrations both during the time of sadness and
happiness. Happiness sends vibration which is productive and
helpful to the humankind but when the animals/birds are sad, they
generate a type of vibration which if keep accumulating in the air
would cause the world to explode and inflict suffering. It is believed
that the various natural calamities which have occurred in the world
is due to this negative energy.
Animal sacrifice has been a practise at the Samkhalung but
these days it is not appreciated by the community members because
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among the.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 30
they feel that the killing of a chicken during the time of yearly puja
in the Samkhalung creates a lot of negative energy therefore, these
days animal sacrifice is discouraged and it is being substituted by
fruits, grains and vegetables. According to them this negative energy
is the main reason behind the backwardness, and poverty in the Rai
community. Thus, there are adequate reasons to justify that the
ancestors of the Rai community had enough spiritual knowledge
along with scientific reasoning which supported the worship of
the Samkhalung .
Conclusion :
According to Levi-Strauss (1960:xi) social life is understood
as a system of symbolic relation, it begins that rapport between
human beings that is not amenable to biological mechanism or
instinctive drives, but is articulated by compulsory symbolic rules.
Thus summarising briefly key symbols are discovered by number
of indicators that point to a cultural focus. The Samkhalung of the
Rai community is a summarising symbol because it is primarily an
object of culture to which a sacred meaning has been attached by
the community. It is a cultural construct because living in proximity
with nature right from the beginning led the Rai community to attach
a special symbolic significance to the three stones. Because of its
strong spiritual and cultural relevance the three stones continue to
be worshipped in the community even now. It is in fact a symbolic
land mark of the community and therefore this symbol appears in
all the important aspects of the community life starting from
marriage to death. It is through this symbolic that the individuals
and groups find the meanings and resources needed to assert their
1. Mangpas or Bijuwas: are the main shamanic priests of
Khambu-Rais. They conduct the Samkhalung ritual ceremony
as well as other religious rites of household divinities ,nature
divinites, and clan divinities.They perform Thomwa (Chinta)
for the well being of the family members and also prophecy
the future happenings of the family and the society.
2. Nakchhong: mainly conducts the Sakewa (worship of nature)
ritual ceremony, which takes place twice in a year.
Dongwangna worship is performed to appease the natural
Swati Akshay Sachdeva
Voice of Intellectual Man 31
power of cultivation and Donglasha worship is performed to
appease the natural power of harvesting. They represent the
shamanic priests of nature mythology in Khambu-Rai
3. Mabini: performs the last rite of the deceased individuals.
They are the soul specialists, and perform soul journies and
handover the souls of the deceased person to the ancestors.
4. Kubimi: conducts the last rite of the deceased in the absence
of Mabimi.
5. Dowang: performs only minor religious rites and cures the
sick. He chants the spell to ward off the affected evil spirits
or the diseases of the sick person and uses wild herbs as
medicines. Senior or experience Raipas may also conduct
some of the minor religious rites in the absence of the Mangpa
(Rai, S,K, 2005:4 -44).
The shammic Khambu Rai priests Mangpas or Bijuwas are
tutelary incarnate shaman priests,as that of Phedangmas of
Limboo tribes. Tutelary shamans of Khambu-Rai possess
the spirit of a deceased individual and then the deity remains
with them in the entire lifetime as in the case of Yumaism or
Mahayana Buddhist Rimpuche/Tulku. But they differ in
structural classification by space with the Tulku. In a
developed and institutionalized religion like Buddism it takes
residence in Monastery or Gumpa; while in the case of
Yumaism and Ninnammism, the religion is yet to be
institutionalized in Mangkhims, and thus spirit possession
differs structurally in space but not in time (Hitchcock, J.T
& Jones, R.L, 1994:1-11).
ii Emic perspective is the "insider's" or "native's"
interpretation of or "reasons" for his or her customs/
beliefs. What things mean to the members of a society.
iii Etic perspective: the external researcher's interpretation
of the same customs/beliefs. What things mean from
an analytical, anthropological perspective.
iv To understand how these symbols shapes the public
behaviour, here Geertz distinction between "model of"
and "model for" is important. The "model of" refers to
Cultural Understanding of Samkhalung among the.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 32
the manipulation of symbolic structures so as to bring
them, more or less closely in to parallel with pre-
established non-symbolic structure. The "model for"
is the manipulation of non-symbolic structure in terms
of the relationship expressed in the symbolic, in a
culture, sacred symbols act as "model of" where
individual's social and psychological process is
regarded as "model for" and the social-structural and
psychology of human beings shapes through the sacred
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Sinha,et al .2005.Ethnographic Report of selected Communities of
Sikkim.Submitted to Govt. of Sikkim.
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Tarot, C. De Durkhein. 1999. Mass. L invention du symbolique. Sociologie et
Science des religions. Paris :La Decouverte M.A U.S.S
Thompson, J.B. 1990. Ideology and Modern Culture. Oxford. Polity Press.
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 34
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 35-54
*Ghulam Hussain, Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University
Islamabad. Email: mahesarg@gmail.com
**Anwaar Mohyuddin, Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University
Islamabad. Email: unwaar@gmail.com, Mail: PO Box 3060, GPO, Islamabad, Pakistan
***Firdous Mahesar, BUESP, Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, Email:
Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Rural Sindh:
Rationalizing Life-world of Peasants
*Ghulam Hussain, **Anwaar Mohyuddin,
***Firdous Mahesar
This paper explains the exploitation of Sindhi peasantry and their
disorientation and alienation from the formal-rational institutions of
administration, law and order, which seem incompatible, and sometimes,
contradictory to the existing peasant discourse. Life-world of peasants
of Sindh has been explored particularly focusing on nature of conflicts
in sharecropping and peasant-landlord relationship at village level. It
was found that state run courts and the police system modeled on the
western rational systems could not have incorporated the practices of
people into formal laws and rational systems. Informal legal systems,
at intra-village and kinship level are relatively in harmony with
sharecroppers' and peasants' life-world and are perceived as practicable
and more egalitarian thus rendering rational-legal and constitutional
frameworks relating to peasantry and village life practically irrelevant
and inapplicable. This distortion in the communication between informal
life-world of the folks and theouter formal rational systems, has led to
the liminality, societal disorientation and the partial social bondage.
That liminal confusion has further led to the perpetuation of structural
and opportunistic exploitation by feudal lords, tribal chiefs or Sardars,
who have partially hegemonized the rational system as well as the
relatively irrational life-world of the peasantry. To develop local
communities without shunning modernization it has been suggested to
restore the dialectical interplay between life-world of peasants and the
system of Sindh Rice Belt. To bring about such transformation, informal
conflict resolution mechanisms which have been warped by liminal
tricksters should be incorporated into constitutional-legal system of
the state and the rational system which is serving tricksters should be
restrained so that it could be made dialectically compatible to the values
and issues of the village folks, peasants and the sharecroppers.
Key words: Life-world, Communicative Action, Liminality, Communities,
Rationality, Conflict Resolution.
Introduction :
The conflict resolution mechanisms particularly the
institution of Faislo which is called as Jirga in other parts of Pakistan
is the integral part of traditional inter-village and intra-village
conflict resolution mechanism in Sindh. Conflict resolution
mechanisms in peasant village are currently warped due to
permanent liminal state of society in which colonial legacy impact
of modernization and the so-called democratic states legal and
administrative systems have created a state of confusion, alienation,
disorganization, corruption, social bondage, social discrimination
and peasant exploitation by the big landlords and feudal lords.
Following discussion would explain the current state of rural
peasants and would look for the possibilities of transforming their
life-world in the light of liminality theory and through rationalization,
in Habermasian sense.
Although, Jageers have been legally dissolved by the
government yet former feudals still hold sway and have kept those
lands under their informal control. They have increased their wealth
and landed property through forcible land purchases from peasants
or acquired through the manipulation of government-sponsored land
reforms in Pakistan in 1960s and 1970s. That structural change
greatly affected the power relations between landlord and the
peasants virtually elevating landlords to the status of demi-kings
and peasants into things of social and economic exploitation. Big
landlords and the remnants of old feudals are still very much feudal
in their body language, life-style, political ambitions and local
authoritative rule. The bureaucrats, the police officers and even the
upholders of justice have adopted the feudalistic mind-set as the
sign of refined and elite taste. Feudalistic mentality steeped in
economic and ethnic discrimination and snobbishness emerged out
of English graft and resultantly due to lack of mutual reciprocal
dialogue. The system got disintegrated from the peasant life-world.
Collectively conflict resolution authority (Faislo by ChangaMurs)
and governance which were more horizontal in the past became
vertical, one-sided and unilateral, releasing scores of social
pathologies in the peasant society and village system.
Materials and Method :
This research paper is the result of two separate, yet related
qualitative researches conducted in two different regions of Sindh,
with the purpose to look for similarities and differences in peasant-
landlord relationship conflict resolution mechanisms, and to capture
the peasant worldview. The bulk of data analyzed here, was collected
Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Rural Sindh: Rationalizing.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 36
in June-December 2011, in Sindh Rice Belt, in Upper Sindh. It was
later on thematicallyanalyzed to compare and contrast with the
ethnographic data collected in peasant communities of lower Sindh.
In the study of Sindh Rice Belt, purposive, non-probability sampling
was used to select and determine sample size. Study was conducted
in three different geographical areas of upper Sindh rice belt in
Pakistan. The team of three researchers did participant observation
conversational and semi-structured interviews, FGDs
and individual
case studies during the sowing or planting season in the flooded
rice fields in Otaqs (traditional guest houses) and Maikhanas (place
for smoking and drinking).
Theoretical Framework :
Theory of communicative action of Jrgen Habermas, has
been used as an ideal type a methodological tool as well as. as the
main not the sole theoretical guiding principle to understand
structural ideological and political underpinnings of peasant life-
world and the system. Bolton has quoted Habermas that the The
construction of an unlimited and undistorted discourse can serve at
most as a foil for setting off more glaringly the rather ambiguous
developmental tendencies in modern society (Bolton, 2005). Hence,
theory of communicative action is applied here as an ideal type in
Weberian sense to assess the level of liminality, exploitation, conflict
and the modernization in peasant life of Sindh.
Effort has been made to look for the possibilities of the true
democratic process, to develop Habermasian ideal institutional
authority, based on two ways open and free dialogue between
peasants, villagers, leaders and conflict-resolving institutions.
Habermas proposes to promote cooperation over strategic action
which aims at the acquisition of personal or private ends (Habermas,
TCA 1, 1984, pp. 85-101).
For Habermas, rationalization of life-world is an evolutionary
inevitability and a necessary social process to emancipate society.
It is required to assess the validity of claims on rational grounds
instead of on faith (Habermas, TCA 1, 1984, p. 74). The life world
can be regarded as rationalized to the extent that it permits
interactions guided by communicatively achieved
understanding (Habermas, TCA 1, 1984, pp. 337-340) . The life-
world might remain a powerful force even as rationalized with
communicative action as the predominant model of social action.
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 37
But the actual result in modern capitalist societies is different: the
life-world loses power at the expense of powerful forces Habermas
calls system. (Bolton, 2005, p. 16)
Liminality theory has also been applied here along with
HamzaAlavis notion of overdeveloped state, to better explain
social pathologies of the life-world and the system. A liminal state
(or stage) is an anti-structure transitional state, which produces
fluid amorphous conditions during which preceding social structures,
customs and traditions are replaced by newer ones (Szakolczai,
2009, p. 141). In liminal state structures, norm and values of the
society get dissolved, uncertainty prevails and events become
unpredictable (Horvath, Thomassen, & Wydra, 2009). It is a hyper-
active state of society that usually cannot last for longer period of
Systemic Levels of Conflict Resolution and Bradari :
In the life-world of peasants, decision-making and conflict
resolution occurs at different amorphous systemic levels and places,
namely, family (inside house through mutual negotiation by family
members), kinship and para (at Otaq, by noble and aged elders of
kinship andpara), at mosque or shrine of Pir (on oath by spiritual
leader), at Maikhana (hashish smoking place by mystic peasants
through lengthy elaborated dialogue), at Dero in sharecropping
during Batai (by landlord, landowners, peasants and
), at village level (by PagdaarWadera), at local inter-
caste, inter-village, tribal level (at big landlords or
feudalsbungalow, kott or haveli) and in the court of law by judicial
magistrate .
Village Bradari
is an informal, amorphous institution, the
ChangaMurs (the noblemen of kinship, and the village) come
forward to constitute the decision-making body, called Faislo, to
resolve conflicts depending upon the context of the conflict. If the
issue is inter-familial within the village, then members from their
families and kinship groups constitute the Bradari. The involvement
of Wadera (landlord) of the village is not considered necessary.
And if the conflict is of more serious nature like murder, honor-
killing etc., then two different Bradaris together with arbitrators (a
feudal, police, judge) constitutes a large Bradari to resolve the
conflict. All above levels except at feudal and big landlords Kott
function horizontally and are considerably integrated with their life-
Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Rural Sindh: Rationalizing.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 38
world as decisions are taken through mutual consensus not imposed
from the outside. Everyone involved is usually provided freedom to
indulge in verbal fights. However, in everyday life practices in which
conflicts emerge the immediate redress is sought through verbal
aggressive bargaining at the time of Batai, at Dero, or through
implicit practices like theft, over-invoicing debt, through unpaid
labor, social boycott of the deviating party, through rumor
mongering, and hidden discourse.(Scott J. C., 1985, p. 36)(Scott J.
C., 1990, p. 198). Despite all that hidden and implicit resistance,
life-world of peasants remains considerably peaceful and contended
as it is in much accord with the system at village level. The main
alienating elements which intrude into their life-world from the
outside system are the police, court, Sardar, Big landlord and the
Mukhtiarkar or Tapedar.
Upper Sindh and Lower Sindh: Nature of Litigations :
Sharecroppers never resort to Mukhtiarkar (Land Revenue
Talluka Magistrate), in cases of sharecropping disputes with the
landlord or any other sharecropper. There have been no such cases
reported in Sindh Rice Belt in which either sharecropper or the
landlord may have filed cases against each other in the court of
Landlords and landowners, however, usually file cases against
each other and against sharecroppers on matters not directly related
to sharecropping. In Sindh Rice Belt people are not addicted to
litigations(Faruqui, 2001), as maintained by (Chaudhary in his
study of legal system of a Punjabi village). Sharecroppers and
common villagers avoid to file cases against each other not because
they are poor (Chaudhary) but because of the danger of family
honor spoiled and the availability of speedy and secretive traditional
alternative in the form of Faislaa(Jirga). The word faisilo is
commonly used in Sindh rice belt instead of Jirga. Poverty of
sharecroppers and villagers is not a hindrance in litigations. Cases
get filed, usually to pressurize the other side, to come to terms, to
become lenient, or to coerce into favorable decision in a Faisila.
Hence, litigation is used a means, not an end. Even the judges and
lawyers and the police are so much convinced of non-functionality
of the state legal system that themselves suggest both defendants
and plaintiffs to resort to a respectable Wadera, Sardar or Bradari.
In colloquial Sindhi it is means to resolve it through Raajooni. Hence
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 39
litigation is not merely an addiction for the sake of addiction; it
serves certain purposes which is secondary to the Faislo. But we
cannot impute systemic non-functionality to alien forces anymore.
The feudal lords, Sardars and tribal chiefs are the prime protagonists
that constrain the police, courts and Mukhtiarkars to exploit the
simple village folks and peasants
The nature of litigations in lower Sindh varies considerably.
In districts of Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Badin and Hyderabad,
there prevails debt bondage among landless sharecroppers,
particularly belonging to outcaste communities of Kolhi, Bheel and
Meghwaar. (Bhandar Sangat, 2012). Peasant activists and
advocacy-based N.G.Os
have some presence there, which mobilize
peasants to file cases against landlords. Cases are filed that usually
end up with freedom of peasant from debt bondage (Bhandaar
Sangat, 2013). Peasant activists in the late 1960s had also
established informal Hari
courts there where not only sharecroppers
complain against landlords but landlords also file complaints against
sharecroppers. Although Hari courts do not exist anymore peasant
activists are dispensing justice to peasants from the platform of
different N.G.Os and social organizations. (Bhandar Sangat, 2012).
Importance of Faislo :
In Sindh, Faislo is considered as the final and inevitable court
of justice. In the peasant society of Sindh Rice Belt, the final solution
of any conflict can be sought only through the Faislo (Higher
informal court, which is called Jirga in other parts of Pakistan) by
big landlord, feudals or Sardar. Waderas and Sardars are commonly
referred as TarrrJaChangaa (Noblemen of the area), that is highly
respected and prestigious members of rural community whose
reputation as an honorable men is firmly established.
Litigations are leveled just to weaken the opponent, to terrify,
or to bring him/her to the court of Faislo(Jirga). No matter how
many murders are committed by any party, and no matter whosoever
commits such murders even police officers murdering dacoits
eventually have to come to the informal court of Faislo (Jirga).The
inevitability of Faislo as a conflict resolution mechanism is so
prevalent, and so forcefully approved by the common villagers that
it is proverbially said that, Baa Khoonthiyan, yaaBaarahan,
AakhirFaislo, meaning that, Two murders or even after 12
murders finally both parties have to resolve dispute through Faislo
Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Rural Sindh: Rationalizing.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 40
In a Sindhi village state-managed courts and law and order
institution of the police has been reduced to liminal intermediary
sub-systems that have yet to replace the traditional system of justice.
State-institutions, which ideally should work on rational-legal
principles, have got evolved into a distorted type of mix of
traditional-rationality at variance with relatively irrational life-world
of the common people. Instead of weakening or replacing feudalism
and tribalism, state-institutions have strengthened their political and
social position without simultaneously empowering or rationalizing
the life-world of common simple peasants.
Faisilo: Impact of Jirga System :
Faislo, as a conflict resolution mechanism, has both positive
and negative aspects. Most of its negative aspects have penetrated
into Faislo due to the impact of its stronger tribal version Jirga
prevalent in rest of rural Pakistan. Increasing impact of Jirga system
is indicative that tribal Sardari system is still strong yet it is further
getting stronger and powerful as tribal chiefs and feudal lords have
also succeeded in occupying relatively permanent seats in national
and provincial assemblies and subsequently become ministers. It is
so strong that even alleged police officers are not only constrained
by tribal traditions to seek justice and punishment under the Jirga
system but they are also forced to collude with big landlords and
Waderas in the exploitation of peasants.Jirga system may also be
thought of as providing a useful alternative to the failed state-
managed legal system. Government of Pakistan to hold negotiations
with Tribal-Talibans and Pashtun Tribes in Northern Pakistan have
been forced to accept the Jirga system as legitimate. Grand Jirga is
the grand systemic scheme in which tribal people are represented
by secondary and outer rung of leadership. Influenced by Northern
Grand Jirga system, the police, government and the so-called tribal
chiefs, in Sindh rice belt, have started arranging such grand Jirga,
in which decisions are taken that directly affects common people.
Agreements are made, and the wars are proclaimed without the
consent of local simple villagers and peasants. Government officials,
political agents in FATA, Gilgit and Baltistan, together hold Grand
Jirga to resolve inter-tribal-state-agency conflicts.
The saying that Justice delayed, is justice denied holds true
in case of the conflict resolution in the Sindh Rice Belt. State-
controlled legal system is weak, slow, corrupt, and dysfunctional.
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 41
It does not have roots in the culture and traditions of the people. It
is mainly formulated in the foreign western and colonized traditions.
Court-cases are lengthy and time-consuming. Instead of resolving
conflict, it usually perpetuates and precipitates it, hence,
counterproductive. Due to that reason, simple village folks try to
avoid intricacies of lengthy case-fighting and court-summoning. It
does cost not only in terms of lawyers fees but also traveling
expenses. So much so that, even judges suggest both implicated
parties to resolve conflicts with mutual consultation under the
patronage of Sardar or Chief Wadera. On the other hand,
Jirgasystem presents itself as a powerful, swift and functional
alternative, although economically it is as corrupt as the former.
Jirgasystem however, is by no means an ideal system. it is an
irrational system which has lost its traditional sanctity. It perpetuates
certain outdated and inhuman practices like giving young girls or
girl-children in marriages as a kind of fine. Sardars usually,
consciously or unconsciously, manipulate, live on the peasant feuds
and hence, seek to perpetuate Jirga system, by hook or by crook.
Otaq, Tado, Merr, Bhoongo and Theft :
Two village institutions, Otaq and Bhoongo, of Sindhi village
have gone through dramatic shift over the years leading to
lopsidedness in peasant life-world. Otaq is the guest house and a
meeting place for members of kinship group. Bhoongo is local
variant of ransom money paid to the influential Wadera or to the
police by the peasant when the theft is returned back to him. Tado
also means the sitting place or Otaq, used in specific situations
particularly in the event of death of kinship member, or when the
offending kinship group comes to the aggrieved kinships Otaq with
the nobleman (ChangaMurs) of the Bradari, to seek forgiveness.
Such a practice is called Merr. Merr is the socially approved
institution which finally ends up liminal state of cold resistance
between conflicting kinship groups. That institution of Merr,Tado
and Otaqwhich were very much integrated with the life-world of
peasants, are now vanishing due to the over-indulgence and excessive
involvement of feudals and the police in everyday life minor conflicts
of villagers. Bhoongo, that is system of taking and paying ransom
money has got institutionalized due to SHO
-Wadera-Theif nexus
against simple villagers and peasants.
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Otaq as a Status Symbol :
Each Otaq is the representative status symbol of the kinship
group. Although each village is unique in its social, geographic
and demographic composition, the central village which is usually
officially called Deh, has an approximate population of 500 to 3000
people. One of the central villages (Deh) under study had five paras
or spatial kinship groups (neighborhoods) in the village.
1. Wadera kinship para
2. Para of Sayyed families
3. Para of Magsi (Baloch) tribe
4. Sharecroppers para
5. Cobblers and potters para ( based on occupational
6. Para of mixed castes
Wadera Kinship group has big and well-furnishedOtaq
whereas sharecroppers Otaq may constitute a little hut made of
hay thistles. Five factors determine the social status of the individual
peasant and kinship based para, namely, landed property, religion,
tribe, caste, occupation, with landlord possessing more landed
property at the top of hierarchy, followed by Sayyeds who belong
the religiously sacred lineage of the prophet Muhammad and then
tribal Baloch having trans-village links with other Balochs and their
tribal chief (Sardar). Share-tenants who usually constitute the lowest
rung of hierarchy may virtually belong to any caste group, but
spatially they may occupy certain commonly shared para and reside
nearby each other.
The informal and invisible hierarchy of kinship, caste and
tribal groups greatly influences the nature causes and consequences
of conflicts. Usually Wadera protects his kinship group. Conflicts
between the sharecropper and landlord of the same caste are
considered as a family matter settled internally by the kinship head;
Sayyeds attest Waderas just and unjust decisions to save their skin;
Balochs try to escape from Waderas influence by using their tribal
affiliations; Cobblers (Mochi), Potters (Kumbhar) and Knitters
(Kori) are happy to lead disappearing way of life. It is usually only
the Sharecroppers who are always in the limelight the life and
blood of village.
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 43
Before, Pakistan got independence; Sindhi villages had
considerable Hindu population as well. Things were not much worse
before partition. Each kinship and caste group in a village used to
resolve conflict through mutual dialogue and the role of Pagdaar
(Chief Wadera) was just to serve as an arbiter not as a dictator.
Minor maters used to get settled through mutual reciprocal dialogue
at Otaq (traditional guest house of kinship or para). Police and the
courts were as if non-existent. But now the institution of Otaq has
been weakened by big landlords,PatharidaarWaderas and their
official agents. Issues like minor theft, karo-kari (alleged honor
killing), land-disputes and matrimonial disputes used to get settled
amicably within the kinship group. Social mobility, modernization
and the increased influence ofPatharidaar-Wadero has weakened
kinship-bonds. The payment of Bhoongo or the ransom money has
become the lucrative business in which not only thieves but the
police andPatharidaar-wadero is also the main stakeholder.
Sindhi Village v/s Punjabi Village :
Interplay of customary law and the state law can be better
understood by comparing conflict mechanisms in Sindhi village with
that of Punjabi village as explained by Chaudhury in, Justice and
Practice:Legal Ethnography of a Punjabi Pakistani Village. Useful
explanatory parallels can be drawn between conflict resolution
mechanism in a Punjabi Village and a Sindhi Village. Similar to the
Sindhi village the beliefs about the nature of conflicts, in Punjabi
village revolve around the three main causes of conflicts namely
zan (woman), zar (gold) and zamin (land), with land disputes
forming the largest category of cases. (Faruqui, 2001). But the
actual nature of conflicts and their resolution varies considerably.
Dr. Faruqui (2001), in his review of Chaudhurys thesis has pointed
out certain contradictions. Chaudhury has suggested an addiction
to litigation in Punjabi villagers. He has also suggested that
influential villagers resort to Jirga or traditional systems whereas
the poor (peasants) resort to state-courts for justice. (Faruqui, 2001).
In a Punjabi Village, according to Chaudhury, both the traditional
and official system of justice only offers relative justice to their
participants. Although they may vary in terms of procedure and
method in the final analysis, both systems ultimately serve as
weapons to strengthen the powerful and oppress the weak. In an
effort to correct any suggestion that the two systems operate on
distinct trajectories they are in fact two parts of one system, they
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 44
may function independently but in actual practice they work
together. (Faruqui, 2001) .
In Sindh, the mechanism works a bit differently. The poor
peasants and villagers avoid getting involved into the matters of
court or the police. Their first court of appeal is their elders or
ChangaMurs of the kinship group or village neighborhood. If things
could not get settled there, they then resort to the third neutral party
from within the village usually spiritual leaders or Sayyeds. If the
conflict could not get resolved even there, then the Wadera-landlord
of the village is resorted. Wadera-landlord is the one who inherits
from ruling ancestors traditional authority (Pagdaari) to control
or rule over the village or the closely knit cluster of villages (Tarr).
Only after Wadera landlord is unable to come up with any solution
then the litigations are filed in the court of law. Hence, peasants try
to avoid litigating against each other as much as possible.
In rural Sindh, big landlords, Kamdaars, Patharidaar-
Waderas and feudal-lords are always on hunt to dig out small inter-
peasant conflicts, to flare those conflicts into family and caste-feuds,
in which they often easily succeed. Flatterers, the police and the
tamed thieves and dacoits assist them to create rifts and tensions
between individual peasants, peasant families and between different
castes and tribes. (Khadarposh, 2002, pp. 46, 47, 48) . Usually
both of the conflicting peasant groups know very well that they are
deliberately being implicated into conflicting situation and try their
best not complicate the situation by resolving issue at lower level
within family, or a kinship group.
Discussion :
The concept of life-world, as defined by Jrgen Haberman,
better explains the Sindhi Peasants worldview, peasant-culture and
caste-wars, and role of systemic agents like the police,Patharidaar-
Wadera, and sharecropping relationships. To Habermas the life-
world represents an internal perspective [of peasants and villagers]
(while,the system represents an external viewpoint [of the state,
government, police, and the feudal], [Peasant] society is conceived
from the perspective of the acting subjects [peasants]. Thus, there
is only one society; life-world and system represents an external
viewpoint (Ritzer, 1996, p. 549). The life-world so to speak, is
the transcendental site where speaker and hearer meet where they
reciprocally raise claims that their utterances fit the world. And
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 45
where they can criticize and confirm those validity claims, their
disagreements and arrive at agreements (Habermas, TCA, 1987,
p. 126). It involves a wide range of unspoken presuppositions about
mutual understanding that must exist and be mutually understood
for communication to take placeFor Habermas, life-world is
composed of culture, society and personality. (Ritzer, 1996, p.
