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From 13 Years Ago —​ A Tribute to Former EPW Editor Krishna Raj

As editor for 35 years (1969-2004), Krishna Raj gave EPW the reputation it now enjoys. On his 13th death anniversary, we reproduce the tribute published in EPW on 24 January 2004, a week after Krishna Raj's sudden death. 

A Letter to India: In Manto's Spirit

 

On the lines of Sadat Hasan Manto's facetious letters to Uncle Sam written at the height of the cold war when Pakistan was being wooed by the US as an ally to fight communism, this letter was written in 2002 to the then Prime Minister Vajpayee by historian Ayesha Jalal. Written as a spirited assessment of the standoff between India and Pakistan, the letter is peppered with rare insights that have always been Manto's hallmark.

A 2002 article about cancelling the Indus Waters Treaty reads like it was written today

 

 

 

In 2002, after disputes regarding the Tulbul Navigation Project and familiar media hype about whether the Indus water treaty should be cancelled, the late Ramaswamy R Iyer decided that it might “be useful to put the [his] position down in writing”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even in 2002, Iyer writes in the past tense, assuming that the idea of cancelling the treaty for punishing Pakistan is past the scope of real discussion and would not benefit India on moral, legal or more importantly, practical grounds. 

 

 

Since, similar arguments that Iyer dismissed 14 years ago have been now invoked to call for immediate action and revenge against Pakistan,

 

 

 

 

it is useful to look at Iyer’s argumentation about what a treaty means, whether it is right to abrogate a water treaty as a measure of punishment,

 

 

 

and his assertion that even if we cancel the treaty in the zeal of pronouncing a punishment to Pakistan, the hardship inflicted on Pakistan will be limited and temporary, while the retention of the waters will create trouble for India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPW's First Editorial— "Miles to Go"

This editorial appeared in EPW's first issue in August 20, 1966. Today marks 50 years of its publication.

Grim Portent in Assam

This article, published in the 12 April 1980 issue of the Economic and Political Weekly, reports the invoking of the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act in the midst of the Assam agitation. As it stands today--the AFSPA is still enforced in the North East (in Assam, along the Assam-Meghalaya border) and the state is slated to go for polls on 4 April 2016.

Peripheralism

This article, published in 1965, recounts the importance the Gulzarilal Nanda government gave to peripheral priorities like renaming roads whereas slum development or electricity breakdowns received no attention. This isn't restricted to any particular government though--it speaks even to the dispensation of the day.

Scheduled Caste and Tribe Students in Higher Education

The IITs, known for their excellence in teaching and research, have come under criticism for their casteist outlook, manifested recently in IIT Madras derecognising the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle. This article explains the findings of a 1982-1984 study that aimed to understand how SC and ST students in IIT Bombay adjusted to the academic and social environments. 

The Harm Done by Patents

This article, published as a series on "Drug Prices and Patents" in the 3 April 1965 issue of The Economic Weekly, points out the reasons the stifling patrent regime encouraged by developed countries and the detrimental effects it has on the development of a low-cost, indigenous drug industry in India. 

Drug Prices

This article, published as a series on "Drug Prices and Patents" in the 3 April 1965 issue of The Economic Weekly, presents the industry point of view on drug prices and patents. We present this article in the light of events that show that there is little understanding in the government on pricing of essential drugs in India. This article also contains a small excerpt from the Kefauver Committee Report on "Advanced Prices in the Drug Industry". 

Demand for Total Ban on Cow Slaughter in Kerala and West Bengal

The last few weeks have witnessed a ban on the slaughter and possession of bulls, bullocks and calves, in addition to cows, in Maharashtra and then in Haryana. The BJP, in power in both these states as well as the centre, has argued that they have agreed to a long-standing demand from various sections of society. In this article published in EPW in 1979, economist K N Raj analyses the demand of Vinoba Bhave for banning cow slaughter in West Bengal and Kerala—a debate that is continuing even today.

Indian Response to Christianity, Church and Colonialism

Meera Kosambi (1939-2015) was a sociologist who wrote on various subjects ranging from feminist history to urban ecology. We re-publish a Special Article written by her, on her definitive and well-recognised study of the 19th century Indian reformer Pandita Ramabai.

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