ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Interrogating Some Interpretations

To interpret the results of the West Bengal assembly elections in terms of a verdict of the contest between development and democracy or as an endorsement of Mamata Banerjee's authoritarian style of governance is wrong. But to announce that the restoration of democracy and integrity in public service are issues of the upper classes and non-issues for the subalterns is not only wrong, it is retrogressive.

Caste in West Bengal Politics

It is difficult to agree with Praskanva Sinharay’s argument (“West Bengal’s Election Story: The Caste Question”,EPW, 26 April 2014) that “caste” is emerging as a “determinant” factor in West Bengal’s political scene. The association of some “Matua” leaders with dominant parties like the Trinamool...

No 'Precedence' in Bengal Elections

A part of the article (“West BengalPanchayat Elections: What Does It Mean for the Left?” by Dwaipayan Bhattacharyya and Kumar Rana,, 14 September 2013) comes dangerously close to the writings on Bengal which tend to look at the anti-democratic practices of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) as the...

What Made the 'Unwilling Farmers' Unwilling?

An examination of the landholdings of those farmers who were unwilling to sell their holdings to facilitate the Tata car factory in Singur suggests that only a very small number among them had substantial holdings and livelihoods tied to them. What then was the real reason for the protests in Singur led by many "unwilling farmers"?

Decentralisation: A Constitutional Mandate or Rhetoric?

The implementation of decentralisation reform as embodied in the 73rd and 74th amendments of the Constitution has suffered from complete negligence. The two recent articles by Oommen and Sivaramakrishnan have highlighted the inexplicable attitudes of the fi nance commissions and the judiciary towards decentralisation.

Who Supported the Left in West Bengal?

The article on West Bengal by Jyotiprasad Chatterjee and Suprio Basu in the National Election Study (NES) 2009, published in your journal does not throw much light on what caused the debacle of the Left in the 2009 elections. It is claimed that historically the “agricultural workers, the poor...

The Subaltern and Politics at the Grassroots

Dayabati Roy's ethnographic study establishes an autonomous domain for subalterns in a village in West Bengal. But when seen in perspective, elite constructions of politics still predominate subaltern responses.

Reassessing Transaction Costs of Trade at the India-Bangladesh Border

In recent years, south Asia has received growing attention as a region that has successfully begun the process of regional integration. The opening of free trade in the region has led to countries in south Asia experiencing high trade costs due to inadequacy in trade and transport facilitation. South Asia's trade is constrained by poor infrastructure condition, congestion, high costs, and lengthy delays. These problems are particularly severe at border crossings, many of which pose significant barriers to trade. This paper supplements the findings of previous studies on this subject and reassesses the transaction costs for India's overland exports to Bangladesh. It finds that transaction costs of India's exports to Bangladesh have increased despite simplification of documentations at border. The paper concludes that the rent-seeking informal economy is very much deep-rooted and making the trade transaction expensive at border.


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