550) By system Habermas means an external viewpoint or
external perspective that views society from the observers
perspective of someone not involved. (Ritzer, 1996, p. 550)
For Habermas, subsystems of money, power, administration
and bureaucracy have got reified. In dialectical relationship between
system and life-world, a soul spoke to soul, a heart understood a
heart, life depended more on everyday language to achieve social
integration and consensus... Political (power), economic (money)
and administrative (bureaucracy) system burst the capacity of life-
world they instrumentalize. That results in the violence on the
life-world. That violence in turn produces pathologies within the
life-world (Ritzer, 1996, pp. 551, 552). Such pathologies in peasants
perspective could bePatharidaar-Wadera, SHO-Wadero-Dacoit
nexus, system of Kann, Bhoongo, Imported Hybrid seeds, Water
theft, Honor Killings, Caste wars, Serri (unpaid labor in lower
Sindh), Debt bondage, Social Bondage, Landlessness, Casteism,
Tribalism, Feudalism and the institution of sharecropping itself.
HamzaAlavis concept of overdeveloped post-colonial state,
in the context of Sindh and Pakistan, partially explains what
Habermas means by systems assault on the life-world. In Pakistani
context to imagine the military-bureaucratic nature of status as an
overdeveloped would be misleading. This research in on peasants,
sharecroppers and villagers of Sind, contradicts the notion that
bureaucracy and military, or any other state institution dominates
the whole system and life-world in rural Sindh. There are
intermediaries, the tricksters in the middle that is feudal lords, big
landlords,Patharidaar-wadero, who have created an alliance with
the state-managed legal and administrative institutions like the police,
revenue collectors and the irrigation officers to control and
subordinate common villagers and peasants. State-machineryhas
thus been reduced to the secondary role serving as a subsidiary of
feudal-cum-ministers, landlord-cum-mill owner, Wdero-cum-
Dacoit. Hence, there are subgroups and sub-system within the state
that are exploiting the social, political, economic and cultural life
of peasants for their vested private ends.
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Alavi has analyzed peasant society within a state and rural
economy in terms of unequal, rather reified classes. Alavi argued
that overdeveloped systemic institution of bureaucracy did not
depend much upon the support of indigenous classes. Therefore, it
was independent to subordinate, dominate and exploit the indigenous
communities, particularly peasants. (Leys, 1976, p. 39) . According
to Alavi, state hagemonizes other classes in the name of
development, through the collection of taxes and economic surplus
(Leys, 1976, p. 39). But Saul points out that Alavis reasons for
saying this are not very clear, and has criticized Alavis essentialist
stress on the need of overdeveloped institutions to subordinate other
classes particularly in cases where there is no viable class in society
to subordinate such as in African countries. On the contrary, Saul
argues, overdeveloped nature of state is due to the need to
subordinate pre-capitalist social formations to the imperatives of
colonial capitalists (Leys, 1976, p. 40).
Systemic Liminality, Tricksters and the peasant life-world :
The term liminality is usually used in anthropological
literature to explain the liminal stage during rites of passage, and
initiation ceremonies, but here it has been applied in its broader
connotation to explained, permanentliminality (Thomassen, 2009,
p. 15), and the state of normative communities (Homans, 1979,
p. 207) in larger society, in this case rural Sindh, its sufic-peasant
culture and the phenomenon of landlordism. Peasant society is still
a liminal society with its prolonged history of peasant exploitation,
structured inequality and permanent discrimination based on caste,
landed property, religion, ethnicity and the dominance of outsiders,
colonizers and feudals over the insiders, common peasants, folk
people and simple villagers.
A liminal state, (or stage) is an anti-structure transitional
state, which produces fluid, amorphous conditions during which
preceding social structures, customs and traditions are replaced by
newer ones (Szakolczai, 2009, p. 141). In liminal state structures,
norm and values of the society get dissolved, uncertainty prevails,
and events become unpredictable (Horvath, Thomassen, & Wydra,
2009). It is a hyper-active state of society that usually cannot lost
for longer period of time.
To escape the liminal state that has permanently prevailed
and getting worse in rural Sindh, social activist, nationalists,
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 47
peasants, and peasant activists have sought three ways out of that
chronic confusion. They either tend to relapse back to old traditions
thus romanticizing almost everything that belongs to the ancient
golden days, hence, not much different in approach from modern
day populists and primodernists in other regions of the world; or
follow like herds of sheep, successful mimetic tricksters, pseudo-
leaders, fake role-models, like Bhotaars (Wadera-landlords), police
officers, Pirs(members of holy family of Sayyeds), Meers (princes)
and Jageerdaars (feudal lords), andPatharidaarWadero ( rural
underworld Don)
Monsters and Trackers: Negative Aspect of Liminality :
From confused and spontaneous dedifferentiation,
communities releases its monsters,and blurring of boundaries and
differences encourages the proliferation of the double bind.
(Girard, 1992, p. 188) . Liminal situation precipitates the collapse
of system, unless the older worldview is replaced by the newer one,
and people stop asking fundamental questions of life. (Thomassen,
2009, pp. 19, 20). All major events in the history, revolutions, social
and political movements that brought about change in the structure
of the system, can be said to be liminal states of society. (Thomassen,
2009, p. 23). In liminal state, individuals are unable to think
rationally and objectively and adopt herding behavior, that is,
blind imitation and reproduction of dominant discourse produced
by the pseudo-leaders, or the tricksters from the outside. (Szakolczai,
2009, pp. 154,155, 156). Tricksters remain on the margins of life-
world, avoid contact with the common people [peasants], asocial
and antisocial, sexually promiscuous, shameless, non-serious,
morally lax, lacking in societal commitments, incapable to feel the
warmth of human relations, indulge in excessive drinking and
leisurely activities (Szakolczai, 2009, p. 155), all such attributes
well founded in feudal lords, Wadera-landlord,Patharidaar-Wadero,
SHO of police, Tapedar( Water and revenue tax collectors), and
Mukhtiarkar(Land Revenue Talluka Magistrate),Pir (so called holy
Sayyed), Mir ( former princes), the high profile government officials
( bureaucracy), MNAs
, MPAs
and government ministers. These
are the tricksters of peasant world that have sustained liminal crises
to their benefit. These tricksters are great actors capable to deceive
laymen. They pose like messiahs and emancipators but every time
disappoint their supports. They create rifts among people, further
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 48
pushing them into liminal quagmire. They foment hatred, hostility,
conflict, fear, prejudices, that manifest itself in the form of tribal
feuds, caste wars, kidnappings, honor-killings, social bondage and
debt bondage in peasants life. They are, however, capable to think
rationally as they are not directly involved in the everyday life of
common people (Szakolczai, 2009, p. 157), who are immersed in
into their distorted life-world.
To make the resolution of the conflicts egalitarian and to get
the peasants and sharecroppers out of the liminal crises, the state,
pro-peasant sections from within government, civil society, small
farmers, landowners, and peasant activists should actively engage
in the exercises of systems reformation and the liberation of peasant
life-world. They should strive to do away with colonial land laws,
and establish mechanism to resolve conflicts over land through an
autonomous, indigenous, community-based peasant bodies.
Implementation of tenancy laws, and laws related to social and debt
bondage should be impressed upon through mass media and
newspapers. Disputes between landlord and the sharecropper or
peasants, should be adjudicated by the Tenancy Tribunal under Civil
Judge, instead of Mukhtiarkar. (Arif, 2008, p. 36) . Hari courts
should be established on the pattern of labor courts. The decision to
sell the produce in the market should be compulsorily mutually
made by landlord and peasant. Financial transactions should be
transparently documented between peasant and landlord. (Arif,
2008, pp. 37, 38). In matters of dispute, sharecroppers should be
allowed to be represented by any other sharecropper of the same
village, or by peasant activist. The government should arrange for
the lawyer on behalf of sharecropper. Fine money should be
abolished, instead the court should compensate to peasants, in cash
or in kind, Responsibilities and the role of Kamdaar should be clearly
defined. (Arif, 2008, p. 39).The traditional institutions like Otaq,
Faislo, by ChangaMurs of at kinship level should be promoted,
and the holding of large Jirgas patronized by tribal
chiefs,Patharidaar-Waderas and the police should be discouraged.
Promotion of horizontal traditional conflict resolution mechanism
and the discouragement of vertical, hierarchical outside systemic
forces, could, gradually lead to an end to the liminal crises and
could restrain the systemic assault by liberating the life-world of
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 49
Conclusion :
In the life-world of sharecroppers and peasants, decision-
making and conflict resolution occurs at different amorphous
systemic levels and places.Village Bradari is an informal,
amorphous institution, in which the ChangaMurs (the noblemen of
kinship, and the village) come forward to constitute the decision-
making body, called Faislo, to resolve conflicts depending upon
the context of the conflict.Despite all the hidden and implicit
resistance, life-world of peasants remains considerably peaceful
and contended as it is in much accord with the system at village
level. The main alienating elements which intrude into their life-
world from the outside system are the police, court, Sardar, Big
landlord, and the Mukhtiarkar or Patwaari.Sharecroppers never
resort to Mukhtiarkar, in cases of sharecropping disputes with the
landlord or any other sharecropper.Landlords and landowners,
however, usually file cases against each other and against
sharecroppers on matters not directly related to sharecropping. In
Sindh Rice Belt peasants are not addicted to litigations
Sharecroppers and common villagers avoid to file cases against
each other, not because they are poor, but because of the danger of
family honor spoiled and the availability of speedy and secretive
traditional alternative in the form of Faisla(Jirga). Litigation is used
a means, not an end. Litigations are leveled just to weaken the
opponent, to terrify, or to bring him/her to the court of
Faislo(Jirga).The nature of litigations in lower Sindh, however,
varies considerably.
In Sindh, Faislo is considered as the final and inevitable court
of justice. In the peasant society of Sindh Rice Belt, the final solution
of any conflict can be sought only through the Faislo. The poor
peasants and villagers avoid getting involved into the matters of
court or the police. Their first court of appeal is their elders or
ChangaMurs of the kinship group or village neighborhood.In a
Sindhi village, state-managed courts, and law and order institution
of the police has been reduced to liminal intermediary sub-systems
that have yet to replace the traditional system of justice.Faislo, as
a conflict resolution mechanism, has both positive and negative
aspects. Most of its negative aspects have penetrated into Faislo
due to the impact of its stronger tribal version Jirga prevalent in
rest of rural Pakistan. In rural Sindh, big landlords, Kamdaars,
Patharidaar-Waderas and feudal-lords are always on hunt to dig
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 50
out small inter-peasant conflicts, to flare those conflicts into family
and caste-feuds, in which they often easily succeed. Jirga system,
however, is by no means an ideal system. it is an irrational system
which has lost its traditional sanctity. It perpetuates certain outdated
and inhuman practices like, giving young girls or girl-children in
marriages as a kind of fine. Sardars, usually, consciously or
unconsciously, manipulate, live on the peasant feuds and hence,
seek to perpetuate Jirga system, by hook or by crook.
Two village institutions, Otaq and Bhoongo, of Sindhi village
have gone through dramatic shift over the years leading to
lopsidedness in peasant life-world.Social mobility, modernization
and the increased influence ofPatharidaar-Wadero has weakened
kinship-bonds. The payment of Bhoongo, or the ransom money has
become the lucrative businesss in which not only thieves but the
police andPatharidaar-Wadero is also the main stakeholder.
To make the resolution of the conflicts egalitarian and to get
the peasants and sharecroppers out of the liminal crises, the state,
government, civil society, small farmers, landowners, and peasant
activists should actively engage in the exercise of systems
reformation and the liberation of peasant life-world. They should
strive to do away with colonial land laws, and establish mechanism
to resolve conflicts over land through an autonomous, indigenous,
community-based peasant bodies. Hari courts should be established
on the pattern of labour courts. The traditional institutions like Otaq,
Faislo, by ChangaMurs of at kinship level should be promoted,
and the holding of large Jirgas patronized by tribal
chiefs,PatharidaarWaderas and the police, should be discouraged.
It was found through the analysis of data that conflicts
between sharecroppers, landowners, simple village folk and the
landlord are mainly resolved through informal system based on
customary law. State courts and the police are engaged by the locals
only to settle scores, or to weaken the opponents position during
the inevitable Faislo(traditional informal courtof justice).
None of the mechanisms are ideal for the common villagers
and peasants, yet they have preferred to resolve differences through
informal conflict resolution mechanism, while maneuvering through
formal rational systems, as a secondary mechanism, just to gain
political leverage against each other. Informal legal systems are
relatively more in harmony with their life-world, and are perceived
Ghulam Hussain, Anwaar Mohyuddin, Firdous Mahesar
Voice of Intellectual Man 51
as practicable, if not egalitarian. That makes rational-legal and
constitutional frameworks, relating to peasantry and village life,
practically irrelevant and inapplicable. To restore dialectical
interplay between peasant life-world and the system, informal
conflict resolution mechanisms should be incorporated into
constitutional-legal system of the state, and the rational system
should be made compatible to the values and issues of the local
marginalized discourses. Instead of adding subsystems to larger
system, (structural adjustments, correcting technical faults), systems
assault should be restrained and life-world should be rationalized
on priority basis through bottom-up approach to development,
establishment of Hari Courts, and the revival of undifferentiating
and integrating traditional systems or institutions like Otaq,
ChangaMurs and Kinship Bradari system.
1. FGD, stands for Focus Group Discussion, an interviewing
technique in qualitative research apply in group settings.
2. The terms sharecropper and tenant-farmer, as defined in
English dictionaries, does not help much to define such
peasants in Sindh rice belt. Sharecroppers are usually defined
as having shelter and tools provided by the landlord, whereas,
tenant farmer is relatively in a better position to have his
own house and farming tools. Sharecropper usually is on
lien, whereas tenant farmer does not take loan. Farming
relationship between landowner and the sharecropper/ tenant
farmer is so varied and diversified, that sometimes they share
certain attributes with the typical sharecropper, and
sometimes with the typical tenant farmer. Here, the term
sharecropper preferably used because in Sindh Rice Belt,
sharecropper-landlord relationship is largely interdependent
in nature, although most of the sharecroppers have their
personal houses, yet many take input loans and tilling expense
loan from the landlord and sell the crop in the market when
and where landlord wishes.
3. Bradari or a kinship group in Sindh Rice Belt, has multiple
connotations depending upon the levels of affiliations. At the
most intimate level, Bradariis a kinship group intermarrying
households, both maternal and paternal, which usually reside
close proximity in an internally linked neighborhood (Paara)
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with lower boundary walls. They tend to share, reciprocate,
and exchange goods, services, secrets and emotions routinely.
At another dispersed level, the caste-group of the same village
takes the form ofBradari, when inter-caste issues erupt in
the village. In matters of inter-village importance, the whole
village, is considered abradari. In matters of caste wars or
feuds, the whole caste is taken as aBradari. Bradari is also
taken in the connotation of the Punjabi Panchayat, when
any serious is settled in informal courts (Jirga/Faislo). In
that case, both competingbradaris, together with the
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5. NGO, stands for Non-Governmental Organization
6. Hari, in Sindhi language means, a Share-tenant, or
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8. MNA, stands for Member of National Assembly
9. MPA, stands for Member of Provincial Assembly
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Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Rural Sindh: Rationalizing.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 54
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 55-72
*Ms. Sudakhina Mitra, Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Tripura
University, Agartala, Tripura, India E-mail:sudakhina_mitra2008@yahoo.com.au
**Dr. Paramita SahaAssociate Professor, Department of Economics, Tripura
University, Agartala, Tripura, India.
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A
Critical Assessment
*Sudakhina Mitra, **Paramita Saha
Health is a critical contributor to the success of social policies that
enable the attainment of national goals of social and economic
development. Addressing health policy issues that shape the health system
possess problems because social needs are multidimensional, resources
are finite, adverse effects are cumulative. Consequently, to enhance the
role of the health system as core social institution and create wide
ranging opportunities in the design and delivery of health service, the
need for health care must be weighed against the existing resources
before they become meaningful argument in the funding debate. The
present study is an attempt to assess the stock of health care
infrastructure and health care needs in India based on state level
secondary data. The supply condition of health care sector is reflected
in the available health manpower and infrastructure referred to as the
health stock and the demand for health care arises from health and
disease pattern of the population. With an objective to suggest policies
to meet the gap between health need and stock of health infrastructure
the states are ranked according to the gap. Principal Component
Analysis is used to identify the major health care needs and stock in
different states in India. The analysis finds four major effectively
functioning stock and five major health needs most prevalent across the
States and eventually identifies multi-purpose worker as stock principal
component and malaria as the need principal component. A Health Care
Appraisal Model is formulated to assess the ability of health stock to
meet the health needs for each State. At the end, a coverage index for
each State has been constructed on the basis of principal components
of stock and need which provides an idea of relative health access
condition in the States of India.
Key words: Health Care; Health Care Infrastructure, Health Care Needs,
Social Development, Health Care Appraisal Model
Introduction :
Health is a crucial indicator of a countrys march to social
and economic development and is a shared responsibility of both
the Central and the State Governments. The Central Government is
expected to take the initiative in cases involving Centrally Sponsored
Schemes, while, on the other hand, the curative services are to be
dealt with by the States. Hence, although many ambitious targets
were set for the expansion of the health services since Independence
in 1947, most of them have remained unachieved due to improper
All the National Health Policies have considered equity as
the primary goal of the Health Sector. The National Health Policy
(2002), aims to achieve an acceptable standard of good health among
the general population of the country. India is in a race against time
to achieve the Millenium Development Goals 4 & 5 (to reduce Infant
Mortality Rate {IMR} to 28 per 1,000 live births and the Maternal
Mortality Ratio {MMR} to 109 per 1,00,000 live births) by 2015.
These health outcomes can be achieved only when the need for
health care services are adjusted against the existing stock of
resources and also through a more equitable access to health care
facilities across the country.
Literature Review :
According to Berman and Khan (1993), in India there is a
very close relationshiip between health, health-care and money. The
authors said that for most of the Indians the link between money
and health is quite a common feature and also often a very distressing
fact of life. This is because in India a major portion of the government
subsidy is directed towards the promotion of health projects, which
are of curative nature rather than of the preventive type. As a result
though the rice peoples diseases could be taken care of, but the
poor people continue to go unattended. Moreover, most people are
forced to go for the costly private health care and buy their own
drugs and other medical necessities because of inadequately
supported public health services. Thus, health care according to
Berman and Khan, has become a commodity which is widely traded
in a chaotic private market and here the consumer often feels helpless
and ignorant. The public programmes offetn face competition from
the private market which with more economic investments directly
produces gods and incomes. Therefore, in order to bring about any
betterment in the present health scenario in India, it is necessary to
focus on investments. The investments should be so designed as to
achieve and promote Health for All. Finally, priority must be
accorded a utilization of resources and maximum return from the
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 56
Duggal and Antia (1993) have reviewed the health finance in
India. According to them, the investment made at the time of
independence was marginal. The expenditure on hospitals,
dispensaries, health centres, health personnel and pharmaceutical
production was too low and did not have any impact on the health
of the targetted population. Though there has been growth in the
health sector, yer it has not kept pace with the needs of the population.
Bajpai and Goyal (2004) and Shivkumar (2005), also that
Indias health sector has remained grossly under-funded. It was
only 0.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As a result,
the health achievements in India is far from satisfactory. Here, the
burden of disease is high with both communicable as well as
noncommunicable diseases. There is also widespread morbidity and
mortality, especially among women, infants, children below five
and among the poor, the dwellers and the tribal people. They state
that the public investment in the health sectors should definitely go
up and especially so in te primary health care. The health system
should also be reformed and rightly administered to ensure efficient
and effective delivery of good quality of health services. According
to Bajpai and Goyal, the primary health care infrastructure provided
by the Indian Government for its people is neither adequate nor
properly utilized because of the poor quality of health services
provided. Equipment and drugs are either missing or in short supply
while doctors and other staffs are either in short supply or not
recruited. The distance to the health centres, from the users house
is also large. The obviously makes the non-poor, poor and the poor
even poorer. Since poverty and population health are closely related
and economic growth holds a bidirectional relation with poverty,
therefore the economic growth rate of India is observably slower.
Misra, Chatterjee and Rao (2003) also believe that good
health is an important contributor to productivity and growth.
Therefore, in India, where the only asset the people have is their
bodies, health occupies a very important place. Acccording to
them, there have been some significant improvement in parameter
measuring the health state of a country like life Expectancy, IMR,
Crude Birth Rate (CBR) and Crude Death Rate (CDR), etc. This is
so because of the widespread three-tier system or rural health
infrastructure and the efforts needed to control the communicalble
diseases like small-pox, polio, leprosy, tuberculosis etc, through
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 57
immunizatio. However, figures do not give a true picture of the
actual state of health of the people in India. There is a widespread
disparity in the values across States, the sections of the people
according to sex, caste, age, class and region of dwelling. They
believe that India could bave greater health achievements if proper
utilization of resources have been made. The investment in the health
sector should be atleast around 2.2 percent of GDP unlike the current
proportion of only 0.9 percent which is very low. Therefore, the
present level of investment should be doubled to reach the target.
Along with the raising of the public investment, the fund should be
equally distributed and efficiently utilized to benefit the really poor
and the needy. According to them, Indias achievement in the health
sector is less than satisfactory even after more than six decades
after Independence.
Gupta and Bollingers study (2006) discusses the challenges
within Indian Public and Private health care sectors. Theis study
reveals that according to the World Bank assessment of Indian Public
Health Care Sector it has been found that the health sector is under-
funded n=and not large enough to meet the current health needs of
the country. It is also criticized for being overly-centralized,
bureaucratic, inflexible and poorly managed. The services is often
sub-optimal and many of the disease control programmes are vertical
programmes that are in efficient and fail to integrate resources across
programmes. Allocation of public health resources is not always
done practically. Despite some data of relevance to national
indicators of health (IMR, MMR and number of hospitalization)
being available, yet the quality of health services in the public sector
is not well-monitored and Quality Assurance Programmes are
lacking. According to Keusch (2006), health is a key driver of
develpoment and several factors besides the availability and quality
of care affect health outcome among the poor. The availability of
services often varies inversely with need. Health financing solutions
for the poor often range from a difficult to sustain to completely
free package to health insurance scheme that are not necessarily
sensitive or flexible to the rural psyche. The reality of easily
accessible quality health care in rural India remains a myth for
many parts. Responsivencess to the patients needs is better in the
private sector, but the technical quality of services may vary from
the excellent to the very poor and is compounded by the lack of
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 58
regulatory mechanisms. Gaps exists in several areas of health care
which include an understanding of the burden of diseases and what
leads or causes ill-health, the availability and use of appropriate
technology in management of diseases and ill-health and health
systems that impact upon service delivery. Therefore, in order to
reduce this gap between the demand for and supply of health care
facilities, specially in the poverty stricken areas under the
conventional Allopathic System of medicine and thereby improve
the health status of the population against the financial risks of
various health problems, the basic demands and needs of the people
should be accurately responded and these demands and needs should
be adjusted accordingly with the stock of infrastructure.
Objectives :
In the present study, an attempt has been made to carry out
an assessment of the Indian Health System which is mainly publicly
funded but has mixed public or private provision, from the point of
view of both the stock of health care infrastructure and health care
A growing number of responsibilities, among which public
health provision stands out as the destination of a large share of
public budget, has been transferred to the States. Given that the
process of transfer of responsibility and the fiscal autonomy to
finance them do not advance simultaneously, the analysis of
difference in need for public health care provision across states has
become a core issue. Therefore, in order to obtain the access
condition for each state, the need for health care must be weighed
against the existing resources before they become meaningful
argument in the funding debate. So, the objectives of the present
study are
To find out those stock of health care infrastructure that are
mainly functioning and the health needs most prevalent out
of a wide range of representative variables.
To find out whether the required health needs of the country
are compensated or not with the available stock of resources.
Materials and Method :
This study is based on secondary data. Data has been collected
from various sources such as the Rural Health Statistics and Health
Information of India 2000 and 2001, Census 2001, legal documents,
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 59
official statistics, reports and publications including data from
District Information Centre. The collected data has been analyzed
using different statistical tools like multivariate statistical technique
of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to explore the largest
contributory variables to stock and health care need in the country
as well as to confirm whether the health needs are compensated or
not by the existing stock of infrastructure, Bivariate Correlation
Matrix. The potentiality of health care infrastructure in the context
of social development in particular and general is analyzed through
Health Care Appraisal Model (HCAM).
Framework and Methodology of Data Analysis
a. Framework of Data Analysis
The production of publicly financed services (y
) for
each state j can be represented by a function of three arguments
such as
= F
, k
, M
) .. (1)
where n
is an indicator of need for health care measured by
socio - demographic indicators, disability, mortality and morbidity
rates by main diseases, life - expectation, etc., k
is an indicator of
stock of infrastructure endowments ranging from hospitals, doctors,
nursing personnel to beds etc.
The index n
may be interpreted as the cumulated effect of
factors such as environmental hazards or population structure on
the need for health care. Heterogeneity in n
requires different levels
of both k
and M
in order to grant equal access. On the other hand
heterogeneity in k
is likely to be a result of asymmetries of past
investments in infrastructure and different proportion of the latter
are publicly available across the states.
From equation (1), we may define, (Junoy J. P. and Nicolas
A. P., 1995)
= n
/ k
In this case v
will explain (with reference to equation 1) the
publicly financed health services (that is y
) per unit infrastructure
endowment. The index v
is a coefficient of need relative to stock
endowment. That is, it relates the need for health care at each state
j with the degree to which such need may be covered by services
available for public use. It is noticed that v
could be interpreted as
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 60
a parameter measuring difficulty in access to public health services
in the utility function of the representative agent for state j (Herrero
and Villar, 1991).
b. Methodology of Data Analysis
The first step in the technique involves selecting a range of
variables associated to both - the stock of health infrastructure and
health care need on the basis of data availability. Secondly we
estimate the weight with which each of these variables should
contribute to the overall index.
Stock has been measured by 15 variables namely - Primary
Health Centres, Community Health Centres, Sub Centres, Allopathic
Hospitals, Allopathic Dispensaries, Allopathic beds, Mobile
Diagnostics Units, licensed blood banks, Registered Practitioners,
nurses, Multipurpose Workers or Auxillary Nurse Midwives, Health
Assistant or Lady Health Visitors, Village Health Guides, laboratory
technicians and registered pharmacists. Since, most of the
Governments budgetary allocation is made mainly towards the
development of the conventional medical system i.e. Allopathy for
its expansion than on other systems of medicine. Therefore, this
study focuses only on the infrastructure in Allopathy.
Needs are measured by 19 variables namely Life Expectancy,
IMR, Total Fertility Rate (TFR), under - nutrition, anaemia among
pregnant women, children and aged, blindness, malaria, diarrhoea,
dengue, measles, diptheria, whooping cough, pneumonia, leprosy,
polio, syphilis, tuberculosis.
Considering these variables, the principal component analysis
has been performed in order to obtain the principal components
associated to stock, the principal components associated to need
and the weights which each of these variables contribute to the
overall index. The largest share of total variance in both sets of
variables are explained by the stock and the need principal
components for which all the variables have a positive contribution.
These contributions have been considered as weights which permits
the calculation of a score for each state in terms of two characteristic.
Results and Discussion :
In Table 1, the communalities for each of the variables are
provided representing the total amount of variance an original
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 61
variable shares with all other variables in the analysis. They are the
estimates of shared variance among the variables. Initially the unities
are inserted so that the full variance is brought into the component
matrix. It is to be noted here that the variables have been rank
ordered according to the size of their communalities. The size of
the communality is a useful index for assessing how much variance
in a particular variable is accounted for by the component solution.
