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Kumkum Sangari

Settled Alibis and Emerging Contradictions

Sex Selection, Dowry and Domestic Violence

While marriage remains the most decisive point of control for class(ed) reproduction, the post-conception/ prenatal moment is now emerging as the second decisive point for the control of class(ed) reproduction. Those who sell diagnostic and clinical services make an immediate profit, while the users buy only imagined futures. Within the logic of marital/natal "propertarianism", the eradication of one form of "property" - the female foetus - is believed to save other forms. This marks a patriarchal reorganisation of reproduction. This essay discusses the interlocking relation of sex selection and dowry predicated on a peculiar "propertarianism" and the logic of domestic violence. Sex selection is, in part, rationalised through cost and benefit that takes the shape of common sense, but is suffused with contradictions. It produces not national agents, but future imaginaries, paradoxes and contradictions that may not culminate in desired resolutions.

Remembering Sudesh Vaid

Her death last year, from cancer, at the age of 61, was a deep political loss that left a personal void and even ended a life-world for many people. Each of us has our private and collective memories of Sudesh, and sorting through the years of friendship, political sharing, the large memories and the small memories, is not an exercise that can be easily undertaken or ever completed.