Form and Substance in Indian Politics

From April to June 1961, a series of six articles by Rajni Kothari were published in The Economic Weekly. These articles titled "Form and Substance in Indian Politics" covered panchayat Raj, instititions of parliamentary government, party system and prospects of democracy - all affecting the political life of the 17-year old democracy. These articles established his path breaking and innovative approach to studying Indian politics. EPW presents these essays collectively to commemorate the legacy of Rajni Kothari. 

Forty Years After

The Great Indian Railway Strike of 1974

Even as one of the most distinctive aspects of the Great Railway Strike of 1974 was the autonomy of the rank and file, the significance of the struggle had much to do with the nature of the times. The country was in the midst of a general political crisis; even sections of the peasantry were in revolt. Despite these favourable circumstances, and the expression of solidarity from the industrial working class, the National Coordination Committee for Railwaymen's Struggle was not resolute and decisive enough, as much as the situation demanded, and in this respect it failed the rank and file. In the absence of a political vanguard, the uprising was left without a determined subject.

Editorials

Kashmir's Pandits have been abandoned by a callous state and society, and cynical supporters.

Editorials

Why does the world ignore the killings in Nigeria by Boko Haram?

Editorials

The draft National Health Policy 2015 needs to pay more attention to the basics of healthcare.

Commentary

The transition from the Planning Commission to the Niti Aayog reflects the completion of the transition from a state professing anti-imperialism to a neo-liberal state.Niti Aayog will oversee a greater centralisation of powers in the central...

Commentary

The architecture, engineering and management aspects of the new institution, NITI Aayog, will have to be crafted carefully, if it is to serve as an institution to impart dynamism to the developmental process in a harmonious manner. Its...

Commentary

The vicious campaign by local Hindu and caste groups in Tamil Nadu against the prolific Tamil writer Perumal Murugan's book Mathorupagan is rooted in the perverse politics of caste honour. Also, this strategy of bullying him into silence...

Commentary

The order by the Central Bureau of Investigation providing a clean chit to former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah has wiped out the entire slate of the Supreme Court's intervention in various encounter death cases. The discharge of the "...

Commentary

Pope Francis has been an outspoken critic of a social and economic system based on massive inequality and surprised many by his famous statement on gays, "who am I to judge?" From brokering a thaw in the relationship between the United...

Commentary

A US court ruling has warped the otherwise precise meanings of three key words - "republic", "sovereign", and "default" - leading to absurdities like a New York district court holding the Republic of Argentina in...

Book Reviews

Panchayati Raj by Kuldeep Mathur (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), Oxford India Short Introductions, 2013; pp 224, Rs 195.

Book Reviews

The Durable Slum: Dharavi and the Right to Stay Put in Globalizing Mumbai by Liza Weinstein (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; published in India by Orient BlackSwan), pp 216, Rs 695.

Perspectives

There have been several missing links in the recent debate on the future of the Planning and Finance Commissions. First, it is not clear whether the debate was more about the future of planning or about the future of the Planning Commission. How...

Special Articles

Recent historical research on the emergence of the classical gold standard tends to omit India's failed attempt at moving to a gold currency in the 1860s. Though this was extensively deliberated upon in contemporary studies and in the works of...

Special Articles

This paper, based on an empirical study in Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, attempts to examine the land and livelihood facets of forest dependent people following the claims made by them under the Forest Rights Act. It also touches upon factors...

Special Articles

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was first created by promulgating an ordinance; it was also restructured using the ordinance route. Reluctance of the executive branch to establish a truly independent regulator is palpable in the statute...

Postscript

Recent incidents around the world remind us that we will not be able to limit violence till we internalise the norm of individual civil rights and accept the sanctity of the human body.

Postscript

In interactions between adults and children there is a thin line between genuine affection and lascivious intent.

Postscript

The global growth in internet-based labour activism augurs well for a new social and political paradigm built around the digital space for negotiation and bargaining.

Postscript

Abdus Salam, the founder-director of the Third World Academy of Sciences at Trieste, was the first Indian Muslim Nobel Laureate.