The maximum portion of variance in the original set of
variables is shared by the Multipurpose Workers or Auxillary Nurse
Midwives {ANW) (.995) followed by the Registered Practitoners
(.991) and allopathic beds (.990) and then by the Primary Health
Centres (PHC) and Village Health Guides (.986) each. A relatively
small portion of variance is shared by the Mobile Diagnostic Units
(.803) followed by Allopathic Dispensaries (.849) in the analysis.
The extraction statistics that is to select or extract number of
components to be retained for further analysis is dealt with in Table
- 2. When a large set of variables is to be factored, the method first
extracts the variables explaining the greatest amount of variance
and then proceeds to the variables that account for the least variance.
Here the latent root criterion and percentage of variance criterion
has been adopted to arrive at a specific number of components to
be extracted.
Information regarding 15 possible components of stock and
their relative explanatory powers as expressed by their eigenvalue
provided in Column 2 of Table - 2. In addition to assessing the
importance of each component, the Eigen values can also be used
to assist in selecting the number of components. Applying the latent
root criterion with a cut-off value of 1.0 for the eigenvalues, four
components - Multipurpose Workers or ANM, Registered
Practitioners, Allopathic beds and PHC are retained. In viewing
the Eigen value for the fifth component - Village Health Guides, it
was determined that its low value (.466) relative to the latent root
criterion value of 1.0 precluded its inclusion.
The percentage of variance criterion as shown in the Column
3 of Table - 2 is based on achieving a specific cumulative percentage
of total variance extracted by successive components. The purpose
is to ensure practical significance of the derived components by
ensuring that they explain at least a specied amount of variance.
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 62
This factoring procedure usually does not stops until the extracted
components account for at least 95 percent of variance or until the
last component account for only a small portion (less than 5 percent).
Concerning the stock of health care infrastructure, the first
component (Multipurpose Workers/ANM) account for 36.6 percent
of variance in the original variables. The second component
(Registered Practitioners) accounted for 28.9 percent, the third
component (Allopathic beds) accounted for 19.5 percent and fourth
component (PHC) accounted for 9.3 percent of variance. In total,
these extracted variables accounted for 94.4 percent of variation.
Now, if the fifth component (Village Health Guides) would have
been considered then the cumulative percentage of the five
components would account for 97.6 percent thereby violating the
factoring procedure under percentage of variance criterion.
Moreover, the percentage of variance for the fifth component was
less than 5 percent (3.107).
Thus, the percentage of variance criterion ensures the
practical significance of the four components extracted by the latent
root criterion.
Table - 1 : Communalities
Components Initial Extraction
MPW_ANM1.000 .995
RG_PRAC1.000 .991
ALBEDS 1.000 .990
PHC 1.000 .986
VHG 1.000 .986
SC 1.000 .982
LBB 1.000 .979
LAB_TECH1.000 .965
HA_LHV 1.000 .949
NURSES 1.000 .942
CHC 1.000 .931
ALHOSP 1.000 .919
RG_PHAR1.000 .902
ALDISP 1.000 .849
MDU 1.000 .803
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 63
Table - 2 : Total Variance Explained
Component Initial Eigen Values
Total % of Variance Cumulative %
1 5.495 36.632 36.632
2 4.348 28.983 65.616
3 2.927 19.511 85.127
4 1.399 9.324 94.451
5 .466 3.107 97.558
6 .366 2.442 100.000
7 1.392E-15 9.283E-15 100.000
8 2.671E-16 1.781E-15 100.000
9 2.107E-16 1.405E-15 100.000
10 1.175E-16 7.834E-16 100.000
11 5.717E-17 3.811E-16 100.000
12 - 1.182E-16 - 7.881E-16 100.000
13 - 1.411E-16 - 9.409E-16 100.000
14 - 4.414E-16 - 2.942E-15 100.000
15 - 6.378E-16 - 4.252E-15 100.000
Table - 3 : Percentage of Variance Criterion
Component Extraction Sums of Squared Loading
Total % of Variance Cumulative %
1 5.495 36.632 36.632
2 4.348 28.983 65.616
3 2.927 19.511 85.127
4 1.399 9.324 94.451
Extraction Method : Principal Component Method 4 components
Turning now to the health care needs, the same method
extracted five components of health care need, viz., malaria, measles,
pneumonia, anemia among aged women and whooping cough. These
four components of stock and the five components of need have
been considered as the most effective components that influenced
the health status of the States in India during 2001 and these
components have been retained for further in-depth analysis.
The states have been ranked according to the ratio n
/ k
, as
well as their position with respect to need and stock are presented
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 64
where, nj = Malaria cases per thousand population
kj = Number of multipurpose workers / auxillary
nurse midwives
(male and female together) per thousand population.
Here, for estimation purpose in case of health care need,
malaria has been considered as the principal component since it is
the largest contributor to the need index. Similarly, Multipurpose
Workers or ANM(male and female together) have been used as the
principal component since it is the largest contributor to the index
of stock of health care infrastructure. It is noteworthy as shown in
column 2 of Table - 4 below that the National Capital Territory of
Delhi with one of the highest per capita income, lies at the bottom
of stock ranking. This seems to result from the low proportion of
health infrastructure in Multipurpose Workers / ANM that has been
used as the principal component in case of stock available for public
use. This effect is also present for the cases of West Bengal, Gujarat,
Haryana and Odisha too and it suggests that this may be an important
variable to take into account when financing schemes are debated.
Sikkim lies at the top of the stock ranking followed by Mizoram.
The ranking of column 5 shows that the North-Eastern States are
more needy with Arunachal Pradesh ranking the highest and Manipur
ranking the lowest. Other states like Odisha, Chattisgarh, Goa, and
Jharkhand also lie at the top of the need ranking.
Concerning the index of coverage n
/ k
as shown in column
6 of the table, Sikkim appears to be the most favoured state followed
by Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Haryana. The ratio in
these states being lower suggest that the needs were better covered
by the existing stock of infrastructure. This result is supportive of
the fact. The other end is occupied by the rest of the states with
higher needs and lower stock resulting in a higher ratio which
suggested that the needs were less compensated by the stock.
Arunachal Pradesh occupies the worst position followed by Odisha,
Goa, and Meghalaya where a huge gap existed between the health
needs and the resources to satisfy those needs. As the study reveals,
this gap was found lower in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir. This
may be due to the fact that the reliability of data for these two
states could not be established.
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 65
Correlation Matrix :
A bi-variate correlation matrix was constructed to find the
association between the stock of health care infrastructure and health
care need as presented in Table 5. In estimating the correlation
matrix, the extracted component health care need were considered
along with the extracted components of health care infrastructure.
Firstly, a positive correlation was observed between malaria
and Multipurpose Workers or ANM (.215), malaria, Allopathic beds
(.067) and PHC (.321), whereas a negative correlation was observed
between malaria and Registered Practitioners (-.011). The higher
the number of Registered Practitioners, the lower is the incidence
of malaria. Thus, from the above, it is inferred that an increase in
the number of MPW / ANM, Allopathic beds and PHC does not
improve the health condition as far as malaria is concerned.
Secondly, measles has a positive correlation with the PHC
and an inverse association with the rest of three components of
stock. Thus, as the number of MPW / ANM, Registered
Practitioners and Allopathic beds increases as the incidence of
measles declined.
Thirdly, pneumonia has a negative correlation with the
Registered Practitioners ( - .266) and Allopathic beds ( - .261).
However, pneumonia is more or less equally correlated with
Registered Practitioners and Allopathic beds. Thus, higher the
number of Registered Practitioners and Allopathic beds, the lower
would be the incidence of pneumonia. The result also shows that
pneumonia has a positive correlation with MPW / ANM (.090) and
PHCs (.465).
Fourthly, anemia among aged women is again positively
associated with PHCs (.213). This result reveals that increase in
the number of PHCs has no effect on the incidence of anemia among
aged women.
Finally, whooping cough - this health disease is inversely
associated with Registered Practitioners (-.272) and Allopathic beds
(-.383) whereas it was positively associated with the number of MPW
/ ANM (.060) and PHCs (.259). Thus, higher the number of Registered
Practitioners and Allopathic beds, the lower would be the incidence
of whooping cough. However, higher the number of MPW / ANM
and PHCs, the higher would be the incidence of whooping cough
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 66
Table - 4 : Relative indices of need and infrastructure endowments.
States Stock Rank Need Rank Ratio Rank
Index Order Index Order need to Order
kj nj endow-
nj / kj
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Andhra 29.3914 8 70.2994 18 2.3918 12
Arunachal 52.0231 4 4734.8808 1 91.0150 31
Assam 21.4118 18 329.3301 11 15.3808 24
Bihar 10.5973 28 4.5735 33 0.4316 6
Chhatisgarh - 1288.7912 2 - 32
Goa 24.8781 13 845.9992 5 34.0058 29
Gujrat 19.6267 21 148.2428 17 7.5531 17
Haryana 18.0116 24 5.2443 32 0.2912 5
Himachal 57.6712 3 5.2927 31 0.0918 3
Jammu & 7.1121 29 8.3540 28 1.1746 8
Jharkhand - 448.1493 8 - 33
Karnataka 22.0635 16 345.5587 10 15.6620 25
Kerala 26.0776 10 6.6298 29 0.2542 4
Madhya 33.8698 6 279.6208 12 8.2558 18
Maharashtra 16.1604 26 53.4069 19 3.3048 14
Manipur 24.4720 14 36.4037 23 1.4876 9
Meghalaya 44.5993 4 824.8928 6 18.4954 28
Mizoram 78.0157 2 1131.3922 4 14.5021 22
Nagaland 18.9939 22 200.2112 15 10.5408 21
Odisha 18.7389 23 1141.5350 3 60.9179 30
Punjab 25.3032 12 2.2960 34 0.0907 2
Rajasthan 25.3598 11 211.0088 14 8.3206 19
Sikkim 80.2069 1 5.2927 30 0.0660 1
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 67
Tamil Nadu 21.7518 17 46.8417 22 2.1535 11
Tripura 30.5168 7 534.6128 7 17.5186 27
Uttaranchal - 13.0013 25 - 34
Uttar 17.7472 25 52.4848 20 2.9574 13
West Bengal 19.6456 20 166.7305 16 8.4869 20
Andaman & 43.4753 5 239.4089 13 5.5068 16
Chandigarh 2.0968 30 30.5024 24 14.5471 23
Dadra & 20.9962 19 354.6965 9 16.8934 26
Nagar Haveli
Daman & Diu 23.9053 15 50.7513 21 2.1230 10
Delhi 1.9268 31 9.9308 27 5.1540 15
Lakshadweep 28.0611 9 0 0 35
Pondicherry 14.2620 27 10.0322 26 0.7034 7
Extraction Method : Principal Component Method 4 components
Table - 5 : Bi-variate Correlation Matrix between Stock of Health
Care Infrastructure and Health Care Need.
MPW_ANM Pearson .215 -.413 .090 -.152 .060
Sig. (2- .424 .112 .742 .573 .826
N 16 16 16 16 16
RG_PRAC Pearson -.011 -.034 -.266 -.426 -.272
Sig. (2- .967 .899 .319 .100 .307
N 16 16 16 16 16
ALBEDS Pearson .067 -.128 -.261 -.784** -.383
Sig. (2- .806 .637 .329 .000 .143
N 16 16 16 16 16
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 68
PHC Pearson .321 .227 .465 .213 .259
Sig. (2- .226 .399 .070 .428 .332
N 16 16 16 16 16
From this statistical analysis, it can be concluded that a high
correlation exists between stock of health care infrastructure and
health care need. The correlation coefficients reveal that higher needs
are on average compensated with existing stock of infrastructure
under the Allopathic System of treatment in the country. However,
as the study reveals when the number of PHC are higher, the
incidence of all diseases are higher. This means that increase in the
number of PHCs does not necessarily improve the health condition
of the people as far as the five diseases are concerned. This is
probably due to the fact that most of the PHCs are non-functioning/
dormant. It is therefore argued that greater economic development
of the states is required in order to improve the accessibility of the
people towards health services.
Conclusion Remarks
Health care or health facility is the first important factor,
which determines the Health for All of a country. Health for All
means that all people would have access to at least the basic health
services like nutritious food, clean drinking water, health centres
and hospitals, doctors and medicines of which the last three may be
considered undeniably, to form the countrys second line of defense.
Though it is hard to quantify health care because of its heterogeneous
nature yet it is necessary that a detailed study of all health facilities
available (including infrastructure and manpower) as well as the
health needs (including the health states and the incidence of diseases)
in our country be made. In the point of view of the policy implication
, this study is relevant for balancing the demand and supply of
health care infrastructural requirement indicators like sufficient
hospital beds, adequate numbers of healthcare centres, sufficient
blood banks, establishment of medical colleges, etc which can offer
the satisfied health service excellence. The stakeholders can
implement the possible policies for better health care service,
infrastructural planning and managing for better quality of services
by maintaining a balance between the supply of the health care
infrastructure with the demand or urgent need for healthcare in India.
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 69
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 70
1. Faster responsiveness and
better conduct of public
health process with the help
of information and
communication networks
, t e c h n o l o g i e s , s k i l l e d
workforce, organizational
and financial resources etc
adjusted with what we need
,what has been allocated and
what is in place.
2. Priorities in health care
investments well defined
before an investment is
actually made.
3. Cost-effectiveness of health
investment considered along
with alternative choices of
investment and also other
factors like the impact of
investment measures in terms
of health indices, pricing of
the health services and also
linking these services to the
capacity to pay.
4. Building strong network of
three tier medical care system
at primary, secondary and
tertiary levels throughout the
country with constant efforts
to improve health manpower.
1. Public health sector under-
funded, overly centralized,
bureaucratic, inflexible and
poorly managed.
2. Less emphasis on Preventive
care-Most of the government
subsidy directed towards
promotion of health projects
which are of curative nature
resulting in higher
dependency and weakening of
communitys capacity to pay
to cope with its problem.
3. Lack of understanding of
the burden of disease what
leads or causes ill-health
4. Non-availability and use of
inappropriate technology in
management of diseases and
ill-health and health systems
that impact upon service
5. Health Care infrastructure
map does not exist
6. Exclusion of Service
Providers- Medical
professionals have excluded
traditional providers of health
care in rural areas from their
ambit and have not worked on
transfer of appropriate
From originality point of view the researcher made a sincere attempt
to disseminate the required infrastructural framework in Indian
Health Care System and also encountered the strategies for
development of sustainability in health care industry in India.
Health Care Appraisal Model (HCAM) Philosophy (SWOT)
Annual Report ,2002-2003,Ministry of Health and Ministry of Health and
Family Welfare, Government of India.
Bajpai N and Goyal S, June 2004, Primary Health Care in India: Coverage
and Quality Issues in CGSD Working Paper, No.15.
Sudakhina Mitra & Paramita Saha
Voice of Intellectual Man 71
5. Balancing the demand and
supply of health care
infrastructural requirement
indicators like sufficient
hospital beds, adequate
numbers of healthcare
centers, sufficient blood
banks, establishment of
medical colleges, etc which
can offer the satisfied health
service excellence.
6. Facilitates health transition
1. Increasing health care allied
2. Identifies progress achieved
on health care reforms
formulated based on health
care needs, the existing
picture and details future
direction for medical/health
3. Development of need based
innovations through constant
analysis of information on
existing health care needs,
burden and trends of diseases,
modes of transmission.
7. Health financing solutions
for the poor often range from
a difficult to sustain
completely free package to
health insurance scheme
insensitive/non-flexible to
rural psyche.
8. Health centres are
characterized by endemic
T- Threats
1. Development of unregulated
costly private health sector
with little control as to what
kind of services can be
provided by whom ,in what
manner and at what cost and
often lacks public health
relevance ,greatly varies in
quality and in some instances
is abysmal and without regard
to standard guidelines thus
making the non-poor poor
and the poor even poorer.
2. Establishment of curative
centres based on Western
Models, which are
inappropriate and irrelevant
to the real needs of our people
and socio-economic
conditions has largely
endangered the health
situation of the nation.
Berman P and Khan M.E 1993, Paying for Indias Health Care, Sage
Publications New Delhi,pp 326.
Berman P.1992, Health Care Expenditure in India, in Health, Poverty and
Development in India ed. By DasGupta M.C Chen L.C and Krishnan
T.N., Oxford University Press Publications.
Das T.K and D.S.D Choudhury 2006, Inter-state variation in Medical Services
under Allopathy and CAM, Development Challenges :Some
Contemporary Issues (Edited by A.Ray Chaudhuri , Allied Publishers,
New Delhi.
Duggal Ravi and Antia N.H 1993, Health Financing in India : A Review and
an Agenda , in Paying for Indias Health Care ,Ed. by Berman P. and
Khan M.E. ,Sage Publication ,New Delhi.
Economic Survey 2002-2003,Ministry of Finance and Company Affairs
,Economic Division ,Government of India.
Gupta , A and Bollinger R.C., (June 2006).Health Care in India, Combating
HIV/AIDS in India : Public Private Partnership necessary for success.
Health Information of India 1995-1996, 1999, 2000 and 2001 Ministry of Health
and Family Welfare,Govt.of India.
Herroro C. and Villar 1991, About The Fair Distribution of A Cake and Its
Application to Problem of Financing of Autonomous Communities,
Working parpers. EC Series 1991-12, Valencian Economic Research
Institute, SA (Ivie).
Junoy J.P. and A.P Nicholas 1995, Assessing health care infrastructure at the
regional level : a statistical approach. Applied Economics Letters, 1995,
2, 463-6
Misra R. and Chatterjee R, Rao S.2003,India Health Report ,Oxford University
National Health Policy 2002
Rural Health Statistics in India, March 2002,Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare ,Government of India.
Shivkumar A.K 2005, Budgeting for Health :Some and Considerations,
Economic and Political Weekly,Vol.XL,No.14,April 2-8.
Health Care Infrastructure and Need in India: A Critical Assessment
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 72
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 73-86
*Roseanne DelParto, M.A. History, Adjunct Faculty Department of History Old
Dominion Unversity Norfok, VA 23529, USA RDELPART@ODU.EDU
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective
Memory and Rituals in Philippine Colonial History
*Roseanne DelParto
The geographical region of the Philippine islands contains a landscape
of public and sacred places as a result of two turning points in the
region's history, the Spanish American War and the Japanese occupation
of the Philippines during World War II. Historical sites became a place
where rituals and memory generated by a veneration of ritual and healing
and collective memory due to traumatic events. Roman Catholic
churches and historical sites in the form of war memorials and
monuments suggest a landscape of sacred ground that contributed to
the healing of wounds by confronting and reconciling through faith,
worship, prayer, pilgrimage, and collective memory. These sites not
only represent sacred places of ritual and commemoration of memory,
they form a greater whole of Philippine national heritage and identity.
Key words: Ritual, Collective Historical Memory, Historical sites and
monuments, culture and society
History and Colonial Past :
The Philippine islands, the island and its people thrived for
over 30,000 years as an indigenous tribal community that migrated
from neighboring islands and regions from Malay and present day
Indonesia with the reliance on natural resources and thereafter
colonial impact that changed its peoples way of life. Surrounded
by several seas of the South China Sea, Sulu Sea, Philippine Sea,
and the great Pacific Ocean, the region became a cornerstone of
development through trade by Chinese, Arab and Persian traders,
and later religious foundations that translated by 1521 with the
arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, which he
engrained to a greater extent a precipitation of influence that
culturally elevated Philippine civilization and society. Twenty years
later the first Spanish settlement was established in Cebu with
Governor General Don Miguel Lopz de Legazpi by order from
King Philip II of Spain. The settlements coincided with trade and
religious missionary efforts from MexicoMaxico and Acapulco. The
historic churches that date back to the first settlement in the islands
in Cebu and Bohol served as a region of first encounters by the
Spanish with the indigenous inhabitants that worshiped animistic
and shamanistic beliefs. Their authority within the community before
the Spaniards centered upon a headman, through birth and
inheritance, prosperous and powerful.
This economic and religious
and political marriage, which was inseparable and a model of Spains
expansion of empire New Espaa in Latin America of traders and
Christian missionaries that did not immediately change to social
patterns in the countryside. Slowly, however, with the combined
force of the Church and State lending authority to developments,
the Spanish colonial impact affected the life of the peasantry, giving
new and greater power to the traditional local leaders, yet insisting
that power beyond the village or district level could not pass out of
the hands of Spaniards. The ultimate irony of this situation is well
known to Filipinos but all too often unknowingly others. As Spanish
rule ascended, a divide became evident, between educated Filipinos
expecting employment in the Church and State but were denied
because they were not Spanish that caused resentment towards
Spanish control and eventually led to revolutionary movement.
Catholicism and Spanish rule in the Philippines gave the
northern islands a new framework for society. Building upon the
village structure of pre-colonial times, the Spaniards created a new
non-indigenous system. To suggest that this system removed all
indigenous elements from Philippine society would be an error. But
it would be equally erroneous not to recognize that the administrative
and economic, as well as the religious structure instituted by the
Spanish had the most profound effect. Dissatisfied Filipinos, the
Indios, non-Spanish inhabitants of the island possessed civil
ecclesiastical and assimilated into institutions, Spanish schools,
seminaries, and universities, and created a society in Asia unlike
any other, despite not being able to acquire administrative or
positions within the church. This resulted with colonial subjects
revolting against Spanish rule in the nineteenth century because
they were in effect excluded from the way of the becoming Spanish
The Filipinos established their own national identity, one that
nonetheless remained inseparably linked with the experience of
Spanish rule and the importance of Catholicism.
Philippines as a
Spanish territory lasted for over 333 years until the Spanish
American War prompted by unruliness between the Spanish
government and the Roman Catholic Church disintegrated relations
between the people of the Philippines. Revolt and rebellion and
insurrections occupied the last decade of the nineteenth century,
which gave rise to rebellions already in place in Latin America and
Cuba by 1895. Events within that sphere finally reached the
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective ......
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 74
Philippines by 1898 and the islands became a great part of the
Spanish American War. Over forty years after the United States
paid for the Philippines independence from Spain, December 8,
1941, opened another chapter in the islands history, the invasion
of Clark Field by the Japanese imperial army that occupied the
capital of Manila and the islands of Corregidor and Bataan and the
southern corridor, especially Cebu and Leyte and the entire Pacific
rim, which led the country and its people toward a path of ultimate
destruction and imprisonment that included the University of Santo
Tomas, the oldest college in Asia established in 1611.
Issues of the Representation of Philippine Historical Sites :
In this article I examine the results of the conflicts that ravaged
the two main regions of the Philippine islands that bear much historic
significance and plagued by rebellions and wars that caused
traumatic situations for the people of the islands and the people
involved in these conflicts, locals and colonizers. This produced
social and psychological problems that later showed within sacred
places related to oppression and human rights inflicted on the locals.
My findings are a result of attending the 5
conference of the South
and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and
Religion in Manila, Philippines and subsequent complimentary tours
that began and followed the conferences to historical and religious
sites within the Provinces of Northern Luzon and the Visayas islands
of Cebu and Bohol, all representing the rich historical sites of the
Philippines, Cebu, first Spanish settlement and Baclayon Church,
oldest Church in the regions history, and Manila, the site of the
battles of the Spanish American War and the invasion and occupation
by Japanese forces during World War II. All of the events conjure
a memory and landscape of balancing recovery and renewal,
memorialization and preservation that shapes former battle zones
into tourist destinations possessing distinct physical, cultural, and
historical attractions bundled as heritage fraught with tensions
between recreation and respect.
By structural-functional methods,
collective memory, and rituals, the people of the Philippines find
solace and maintain loyalty within landscapes of sacred and secular
Nationalism :
Sacred grounds wrought with memories show beyond the
historical narratives a revelation of understanding that is reflective
of the colonizers and colonized. Missionaries hold much
Roseanne DelParto
Voice of Intellectual Man 75
responsibility to the building of these institutions that housed the
most holy and revered relics. They hold the power and control as
agents of Western cultural penetration by the majority or rural
villages that later became directed against them.
fervor served a purpose, a potent factor in the placement of Spanish
Roman Catholic clergy by Americans in the Philippines and in the
introduction of Protestantism. The people of the islands created a
reliance upon the colonial agent indoctrinated with a new self-
consciousness to be found in these peoples, proud of their past,
believing themselves possessed of the resources and ability to
contribute to the life of the world, wanting to presence their
individuality and independence, and determined to be true to their
national and racial characteristics.
Deeply rooted in noble and
nationalistic sentiment, the loyalty of self-devotion, the idealism
which love of country can inspire, best ever these can lead to strife,
bitterness, and narrowness if not dedicated to Christ.
Churches and historical sites and monuments provide the
sacred space for participants to perform religious and spiritual
practices to overcome traumatic experiences. All of these examples
identify with the country and the peoples national identity and
loyalty. Fort Santiago in Intramuros, a fortication established during
Spanish rule, serves as a symbolic reminder in several instances,
markers and statues and the purpose it served, a citadel and
encampment in the city of Manila and later preserved to dedicate
the life of heroes and martyrs, such as national hero Jos Rizal.
Rizal has been idolized and symbolized for his heroism that tourists
and locals take a glimpse of the struggles and the oppression of the
countrys past. The colonial relationship fostered assimilation and
acculturation and one man, Rizal is symbolic of that blessings and
curses and occupation and oppression but also dialogue and
Collective memory tends to play mental exercises
within the human subconscious mind and with the definitive
historical narrative or bigger picture tends to blur the lines of the
story or create a form of historic amnesia. How did a young medical
doctor and novelist conjure a revolution in a country? Familial
associations that related to incidents that occurred years before 1898
provide the backdrop to events leading up to the war and even before
that Rizals martyrdom. Rizals familial, he being born of the Alonzo
y Mercado family, wealthy and of Malay and Chinese heritage, of
the Calamba Laguna Province, and his social and economic
background that contributed to his role as an active participant and
voice of opposition to what was happening to his homeland. Rizals
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective ......
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 76
revolutionary movement was personal, and origins of dissent began
in 1872, a mutiny of native soldiers at the Cavite Barracks,
precipitated national crackdown on the leaders of the reform
movement. Businessmen, activists, three priests Father Jose Burgos,
who was a teacher of the Mercado y Alonzo family and eldest son
Paciano, at the Jesuit Ateneo School in Manila.
The history and experience of Rizal and vocative events
surrounding sacred spaces and spiritual sentiment coupled with
ideals and moral precepts enable the chaos of an event to be placed
within a meaningful context. Emile Durkheim described religious-
thought beliefs that defined this claim and similarly ceremonies
that commemorate the past are expected to be performed flawlessly.
The special place that is often designated for fallen soldiers is
enriched through written and artistic means with ceremonial
performances to express desired human values. War shrines and
commemorative rituals historically constitute the most frequently
used approaches to remembrance of past deeds and represent the
most common conception of war memorials.
Historic sites and churches constructed during colonial rule
associates and creates the public landscape of communities and add
significance to every day life through the buildings present, relics,
and mementos symbolic of the divine or loved ones. Sacred
celebration more clearly focuses war memory on a place; people visit
battlefields, public war museums and public ceremonies that are
preserved or designed to commemorate wars. The portrayal of honor
is essential in all these places, if remembrance for individuals who
fought is to be sacred.
Furthermore, these spaces allow patriotism
to act as a component to recall the tragedy of loss and authenticity.
Collective Memory :
Emile Durkheim established the sociological elements that
relate to religious ritual while his student Maurice Halwbachs made
a compelling assessment of past experiences associated with
collective memory with relation to a groups past and understanding
that past. Halwbachs asserts, Past lived experience and his
description of collective memory as part of a groups identity are
interrelated because personal identity is closely tied to this particular
memory. According to Halwbachs, a group becomes conscious of
its identity through awareness of its own past: when the nature of
a groups collective memory changes, the group itself ceases to
exist but the cycle resumes with a new group and new identity.
Roseanne DelParto
Voice of Intellectual Man 77
Historic places are symbolic reminders of the Filipino peoples
past serve as agents of coming to terms with the conflicting past.
Historian Ileto Reynaldo summarizes this for the Filipinos that
survived these events and active participants Spanish, Americans,
and Japanese that were all or a part of the series of wars from the
Spanish American war to World War II must be understood from
all perspectives. Ileto declares, Filipino revolutionists had always
sought the help of Japan in their wars against Spain and the United
States, but except for small shipments of arms, Japanese involvement
in the Philippine revolution was slight. We must remember, though,
that the US victory over the Filipino nationalists over Russia in
1905. These two events together signal the beginning of American-
Japanese rivalry from dominance in the Asia-Pacific.
the National Museum gallery explicitly displays the ramifications
of the Philippine colonial history and its aftermath through graphic
exhibitions of Spanish rule to the Japanese occupation of World
War II. These displays intertwine with complex interpretations and
perspectives that show the collective memory of the past and the
artists rendering of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Political ramifications caused the rift of social relations of
individuals attempting to assist the country and its people to govern
on their own. Missionaries and teachers came to question their
rules and superiority over the Filipino people, which generated
politicized and imperialistic notions. In the case of the recollection
of two teachers from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mary and Harry Cole,
their discombobulated experience showed in their letters of Filipinos
as recipients of and resisters to American imperialism. They
differentiated traits of Filipino loyalty from the characteristics of
guerilla duplicity in their attempts to determine an individuals fitness
for civilization.
The Coless intentions leaned much more on
professional and regional identities as teachers in order to
depoliticize their causes in the Philippines and to stress less of the
disciplining and violent process of the civilizing missions.
Sacred And Secular Sites :
From the beginning of the history of the Philippines, the
memory of the past invokes struggles to overcome but not without
leaving tokens of monuments that serve as a reminder. The
Philippine islands experienced the brunt of the war experience and
to this day, exist historic sites and monuments serves as constant
reminders of a brutal history of modern warfare that also embeds
values that remain inchoate. This allows a community to confront
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective ......
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 78
and to decide how to deal with the past in the form of life or death,
sacrifice or self-interest, allegiance or treason that interferes with
nationalism, fissiparous divisions of language, geography, social
class, religion, ethnicity and culture must be subordinated to the
mass demands of national allegiance. Any nation which can not,
rally its people to defend its territory, its symbol or its values ceases
effectively to be a nation, collapsing instead into its parochial
constituencies. As Tomas Confesor noted in 1943, war placed the
Philippine nation, like all nations, in the crucible to assay the metal
of our being.
The measure of suffering and patriotism created a
sense of destiny that culminated to historical importance and national
identity that fell within the pantheons of martyrs and heroes
represented within historical context of Bataan and Corregidor that
the population sympathized with despite the savage repression of
the Japanese aggression. Filipinos reacted by proving themselves
and to the world that they had come of age as a nation. They had
been attacked, their values had been threatened, and their impending
independence was jeopardized. It was their war.
and historic sites and churches house the memories and struggles
and triumphs. Monuments on Mactan Island of tribal leader Chief
Lapulapu and explorer Ferdinand Magellan and Fort San Pedro in
Cebu, exhibit the blessings and curses implanted in the history
and memory of the Philippines.
Collective memories of traumatic events transfer into
proactive ritual healing within sacred sites, the churches and shrines,
Magellans cross at the Basilica of Santo Nio, Baclayon Church
in Bohol, and San Augustin in Manila. The transfer of leadership
in the Roman Catholic Church from Philippines from Spaniards to
Filipinos by 1902, led to a schism. The nationalist religious
movement diffused rapidly but unevenly, assuming a far-flung and
complex pattern of adherence. By 1918 a similar distribution of
Protestant adherence had emerged as a result of proselytism by
American missionaries. The major themes of the geography of
religion have much to contribute to an understanding of these
phenomena: analysis of expansion and transfer, regionalization of
nominal adherence patterns overtime, and the role of religion in
ordering circulation and reinforcing regional identities. Hispanic
administrative and religious colonialism restricted Islam to the
Southwestern portion of the archipelago and established among the
highly localized lowland societies of Luzon and the Visayas an
extensive system of mission settlements. Outliers of this system
were located in the north, the mission cum parish system
Roseanne DelParto
Voice of Intellectual Man 79
ultimately produced an increasingly well articulated Christianized
The Revolution terminated their centuries of gradual
Roman Catholic expansion and radically changed the character,
number, and distribution of religious groups that resulted with the
Philippine Independent Chruch (PIC, or the Iglesia Filipina
Independence), the Philippine American War opened the way for
Protestant evangelization.
Because of an agreement between king
and Pope, which gave the crown great ecclesiastical authority within
all Spanish dominions, the transfer of parishes to the secular clergy
become a political question. The royal decrees of 1594 imposed
segregated mission fields on the several religious orders and the
secular clergy and thus prevented the operation of the normal church
policy, which held that the religious missionaries had charge of
the doctrinas [missions], which they had founded only for the purpose
of building them up into regular parishesgave way to the secular
Buildings and sites that pre-date World War II found a place
within the bigger scope of Philippine history that date back to
Spanish rule and held significance in war and meaning and ritual,
such as Intramuros and Fort Santiago and Corregidor Island. Each
site is representative of a colored historical past for Filipinos and
the United States and Army General Douglas MacArthur.
MacArthur symbolized liberation and loyalty, the meaning during
World War II in his will to fight that resonates with epic and
romanticized intonations of religious fervor and sacrifice, The
promise of redemption issued insistently by Douglas MacArthur
was fulfilled as he waded ashore at Leyte. Telling the Filipinos,the
guidance of divine God points the way, he urged them to strike
for future generations of your sons and daughters and in the
name of your sacred dead. Consciously stressing the sense of epic
grandeur, MacArthur exhorted the Filipinos to Follow in his name
to the Holy Grail of righteous victory.
Religion and Ritual: People and Faith and Experience :
Symbolic imagery in the form of the churches, relics situated
within each of the sites express the sacred and the divine that
encourages faith and belief for followers. Ritual practices defined
by statues and crucifixes and altarpieces. Cebu and Bohol clearly
radiate the historical and religious significance of these regions of
the archipelago. Sincere and revered devotion showed in front of
Magellans cross with praises and reflection from participants
pedaling candles to visitors of the monument. The foundations of
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective ......
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 80
understanding the symbolic imagery and rituals that associate with
meaning, Ethnohistorical and historical sources inform numerous
studies of ancient ritual, particularly in the new world (e.g. Bauer
1992, Brady and Prufer 2005, Sekaquaptewa and Washburn 2004,
Hayes-Gilpin and Hill 1999, Fowles 2005)rely on myth, art, and
other forms of religious expression to provide guidance on the
interpretation of material remains of ritual. One can, however,
investigate symbols, archaeologically in other ways, by exploiting
other structural understandings of symbols.
Churches show the profound symbolism and idea of defining
the Catholic Church and Christians, his patron saint and guardian
angel, etc. Emile Durkheim asserts: By definition all these cults
seem to be independent of all idea of the group and the patron saint
is chosen from the official list of saints recognized by the Catholic
Church; there are even canonical rules presenting how each Catholic
should perform this private cult.
Further associating the ritual
common with companions but still maintaining individualization
through passion and personal well being that frees the sense and
able to think and act with concepts within society and social
This sacred place and the practice performed of
Reconciliation imbibes the sacramental ritual celebration by which
sinners, especially those who have committed very serious sins
(offenses) against God or against other human beings [called
mortal or deadly sins] are forgiven and reconciled to God and to
the Christian community [Church]. During the prayer the priest or
bishop declares Gods forgiveness of the persons sins.
The display and practice of rituals within these spaces
exhibit the response to the colonial past in terms of a structural-
functionalism and what Maurice Bloch assesses through political
economy provides continuity in all real history. This stresses the
importance of authority and ritual as a kind of tunnel into one
plunges, and where since there is no possibility of turning either
to right or left, the only thing to do is to follow traditional
authority, within a Weberian this world that constitutes an
imaginary, static, transcendental order using formal, repetitive,
non-arguable means of legitimacy of traditional authority
This provides the understanding and the making of the history of
the colonized, reframed as resistance to power and dominance.
All examples of the cargo cult produce an image of ritual against
history, response from the culture of the other to the historical
practice of the colonizers; but an anthropologist now such vehicles
Roseanne DelParto
Voice of Intellectual Man 81
for study of the culture and history of both colonizers and
All studies of ritual of resistance depict what some
call the struggle for possession of the sign. But it is clearly about
a ritual of resistance accomplished when rule is analytically
conceived of as a cultural hegemony. If a system of domination
controls the representation of what is possible and what is natural,
then a ritual of resistance breaks the hegemony over the subjective
consciousness of the ritual participants and of the oppression and
allows them to envision new communities and possibilities,
kingdoms, nations, and utopias are forms in which some of these
communities of struggle are envisioned and empowerment. Studies
explicitly exploring Gramscian hegemony theory bring together
analyses of counter-colonial discourse and the powerful imagining
of the truth through ritual-politics, for example, much like the
case of Spanish colonialism upon the Philippines, the Tshidi
kingdom of Zion movement in South Africa, that researcher
Comaroff finds ritual to be a form of historical practice that is
particularly important under oppressive conditions, conditions in
which expressions of dissent are prevented from attaining the
level of open discourse. This is significant in terms of
understanding rituals and the transform discourse and to set in
place action to make a change within a communitys predicament
that diverts the oppressive activity. This means of change is
transformative rooted in a local symbolic system and a particular
encounter with colonialism, capitalism and Christianity; and
transformative of consciousness, using the polyvalent metaphor
of healing to alter the state of bodies physical and social.
Rituals cannot be possible without a belief system and within
the churches and the community of followers the belief of belonging.
Interaction rituals of everyday interaction, pointing out that these
aspects, like more prototypic rituals, prominently feature co-presence
and the focusing on the belief and belonging, but also have the
potential to induce some degree of effervesence, conformity, and
anomalous behavior.
Displays of devotion radiate with the results of the
supernatural and within Catholicism, one element accepted by the
Filipinos in the form of miracles. Phelan describes as a boundless
and virtually uncontrollable. Miracles were the normal thing, to be
expected, asked for, and believed. Such a belief did not provide the
Filipinos with any challenge to control nature, or any notices of
self-discipline. Prayer for a miracle was substituted for hard
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective ......
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 82
workany native who possesses a basketful of rice will not seek
for more, or do any further work, until it is finished. Thus does
their idleness surpass their covetousness.
Religion embodies Filipino culture and heritage and the
University of Santo Tomas serves as a place of higher learning and
theological study and the oldest university in the Philippines and
the entire Asian sphere, and the oldest churches in Philippine colonial
history, the Basilica of the Santo Nino situated in Cebu, the former
colonial capital that houses the most revered symbols of Roman
Catholic faith, the statue of the Santo Nio encased in a glass case
and where faithful and loyal Christian followers travel so far to
show reverence and respect. This is one of the essential foundations
of Christianity as well as the cross of Magellan, which is also located
within the premises of the Basilica of Sto. Nino. Clearly this is
representative of ritual and memory of the islands colonial past
embraced by thousands of followers and observers that cannot be
compared to other rituals within the Asian sphere. The Philippine
colonial past is shown within this sacred site. The arrival also
integrated the Holy infant within indigenous folk beliefs and practices
of the sinulug ritual dance, a blend with Catholic and Hispanic
symbolism and practices in historical and contemporary genres that
extended to Europe and acknowledged by the sovereign Pontiffs of
the Catholic Church.
The Santo Nio represents mysticism and
folk Catholicism and as a whole devotion towards Filipino Christian
culture. Also creating a temporal space, Religious/paraliturgical
rites include of the finding of images and hubu mass public ritual
changing of the images clothing. Folk religions practices include
the development and veneration of other Sto. Nio images; pana
ad vow; paghalod offerings; paga hid wiping of the image
with a handkerchief Pasinulug traditional sinulug ritual dance;
and the fluvial procession.
Summary and Conclusion
This paper generated after attendance at a conference at the
University of Santo Tomas, Manila and tours of Manila, Tagbilaran
and Bohol, Cebu, and Mactan Island. Sacred and secular places
serve as a place for ritual and collective memory that permeates for
participants the allowance to overcome traumatic events of the past
that relate to the history, heritage, and identity of the Filipino people.
Communities within the islands and the surrounding sites of churches
and historical landmarks of memorials and monuments represent
the reminders of the past of assimilation and acculturation that
Roseanne DelParto
Voice of Intellectual Man 83
benefited and served as a whole to the country and its people to
move forward from its colonial past.
1 Milton Osborne, An Introductory History, Southeast Asia
Australia: Allen and Unwin, 1979; reprint, 2010, 54.
2 Osborne, 56.
3 Ibid, 90.
4 Gerald Figal, Between War and Tropics: Heritage Tourism
in Postwar Okinawa, Public Historian 30 no. 2 Spring 2008,
5 Pierce Beaver, Nationalism and Missions, Church History
26 no. 1 March, 1957, 22.
6 Ibid, 25.
7 Ibid, 27.
8 John D. Morris, Jose Rizal and the Challenge of Philippine
Independence, from the Schiller Institute, http://
www.schillerinstitute.org/educ/hist/rizal.html , Accessed June
11, 2013.
9 Ibid.
10 James M. Mayo, War Memorials as Political Memory,
Geographical Review 78 no. 1 Jan., 1988, 63.
11 Mayo, 68.
12 Nicholas Russell, Collective Memory Before and after
Halwbachs, The French Review 79 no. 4 Mar., 2006, 797.
13 Ileto Reynaldo, Philippine War and The Politics of Memory,
Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique 13 no. 1 Spring,
2005, 224.
14 Kimberly Alidio, When I Get Home, I Want to Forget:
Memory and Amnesia in the Occupied Philippines, 1901-
1904, Social Text 17 no. 2 Summer, 1999, 120.
15 David Joel Steinberg, An Ambiguous Legacy: Years at War
in the Philippines, Pacific Affairs 45 no. 2 Summer, 1972,
16 Ibid, 17.
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective ......
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 84
17 Daniel F. Doeppers, The Philippine Revolution and The
Geography of Schism, Geographical Review 66 no. 2 April,
1976, 159.
18 Doeppers, 161.
19 Ibid.
20 Steinberg, 17.
21 Lars Fogelin, The Archaeology of Religious Ritual. Annual
Review of Anthropology 36 2007, 64.
22 Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life,
Translated by John Ward Swain London: George Allen and
Unwin LTD, 1915; reprint 1964, 46.
23 Ibid, 272.
24 www.sttomas.edu/mcdc/topics/rituals-sacraments.html,
accessed June 11, 2013.
25 John D. Kelly and Martha Kaplan, History, Structure, and
Ritual Annual Review of Anthropology 19 1990, 125.
26 Kelly, 134.
27 Kelly, 135.
28 Douglas A. Marshall, Behavior, Belonging, and Belief: A
Theory of Ritual Practice, Sociological Theory 20 no. 3
Nov., 2002, 372.
29 M.N. Pearson, The Spanish Impact on the Philippines,
1565-1770, Journal of the Economic and Social History
of the Orient 12 no. 2 April, 1969, 177.
30 Astrid, Sala-Boza, Towards Filipino Christian Culture:
Mysticism and Folk Catholicism in the Seor Sto. Nio De
Cebu Devotion, Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society
36 no. 4 December 2008, 281
31 Ibid, 287.
Alidio, Kimberly. When I Get Home, I Want to Forget: Memory and Amnesia
in the Occupied Philippines, 1901-1904. Social Text 59 no. 2 Summer,
1999: 105-122.
Beaver, Pierce. Nationalism and Missions. Church History 26 no. 1 March,
1957 : 22-42.
Roseanne DelParto
Voice of Intellectual Man 85
Doeppers, Daniel F. The Philippine Revolution and the Geography of Schism.
Geographical Review 66 no. 2 April, 1976: 158-177.
Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. Translated by
Joseph Ward Swain. London: George Allen and Unwin LTD., 1915.,
reprinted 1956.
Figal, Gerald. Between War and Tropics: Heritage Tourism in Postwar
Okinawa. Public Historian 30 no. 2 Spring 2008: 83-107.
Fogelin, Lars. The Archaeology of Religious Ritual. Annual Review of
Anthropology 36 2007: 55-71.
Kelly, John D and Martha Kaplan. History, Structure, and Ritual. Annual
Review of Anthropology 19 1990: 119-150.
Marshall, Douglas A. Behavior, Belonging, and Belief: A Theory of Ritual
Practice. Sociological Theory 20 no. 3 Nov., 2002: 360-380.
Mayo, James M. War Memorials as Political Memory. Geographical Review
78 No. 1 Jan., 1988: 62-75.
Morris, John D. Jos Rizal and the Challenge of Philippine Independence.
http://www.schillerinstitute.org/educ/hist/rizal.html. Accessed June 11,
Osborne, Milton. An Introductory History, Southeast Asia. Australia: Allen
and Unwin,1979., reprinted 2010.
Pearson, M.N. The Spanish Impact on the Philippines, 1565-1770. Journal
of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 12 no. 2 April, 1969:
Reconciliation. http://www.stthomas.edu/mcdc/topics/ritual-sacraments.html.
Accessed June 11, 2013.
Reynaldo, Ileto. Philippine War and the Politics and Memory. Positions:
East Asia Cultures Critique 13 no. 1 Spring, 2005: 215-235.
Russell, Nicholas. Collective Memory Before and After Halwbachs. The
French Review 79 no. 4 Mar., 2006: 792-804.
Sala-Boza, Astrid. Towards Filipino Christian Culture: Mysticism and Folk
Catholicism in the Seor Sto. Nio De Cebu Devotion. Philippine Quarterly
of Culture and Society 36 no. 4 December, 2008: 281-308.
Steinberg, David Joel. An Ambiguous Legacy: Years at War in the Philippines.
Pacific Affairs 45 no. 2 Summer, 1972: 165-190.
Sacred Places: Blessings and Curses of Collective ......
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 86
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 87-94
*Sudhir Patel, Subject Expert, Deptt. of Anthropology, University of Lucknow,
Lucknow.email sudhirpatel162@gmail.com
**Dr Rahul Patel, Assistant Professor, Deptt. of Anthropology, University of
Lucknow, Lucknow, India. e-mail: rahul_anthropologist@yahoo.co.in,
Comparative Dermatoglyphic Study of Hindu
and Muslim females of District Lucknow (India)
*Sudhir Patel, **Rahul Patel
The present paper attempts to bring forward a comparative
dermatoglyphic study based upon finger and palm print analysis of
females among Hindu and Muslim communities. It is based on unisexual
sample collected from urban areas of district Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
The subject matter of comparison includes palm and finger prints which
are analytically compared in both groups. Main Line Index, Patterns
on Inter digital areas, Angle atd, Axial Tri-radii, Indices (IPI, DI, FI)
and Finger ball patterns etc. are elaborately dealt with in the present
paper. In the study, no significant variations are found between both
the selected sample populations in terms of palmar and finger
dermatoglyphic features except in few noticeable areas.
Key words: Urban, Communities, Main Line Index, Angle atd, Axial Tri-
radii, Indices (IPI, DI, FI), Finger ball patterns.
Introduction :
The dermatoglyphic characters shows uniqueness in human
morphological features. This is because of various patterns which
occur on the palmar as well as on planter surface of the body. These
patterns are established during the early fetal life i.e in 13
and are not affected by age and postnatal circumstances, except as
a result of serious injury to the deepest layer of the epidermis. The
structure increase in size as the infant grows, but the pattern remains
unchanged throughout the life. Dermatoglyphic characters are highly
variable not only from one individual to another, but also from one
population to another and the variations of course are largely
heritable. These properties have made dermatoglyphics a valuable
research tool in the field of Physical Anthropology including Human
Genetics and the related fields of Medical Biology.
The inheritance of quantitative dermatoglyphic features of
the palms has been investigated by a number of researchers. Penrose
(1954) employed the Cummins main-line index as a measure of
transverseness in a genetical study of palmar main-lines.
Penrose (1954) investigated the inheritance of the maximal
atd angle, while Fang (1950) analyzed the inheritance of the ab and
ad ridge-count. For some features, such as total ridge count on the
fingers, the mode of inheritance is established as multifactorial (Holt
1957). Similarly, heritabilily estimates have also been obtained for
a few other dermatoglyphic variations on fingers, toes, palms and
soles (Smith 1964; Mukherjee 1966, 1967); for other traits the mode
of inheritance is complex and remains to be established.
Like dermatoglyphic patterns some other patterns are also
found elsewhere in nature, such as the stripes of zebras, the
arrangement of hair on the body, sand whipped by wind or waves,
and Earths magnetic field patterns etc.
Materials and Methods :
Palmar prints are collected following inked-impression
method as suggested by Cummins & Midlo (1961). This method is
applied on Hindu & Muslim females of Lucknow district. Total
120 females (60 Hindu & 60 Muslim) of age group between 20 to
40 were selected randomly from various urban areas of Lucknow
because at this age prints are more clear.
The ink, roller, glass plate, sprit, soap, magnifying lenses,
fine pointer and plane sheets are materials which are used in the
present study while dealing with inked-impression method.
Comparative Dermatoglyphic Study of Hindu
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 88
Table 1- Frequency Distribution of the Main Line Formula, Axial tri-
radius and Angle atd among Hindu and Muslim females
Dermatoglyphic Hindu Females Muslim Females X
traits Right Left Total Right Left Total Value
N % N % N % N % N % N %
Main Line
Formula 11.9.7 28 46.67 30 50.00 58 48.33 24 40.00 21 35.00 45 37.50
9.7.5 11 18.33 13 21.66 24 20.00 16 26.66 18 30.00 34 28.33 Non-
7.5.5 15 25.00 14 23.33 29 24.16 15 25.00 11 18.33 26 21.66 signifi-
Rest 6 1.00 3 5.00 9 7.50 5 8.33 10 16.66 15 12.50 cant
Total 60 91.00 60 99.99 120 99.99 60 99.99 60 99.99 120 99.99
Axial Tri-
radius t 32 53.33 31 51.66 63 52.50 40 66.66 35 58.33 75 62.50
t 28 46.66 29 48.33 57 47.50 20 33.33 25 41.66 45 37.50 Non-
t 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 signifi-
Total 60 99.99 60 99.99 120 100.00 60 99.99 60 99.99 120100.00 cant
atd Below 30 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
31-40 21 35.00 16 26.66 37 30.83 18 30.00 15 25.00 33 27.50
41-50 31 51.66 34 56.66 65 54.16 35 58.33 31 51.66 66 55.00 Non-
51-60 8 13.33 10 16.66 18 15.00 7 11.66 14 23.33 21 17.50 signifi-
Above 60 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 cant
Total 60 99.99 60 99.98 120 99.99 60 99.99 60 99.99 120100.00
Results and Discussion :
After analyzing the tables 1 to 6, various facts about the Hindu
and Muslim dermatoglyphics are revealed. Table 1 represents the
distribution of Main Line Formula, Axial tri-radius and Angle atd
among the Hindu and Muslim female populations. It is observed from
the table that Main Line Formula 11.9.7, 9.7.5 and 7.5.5 do not
show much difference between the selected populations. Hindu females
show 48.33% for 11.9.7, while Muslim females shows 37.5%. For
9.7.5 Hindu females shows 20% , while Muslim females shows
28.33% and for 7.5.5 Hindu females shows 24.16% , while Muslim
females shows 21.66% .To examine the group variation Chi-square
value is calculated and it has been found that the trait do not show
any significant difference between Hindu and Muslim females.
While considering the frequency distribution of the axial tri-
radius the table exhibits that both groups maintain the similar trend.
52.50% Hindu females and 62.50% Muslim females exhibit highest
frequency of axial tri-radius (t). The next higher frequency is shown
by the axial tri-radius (t), which is found to be 47.5% and 37.5%
for Hindu females and Muslim females respectively. Here also it is
non-significant. While considering the frequency distribution of the
Angle atd, it is seen from the table that both the groups exhibit
higher frequency for angle range 41-50, (54.16% Hindu females
and 55.0% Muslim females) and lower frequency range of 51-60,
(15.0% Hindu females and 17.5% Muslim females). When
examined the Chi-square value, it is found that trait shows no
difference between these two groups i.e non-significant.
Sudhir Patel & Rahul Patel
Voice of Intellectual Man 89
Table 2- Frequency Distribution of the Patterns on Inter Digital Areas
among Hindu and Muslim females
Patterns on Inter Hindu Females Muslim Females X
digital Areas Right Left Total Right Left Total Value
N % N % N % N % N % N %
Patterns 16 26.66 14 23.33 30 25 23 38.33 17 28.33 40 33.33 Non-
Open signifi-
Field 44 73.33 46 76.66 90 75 37 61.66 43 71.66 80 66.66 cant
Total 60 99.99 60 99.99 120 100 60 99.99 60 99.99 120 99.99
Thenar/Ist Inter
Patterns 2 3.33 3 5 5 4.16 2 3.33 3 5 5 4.16 Non-
Open signifi-
Field 58 96.66 57 95 115 95.83 58 96.66 57 95 115 95.83 cant
Total 60 99.99 60 100 120 99.99 60 99.99 60 100 120 99.99
Table 2 represents the frequency distribution of true patterns
on the various inter digital areas of the palm among Hindu and
Muslim females. It could be seen from the table that on hypothenar
area Muslim females show higher frequency of true pattern (33.33%)
as compared to Hindu females (25.0%) and Chi-square shows non-
significant result.
Considering the true pattern on the I
inter digital area of the
palm, table shows that open field (95.83%) frequency is higher in
comparison to true pattern (4.16%) and both groups show same
percentage. It also shows non-significant result. On the II
digital area, the table shows true pattern higher in Hindu females
(7.50%) as compared to Muslim females (5.83%) but open field
frequency is maximum as compared to true pattern in both the
groups. In III
inter digital area here also true pattern is higher in
Hindu females (30.83%) when compared to Muslim females
(20.0%). Here also the open field frequency is higher then true
pattern in both the groups and Chi-square value also shows non-
significant result.
Considering the true pattern on the IV
inter digital area of
the palm the table shows that true pattern frequency is higher for
Hindu females (58.83%) as compared to Muslim females (36.66%),
for group variation, the Chi-square value shows significant result,
which indicates that groups are different for true patterns on IV
inter digital area of the palm.
Comparative Dermatoglyphic Study of Hindu
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 90
IInd Inter
Patterns 8 13.33 1 1.66 9 7.50 5 8.33 2 3.33 7 5.83 Non-
Open signifi-
Field 52 86.66 59 98.33 111 92.50 55 91.66 58 96.66 113 94.16 cant
Total 60 99.99 60 100.00120 100.00 60 99.99 60 99.99 120 99.99
IIIrd Inter digitla
Patterns 24 40.00 13 21.66 37 30.83 17 28.33 7 11.66 24 20.00 Non-
Open signifi-
Field 36 60.00 47 78.33 83 69.16 43 71.66 53 88.33 96 80.00 cant
Total 60 100.00 60 99.99 120 99.99 60 99.99 60 99.99 120 100.00
IVth Inter digital
Patterns 31 51.66 36 60.00 67 55.83 24 40.00 20 33.33 44 36.66 Non-
Open signifi-
Field 29 48.33 24 40.00 53 44.16 36 60.00 40 66.66 76 63.33 cant
Total 60 99.99 60 100.00120 99.99 60 100.00 60 99.99 120 99.99
The order of true patterns (decreasing order) among the Hindu
females and Muslim females appears as- IV >III>Hy>II>I for Hindu
females and IV>Hy>III>II>I for Muslim females.
Sudhir Patel & Rahul Patel
Voice of Intellectual Man 91
Table 3- Frequency Distribution of the Finger-ball Patterns among Hindu
and Muslim females
Finger-ball- Hindu Females Muslim Females X
Patterns Right Left Total Right Left Total Value
N % N % N % N % N % N %
Whorl 116 38.66 135 45.00 251 41.83 103 34.33 121 40.33 224 37.33 Non-
Loop 160 53.33 157 52.33 317 52.83 172 57.33 160 53.33 332 55.33 signifi-
Arch 24 8.00 8 2.66 32 5.33 25 8.33 19 8.33 44 7.33 cant
Total Finger 300 99.99 300 99.99 600 99.99 300 99.99 300 99.99 600 99.99
Table 4- Frequency Distribution of the Main Line Index value among
Hindu and Muslim females
Index Hindu Females Muslim Females X
Main line Index Right Left Total Right Left Total Value
Value(D+A) N % N % N % N % N % N %
5 11 18.33 17 28.33 28 23.33 8 13.33 10 16.66 18 15.00
6 2 3.33 3 5.00 5 4.16 6 10.00 5 8.33 11 9.16
7 16 26.66 12 20.00 28 23.33 10 16.66 10 16.66 20 16.66
8 0 0.00 4 6.66 4 3.33 5 8.33 5 8.33 10 8.33 Non-
9 13 21.66 10 16.66 23 19.16 7 11.66 11 18.33 18 15.00 signifi-
10 5 8.33 3 5.00 8 6.66 13 21.66 7 11.66 20 16.66 cant
11 10 16.66 10 16.66 20 16.66 9 15.00 8 13.33 17 14.16
12 3 5.00 1 1.66 4 3.33 2 3.33 4 6.66 6 5.00
Total 60 99.97 60 99.97 120 99.96 60 99.97 60 99.96 120 99.97
While considering the Finger-ball pattern in table 3 it is found
that the percentage of Loop (52.83%) in Hindu females and
(55.35%) in Muslim females is higher as compared to Whorl i.e
41.83% in Hindu females and 37.33% in Muslim females, while
Arch has very low frequency i.e 5.33% in Hindu females and 7.33%
in Muslim females, and the Chi-square value is non-significant.
Table 4 gave the value of Main Line Index (MLI) of both the
groups. In Hindu females MLI value is higher (23.33%) for index
value 5 & 7. On the other side in Muslim females MLI value is
higher for index value 7 & 10 i.e 16.66% for each and it also shows
non-significant result.
Comparative Dermatoglyphic Study of Hindu
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 92
Table 5- Frequency Distribution of the Pattern Intensity Index among
Hindu and Muslim females
Index Hindu Females Muslim Females X
Pattern Intensity Right Left Total Right Left Total Value
Index (I.P.I) N % N % N % N % N % N %
2 1 1.66 2 3.33 3 2.50 3 5.00 2 3.33 5 4.16
3 1 1.66 3 5.00 4 3.33 1 1.66 1 1.66 2 1.16
4 5 8.33 4 6.66 9 7.50 4 6.66 6 10.00 10 8.33
5 13 21.66 7 11.66 20 16.66 12 20.00 8 13.33 20 16.66 Non-
6 7 11.66 8 13.33 15 12.50 10 16.66 6 10.00 16 13.33 signifi-
7 11 18.33 12 20.00 23 19.16 10 16.66 10 16.66 20 16.66 cant
8 12 20.00 8 13.33 20 16.66 7 11.66 10 16.66 17 14.16
9 7 11.66 10 16.66 17 14.16 11 18.33 14 23.33 25 20.83
10 3 5.00 6 10.00 9 7.50 2 3.33 3 5.00 5 4.16
11 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
Total 60 99.96 60 99.97 120 99.97 60 99.96 60 99.97 120 99.95
Table 6- Frequency of Furubata's and Dankmeijir's index among Hindu
and Muslim females
Index Hindu Females Muslim Females
Furuhata's Index 79.17 67.46
Dankmeijer Index 12.74 19.64
The Pattern Intensity Index (IPI) is explained in table 5 which
shows higher frequency (19.16%) for I.P.I value 7 in Hindu females
and 20.83% for IPI value 9 in Muslim females. Chi-square value
shows non-significant result.
While considering table 6, it is found that the Furuhatas
Index value is maximum for Hindu females (79.19%) as compared
to Muslim females (67.46%) and DnakmeijerIndex value is higher
for Muslim females (19.64%) as compared to Hindu females
(12.74%). All these figures show Whorl/Loop and Arch/Whorl ratio
Conclusion :
From the results and discussion it is found that out of twelve
dermatoglyphic traits only one trait i.e true pattern on IV
area of palm show significant group variation between Hindu
females and Muslim females of Lucknow, while rest of eleven traits
shows non-significant results.
Hence, it could be concluded that there is no any significant
difference in finger and palm dermatoglyphics trait except in one
trait. In both the Hindu and Muslim females the dermatoglyphic
traits are polygenically controlled and are rarely affected by the
Sudhir Patel & Rahul Patel
Voice of Intellectual Man 93
environment. Both groups belong to different religions but their
genetic feature does not show any significant difference in case of
finger and palm dermatoglyphic characteristics.
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Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 95-104
*Jyoti Jhariya, Post Dictoral Fellow Department of anthropology Dr. H.S. Gaur
University, Sagar (MP)
**Awadhesh N. Sharma, Proffesor, Department of anthropology, Dr. H.S. Gaur
University, Sagar (MP)
***Rajesh K. Gautam, Assistant Proffesor, Department of anthropology, Dr. H.S.
Gaur University, Sagar (MP)
Living Standard and economic condition among
Baiga of Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh
*Jyoti Jhariya, **Awadhesh N. Sharma and
***Rajesh K. Gautam
Present study investigates the Living standard economic condition of
Baiga on the basis of primary information collected from 300 households
of 14 villages of District Mandla (MP). The findings indicate that even
after six decades of independence and expense of billion of rupees for
the purpose of tribal development, the condition of the Baiga (PVTG) is
still poor. It was found that 95.3 percent of their families live in thatched
and muddy houses, 92.7 percent of them defecate in open. Use of fuel
like liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is still not in their dictionary. They
hardly reached to the stage of use of kerosene (2.7 percent), only 15
percent of Baiga household were found electrified. Majority (97 percent)
of Baiga use clay made burnt utensil (pottery), 7.7 percent of them have
only pottery utensil as kitchenware. Contrary to that only 2.3 percent
have exclusively metal utensil, 73.7 percent of them fetch water from
well. None of the Baiga found in good living condition. The index of
standard of living was devised to assess the overall situation which
also indicates that the economic condition of Baiga is poor and extremely
Key words: Tribal development, Economy, Poverty, Baiga, Mandla.
Introduction :
After independence, attention is being paid for the
development and welfare of deprived groups. Separate ministry and
department were constituted for tribal and their welfare. Plenty of
rupees were poured for their upliftment, but still the goal is far
away. The tribes are living in extreme poverty and all kind of
constraints which are considered as essential civic amenities. The
conditions of particularly vulnerable Tribal groups (PVTGs) are
still vulnerable. Therefore, the present study was conducted to assess
the socio-economic condition of PVTG known as Baiga. So that
their constraints can be identified and the goal of developed nation
can be achieved. Baiga are widely distributed in Mandla, Dindori,
Shahdol and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, and Bilaspur
district of the newly formed Chhatisgarh state. They are forest tribe.
They live in deep, unapproachable, remote hilly tract of Satpura
valley. Previously they were shifting cultivator on these hills. But,
now the practice of shifting cultivation is in its vestigial form, now
these people are settled in the villages within the forest and entering
into pastoral and agricultural mode of life along with their traditional
practice of hunting and food gathering. Their chief crop are wild
variety of maize, millets, wheat, paddy, pulses, mustard and other
oil seeds like ramtila, jagni, til, alsi etc. Earlier they were
economically independent, but gradually they are being dependent
on market. Their source of earning is wages, forest produce and
agricultural products. Major part of their earning goes to money
landers as tribes are trapped for usury. The economic condition of
an individual or population can be measured by cash earning by
him or them. There are many studies highlighted the economic
condition of tribes, some of them are: Goldstein (1981); Belmaker
(1982); Talwar et.al (1987); Kshatriya et.al (1997); Vaishnav
(2000) ; Gautam and Choudhary (2007). The studies focused on
Baiga are Elwin (1939); Awadh(1950); Verma (2002); Gautam and
Jyoti (2005); Gautam, Sharma and Jyoti (2007); Gautam, Khan
and Jyoti (2007); Gautam, Jyoti and Sharma (2010); Gautam (2011).
Material and method :
This Paper is based on the information collected from 300
Baiga families, which were selected randomly from 14 villages of
district Mandla, Madhya Pradesh. The villages having Baiga
population were listed. These villages were arranged in descending
order on the basis of their population. The villages having greater
concentration were selected on the basis of proportional to population
size (PPS). The information were collected in a semi-structured
schedule. Simultaneously, observation and participation methods
of data collection were adopted for collection of relevant data.
Information on income, housing condition, kind of utensils and fuel,
availability of electricity and safe drinking water etc. were collected.
Results & Discussion :
In general the villages of Baiga are inaccessible, within deep
forest on hillock, near any fountain. The materials used for
construction of house are wood and bamboo. Walls are erected with
Living Standard and economic condition among Baiga.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 96
wooden polls, plastered with mud. Roof is knitted with bamboo
and shrubs and covered with grass and leaves or with locally burnt
tiles. The floor is muddy and dusty; it is cleaned regularly by cow
dung solution. Such kind of houses are categorized as Kachha House.
As evident from Table 1 most of the Baiga (95.3 percent) have
Kachha house. Only 4.7 percent have semi pucca houses, in which
generally bricks are used to erect the wall or floor of house is
cemented, but the roof is still thatched. Traditionally, they construct
one or two room accommodation as residence-cum-animal shed.
Rooms are shared by fowls and domestic pets. If the number of
these domestic animals are more, than they are kept in a separate
room, either under same roof or under a separate roof, adjoining to
the residence.
Table 1: Type of house
Type of house Number Percentage
Kachha 286 95.30
Semi pucca 14 4.70
Total 300 100.00
Ownership of the house :
Generally tribes built their own houses. Though, it is always
kachha and hut like as well as poor in accommodation. They hire
rooms in case of temporary inhabitation to the place as a labourer
or as a service man employed in any government or private service.
In case of rented house too, they have their own house in their
respective village. It is apparent from Table 2 that only 3.7 percent
Baiga found in living in rented houses rest 96.3 percent have their
own house.
Table 2: Ownership of the house
Ownership of the house Number Percentage
Own 289 96.30
Rented 11 3.70
Total 300 100.0
Jyoti Jhariya, Awadhesh N. Sharma and Rajesh K. Gautam
Voice of Intellectual Man 97
Number of rooms :
Double and triple room houses are common among Baiga. As evident
from Table 3 single room houses were found 19.2 percent. Four
and five room accommodation is 3 percent where as 78.4 percent
houses were have double or triple rooms.
Table 3: Number of room
Number of room N %
Single 55 19.20
Double 90 31.40
Triple 135 47.00
Quadruple 7 2.40
Pentad (Five) 2 0.70
Total 287 100.00
Toilet :
The concept and use of modern toilet among Baiga is
negligible. Generally they use to defecate in open. Now some of
them using water for post-defecate cleansing, otherwise they use
green leaves as toilet paper. In present investigation it was found
only 7.3 percent Baiga have their own pit near their house, which is
open, stinging and unhygienic. Rest 92.7 percent Baiga dont have
toilet (Table 4).
Table 4: Use of Toilet
Toilet N %
Open defecation 278 92.70
Own pit 22 7.30
Total 300 100.00
Fuel Used :
Types of fuel used by population also reflect the level of
development and economic profile. The economic condition can be
assessed by use of refined fuel like liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
But, even in 21
century, after 6 decades of independence, the LPG
Living Standard and economic condition among Baiga.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 98
is not in the approach of rural population, it is a dream for tribes
like Baiga. This should be great concern for governmental agencies
of development who are earning their bread and butter by the name
of tribal development. After independence millions and billions of
rupees were incurred for the development of tribes. But, still tribes
are deprived from basic amenities. As evident from Table 5.5
majority of Baiga (91 percent) use only wood and cow dung in
their kitchen. Very few are lucky to have bio-gas plant (6.3 percent)
and 2.7 percent were found using kerosene too.
Table 5: Fuel used
Fuel type used N %
Wood/Cow dung 273 91.00
Bio-gas 19 6.30
Kerosene 8 2.70
Total 300 100.00
Source of Lighting :
As evident from Table 6 the source of lighting in 85 percent
household is kerosene lamp during night and only 15 percent have
accessibility to electricity.
Table 6: Source of lighting
Source of lighting N %
Kerosene 255 85.00
Electricity 45 15.00
Total 300 100.00
Utensils Used :
In the course of evolution, after stone tools, pottery had played
vital role. Today, it is completely disappeared from modern kitchen,
although it is still surviving as water pot especially in summer.
Among tribes, the use of pottery as utensil and kitchenware are still
continuing, although metal is gradually replacing the pottery as
their economic condition improving and their purchasing capacity
enhancing. It is apparent that among Baiga still 7.7 percent
Jyoti Jhariya, Awadhesh N. Sharma and Rajesh K. Gautam
Voice of Intellectual Man 99
households have pottery utensil only. The proportion of households
having only metal utensil were only 2.3 percent, whereas in 90
percent households there were mixed pattern of kitchenware, they
have both kind- pottery and metal utensil.
Table 7: Type of Utensils used
Type of Utensils N %
Pottery 23 7.70
Pottery & Metal 270 90.00
Only Metal 7 2.30
Total 300 100.00
Source of Drinking Water :
As evident from Table 8, there are three kind of sources viz.
river, well and hand pump from which Baiga fetch drinking water.
Majority (73.7 percent) have access to well, whereas 13.3 percent
fetch drinking water directly from river or forest fountain and almost
equal proportion (13 percent) have access to hand pump. None of
the village has found to have facility of water purification and
Table 8: Source of drinking water
Source of drinking water N %
River 40 13.30
Well 221 73.70
Hand pump 39 13.00
Total 300 100.00
Location of Source of drinking water :
The location of source of drinking water is also important. In the
present investigation it was found that 18.3 percent household have
no access of drinking water within their village premises. They fetch
drinking water from outside of the village. In 25 percent households
the source of drinking water was within their premises, whereas
56.7 percent households have access to source of drinking water
within the village (Table 9).
Living Standard and economic condition among Baiga.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 100
Table 9: Location of source of drinking water
Location of source of drinking water N %
Outside village 55 18.3
Outside house within village 170 56.7
within house 75 25.0
Total 300 100.0
Annual Income :
The sources of cash income among Baiga are very limited. Their
main sources of income are wages earned as daily wage labourer,
forest produce (viz. honey, gum, resin, tendu leave etc.) and cash
crops (viz. maize, millets, wheat, paddy, pulses, mustard and other
oil seeds like ramtila, jagni, til, alsi etc.). The distribution of
households as per annual income is given in Table 10. It is evident
that 98.6 percent of families have annual income less than Rs. 10000/
- (Rs. Ten thousands). Only 1.4 percent families have more than
ten thousand annual income. Such families are those Baiga who
are employed in government/private services. As they are class III
or class IV employee or school teacher, their salary not exceed to
Rs. 60000/- (sixty thousand).
Table 10: Distribution of Household as per annual income.
Annual Income Husband
N %
Below 5000/- 103 34.30
5000-10000/- 193 64.30
Above 10000/- 4 1.40
Total 300 100.00
Standard of Living :
An index of standard of living is devised on the basis of possession
of house type, number of rooms available, accessibility of toilet,
affordability of fuel type, source of lighting, availability and location
of safe drinking water. It is very astonishing that none of Baiga was
Jyoti Jhariya, Awadhesh N. Sharma and Rajesh K. Gautam
Voice of Intellectual Man 101
found well off. As evident from Table 11 all of them are poor and
extremely poor.
Table 11: Living standard
Living standard N %
Poor 252 84.00
Extremely Poor 48 16.00
Total 300 100.00
It can be concluded from above description that the conditions of
tribal people are worst even after a lot of money (billions of rupees)
had already incurred for their development. The investigation
indicates that they are still lacking proper housing with adequate
rooms. 95.3 percent Baiga lives in thatched and muddy houses.
They even dont have the concept of toilet, 92.7 percent of them
defecate in open. They hardly use any hygienic cleaning material
for post-defecating cleansing. Use of fuel like liquid petroleum gas
(LPG) is still not in their dictionary. They hardly reached to the
stage of use of kerosene (2.7 percent). Only 15 percent of Baiga
household were found electrified, rest are using kerosene lamp during
the night. Majority (97 percent) of Baiga use clay made burnt utensil
(pottery), 7.7 percent of them have only pottery utensil as
kitchenware. Contrary to that only 2.3 percent have exclusively
metal utensil. Their primary source of drinking water is well, as
73.7 percent fetch water from well. Earlier, river/fountain was
primary source, but now only 13 percent are dependent on river/
fountain. Similarly 13 percent fetch drinking water from hand pump.
None of the Baiga found in good living condition. Whatever they
earn through forest products, agricultural products and wages is
hardly fulfill their essential needs. Beside that they are addicted of
country liquor and expense most of the cash on it. Even women are
not spared off the habit; they equally participate in distillation and
drinking. The index of standard of living was devised to assess the
overall situation which also indicates that the economic condition
of Baiga is poor and extremely poor.
Living Standard and economic condition among Baiga.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 102
Awadh, B.L. 1950: The Baiga. In Tribals of India, New Delhi: Bhartiya
Adimjati sevak Sangh.
Belmaker, E 1982: Sexual maturation of Jerusalem Schoolgirls and its
association with socio-economic factors and ethnic group. Ann. Hum.
Biol., 9: 321-328.
Elwin,V. 1939: The Baiga. London: John Mure, 1986 Gyan Publication, New
Gautam, R. K. and Jyoti, R. 2005: Primitive Tribe in Post-Modern Era with
special reference to Baigas of Central India. In The Primitive Tribes in
Contemporary India. (Ed.) S. K. Choudhary, Mittal Publication, New
Delhi. p 189-209.
Gautam, R.K. 2011: Baiga :The Hunter Gatherers of Central India, Readworthy
Publications(p) Ltd. New Delhi, India.
Gautam, R.K. and Choudhary, P. 2007: Study of Livilihood Practices Among
Baiga : A primitive tribe of Baiga- Chak, Dindori District, Madhya
Pradesh.In Trends in Anthropological Demography By A.N. Sharma
(Edited). Sarup& Sons. 189-186.
Gautam, R.K. and Jyoti, R. Sharma, A.N. 2010: Marriage among primitive
societies: with special reference to Baiga of Central India. The Oriental
Anthropologist, 10, 1: 73-80.
Gautam, R.K., Khan, Z. and Jyoti, R.2007: Fertility Profile of Baiga A
Primitive Tribe of Central India. The Oriental Anthropologist, 7(2):
255-272 .
Gautam, R.K., Sharma, A.N. and Jyoti, R. 2007: Fertility and Mortality
differentials among selected tribal (Baiga, Gond, Dhoba and others)
population of Central India.The Asian Man, 1:73-78 .
Goldstein, M.C. 1981: High altitude Tibetan Population in the remote Himalaya:
Social Transformation and its demographic, economic and ecological
consequences, Mountain & Research and Development, 1:5.
Kshatriya, G.K., Singh, P. and Basu, S. 1997: Anthropo-demographic features
and health care practices among the Jaunsaris of Jaunsar-Bawar,
Dehradun, UP. J. Hum. Ecol., 8: 347.
Jyoti Jhariya, Awadhesh N. Sharma and Rajesh K. Gautam
Voice of Intellectual Man 103
Talwar, I., Sharma, K. and Rawat, U. 1987: Socio-economic differences in
sexual maturity in Punjabi girls. p. 131. In: Sports Science: Health
Fitness and Performance. L.A. Siddhu et.al. (Eds.). IASSPE, Patiala
Vaishnav, T.K. 2000: socio-economic aspects of tribal health, Tribal Health,
Allahabad, K.K. Publication, 51-55.
Verma,A. 2002: Some differentials of childhood mortality among the Baiga-
chak. South Asian anthropologist, 2, 2, 102-108.
Living Standard and economic condition among Baiga.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 104
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 105-54
*Edwin Dickens, Department of Economics and Finance Saint Peter's University
2641 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07306 USA
Email: edickens@saintpeters.edu
Global Well-Being, Economics, and
Biotechnology in India and the United States
*Edwin Dickens
This paper evaluates the conditions for India's emergence as the leader
in biotechnology. Biotechnology is a nascent industry, still more promise
than reality. But its promise is extraordinary! If realized, it will
revolutionize health-care. We will be able to give a blood sample to a
biotechnology firm and receive back a list of diseases we are likely to
develop, as well as a list of drugs that will prevent us from developing
Key words: Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Patel
Introduction :
Both lists depend on the analysis of DNA molecules, which
loop like twisted ladders. Nucleotides make up the rungs of the
ladder, and their sequence carries information, just as the sequence
of letters on a page carries information. Each rung of the ladder is
called a gene. Genes are like sentences composed of the letters
of the nucleotide alphabet, and these genetic sentences provide the
blueprints that our bodies follow as they grow, become diseased,
and die.
For example, our bodies follow one genetic sentence in making
our eyes, developing macular degeneracy, and going blind. Our
bodies follow another genetic sentence in making our lungs, getting
lung cancer, and dying. The promise of the biotechnology industry,
or perhaps its conceit, is to explain macular degeneracy or lung
cancer by the spelling of one word in one genetic sentencethe
cause of lung cancer being a word spelled with two Gs from the
nucleotide alphabet rather than one, for example.Presumably, a drug
can be developed to knock out the second G without having awful
side effects.
Discussion :
The problem is, with each new birth, Nature scrambles the
spelling of millions of words in our genetic sentences. Most of the
Research Report I
scrambled spellings are without consequence. Others explain the
evolution of species. To isolate the consequential from the
inconsequential re-spellings, biotechnologists map the genome,
which is the complete set of genetic sentencesthe book of life,
then isolate segments of the population that share similar books of
India is the best place to do this because thecaste system
endows it with more segments of the population with similar books
of life than any other country. In the first instance, caste refers to
the four varnas, which divide society into priests, warriors,
merchants and workers. But caste also refers to the 2,600 jatis,
which are endogamous family groupings. For 2000 years, Hindus
have married within their jatis, so that members of jati have more
similar books of life than any other segments of populations
Biotechnologists are hard at work in Patel, a former textile
district of Mumbai, mapping the books of life of each jatis. They
are also documenting theirmedical histories,matching higher
incidences of diseases with particular spellings of words shared in
common by the members of each jatis, such as two Gs rather
than one in our case of lung cancer. Clinical trials are then
conducted, testing different drugs to knock out the second G.
Patelis the principal site for these activities because the textile
mills that once flourished there, under the British Raj, collapsed
in the 1980s. While they thrived, the mills attracted workers from
different jatis. When they collapsed, these workers tended to stay
in Patel, desperate for alternative employment opportunities.
Biotechnologists have thus found there a ready-made concentration
of members of many jatis, eager to be hired as experimental
subjects.Just as the workers of Patel once supplied white cloth to
be dyed, printed and cut in accordance with the latest fashions in
London, they now supply the genetic materials and medical
histories to be transformed into the latest designer drugs in the
United States.
But this neocolonial dependency need not continue. In the 1950s
and sixties, India cut itself off from the world in order to build its
own industrial capacity, including the capacity to manufacture drugs.
Global Well-Being, Economics, and Biotechnology in India.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 106
India protected its infant pharmaceutical industry by means of a
patent regime based on processes rather than products. This patent
regime made it possible for Indian pharmaceutical companies to
reverse-engineerdrugs produced by U.S. pharmaceutical companies.
The drugs were the same. But India refused to recognize U.S.
patents on them on the grounds that they were produced in India by
different processes.
With the free-market reforms since the 1990s, India must
abide by U.S. patents, threatening the Indian pharmaceutical industry
with extinction unless it shifts from reverse-engineering existing
drugs to manufacturing new designer drugs. To make this transition,
it is necessary that bio-technicians in India, including those who
have been trained in the United States, use their capital and expertise
to provide the missing links between the genetic materials and
medical histories supplied by the workers of Patel and the capacity
of the Indian pharmaceutical industry to manufacture, distribute
and sale drugs.
Conclusion :
Alternatively, non-resident Indians in the United States can
link the genetic materials and medical histories supplied by the
workers of Patel to the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Who will
dominant the global health-care system of the 21
-century thus lies
in the hands of biotechnologists of Indian origin. If there is a critical
mass in India, then India will emerge as the dominant player. If a
number of Indian bio-technicians continue to contribute to the field
in the United States, we will have yet another example of how
successive waves of immigration have fueled the rise of the United
States to global dominance in so many economic sectors.
References :
Friedman, Vali, 2008 Building Biotechnology Starting, Managing and
understanding Biotechnology Companies, Washington D.C., Logos
Howstuffworks.com, 2013, University of Utah Genetics Learning center
animated toul of the basics of genetics.
Kulke, Hemann and Dietmar Rathermund, 2010, A history of India, Newyork,
Edwin Dickens
Voice of Intellectual Man 107
Roy, Amit S., 2004, Medicines, medical practice and health care in India in the
Era of Globalization : Political Economy pespectives 2004, New Delhi,
VHAI press.
Rotheemend, Dietmar, 2008, India : The Rise of an Asian Giant, New Delhi.
Rajan Kaushik, Sunder 2006, Biocapital, Durham, Duke University press.
Global Well-Being, Economics, and Biotechnology in India.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 108
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 109-128
*Dr.Preeti Singh, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, National P.G. College
Attitude & Awareness Regarding Reproductive
Health of Dhanuk women of Lucknow City.
*Preeti Singh
Slums in cities have been found to be invariably inhabited by the poorest
of the poor, those at the bottom of social hierarchy and also engaged in
the dirtiest occupations irrespective of the level of development of the
society. Slums in India inhabited largely by the urban poor were earlier
labeled as areas of despair signifying pessimism among those dwelling
in them. Urban poor are not hopeful of a better future and they lack
high ambitions and motivations thus making them as frustrated and
desperate as in earlier periods.
Women and children in slums are most affected as they continuously
manage their daily lives and chores in this decaying environment. Woman
in the slum to our mind is the greatest sufferer.
Key words: RCH, MCH, Dhamk, Matnutzition
Introduction :
According to Indias constitution women are legal citizens
of the country and have equal rights with men (Indian Parliament).
But because of lack of acceptance from the male dominant society,
Indian women suffer immensely as they are responsible for baring
children, yet they are malnourished and in poor health. Women are
also overworked in various other fields and also complete domestic
work as well. Although the countrys constitution says women have
equal status to men, yet many of them remain uneducated, they are
powerless and are mistreated inside and outside the home.
India is a society where the male are greatly revered. Therefore
women, especially the young girls, get very little respect and standing
in this country. The women of the household are required to prepare
meal for men, who eat most of the food and traditionally even today
females are supposed to eat only after males. Typically the left over
food is meager, considering the families which are poor and have
little to begin with. This creates a major problem with malnutrition,
especially for pregnant or nursing women. Very few women seek
medical care while pregnant because it is thought of as a temporary
condition. This is one of the main reasons why Indias overall burden
Research Report II
of reproductive ill health is very high and many women die every
year due to the complications of pregnancy and child birth. Maternal
mortality which continues to remain unacceptably high, glaringly
reflects the inequity in womens access to basic life saving
interventions as well as inadequacy of the health care system. Most
maternal deaths occur due to hemorrhage, sepsis, toxemia,
obstructed labour and unsafe abortions while safe and affordable
technologies to prevent such deaths do exist. Equally important
issues related to this are nutritional anemia, adolescent pregnancies,
and gender discrimination. The high population growth over-
shadowing the health gains as reflected by increase in life expectancy
and impressive decline in infant mortality, has resulted in increased
demand on the already over stretched health care delivery system.
Starting from birth, girls do not receive as much care and
commitment from their parents and society as a boy would.
Therefore one can say problems regarding various types of
morbidities like malnourishment, undernourishment and
reproductive health etc. start from the very childhood stage.
The concepts of reproductive health refers to a phenomenon
related to biological reproduction, inducing not only health problems
related to reproduction itself, but also those related to the exercise
of sexuality and the prevention of undesired pregnancy (Stem,1993).
Within the framework of WHOs definition of health as a state of
complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely
the absence of disease or infirmity, reproductive health addresses
the reproductive processes, functions and system at all stages of
life. Reproductive health, therefore, implies that people are able to
have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life and that they have
the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and
how often to do so. In fact a healthy reproductive system makes the
miracle of life possible. Taking good care of our reproductive health
is important because problems with this system can make it hard or
impossible for any one to become pregnant. Reproductive health
problem are harmful to our overall health and emotional well being
and can make it hard to enjoy a sexual relationship.
Overviews of womens health status present a very bearing
picture, as deaths and illness from reproductive health problems
are highest among poor women across the world over, and among
women in developing countries especially. About 1/3 of the total
disease burdened among women aged between15 to 44 years in the
Attitude & Awareness Regarding Reproductive Health of Dhanuk.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 110
developing countries is linked to health problem arising out of
pregnancy, child birth abortion and reproductive tract infections
(World Bank 1993 ). Subsequently several community based studies
have reiterated and revealed that the magnitude of reproductive
morbidity among Indian women plus neonatal mortality is also high
at 52.7 per 100 live births, which is a direct consequence of womens
poor health status during pregnancy in addition to the suffering, yet
another cause of concern is their almost apart attitude to word their
own health and its management during illness.
The key feature of the present study is to understand those
aspects of womens health there are affected by their child bearing
role, fertility and contraception as they are marginalized for being
women, whose health is not accorded due importance. Such data if
made available as feed back, would help the society at large for
immediate remedial measures .The present research therefore aims
at assessing the magnitude of reproductive (Gynecological and
obstetric) morbidity among women residing in slum(Bapu Nagar
Basti) of Lucknow city and their health seeking behaviour in the
event of illness, through a rapid survey. To understand the socio-
economic background, marriage child bearing patterns of women
in the slum of Bapu Nagar Basti to understand womens fertility
and contraceptive behaviour and maternal health care practice and
to assess the prevalence of various gynaecological health problems
in women and their severity
Research Methodology :
The present study was conducted in Lucknow the capital
city of Uttar Pradesh which has always been a multicultural city,
and is popularly known as The City Of Nawabs .Straddling the
river Gomti, modern Lucknow is a bustling metropolis. It is placed
among the fastest growing cities and now it is metropolitan city of
India and is rapidly emerging as a manufacturing, commercial and
retailing hub. This unique combination of rich cultural traditions
and brisk economic growth provides Lucknow with an aura that
refuses to fade away. Apart from this there are high increase in
slum numbers due to increase in modernization , urbanization and
commercialization of the city .
A slum is defined as place where buildings are in any respect
unfit for human habitation, are by reason of depilation overcrowded,
have faulty arrangements, design of such building are narrowed ,
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 111
faulty arrangement of streets, lack of ventilation, light, sanitation
facilities etc. , and any combination of these factors are detrimental
to safety, health & morals(According to 7 clearance act of 1956).
The characteristics & politics associated with slums vary from the
place to place slum are usually characterized by urban decay high
rates of poverty illiteracy & unemployment. They are commonly
seen as breeding ground for social problems such as crime, drug
addiction, alcoholism, high rates of mental illness & suicide. In
many poor countries they exhibit high rates of disease due to sanitary
condition, malnutrition, & lack of basic health care.
One such slum is Bapu nagar basti ,a registered slum , located
on Rana pratap Marg near Krishna medical centre. It was established
in year 1966. Most of the people here have migrated from places
like, Sandila, Bangarmau, Barabanki, Vijay Nagar etc. Sum total
of all the people in both the localities (old and new) is approximately
of 570 persons, out of which total number of male are 275 and total
numbers of female are 295. The population in this area is mainly
schedule caste. The main people are Dhanuks , Valmikis ,but few
other castes like one Rajput family and one Muslim family also
reside in the area studied. They by and large are illiterate. Literacy
rate among these is very poor .Most of the males and almost all the
females among these are without any higher education. Utilization
of the state health services by them is quite low. The people here
are employed in Jal Sansthan & Nagar Nigam. But before the
establishment of this slum the people used to live in front of hotel
Awadh Clark in the form of Juggi- Jhopdi.
The word Dhanuk is thought to derive from the Sanskrit
dhanuskha, meaning archer, or from the Hindi dhan (grain), alluding
to cleaning grain which is one of their main occupations-or perhaps
from dhanukali or dhanki, a bow-like instrument for carding raw
cotton, referring to their weaving occupation. The anthropologist
Risley (1891) thought they were a clean caste who served the higher
castes as personal servants, palanquin-bearers and farm labourers,
descended from a Chamar (tanner) father and Chandal (unclean
sweeper caste) mother or from an outcaste Ahir (herdsman) father
and a Chamar mother. William Crooke (1856) noted that the
Dhanuk are low tribe who work as watermen, musicians at
weddings and their women as midwives, and trace their pedigree
to many castes of Basor or basket makers. In all states, except
Bihar and Tripura , the Dhanuk are treated in the Indian constitution
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 112
as a scheduled caste. In Uttar Pradesh, they rear pigs for sale.
Women work as midwives. Some are farmers of their own land,
while others are laborers. The Dhanuk marry within their community
but usually outside their (descended from a common ancestor). Child
marriages were common, but today they marry in their late teens
and early twenties. Arranged marriages are organized by elders of
both sides of the family. Monogamy is normal, but polygamy is
allowed in exceptional instances such as barrenness. Divorce is
permitted but rare. Remarriage is allowed for widows. Payment of
a bride price by the groom has been replaced by a dowry paid by
brides family.
Results & Discussion :
Socio-Economic Background :
The socio- Economic characteristics of the sample women
indicate that about 90 % of women interviewed are Hindus, 1%
Muslims, while less than one percent belongs to other religious
groups. Among those women who are Hindus majority 88% belongs
to scheduled caste communities. As regards their educational level
it is noted that about 70% of women are illiterate as against the
husbands. This gap in educations between men and women persists,
at all levels except the primary level where proportion of both men
equal and women have attained the same level of education. It is
further noted that about 3% of women have education up to higher
secondary level, while, this proportion increases to about 9% for
their husbands. The occupational structure of the populations is
also an important indicator of the socio-economic situation. The
data reveal that more than of the women i.e. 80% women are 4
class servants, non agricultural labour or domestic servants. Of
these 72% womens are working in Lucknow Nagar Nigam, or Jal
Nigam . While 3-4% each are either engaged in skilled job or petty
Marriage and childbearing patterns :
85% of the slum women of Bapu Nagar Basti reported to
have consummated their marriage at ages 18-20 years. And
remaining percentage had married and started living with their
husbands at the age of 21 year and above. When the initiation of
childbearing among these slum women was examined, it is seen
that more than half of the women 70% had their first pregnancy at
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 113
very young age (less 20 year). More than of the women had
become pregnant for the first time by the age of 17 year while as
low as 14% had their first pregnancy at the age of 22 year or later.
The mean age at first pregnancy was found to be 19 years for slum
women. The majority of the women have gone for 2 or more children
in the childbearing years. In fact about 80% of the women are found
to have more than three children .In Bapu Nagar Basti mostly
normal delivery take place under the very famous Dai her name is
Kallo Dai.
Data were obtained through individual interviews of 150
currently married women age 15-44 years selected through cluster
sampling method from 25 selected slum locations following a multi
stages sampling design. A house hold schedule along with the couple
schedule was canvassed during the survey to collect information on
various aspects of the study like the pattern in larger cities in the
country, majority of the people who live in the urban slums of
Lucknow belong to lower socio-economic and have migrated to the
city with hope of better means of livelihood with basically no
education and meager income, they are forced to live in close and
congested areas under the most unsanitary and unhygienic condition
and are carrying out their existence with the barest necessities of
The information for the study was collected through informal
group discussions (IGDs)with groups of females and community
leader(Chaudhry) in the area under study. In addition, in depth
interviews were held with the youngsters and women . The number
of the participants varied from eight to over a dozen, and it was
possible to get a fair picture of the
Communitys views on the issues short-listed for discussion.
Most of the women participated in the discussion very actively, and
expressed their views on issues concerning their health and that of
their family members.
It was observed during discussions that the level of awareness
about the government healthsystem and the facilities available was
extremely poor in the people of these areas. Another reason for not
utilizing health services was the faith these people have in the
traditional healing patterns and herbalists.
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Table-1 : Status of Maternal Health Care
Maternal Health Care % Distribution of
currently Married women
No problem experienced during the 16.70
last pregnancy
Nausea and vomiting. 3.40
Swelling of feet. 3.40
Bleeding and white discharge 4.40
Anaemic condition 2.20
No live Birth 3.30
Excessive weakness/tiredness 11.10
Giddiness 4.40
Aches and pains. 11.10
Backache. 4.40
Fever. 5.60
Convulsions. 2.20
Abdominal Pains. 23.40
Other (BP, Urinary infections, 3.30
Breathlessness etc.
Never been Pregnant. 1.10
The management of health problems during pregnancy and
after delivery is important to maintain the health of the mother. The
respondents were therefore asked to report about any health problems
they, had experienced during their last pregnancy. It is clearly evident
from table-1 that about 16.7% of women did not experience any
health problem during their last pregnancy. 4.4% reported about
giddiness, followed by excessive weakness and tiredness in 11.1%,
backache in 4%, abdominal pain in 23.4%of females. Bleeding and
white discharge in 4.4% and swelling of feet in 3.3%of the
respondents were reported. About 4.4% reported fever and general
aches and pain in 5.5%, convulsions in 1.1%. Among the commonly
experienced problem was that of nausea vomiting reported by 3.3%
of women about 3.4% of respondents reported other health problem
such as blood pressure, urinary problems and breathlessness. If
some of these problems are not medically treated, they can create
complication during or after delivery.
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 115
Table-2 : Place of delivery for the last child
Place of Delivery Percentage
Govt. Hospital 5.10
Private Hospital 17.10
Home 77.80
Further it is revealed that the place of delivery for the last
child was noted to be home in case of 77.8 percent of the women.
It is further interesting to note that out of those women who had an
institutional delivery, the private facilities have a definite edge over
government facilities.
Table-3 : Type of attendant at home delivery
Place of Delivery Percentage
Doctor 8.9
Trained daai 72. 2
Untrained daai / Relatives 18.9
A greater cause of concern is the fact that almost nine of the
ten deliveries that took place at home (77.8percent), were attended
by untrained persons. Thus most of the deliveries that take place at
home can pose a threat to the health of the mother and child if these
deliveries at home remain unattended by medical and paramedical
persons or at least by trained birth attendants.
Use of Contraceptive Needs & Management of Its Side Effects
This section focuses on the fertility planning and related
contraceptive practices among the surveyed population. It also
assesses the needs and quality of family planning counseling, and
the experience of the type of contraceptives used, side effect and
their management.

Health Problems Experienced After Last Delivery
1- Fever
2-Heavy Bleeding
3- Foul Smelling discharge
4- Abdominal pain
5- Backache
6- Excessive tiredness
7- Anemic condition
8- Other
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Treatment for the health problem experienced after delivery
5. 6
5. 1
1- No Treat ment taken
2- Treatment bought from: ANM
3- PHC
4- Govt . hospital
5- Privat e hospital
6- Others-home remedies
It is heartening to note that 66 percent of the women did not
have any problems immediately after delivery. Among the problems
experienced were fever, bleeding, foul smelling discharge, backache,
abdominal pain and weakness/anemic condition. It is further
encouraging noting that of those who did have some health problem,
the majority (74 percent) had sought treatment from various sources.
The private services seem to be the preferred.
The actual practice of contraception among the sample women
reveals that about 24.4% were found to be using some method of
contraception (including natural methods) at the point of survey.
The use of modern methods was about 1.1% in the slum population
of Bapu Nagar Basti. The method wise break-up reveals the strong
preference for terminal methods among the slum community, their
use being 50 percent. The use of spacing methods among the current
users is about 12.3%. The greater reliance on terminal methods
finds further support when ever women use of contraception was

Status of Family Planning Practices in percentage
12. 3
1. 1
Not using any cont raceptives
Male Sterlization
Female St erlization
Use Of Condoms
Oral Pills
Use Of Coperty etc.
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 117
assessed. This reveals that 5.6% of them had never used any method,
while 50 percent had accepted a terminal method and condom (61.1
percent). Natural methods were used by 2.2% of the women.
Table - 4
Experience of Gynaecological Health Problems (GHP) in
percentage among currently married women in Bapu Nagar
Basti in Lucknow city.
Nature of GHP Symptoms Always Some Never
Often times
Menstrual Disorder
i) Irregular Menstruation 5.60 11.10 83.30
ii) Excessive bleeding during 11.10 5.60 83.30
Menstruation/Painful menstruation
iii) White discharge with bad 16.70 11.10 72.20
odour & itching.
Pelvic (Inflammatory Disease)
i) Lower abdominal pain 27.80 11.10 61.10
ii) Vaginal discharge with fever. 22.20 5.60 72.20
iii) Abdominal Pain 27.80 11.10 61.10
i) Pain during inter course 8.90 24.40 66.70
ii) Anaemia 3.30 5.60 62.20
iii) Feeling excessive weakness 11.10 77.80 72.20
iv) Tired during Normal Household 11.10 77.80 11.10
i) Urinary tract infection 22.20 66.70 5.60
ii) Pain / burning sensation while 24.40 66.70 8.90
passing urine/ abnormal frequency
of urination
i) Difficulty in becoming Pregnant 5.60 5.60 11.10
ii) Sexual transmitted disease 1.00 1.00 88.00
The Community Needs Assessment Approach, initially called
target free approach, clearly articulates the need to move beyond
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 118
family planning and MCH services to also include services that
address the reproductive health needs of women (Govt. of India,
1998). In this regard, it is
Important to understand the varied gynecological or
reproductive health problems women generally experience and the
nature of their treatment seeking behaviour for the same, Such
information becomes useful for designing and delivering better
women centered health services under the programmed. In this
regard, the present study has attempted to understand some of the
commonly experienced reproductive health problems of women
rather than all those, which often require clinical and pathological
assessment. The details of the problems experienced by women
during the one year prior to the survey as well as their management
are summarized in (Tables 4)
It is evident from Table 4 that as high as 85 percent of women
had experienced on or the other health problem during the on year
preceding the survey. The major problems reported by women were
the symptoms that may be associated with pelvic inflammatory
diseases (25-55 percent), feeling excessively weak or tired during
normal household duties, backache (suggestive of anemic condition,
10-70 percent), menstrual disorders like irregular
menstruation,excessive bleeding/painful menstruations/aches and
pain during menstruation (15-65 percent) and white discharge with
bad odour, itching, indicating lower reproductive tract infection (20
percent). With regard to the frequency of occurrence, it is noted
that about 15 percent of the women reported that they suffer
Always or often with some health problem, indicating
persistence of the problems among a very large proportion of women
in urban slums. Regarding this severity of various reproductive
health problems, about 10-75 percent of women reported menstrual
disorders (defined above) as a persisting health problem followed
by the problems/symptoms related to PID (25-55 percent) and RTI
(11 percent), while another 9 percent of women reported persisting
health problems related to anemic condition. 30 percent reported
about the problem of dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), with 3
percent reporting about its persistence, while about 22.2 percent
complained about the symptoms of urinary tract infection (such as
pain/burning sensation during urination and abnormal frequency
of urination) as another health problem, the one year preceding the
survey. women reported about the problem of infertility. In other
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 119
words, they had experienced difficulty in conceiving despite
attempts, at some time or the other during their lifetime, while about
5 percent reported the experience of this problem more often.
The overall results seem to suggest that approximately eight
to nine women out of ten in the urban slums reported the experience
of at least one symptom of a health problem during the one year
preceding the survey. Symptoms that may indicate acute PID, RTI,
anemia and menstrual disorders, were commonly reported, but
the symptoms that may be associated with the problem of
dyspareunia and UTI were less common. All other symptom
categories such as hemorrhoids and prolapsed were reported
infrequently. As regards the severity of these symptoms, about
half of them reported that they always or often suffered with one
or the other problem. The most common among them were again
the symptoms that indicate PID, RTI, anemia and menstrual
disorders. Another problem that causes concern is that of infertility,
as a significant proportion of the women had experienced the
difficulty of becoming pregnant quite often during their lifetime.
This clearly indicates the magnitude of as well as severity of
reproductive health problems among urban slum women and which
therefore needs to form an important aspect in service provision
under the programme. Furthermore, it also requires that the health
workers, particularly the female health workers, be sensitized
(through suitable training) to understand and elicit these problems
among women, as well as be equipped to manage them in an
effective manner.
The results thus appear consistent with those obtained from
other similar community based studies. In their review of six rural
and urban studies, the authors found that menstrual disorders were
in the range of 5 to 75 percent, white discharge varied from 15 to
65 percent and lower abdominal pain ranged from 25 to 55 percent.
Overall, the percent of women reporting one or more clinically
diagnosed conditions varied from 26 percent to 70 percent or more.
In fact the reporting of such morbidity conditions is found even
higher in the percent study.
Knowledge and Practices about Safe abortion
Abortion seeking Behavior among currently married women age
15-44 years.
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Table-5 :
Knowledge of source of service to have % distribution
pregnancy terminated
i) Govt. Hospital 22.20
ii) Private Hospital 10.00
iii) Clinic for abortion 10.00
iv) Home remedies 55.60
v) other 1.10
vi)No knowledge of any source 1.10
No. of years ago the induced abortion
was done
i) Less than 4 Year 80.00
ii) 4-7 year 14.40
iii) 8 or more year 5.60
Months of pregnancy of which it was
i) By 6 months 5.60
ii) By 7 months 16.70
iii) By 8 months 77.80
Type of health facility where abortion was
i) Govt. hospital 83.30
ii) Private hospital 11.10
iii) Clinic 5.60
Ensuring womens access to safe abortion services is an
essential component of ensuring womens right to safeguard their
health and is one of the components of Government of Indias
Reproductive and Child Health Programme. Women seek abortion
for a variety of reasons viz, medical, social failure of contraception,
physical and economic reasons or a combination of many of these
conditions. Unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal
mortality and it also contributes significantly to maternal morbidity.
Therefore, provision of safe and legal abortion is important for
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 121
womens survival and reproductive health. India legalized medical
termination of pregnancy on broad socio-medical grounds through
the MTP Act, 1971. The aim of the Act was to reduce maternal
mortality and morbidity due to illegal abortions. Under the RCH
programme, women and adolescents are educated about need for
safe abortion practices and the facility for safe abortions is ensured
by providing equipments, contractual doctors etc. At the Government
health centers. Special programmes are expected to be taken up for
various vulnerable frumps such as urban slums, tribal population
and adolescents (Govt. of India,). In order to assess the knowledge
arid practices about safe abortion among urban slum women, the
present survey also included a series of questions on these aspects.
The responses to these questions are summarized in (Table 5). When
womens knowledge regarding sources of service for pregnancy
termination was assessed, it was noted that about two-fifths of the
slum women had no knowledge of any source of service they can
avail to have the unwanted pregnancy terminated (Table 5).
Nevertheless, slightly less than three-fifths of the women (70 percent)
had the knowledge of a source of service for abortion. Among them,
about 22.2 percent reported about government hospital for the
service while 9 percent reported about private hospital or a
specialized clinic for abortion. About 50 percent of the women
from this community indicated that they would seek service form
other sources or rely on home remedies.
When the abortion seeking behavior of these women was
assessed, it is noted that less than 4 percent had ever had an induced
abortion .About 80.0 percent of these women had sought pregnancy
termination less than four years ago and 14.4 percent 4-7 years
ago, while the remaining 5.6 percent had the last induced abortion
at least 8 years ago. Majority of them had their pregnancy terminated
by 6
month (5.6 percent), while 16.7 percent had it terminated at
month and 77.8 percent at 8
month. When the abortion seekers
were asked about the place of service, it is evident that about 83.3
percent of the women had their pregnancy terminated at government
hospital, another 11.1 percent at private hospital and the remaining
5.6 percent had gone to a specialized clinic. It is therefore satisfying
to note that all the women who sought induced abortion, had always
availed services from a safe health facility, although preference is
more for private health facility than that of the government.
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Table-6 : Experiencing Health Problem after obortion
Experience of any health problem after % distribution
the abortion
Experience no health problem 66.70
Experience one or more Problem 11.10
Abdominal pain, Bleeding, weakness, 22.20
fever and discharge pain
It is further satisfying to note that majority of the women
(66.7 percent) who had sought an induced abortion, had not
experienced any health problem after the abortion. The remaining
11.1 percent had experienced severe abdominal pain, bleeding,
discharge with pain, fever, weakness or their related health problem
after abortion. Among those who experienced a health problem after
abortion, about 60 percent had sought treatment for the same.
Finally, when women who ever had an induced abortion were
asked to state reasons for the decision to have the pregnancy
terminated, their responses reveal that majority had sought abortion
for the reasons that reflect poor planning of pregnancies. In this
context, it is noted that 39 percent had sought abortion because
they did not want additional children or had achieved the desired
sex composition (pregnancy unwanted), while another 33 percent
had sought abortion because they did not want a next child at that
time for one reason or other (pregnancy mistimed). On the other
hand, the remaining 28 percent had sought abortion on health
grounds. Among them, 17 percent reported that they had poor health
or had developed a health problem (such as growth of tumor and
bleeding during pregnancy) or followed doctors advice. Another
11 percent reported about poor growth of the fetus or no sign of life
in fetus as a reason for seeking abortion. The reported reasons for
seeking abortion thus seem to suggest that there is an unmet need
for family planning in the slum population. This aspect has already
been note in the earlier discussion from improving MTP facilities
and their utilization, under the RCH programme.
Conclusion :
The main objective of the present study was to assess the
reproductive health status of the women of the Bapu nagar Basti in
Lucknow City. The study in particular has dealt with women socio-
economic background, marriage and child bearing pattern,
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 123
contraceptive behaviour ,maternal health practice and their
knowledge regarding safe abortion practices. Finally the study has
dealt with the incidence and the severity of various reproductive
health problems among urban slum women and their treatment
seeking behaviour for the reported morbidity. The situation with
respect to womens health in the urban slums is no different rather
their health is neglected . Insecurity relating to regular income, food
and shelter excess to health care and other essential services along
with poverty and difficult physical and social environment such as
exploitation and abuse in the treatment of women have rendered an
adverse impact on the health of urban poor women.
As regards the marriage patterns of these women about half
of them were married at age defying legal age of 18 year for female
in India as well as ignoring the risk of consummating the marriage
at early adolescent age. More than half the women had their first
pregnancy at a young age less than 20 years.
An examination of the birth history of these women further
reveals that majority of them had given birth to 2 or more children
in their childbearing years. About 56 % of the women had give
birth to 3 or more children. The mean no. of live births was estimated
to be 2-8 in the slum population. As regards the pace of child bearing
it is noted that only in 36 % of the respondents, the interval between
the last two children appears to be adequate.
The analysis of the demand for family planning services in
the urban slum population reveals that the need for family planning
has not been met in majority of the case of the women with regard
to need for contraception, since they do not desire additional children.
Yet they are unable to use any method for family planning. Family
welfare programme in the slum population has succeeded in
satisfying the contraceptive needs of 8% which still leaves unfilled
needs of many currently married women.
Further analysis of the treatment seeking pattern of these
women reveals that more than of them had not sought any
treatment for there health problem. Among those who had sought
treatment, the majority relied on private doctors rather than on
government. source for treatment. The remaining relied on home
remedies or had seeked treatment from traditional practioners. In
view of the magnitude of reproductive health problems and poor
treatment seeking behavior for these problem there is an urgent
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 124
need to incorporate this aspect in service provision under the family
welfare programme. Further more it also requires that female health
workers be sensitized through suitable training to understand and
elicit these problem among women as well as should be equipped to
manage them is an effective manner.
To summaries the overall finding, it must be said that the
quality of services under the new approach are found deficient in
basic aspects arising from the information and counseling on women
health care. The actual service provision include treatment for
reproductive health and FP problems and follow up for simple means
that safeguard the health of the mother and its child in particular.
The use of safe delivery kit and availability of trained birth
attendants, availability of paramedical staff are found lacking to a
great extent, the MCH programme involved for the provision of
adequate advice on safe motherhood and in turn on child survival,
regular visits of health workers in urban slum is still missing
Adequate information and counseling regarding various method of
contraceptive particularly spacing method is not yet sufficient to
meet individual family planning needs. Follow up visit which is
another important component of the quality services is yet to improve
the reliance on private service by a large proportion of urban slum
population raises doubts about the quality and (readability of the
government health and family planning) services provided in the
slum areas with regards to women health the family welfare
programme. Today it has restricted itself to maternal health care.
The present survey has bought to light the heavy burden of morbidity
among the majority of urban slum women. While such data from
self reported symptoms (in the absence of clinical diagnoses) need
to be interpreted with caution in estimating prevalence of
Gynaecological morbidity among women.
Although the family welfare performance in the slum areas
has improved over the years with the family size declining
substantially and that the level of contraceptive use among currency
married women is not very low, but for the terminal method in the
slum areas are of low choices. A further reduction in fertility and
mortality in the population would largely depend on the greater
need for spacing methods and improved MCH and other health
services. The change can only be brought about if all the
programmes are directed to improve the three basic aspects of quality
life, which were noted to be deficient in the urban slums. Inspite of
Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 125
the Govt. of Indias commitments under the nation revamped family
welfare programmes to improve the out reach of services particularly
in urban slum area which have still been left out of the planning
process. Special programmes are yet to be taken up for urban slums
where the health delivery system is even more necessary than in
rural areas to add various issues raised above under the RCH
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Preeti Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 127
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Attitude & Awareness Regarding Reproductive Health of Dhanuk.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 128
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 129-138
*Seema Singh is associate professor and Head Deptt. of Zeology Nari Siksha
Niketan P.G. Collage, Lko.
A Study of the extent of adulteration in the most
commonly used beverage- tea in four major
cities of Uttar Pradesh.
*Seema Singh
Tea as a beverage forms an important commodity of the Indian diet.
Therefore people consume large quantity of tea which has lead to major
malpractices in trading. Adulteration has become rampant to reduce
manufacturing costs, sell at higher price or deceive the consumer in
some other way and ultimately making higher profits for the retailer.
The present study was conducted in four major cities of Uttar Pradesh
viz Agra, Allahabad, Meerut and Lucknow to uncover the factors
contributing to the adulteration in tea to gauge the health problem faced
by the whole population there. The research methodology used is based
on both primary and secondary data. The results show that 10.48% of
tea available in the market is adulterated in Uttar Pradesh. It was also
noticed that adulteration is more common in loose tea with comparison
to the branded tea. Pure, unadulterated and safe tea is the consumer's
right hence a system of utmost trust between the retailers, and consumers
must be developed to achieve it.
Key words: Adulteration, tea, consumers.
Introduction :
Tea serves as the most important morning drink for two-
thirds of world population because of its attractive aroma and taste.
It has become the most important agrobased, ecofriendly, labour-
intensive, employment generating, export-oriented industry for the
developing world. Of late tea is also considered as a health beverage,
due to its antioxidant properties beneficial effects on human health
(S. Seenivasan and N.N. Muraleedharan 2010).
The consumption of tea is an ancient habit and was initiated
about five thousand years ago. Now it attains a special position
in economy of countries, China holds first position in term of its
production while India and Srilanka are also among the leading
producers (Abe et al., 2000). Indian tea industry is well established
in the global market, in terms of production, consumption and
export. Country produced 966 million kg of tea in 2010, of which
Research Report III
76 percent is produced in the North-Eastern states. Being the
largest consumer of tea, it consumes 837 million kg in 2010. About
203.86 million kg tea is exported from India which brings about
US $ 413 million as foreign exchange for the country per annum
(K. Hazarika 2011).
The important constituent of tea is an alkaloid called theine,
which is present in varying proportion from 1 to 4 percent. The
theine is supposed to be present in combination with tannin, which
is most abundant soluble substance in tea usually 16 to 27 percent.
Tea contains more than 700 chemicals among which some of the
important compounds for eg. flavonoides, amino acids, vitamins
(C, E and K), Caffeine and polysaccharides are good for human
health. The caffeine content in tea varies from 40 - 100mg / 180 ml
(P. Mathur, 1995), is a highly lipophilic compound and if taken
moderately can elevate moods, decreases fatigue, relieve tension,
relax smooth muscle, bronchial muscle, stimulate CNS and Cardiac
muscle and also act as a diuretic (Mukhopadhyay et al, 2003). If
taken in high doses it increases the metabolic rate, irritability, causes
disturbance in sleep and gastrointestinal pains (Ramarethinam et
al, 2004).
Moreover, tea drinking has recently proven to be associated
with cell mediated immune function of human body which plays an
important role in improving intestinal microflora, provides immunity
against intestinal disorders and also protects cell membranes from
oxidative damage. It prevents dental caries due to the presence of
fluorine. Tea normalizes blood pressure and has lipid depressing
activity which prevents coronary heart disease by reducing blood
glucose activity. It also has germicidal and germistatic activities
against various gram positive and gram negative human pathogenic
bacteria (Mandal T. K., 2007).
Tea as a beverage forms an important commodity of the Indian
diet. Therefore man consumes large quantity of tea which has lead
to malpractices of adulteration. Adulterated tea contains additives
which may be chemicals of various types. These adulterants are
generally added to tea to reduce manufacturing costs, sell at higher
price or deceive the consumer in some other way and ultimately
making higher profits. Adulteration is a criminal act which could
A Study of the extent of adulteration in the most commonly.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 130
affect the health of the consumer therefore is a civil crime which
violates the basic contract of a consumer or retailer. Colouring of
tea is also adulteration and colours such as Prussian blue are
extremely dangerous as they tend to accumulate in the body causing
gastrointestinal tract infections. The iron fillings used as adulterant,
when taken into the body creates health problems such as
hemochromatosis leading to hepatoma-the primary cancer of the
liver (Normanyo et. al., 2009). Cashew husk as an adulterant in tea
samples has been successfully detected by using molecular tools
(Dhiman and Singh, 2003).
Probable Adulterants in Tea :
It is relatively easy to adulterate tea at various stages of its
journey from leaf to cup. Commonly used adulterants for tea are as
Table 1: Adulterants present in tea
Adulterants Occurrence
Prussian blue A non soluble blue pigment
Indigo A blue dye derived from
Indigofera tectonic plant
Graphite Lead of the pencil
Gypsum A soft naturally occurring
Soapstone A naturally occurring mineral
composed of talc.
Fe filling Byproduct of grinding, filling or
milling of finished iron product.
Coloured, foreign ,exhausted leaves Used tea leaves
Saw dust Byproduct of cutting, grinding
or drilling of wood, fine
particles of wood
Cashew husk, black gram husk Waste residue of cashew, gram.
Excess of wood stalk, fibre, ash Unwanted material
Seema Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 131
The total ash content of tea varies from 4 to 7 percent and
the soluble ash is not less than 50 percent of the total ash.
Adulteration with spent leaves reduces both the total ash and soluble
ash contents. To check the purity of tea a comparison of total ash
and soluble ash content can be made (Table: 2)
Table 2: Comparative Analysis of pure and adulterated tea (F. D.
A. Standards)
Adulterants Total ash content Soluble ash content
Nil 4 -7 % => 50%
Spent leaves, shoot, etc Reduction Reduction
Grit , sand, lime Increase Reduce
Source: Avantika Sharma, Beverages and Appetizers, In Food
Science and Technology, I.B.D.C. pp. 343-363. 1995.
Objectives of the study :
Adulterated tea is one of the factors for poor health of the
major population of India because-
Tea is a very popular and low cost beverage which is
consumed by all sections of society.
The quality of tea should be absolutely pure and safe for
In the market there is a whole galaxy of teas starting from
very low cost - loose to the most expensive of the branded
and packed varieties available
Since there is constant deterioration in the general health
condition of the urban population it is envisaged that some
how or the other to some extent tea may be responsible as
it is also consumed in substantial volumes.
The study of the adulterants of the tea would be able to pin
point the causes of poor health in the concerned cities.
Material and Methods :
In order to uncover the factors contributing to the adulteration
in tea four major cities Agra, Allahabad, Meerut and Lucknow were
A Study of the extent of adulteration in the most commonly.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 132
selected to envisage the health problem faced by the whole population
there. The research methodology used in the study is based on
primary and secondary data.
To fulfill the objective of testing the popularly used brands,
the standard lab testing procedures were carried out for tea in selected
cities. Two qualities of tea were taken i.e. standard (Branded) and
loosely available. Selection was done after identifying the popularly
used brands by the respondents. The lab-tested results were matched
for the amount of adulteration and results were briefed on the
absence/presence of adulterant in tea. The secondary data have been
collected from the different sources such as reports, journals and
newspapers of national reputes etc. The secondary data was also
collected from food testing and analysis laboratories of Food and
Drug Administration (F. D. A.) of U.P. Govt.
Results and Discussion :
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India with a
population of 199812341 as per 2011 census with the density of
829. Thus the consumption of tea in Uttar Pradesh is also highest
in the country. The major consumer of tea is the urban population
or city dwellers for whom tea is one of the most popular beverages
in their homes, from the road side kiosks to the posh tea parlours.
Tea which is marketed for the consumers is available mainly
in two forms loose or packaged tea i.e. branded. These tea leaves or
packed are supplied to the market from the tea estates which are
wide spread all over the countrys length and width from Tripura in
the north east up to U.P. and Bihar, from Himachal Pradesh in the
north to Kanyakumari in the south. The tea brought from the tea
estates are first brought to the major cities of Uttar Pradesh for e.g.
Lucknow, Allahabad in the east, Agra and Meerut in the west from
where they are further distributed to the interior part of the state.
In India, most of the urban population in India start their day
with a cup of tea. Taking this advantage, most of the brand made
the place in Indian market. Following are the some important market
players in tea Industry
1. Assam Tea Company.
Seema Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 133
2. Tata tea Ltd.
3. Tetley tea.
4. Hindustan lever Ltd (Unilever).
5. Goodricke Group Ltd.
6. Sapat Group Ltd.
Some of the popular brands available in the market of tea
are Tajmahal, Apni Tea, Golden Tea, Tata Agni, Mahak, Mohini,
Bhagyashri, Hunter, Taza, Lipton, Brooke Bond Red Label, Super
cup, Tata Premium and Duncan Double Diamond etc.
Experimental method :
The results of rapid lab testing methods revealed that almost
all loose products were found adulterated except rather than standard
Tea brands (Table 3).
Table 3: Showing presence or absence of adulterants in tea in
selected four major cities of Uttar Pradesh.
City Brand Rapid Result Adulte- Remark
Tested test rants
Lucknow i)Standard i) Rub leaves i) Artificial color i) not 20% respondents
ii)Loose on white comes out on Paper. found use unbranded
paper. ii) Pink or red ii) coloured loose tea.
ii) Tea leaves spots on paper show leaves Causes tetanus
sprinkled on colour. iii) used tea
filter paper. iii) Iron will stick leaves
iii) Move a to the magnet. iv)iron
magnet Fillings.
through the
Agra i)Standard i)Rub leaves i) Artificial color i) not 57% respondents
ii)Loose on white paper. comes out on Paper. found use unbranded
ii)Tea leaves ii)Pink or red spots ii) coloured loose tea.
sprinkled on on paper show leaves Causes tetanus
filter paper. colour. iii) used tea
iii) Move a iii) Iron will stick leaves
magnet to the magnet. iv)iron
through the Fillings.
A Study of the extent of adulteration in the most commonly.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 134
Allahabad i)Standard i)Rub leaves i) Artificial color i) not 38% respondents
ii)Loose on white comes out on Paper. found use unbranded
paper. ii) Pink or red spots ii) coloured loose tea.
ii) Tea leaves on paper show leaves Causes tetanus
sprinkled on colour. iii) used tea
filter paper. iii) Iron will stick leaves
iii) Move a to the magnet. iv) iron
magnet fillings.
through the
Meerut i)Standard i) Rub leaves i)artificial color i) not 16.12%
ii) Loose on white comes out on Paper. found respondents
paper. ii)Pink or red spots ii) coloured use unbranded
ii) Tea leaves on paper show leaves loose tea.
sprinkled on colour. iii) used tea Causes tetanus
filter paper. iii) Iron will stick to leaves
iii) Move a the magnet. iv) iron
magnet fillings.
the sample
Samples of loose tea from Allahabad were found to be
adulterated with iron fillings. Samples of Loose- tea from Meerut
and Lucknow were found adulterated with dung and used/exhausted
tea leaves respectively. It was found that approximately 50 percent
of adulteration and noticed in loose tea. It is indeed interesting to
note that all the three loose samples of tea collected from Agra were
found adulterated when lab tested. It was found adulterated with
grit, saw dust and used tea leaves.
In accordance with the food testing laboratories of Food and
drug administration tea is considered in the miscellaneous component
where the data collected shows that loose (unpacked) tea is mainly
found adulterated but some of the branded tea is also prey of this
unfair practice.
Fig. 1: Showing adulteration in Tea in select cities of Uttar Pradesh

Percent adulteration in Tea in major cities of U.P.
Lucknow Meerut Agra Allahabad U.P.

Seema Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 135
Fig.1 shows the results in which the adulteration in tea in
Uttar Pradesh is 10.48 percent. Where Allahabad and Meerut have
nearly 18 percent adulteration and in Lucknow and Agra the percent
adulteration noticed was 7.14 and 4.44 respectively. The results
also suggest that adulteration is more common in the loose tea 23%
with comparison to branded tea (7%) available in the market.
Conclusion :
Adulterated food is one of the factors for poor health of the
major population of India. Adulteration is a problem which can be
solved through application of science and responsible government
intervention. The early concern about food safety can only be
possible if we develop a system of a highly trust worthy relationship
between retailers, the state and consumers, and this in turn influence
food choice and tastes. Food safety is the consumers right and
government responsibility with scientific efficacy.
Though it is difficult to measure tea as a slow poison but on
long usage it does alter consumers tastes and consumption pattern.
Consumers should be aware of where and how goods are produced
since these facts are crucial to taste, food value and their health.
The poor drink tea , diluted till it is little else than warm water, the
materials of which are not from any tea bagan but are the production
of one of the innumerable frauds which are practiced upon the poor
people. The working class is often the victims of adulteration by
this way and the retailers prey upon the poor socio- economic class.
The adulterants are responsible for various diseases like tetany
and reduce the beneficial effects of tea on the general population.
The greed of the traders is fulfilled by public in form of various
infections and diseases.
Colouring of tea is not particularly harmful though it could
potentially disguise poor quality goods. Therefore consumers should
be protected from frauds. When the consumer enters a shop asks
for an article has a right to expect that he will be supplied with
what he demands and pays.
There is perhaps, no article of food more subject to
adulteration than tea. The tea receives an extensive addition before
A Study of the extent of adulteration in the most commonly.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 136
it leaves its native soil and on arrival in market is further
sophisticated and doctored by home dealers and retailers.
Government should exercise its authority in the matter to raise a
hope that the cup which cheers but not inebriates.
The research paper is the part of the work carried out under
the project funded by University Grants Commission New Delhi.
Financial assistance by U.G.C. is thankfully acknowledged.
References :
Abe I, T K., Seki,. Umehara, T. Miyase, H. Noguchi, J. Sakakibara, and T.Ono.
2000: Green tea polyphenols: novel and potent inhibitors of squalene
epoxidase, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 268 767-71
Dhiman B., Singh M. 2003: Molecular detection of cashew husk (Anacardium
occidentale) adulteration in market samples of dry tea Camellia sinensis.
Planta. Med. 69 (9) 882-4.
Hazarika K. 2011: Changing Market Scenario for Indian Tea Intl J. Trad,
Eco.Fin., Vol. 2, No 4
Mandal T. K. 2007: Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry, Vol,
60.Transgenic crops V (ed. By E.C.PUa and M.R. Davy) Springer
Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Mathur P. 1995: Caffeine Dependence- a storm in a tea cup. Nutrition,29,4.
Mukhopadhyay S., Mondal A., Poddar M. K. 2003: Chronic administration of
caffeine: Effect on the activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes of
Ehrlich ascites tumor-bearing mice. Ind. J. Exp. Biol... (41): 283.
Normanyo E., Asiam E.K., Amankwa-poku K., Adetunde I. A. 2009: Redesign
of a grinding mill for the minimisation of iron filling production.
Europian J. of Scientific Res. (36), 3; 418 436.
Ramarethinam S., Rajalakshmi N. 2004: Caffeine in tea plants [Camellia
sinensis (L) O. Kuntze]: In situ lowering by Bacillus licheniformis
(Weigmann) Chester Ind J Exp Biol.; (42): 575.
Seenivasan S. and Muraleedharan N. 2010: Survey on the pesticide residues in
tea in south India. Environ Monit and Assess. 10.1007/s10661-010-
Seema Singh
Voice of Intellectual Man 137
Sharma A 1995 : Beverages and appetigers. In Food Science and Technology.
IBDC PP - 343-363.
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 138
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 139-146
*Pratham Parekh, Research Scholar, in Center for Studies in Society and
Development, School of Social Sciences, Gujarat.
Email : pratham.parekh@gmail.com
Gender Gap in Breast Feeding Child: Factors
and Implications
*Pratham Parekh
Gender disparities among Indian families are not new scenario and
such disparities are reflected in child care practices also. It has been
already proven that proper and regular breastfeeding suppress post-
natal fertility. This study examines implications and factors affecting
breastfeeding decisions among the Indian women. Factors like, duration,
contraception and traditional notions and its implications on breast
feedings are investigated. Interestingly all these factors showed alarming
amount of gender gap.
Breast feeding is heavily affected by preference of having sons. Due to
this preference, after the birth of girl, parents continue to have children
which further limits breast feeding of already born girl child and because
of this reason daughter are dissuaded from breast feeding earlier
compared to sons.
Key words: breastfeeding, contraception, family planning, gender
Introduction :
The family planning programmes offering contraception also
adds in increasing size of gender gap, the mothers reached at "ideal"
family size seems to have lower mortality rate and higher gender
gap in breastfeeding. Breast feeding and subsequent fertility is
negatively related because breast feeding the existing child restricts
and delay next pregnancy and many times subsequent (mostly
unwanted) pregnancy makes mother to wean current infant.
Traditional practices in some states of India, limits the
duration for breastfeeding female. These traditional practices are
closely related to socio economic conditions of people and their
attitude towards breastfeeding male and female members.
India, though experiencing positive change in domain of child
health care, there exist considerable gap between health care of
male and female infants. This gap exists due to traditional child
care practices and preferences for male infant. Gender disparity is
decreasing among nutritional status of Indian infants but practice
of breastfeeding is seems to be unchanged.
Research Report IV
A gender disparity seems to unavoidable phenomenon of human
societies; it varies according to socio-cultural framework of various
societies. It is rigidly so embedded in cultures that people
unconsciously creates disparities even in child care practices.
Postnatal fertility including breastfeeding is very well
investigated and documented area of research by the practitioner of
medicine and public health care researchers. On other side, strong
gender bias throughout various domains of research is also observed
but it seems difficult to find out disadvantages caused to female
infants in terms of breast feeding. The initial development of infant
is heavily depended on duration as well as frequency of breastfeeding
because breast milk provides important nutrients which keep infants
safe from various infections. Gender differences in breast feeding
is commonly seen scenario in India, though practice of breastfeeding
is universal in India as pointed out by some studies. (Wyon &
Gordon, 1971). Medical and public health researchers have
suggested several mechanisms by which breastfeeding promote
health for infants and young children in developing countries. First,
human milk has immunological benefits; for example, it contains
glycans that are believed to play an anti-infective role in the
gastrointestinal tract (Morrow, Ruiz-Palacios, Jiang, & Newburg,
2005). As per this studies frequency of breastfeeding female infants
is for shorter duration than male infants, weaning of female infants
starts earlier and even female infants gets comparatively lower
quality of food. Another factor affecting breastfeeding practice in
India is that, many women are not aware various other forms of
birth control and due to this, they depend more contraceptives
properties of breastfeeding. On other side Indian mothers finds it
difficult to meet high caloric demands of breast feedings during
pregnancy in social setups where there is high rate of
Obviously, there are many other factors apart from this that
could influence a decision of breast feeding child, like health of
mother, labor-market attachment, education, cost of available breast
milk substitutes etc. But the present study is focused on factors
like, duration, contraception and traditional notions affecting breast
feeding decision of mother based on gender differentiation.
As per Parveen Nangia
and T.K. Roy
, Gender difference in
duration of breastfeeding is particularly high in the states of Assam,
Punjab and Sikkim, where male children are breastfed for more
Gender Gap in Breast Feeding Child: Factors and Implications
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 140
than six months longer than female children. On the other hand, in
the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Karnataka
female children are breastfed for a slightly longer duration. The
least gender disparity is observed in Bihar, where median duration
of breastfeeding is the same for both male and female children.
Result and Discusion :
1. Duration :
Duration of breast feeding an infant has always been skeptical
in India and when it comes to gender it becomes more ambiguous.
Various kinds of trends and patterns are observed across
geographical locations in India for signifying duration of
breastfeeding female infant. All these patterns and trends are
primarily based on cultural and traditional notions and practices of
various regions in India. It is not wrong to say that cultural and
traditional practices in India are highly gender bias and thus, same
is reflected in breastfeeding practices also. For instance, immediate
isolation of mother and newborn due to notion of purity and
pollution, but many studies have admitted that notion of purity and
pollution during and after child birth time is not gender biased.
That means, there exists some practices which can provide some
amount of equality to male and female infant though not effectively.
Breastfeeding of female infant after birth is noticeably delayed
in India, it is very clearly mentioned in community medicine studies
that colostrum (which is considered as valuable input for any
newborn) is neglected or wasted before putting female infant (and
many times male infants too) to the breast. These studies also
mentioned that in many geographical regions it is considered as
harmful substance for child health which not true. Thus, due to this
notion girl infants are deprived and add in to infant mortality rate.
2. Contraception :
Easy availability of birth control has very fluctuating impact
upon breast feeding practice, if mothers rely on breastfeeding when
more effective forms of contraception are unavailable, then access
to modern birth control might lead them to substitute away from
breastfeeding (Jayachandran & Kuziemko, 2009). There is an
inverse relationship between breastfeeding duration and next
pregnancy. Breast feeding already born infant tends to prevent or
Pratham Parekh
Voice of Intellectual Man 141
postpone next pregnancy. While subsequent pregnancy normally
makes mothers to wean current child early.
As mothers reach their ideal family size, their demand for
contraception grows. They either breastfeed longer to suppress
fertility or use other forms of birth control that allow them to
breastfeed longer without being interrupted by another pregnancy.
For the same reasons, breastfeeding increases discretely once women
reach their ideal family size. (Jayachandran & Kuziemko, 2009)
3. Tradition :
In populations with strong son preference, boys are typically
more likely than girls to be exclusively breastfed at 6"9 months of
age, when breastfeeding alone is considered inadequate to meet the
energy and nutrient needs of infants (World Health Organization,
2001) Although the effect of son preference on sex composition of
children ever born is undetectable in national-level estimates that
aggregate across all families, there exists empirical evidence from
India that son preference has two pronounced and predictable family-
level effects on the sex composition of children ever born. First,
data from India show that smaller families have a significantly higher
proportion of sons than larger families. Second, socially and
economically disadvantaged couples and couples from the northern
region of India not only want but also attain a higher proportion of
sons, if the effects of family size are controlled. (Clark, 2000).
The sex difference in children not vaccinated at all is
particularly high in Delhi, where proportion of non-vaccinated girls
is more than three times higher than boys and in Punjab where it is
two and a half times higher. However, the overall proportion of
children not vaccinated is quite low in Delhi. In Tamil Nadu
proportion of children who did not receive any vaccination is less
than one percent, both for males and females, whereas in Goa, none
of the children was reported to fall in the category of not vaccinated.
(Nangia & Roy) Traditionally, Indian culture has given a preference
to males over a female; this is true in sense of giving priority in
breast feeding. It is easy in India to find out that sons health is
more valued than daughters health and majority of male infants
are benefited (over a female infants) due this notion. Not only in
breast feeding, male infants gets advantage over female infants
Gender Gap in Breast Feeding Child: Factors and Implications
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 142
vaccinations and other health benefits. Though, male and female
infant are given equal attention, gender differentiations are observed
into practicing breast feeding sons and daughters.
The change in infant feeding practices began in industrialized
countries, and soon followed by educated female of underdeveloped
countries by curtailing the duration of breast feeding. This practice
is copied by uneducated counterpart of the urban and rural areas of
underdeveloped countries (Kameswararao, 2004). To understand
impact of breastfeeding there is need to comparatively asses the
breastfeeding practices adopted through various dimensions like
duration, frequency and weaning of girl child. Itll allow drawing a
complete physical, mental and psycho social development of the
female infant. (Wambach, Campbell, Gill, Dodgson, Abiona, &
Heinig, 2005).
As per Mridula Bandyopadhyay
, Cultural and traditional
practices have considerable implications on lactation and
breastfeeding, and in the overall well-being and health of mothers
and infants. Breastfeeding programs should take into account
traditional beliefs and concepts when communicating with families
about practices such as food restriction and food avoidance.
(Bandyopadhyay , 2009).
As there exists, an inverse relationship between breastfeeding
and subsequent fertility as mothers wanting to conceive again thinks
to restrict nursing-induced postpartum amenorrhea and because they
conceive again they usually stop breastfeeding.
Gender composition thus, strongly influence breastfeeding
practices of current child. Jayachandran and Kuziemko also state
that, probability of not having next sibling increases in India if
newborn is male and the amount by which boys are more likely
than girls to be the youngest child is greater for mothers who have
reached or surpassed their ideal family size. Intensity of the
mothers preference for son varies according to socio-culture setup
and socio-culture setup where son are preferred over a daughter
are likely to have more gender gap in breastfeeding practice. For
, the estimates imply that in states such as Kerala with sex
ratios near one, mothers breastfeed sons only 0.2 months longer
than daughters; in places such as Haryana or Punjab where the sex
ratio is about 1.16, boys are breastfed 0.6 months longer.
Pratham Parekh
Voice of Intellectual Man 143
Traditionally Indian society gives preference to male child
over a female child so; demand of additional child is greater if the
previous child is girl. This is primary reason for weaning female
infant earlier. Value the health of sons more than daughters and
nurse sons more in the belief that breast milk is best, or that sons
simply take to the breast more easily than do daughters.
(Jayachandran & Kuziemko, 2009). Studies by Jayachandran and
Kuziemko has successfully proven that if the infant is male, mothers
breast feed more frequently and frequency of breastfeeding is very
lower if the previous newborn is female and subsequent is male and
mothers prefer to breastfed sons than daughters. This raise a concern
over decreasing fertility of India will increase sex differentiation if
the desired number of children falls more rapidly than the desired
number of sons (Das & Bhat, 1997).
Conclusion :
Almost all studies on gender bias in breast feeding argue that
subsequent child birth is inversely related to duration of
breastfeeding. This basically happens because of traditional mindset
(and other physiological reasons) and weaning a child early because
of pregnancy. For same reason, demand for contraception grows
when mothers reach ideal family size. This either breastfeed longer
to overwhelm fertility or other forms of birth control are used which
allows them to breastfeed longer without being interrupted by
another pregnancy.
Preference for son in Indian society is major reason for wider
gender gap in breastfeeding practices. It has been proven by several
studies that after a birth of girl, parents are likely to have another
child and this sets a limit to breastfeeding duration of already born
female infant. Looking at data of National Family Health Survey
in India, it is easy to find out this gap, not only in terms of breast
feeding but in terms of other health care practices also this gender
gap exists. Gender gap in breast feeding practices in India has
accounted about 20% excess female (between the ages of one and
three years) deaths every year.
Child health care in India is complex area of investigation
and when it comes to gender, it becomes really skeptical to the
explored or proven results. This study, tries to open up the gates for
further empirical and effective exploration of differential
breastfeeding practices and its cause in India. It would be wrong to
Gender Gap in Breast Feeding Child: Factors and Implications
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 144
deny that female and male infant in India are given equal chance to
breastfeed. Though this study limits itself at conceptual level, it
brings out feasible understanding of basic factors and fundamental
scenario in which there exist wider gap in breast feeding practice
based on sex of infant. Breastfeeding should be considered as child
right and policy makers should provide framework within health
policy which can enforce population to treat infants equally instead
of just putting check on frequency and duration of breastfeeding.
There exist wider scope for civil society (rather for entire society)
to bring psycho social change, which modify mindset of people and
change customs and rituals enabling more healthy and unbiased
breastfeeding practices.
1. PT Faculty, Department of Sociology, Laurentian University,
Sudbury, Canada
2. Ex-Director, International Institute for Population Sciences,
3. Mother and Child Health Research, La Trobe University,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4. Jayachandran and Kuziemkos study females are supposed
to eat only after males. Typically the left over food is meager,
considering the families which are poor and have little to
begin with. This creates a major problem with malnutrition,
especially for pregnant or nursing women. Very few women
seek medical care while pregnant because it is thought of as
a temporary condition. This is one of the main reasons why
Indias overall burden
Reference :
Bandyopadhyay , M. 2009. Impact of ritual pollution on lactation and
breastfeeding practices in rural West Bengal, India. International
Breastfeeding Journal, 4(2).
Clark, S. 2000. Son preference and sex composition of children: evidence from
India. Demography, 37(1), 95-100.
Das, G. M., & Bhat, P. M. 1997. Fertility Decline and Increased Manifestation
of Sex Bias in India. Population Studies, 307-315.
Pratham Parekh
Voice of Intellectual Man 145
Jayachandran, S., & Kuziemko, I. 2009. Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls
Less Than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India.
Stanford: the Pacific Conference for Develpment Economics.
Kameswararao, A. A. 2004. Breast Feeding Behaviour of Indian Women. Indian
Journal of Community Medicine, 29(2), 62-64.
Morrow, A. L., Ruiz-Palacios, G. M., Jiang, X., & Newburg, D. S. 2005. Human
Milk Glycans That Inhibit Pathogen Binding Protect Breastfeeding
Infants against Infectious Diarrhea. Journal of Nutrition(135), 1304-
Nangia, P., & Roy, T. K. (n.d.). Gender Disparity in Child Care in India:
Findings From Two National Family Health Surveys. Indian Statistical
Wambach, K., Campbell, S. H., Gill, S. L., Dodgson, J. E., Abiona, T. V., &
Heinig, M. J. 2005, August. Clinical lactation practice: 20 years of
evidence. J Hum Lact, 21(3), 245-58.
World Health Organization. 2001. Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child
Feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization.
Wyon, J. B., & Gordon, J. E. 1971. The Khanna study- population problems in
the rural Punjab. California: Harvard University Press.
Gender Gap in Breast Feeding Child: Factors and Implications
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 146
Voice of Intellectual Man Vol.3, No.2, July - Dec., 2013, 147-162
*Shakuntla Sangam Assistant Professor, Dr. RMLNLU; Lucknow
Legal Framework on Intellectual Property
Rights: A Comparative Study of Laws in Indian
*Shakuntla Sangam
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), which can be defined as Rights
acquired over a property created with the intellectual effort of an
individual. Intellectual Property Rights is an extension of Common Law
concept of ownership. Ideas, concepts, expression, intellect, creativity,
the intangible forms of human capabilities are treated as tangible
property capable of being owned by their creators in the same manner
as any tangible object is and, therefore, like any other property, need to
be protected by law Intellectual Property is an integral part of the
business concept and is best understood and utilized with that context.
In the recent past valuation of intangible assets related to intellectual
property has gained a considerable importaance. The scenario. This
paper is an attempt to look into the Intellectual Property Rights and
their enforcement within the international and national framework,
especially in present Indian context, in detail. It will also try to analyze
the role of international Intellectual Property (IP) treaties, conventions
and other general laws available for the protection and enforcement of
the IPRS.
Key words: Intellectual Property Rights, infringement, enforcement
Introduction :
The term Intellectual Property (IP) reflects the idea that its
subject matter is the product of the mined or the intellect. These
could be in the form of Patents; Trademarks; Geographical Indications;
Industrial Designs; Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated
Circuits; Plant Variety Protection, Traditional Knowledge and
Copyright. Intellectual Property is an integral part of the business
concept and is best understood and utilized with in that context. Many
of the new generation corporations have invested billions of rupees
not in land and machinery but also in intellectual capital; therefore
the management performance can only be measured through the
valuation of intellectual property at regular intervals, which becomes
imperative. In the recent past valuation of intangible assets related to
intellectual property has gained a considerable importance.
Research Report V
The value of intellectual property lies in its commercialization
and not in its mere creation and development per se. Competitive
advantage arises out of the way in which Corporate organizes and
performs activities and the activities are the means by which a firm
creates value in its product for its buyers. The value and the value
addition for the buyer is the end product for any organisation. There
is no denying that the role of intellectual Property for creating and
enhancing the value addition for the buyer has never been as critical
as today, in this new global world. The importance of Intellectual
property is exponentially growing, as industries are spending huge
sum in their creation and development.
IPR stands for Intellectual Property Rights, which can be
defined as Rights acquired over a property created with the
intellectual effort of an individual. The property is intangible in
nature. IPR was divided into 7 main branches under the TRIPS
agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).
These branches are:
Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Geographical Indications,
Integrated Circuits and Design Layouts, Designs and Confidential
Information (Trade secrets)
Due to globalization, easy accessibility to information,
technology, development of innovative models of business and
shrinking of trade barriers by formation of groups and associations
of countries like EU, SAARC, NAFTA, G-8 etc. intellectual
property has acquired a trans-boundary effect making it increasingly
vulnerable to infringement.
In case of any infringement, the rights holder should take
immediate steps to enforce its rights and stop the breach. The rights
holder may initially send a cease and desist notice to the infringer.
Subsequently, it might initiate legal action against the infringer. It
may also be helpful for the rights holder to publish cautionary notices
claiming copyright to the work in order to establish their exclusive
proprietary rights to the work in which copyright subsists.
India signed the Final Act of Uruguay Round of Multilateral
Trade Negotiations along with 125 countries on 15th April at
Marrakesh (Morocco). India signed GATT Agreement not under
pressure but voluntarily for its survival in the ever-competitive world
of industrial revolution. India decided to amend its laws relating to
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 148
industries, labour, corporate, taxes, export and import and above
all Intellectual Property Right (IPR) particularly the Patents Act.
In India, like in any other country, protection and judicial
enforcement of Intellectual Property Right, (IPR) are possible both
under the statute and under the common law. The statutory remedies
of IPR are enforced through specialized IP Tribunals and Courts.
The Tribunals have no power to administer equitable remedy or
common law remedy since Tribunals are strictly not Courts but
have only the trappings of Courts. In India, Tribunals are formed
according to (Art 323B) of the Constitution of India and are
empowered to decide disputes following the legal procedures.
Tribunals are formed to assist judiciary and to avoid slow, expensive,
inexpert and complex formalities. Although the Tribunals are not
strictly bound by the rules of Evidence or Code of Civil Procedure,
they must observe the principle of natural justice.
Ever since India joined the World Trade Organisation in 1995
and became a signatory to the agreement on trade-related intellectual
property rights (TRIPS), much has been said about intellectual
property, trademarks, patents, how much more expensive medicines
are going to become, western exploitation of Indian traditional
practices and so on, thereby leading the casual observer to imagine
that this whole Intellectual Property Rights issue is a relatively recent
one. However, less well known is the fact that the Government of
India has offered citizens of the country the opportunity to protect
their intellectual property for exactly 150 years: the first IPR legislation
was enacted in British India in 1856. As per the World Intellectual
Property Organisation (WIPO) definition, intellectual property refers
to creations of the mind, inventions, literary and artistic works,
symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce. Broadly,
intellectual property is divided into two categories. The first category
covers industrial property, which includes patents, industrial designs
and trademarks, all of which have industrial applications. The other
refers to copyright laws, which are applied to such things as literary,
dramatic and artistic works; rights relating to performing artists, the
production of phonograms and rights of broadcasters in their radio
and television programs.
International Impact :
A prime example of this occurred, when the Empires of Austria
and Hungary invited several countries to participate in an international
Shakuntla Sangam
Voice of Intellectual Man 149
exhibition of inventions held in Vienna in 1873. Many countries
refused to display their inventions in view of inadequate legal
protection. This incident had a far-reaching impact; the Congress of
Vienna for patent reforms was convened in 1873, following which an
international congress on industrial property was convened in Paris
in 1878.
A final draft proposing an International union of laws was
prepared by France and sent to other countries with an invitation to
attend the international conference in Paris in 1880. `The Paris
Convention as it was called concluded in 1883. Since then, the
Convention has been subject to several revisions. In 1967 in
Stockholm, the last revision was made to the Paris Convention by
which an international organization was formed to administer and
promote intellectual property on an international level the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The main principles of the Paris Convention state that
nationals, of any country, which is a signatory to the convention,
will enjoy the same treatment (with respect to industrial property
laws) in other countries, as if they were and nationals of the
respective countries. The Paris convention did not include the term
intellectual property but only industrial property. This
necessitated an international Convention to curb rampant piracy in
the area of literary and artistic works. The Berne Convention for
the protection of literary and artistic works was adopted in the year
1886 with an objective to facilitate uniformity in the level of
protection granted in all the member countries. The Convention has
since then gone through several revisions to adapt to the practical
changes in the field of copyright law.
The development of the IPR legislation in our country has
been in parallel with the international scenario. The Act relating to
Patent Rights introduced in 1856 granted exclusive privileges to
the inventor of new methods of manufacturing for a period of 14
years. This Act was amended on the lines of the British Patent Law
(1852) and re-enacted in 1859. The monopoly granted to the inventor
was known as exclusive privileges. Subsequently, several changes
to the law in this field were introduced through various enactments,
which paved the way to the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911.
The realization that the laws were not designed to motivate or protect
Indian inventors led to the enactment of the more progressive Indian
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 150
Patents Act of 1970. Eventually following the Trade Related Aspects
of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, Indian
Parliament passed the Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005. Similarly,
the Indian Merchandise Act of 1889 that awarded exclusive rights
to individuals and businesses to use their recognized brands and
enforce their rights against other traders has, through a series of
stages metamorphosed over the years into the currently active
Trademarks Act of 1999. Currently the other pieces of legislation
that govern IPR in the country are The Copyrights Act, 1957,
The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and the
Protection) Act, 1999 and The Designs Act, 2000.
Since most nations have their own IPR laws, the inventor
who wanted to protect his invention worldwide had to go through
the cumbersome procedure of applying for patents in every country
where protection was sought. This led to delays, greater expense
and piquant situations until, in 1978 eighteen nations got together
to sign the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) which has now been
adopted by over 108 nations the world over.
India became a signatory state to the Treaty on December 7,
1998. The PCT is extremely facilitatory in nature and today
inventors need to go through an initial rigorous examination process
of their inventions only in the Patent Office they first apply to (the
international phase of the application). Following this they go
through a less rigorous and more rapid screening process in each of
the countries they seek protection of their patents in (the national
phase of the application).
In 2005, according to statistics put out by the World
Intellectual Property Organization, among the developing countries,
Korea topped the list filing twice as many applications under the
PCT as its nearest competitor China. India made third place with
just a quarter of the number of applications that China made.
Also, of the applications made for patents in China in a year,
approximately, half are made by local inventors, whereas, in India
this figure would be less than 30 per cent. We can certainly do
better than this and hopefully in the years to come, this gap will be
comfortably bridged.
The Trips Agreement :
The International community around the early 1990 came to
Shakuntla Sangam
Voice of Intellectual Man 151
realize the importance of IPRs and their effective enforcement for
the growth and prosperity of any country. Fall out of this realization
was the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPs) Agreement which was signed at the Uruguay round of the
WTO in 1994 and which came into force on 1
January 1995. The
world view on the need for enforcement and protection of intellectual
property rights crystallized in the form of TRIPs Agreement. The
objective of the TRIPs Agreement as laid down in Article 7 of the
Agreement, states as under:
The protection and enforcement of IPR should contribute to
promotion of technological innovation and to transfer and
dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers
and uses of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to
social and economic welfare and to a balance of rights and
Enforcement Laws In India :
The general laws in relation to Intellectual Property Enforcement
in India are mainly the following:
Code of Civil Procedure
Indian Penal Code
The Civil and Criminal Rules of Practice
While Civil Procedure Code provides for the civil remedies
and enforcement through civil courts, the Indian Penal Code provides
for penal remedies. The rules of practice of the trail courts, High
Courts and the Supreme Court of India set the finalities of the
enforcement procedure.
India follows common law tradition and judicial precedents
do have binding force. Hence the decision of the Supreme Court
binds the Lower judiciary of the country.
The IP laws do provide for statutory enforcement
mechanisms. The most important of the Indian Intellectual Property
Laws are:-
The Patent Act, 1970, The Trade Mark Act, 1999, The
Copyright Act, 1957 and The Design Act,2000
The above legislations are supported by the relevant Rules
there under and these rules are:-
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The Patent Rules, 1972 as amended by Patents (Amendment)
Act of 1999. The Trade Mark Rules, 2001 The Copyright rules,
1958 and The Design rules, 2001.
The main post WTO Intellectual Property Legislations are:-
The Geographical Indication Act, 1999 The Semi Conductor
Integrated Circuit Lay Out-Design Act, 2000, The Plant variety
and Farmers protection Act, 2001.
The geographical indications rules provide for the
administrative mechanism for registration and enforcement of
geographical Indications. The Semi Conductor Integrated Circuits
Lay out Design Act, 2000 the under the Act were notified in the
official gazette on 11
of December 2001 to support the
administrative mechanism there under.
The Information Technology Act, 2000 also plays an
important role in relations to areas of inter phase between
information Technology and IPR.
Enforcement Mechcanism Available Under the Indian Law:
A suit for enforcing a patent has to be filed before a District
Court having jurisdiction to try the suit .The right to move to the
court of law to enforce a patent is vested with any person who
holds a valid claims on the subject matter of the patent. The relief
that a court may grant in a patent infringement suit, would be either
damages or account of profits. In deciding whether an act amounts
to infringement of a patent, courts generally take into account various
factors, which includes:
Claim :
Whether the act amounts to any of the recognized rights under
the scope of the patent or the alleged act of the infringement
constitutes an infringement of the monopoly recognized under the
patents. The Onus of the establishing the infringement is on the
plaintiff. Under certain circumstances the Onus of proving an
infringement of a process claim is shifted to the defendant. A suit
for the infringement of a patent can be instituted only after the
sealing of the patent. Damages caused in respect of infringement
Shakuntla Sangam
Voice of Intellectual Man 153
during the period between the date of advertisement of acceptance
and the date of the sealing may be cleared in the suit. In an action
for infringement of a patent a defendant may plead any of the
following defenses:
Denial of infringement, Plaintiff is not entitled sue for
infringement, License to use the invention express or implied,
Estoppels, Existence of an unlawful contract, Claims invalid on
account of lack of novelty and non- obviousness and Innocent
infringement in cases against a claim for damages or account of profit.
It is common and possible for the plaintiff to move an interim
application for temporary injunction. The court may on the basis of
prima facie evidence grant a temporary injunction restraining the
infringer from working the invention. The procedure concerning
infringement action must confine to the Civil Procedure Code, if
the suit is filed before a District Court and if the matter is before
the High Court the rule of practice of the court also shall apply.
The main reason for a possible delay in getting orders in a patent
infringement suit is the provision for preferring appeals from interim
order of trial courts. This makes the main suit to remain pending
without entering the trial stage and final order.
Trade Mark :
Whenever, a registered trademark is infringed, in order to
protect it, the following remedies can be restored to:-
Civil remedies; Criminal remedies; Administrative remedies
Civil remedies: Whenever a registered trademark is violated
or infringed, to the detriment of its proprietor or user, the aggrieved
person can make use of the remedies available in a civil court. The
most common remedy for infringement of a registered trademark is
to file a suit in a civil court, to restrain the defendant from using the
registered trade mark of the plaintiffs.
For the purpose of infringement of unregistered trademark,
the common law remedy of passing off action can be invoked. The
issues arising in a passing off action are as follows:-
Whether the plaintiff has established a goodwill or reputation
in connection with a business, profession, service or any other
activity, among the general public or among a particular class
of people prior to the first use of the defendant.
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 154
Whether the defendants activities or proposed activities
amount to a misrepresentation which is likely to injure the
business or goodwill of the plaintiff and cause damage or
likely to cause damage to his business or goodwill.
Whether the defendant succeeds in one or more of the defenses
set up by him.
In an infringement action, the plaint may seek any of the
following relief:
an injunction restraining further use of the infringing mark;
damages on the account of profit;
An order for delivery up of infringing labels and marks for
destruction or erasure.
The injunction that may be sought includes the:
Anton Piller Order;
and Mareva Injunction;
The court has power to freeze defendant s assets, where
there exists a probability of the assets being dissipated or cancelled
so as to make a judgment against him worthless and un-enforceable.
This remedy appears to be similar to the interlocutory order to attach
property before judgment under the Code of Civil Procedure;
1908.As regard to the temporary injunctions, the procedure is well
covered under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and also the
Specific Relief Act, 1963.
Interlocutory Injunction; and Perpetual Injunction.
Criminal Remedies :
The Trade Marks Act, 1999 provides for a comprehensive
scheme whereby those persons who deal with unauthorised trade
marks can be punished for various offences. The offences includes:-
Falsifying and falsely applying trademarks, Selling goods or
providing services to which false trademark or false trade description
is applied, Removing piece goods etc. contrary to Sec 81 which
deals with stamping of piece goods, cotton yarn and threads, Falsely
representing a trade mark as registered, Falsification of entries in
the register; and Abetment in India, of acts done outside India etc.
The punishment of these offences includes a minimum
imprisonment of 6 months and minimum of Rs.50,000 which may
Shakuntla Sangam
Voice of Intellectual Man 155
extent to a maximum of 3 years and Rs.20,000 respectively. Section
105 of the Act provides for enhance penalty on second or subsequent
Administrative Remedies :
The Act also vests certain powers in the various administrative
authorities to relief and remedies to the aggrieved persons. It is the
Registrar who mostly exercises these powers under the guidance of
the Central Government.
Copyright :
The Indian Copyright Act, the first Indian legislation of its
kind, was passed in 1914, and was mainly based on the U.K.
Copyright Act of 1911. With the development of recording,
broadcasting, television and other new technologies it became
essential to update the copyright laws. As a result, the Copyright
Act of 1957 (the Act) was introduced in the Parliament. This law
presently governs the copyright system in India. The Act has been
amended in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994 and 1999. The Copyright Office
in India falls under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Since India is a member to the Berne Convention and TRIPs,
the proprietor of the trademark from another member country will
get copyright protection in India. In order to get copyright protection
it is essential that there is a reproduction of substantial part of the
original copyright label. Infringement of copyright in respect of an
artistic work consists in doing or authorizing the doing of any of
the following acts without the consent or license of the copyright
To make an adaptation of the work; To include the work in
any cinematographic film; To reproduce the work in any material
form including the depiction in three dimensions of a two dimensional
work or in two dimensions of a three dimensional work; To
communicate the work to the public; To do in relation to an
adaptation of the work any of the acts specified in relation to the
work in sub clause (1) to (4); and To issue copies of the work to the
Civil Remedies :
Civil remedies for enforcement of the copyright including
injunction, damages, account of profits, delivery of infringing marks
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 156
and damages for conversion can be invoked by owner of copyright
or in certain cases, publisher of the trademark label.
Suit for injunction: Restraining the impeding infringement
or continuing infringement. The relief claimed may be in the form
of perpetual injunction i.e. permanently restraining the defendant
from infringing the copyright or may be in the form of mandatory
injunction, directing the defendant to withdraw, hand-over or destroy
the infringing works and articles.
Suit for damages: Damages can be claimed (1) as an
amount of loss sustained by the holder of copyright by reason of
infringement.(2) as an amount representing the profits made by the
infringer and (3) as an amount representing the value of infringing
The first two reliefs are alternative to one another i.e. one of
the two but not both can be claimed, the third however, is in addition
to one or the other of the first two.
Law presumes that all the infringing copies and plates are
the property of the copyright holder and hence they are liable to be
surrendered to the copyright holder
In case of account of profits, the infringer is required to hand
over his ill- gotten grains to the party whose rights he has infringed
and in the case of damages, he is required to compensate the party
wronged for the losses that the party suffered.
Criminal Remedies :
The owner of the copyright and also any person can initiate
criminal proceedings, by filing a complaint before the competent
First Class Magistrate within whose jurisdiction, the plaintiff resides
or the infringement takes place or deemed to have taken place. The
procedure prescribed under Criminal Procedure Code applies to
the proceedings before the criminal court. Court has the power to
direct seizure of the infringing works as well as all other tools,
accessories and containers etc., which are for the purpose of the
Act treated as the property of the copyright holder and can, direct
them to be handed over to him. On conviction, the Criminal Court
can sentence the accused to an imprisonment up to 3 years and a
fine extending up to Rs.2 lakhes. Recent amendment have made the
Shakuntla Sangam
Voice of Intellectual Man 157
imposition of punishment to a minimum term of 6 months and a
fine of Rs.50,000 mandatory unless for special reasons to be
recorded if the magistrate awards lesser punishment than the
Administrative Remedies :
An application can be made by the owner of the copyright in
any work or by his duly authorized agent, to the Registrar of
Copyright to ban the import of infringing copies of trade mark label
which were earlier confiscated from infringer to the owner of the
Design :
The rights conferred by registration on the creator of lay out
designs are the exclusive right to use a lay out design by him and
obtained relief in respect of infringement of his right by any other
The infringement consists of any act of reproducing whether
by incorporation in a semi-conductor the registered integrated circuit
or otherwise the registered integrated circuit or otherwise the
registered lay-out design in its entirely or any part thereof in a
International Organizations & Treaties :
A UN agency, namely, World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva administers treaties in the
field of intellectual property. India is a member of WIPO.
Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion is the nodal
Department in the Government of India for all matters concerning
WIPO. India is also member of 2 major treaties, namely, Paris
Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (relating to
patents, trademarks, designs, etc.) of 1883 and the Berne Convention
for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (relating to
copyright) of 1886. Apart from these, India is also a member of
the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) which facilitates obtaining of
patents in several countries by filing a single application. India is
also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO
agreement, inter-alia, contains an agreement on IP, namely, the
Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
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Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 158
(TRIPS). This Agreement made protection of intellectual property
an enforceable obligation of the Member States. TRIPS Agreement
sets out minimum standards of intellectual property protection for
Member States and India has complied with the obligations contained
in the TRIPS Agreement and amended/enacted IP laws.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
DIPP is concerned with legislations relating to Patents, Trade
Marks, Designs and Geographical Indications. These are
administered through the Office of the Controller General of Patents,
Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), subordinate office, with
headquarters at Mumbai, as under:
a) The Patents Act, 1970 (amended in 1999, 2002 and 2005)
through the Patent Offices at Kolkata (HQ), Mumbai,
Chennai and Delhi.
b) The Designs Act, 2000 through the Patent Offices at Kolkata
(HQ), Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.
c) The Trade Marks Act, 1999 through the Trade Marks Registry
at Mumbai (HQ) Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmadabad.
d) The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration &
Protection) Act, 1999 through the Geographical Indications
Registry at Chennai.
The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks
(CGPDTM) is also in-charge of the Office of the Patent Information
System, Nagpur and the Intellectual Property Training Institute,
Nagpur. The office has 446 personnel in the patents and designs
Offices and 291 personnel in trademarks and geographical indication
Offices. Necessary safeguards have been built into the IP laws, in
particular in the Patents law, for protection of public interest
including public health.
Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB)
An Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has been
set up at Chennai to hear appeals against the decisions of Registrar
of Trademarks, Geographical Indications and the Controller of
Shakuntla Sangam
Voice of Intellectual Man 159
Other IP Legislations
Copyright is protected through Copyright Act, 1957, as
amended in 1999 - administered by the Department of Higher
Education. Layout of transistors and other circuitry elements is
protected through the Semi-conductor Integrated Circuits Layout-
Design Act, 2000 - administered by the Department of Information
Technology. New varieties of plants are protected through the
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001 -
administered by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.
Article 39 of the TRIPs Agreement mandates protection of test data
submitted to regulatory authorities for obtaining marketing
approvals against unfair commercial use.
Modernisation of IP administration
To complement the legislative initiatives, modernization of
IP infrastructure has also been undertaken and new integrated offices
have been established in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. A
programme costing Rs.153 crore has been implemented in the 10
Five Year Plan. The programme focused on: Infrastructure
development; computerization; human resource development;
training and awareness. E-filing facility for patent and trademark
applications has been introduced on 20.7.2007.
International Cooperation
Bilateral cooperation agreements (MoUs) have been entered
into with UK, France, USA, European Patent Office and Japan.
These focus on human resources development, capacity building
and awareness and outreach activities. Multilateral Cooperation:
India has an active cooperation programme in intellectual property
matters with WIPO. These, inter alia, include organization of joint
seminars and workshops and study programmes besides technical
assistance by WIPO experts.
Enforcement of Intelectual Rights :
Civil and criminal provisions exist in various laws for dealing
with counterfeiting and piracy. The Department of IPP has set up
an Inter-ministerial Committee to coordinate IP enforcement issues.
Impact of Modernization :
Establishment of NIIPM
The Government has approved a proposal for establishment
Legal Framework on Intellectual Property Rights: A Comparative.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 160
of a National Institute for Intellectual Property Management
(NIIPM) at Nagpur. The Institute will perform training, education,
research and think tank functions.
Modernization of IP Offices
Further modernisation of IP Offices to provide additional
human resources, higher level of computerisation to support on-
line processing, strengthening of data-base and novelty search
facilities, awareness generation activities, accession to international
treaties/conventions is being taken up in 11
Five Year Plan.
Madrid Protocol on Trademarks
Madrid Protocol, administered by WIPO, is a simple,
facilitative and cost effective system for registration of International
Trademarks. Indias membership of Madrid Protocol will help
Indian companies to register their trade marks in the member
countries of the Protocol through a single application. An exercise
to amend the Trade Marks Act is underway to enable joining the
Madrid Protocol.
A proposal is under consideration to seek recognition for the
Indian Patent Office as an International Searching Authority (ISA)
and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under
the Patent Co-operation Treaty. ISA and IPEAs provide search
reports on novelty and examination reports on patentability of
Conclusion :
As a laws concerning intellectual property are already in
place, the need of the hour is a specialized and tactful judiciary,
which can deal with intellectual property rights issues with aptness
keeping the national interest in mind and ensure effectiveness of
enforcement system. Rights holder should be encouraged to
participate in enforcement actions. The quantum of damages
awarded by the court should be such that they not only compensate
the right holder for the losses suffered, but should also act as a
deterrent for infringers form engaging in illegal activities. Infringers
can also be directed to take corrective advertising to indemnify the
loss caused to the good will of the right holder.
Shakuntla Sangam
Voice of Intellectual Man 161
References :
Ahuja VK, Intellectual Property Rights in India, Volume 1, LexisNexis
Butterworths Wadhwa.
Cornish Williams, 2006 Cases and Materials on Intellectual Property, 5th
edition, published by London Sweet & Maxwell 2006.
Dennis S. Karjala. 2003. Distinguishing the Subject Matter between Patent
and Copyright. Institute of IPR studies,Working Paper.
Economic Effects of Intellectual Property-Intensive Manufacturing in the United
States, Robert Shapiro and Nam Pham, July 2007
Elizabeth Armstrong. 1990. before copyright: The French Boo-Privilege System,
Cambridge University Press.
Eric Setliff. 2006. Copyright and Industrial Design an Alternative Design.
London: Pall Mall Press. (Chapter 9).
Intellectual Property Licensing: Forms and Analysis, by Richard Raysman,
Edward A. Pisacreta and Kenneth A. Adler. Law Journal Press, 1999-
Narayana P.S., Intellectual Property Law in India, 2007, published by Gogia
law Agency.
Prankrishna Pal. 2008. Intellectual Property Rights In India : General Issues
And Implications; Regal Publications.
Rozanski, Felix. Developing Countries and Pharmaceutical Intellectual
Property Rights: Myths and Reality
Stephen Stewart. 1999. Two Hundred Years of English Copyright Law, Two
Hundred Years of English and American
Susan K. Sell. 2003. Private Power, Public Law: The Globalization of Intellectual
Property Rights, west publishing.
Torremans, Paul L.C., Intellectual Property and Human Rights- enhanced
edition of copyright and human rights, published by Wolters Kluwer
Law and Business.
The Hindu : Magazine / Focus : Intellectual property? Right!
Legal Framework on Intellectual Property Rights: A Comparative.....
Vol.3,No.2, July-Dec,2013 162
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