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The Many Misogynies of Malayalam Cinema

In the context of the recent sexual molestation of an actor in a public space in Kerala, this article analyses Malayalam cinema’s language of neo-liberal governmentality that seeks to police gendered subjectivities and regiment them within its diegetic and social terrains. It looks at the new kinds of networks forged between culture industries, the ideological state apparatus, a transformed civil society, corporate agendas, and individual actors in evolving newer forms of surveillance and punishment of bodies marginalised by gender and sexuality. The aporia of Kerala’s modernity that results in certain retrograde tendencies is most evident in its cinematic discourses, especially those built around its current investment in male superstardom.

Migration, Gender and Right to the City

Since the 1970s, urbanisation across the globe has been shaped by corporate capital under the neo-liberal policies of the state. Cities are treated as consumer products with massive private investment in real estate, corporate and public infrastructure, entertainment facilities, and security, to promote corporate urban development. The urban poor, slum dwellers, and migrants are dispossessed as a result of urban restructuring and gentrification. This article evaluates women’s migration to urban areas, identifies exclusionary processes against migrants in cities, and suggests strategies for implementing the “right to the city” perspective.

Treatment Gap in Mental Healthcare

There is a wide treatment gap in Indian mental healthcare. This article discusses the treatment gap and the contributing factors, and suggests ways to reduce it. The political (policy perspective), social (stigma, discrimination, and gender), cultural (beliefs, explanations, and help-seeking behaviours), and economic (direct and indirect costs of treatment) factors addressed have long impeded mental healthcare. A policy and research review reflects that mental illness in India contributes significantly to the global occurrence of mental illness. The treatment gap causes substantial losses to individuals, families, society, and the nation. Innovation and capacity building are necessary to develop and implement locally relevant, feasible, and effective community-based mental healthcare models.

Conning Humanity in the Name of Disarmament

One of the biggest failures of the United Nations since its founding has been its inability to halt the nuclear arms race and take any significant step towards elimination of nuclear weapons. On the contrary, the UN—wittingly or unwittingly—became a victim of a series of con games played by the nuclear weapon states. On the face of it, the latest attempt of the UN to adopt a so-called Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons appears to be no different. India’s decision to stay away from the proceedings is shocking since it has historically supported the cause of disarmament.

Past, Present, and Oral History

Oral history is an aid to movements for social justice across the world. It is particularly significant in countries like India where literacy levels are low and where memories of the oppressed are routinely erased from public memory. This article questions the presumed superiority of the written over the oral. It presents a critique of “establishment” historiography and suggests that historians should adopt a receptive and balanced approach to different forms of history. Oral history reorients the historian’s craft in interesting ways. The oral history method is crucial for capturing histories that flourish outside the dominant narratives of modern societies.

Prabhat Studios

The history of early Marathi cinema has a necessary passage through the studio era, and specifically Prabhat Studios, in Kolhapur and Pune. This article elaborates two aspects: (i) early regional film-making—its strategies of imagining a cinema through regional content, and (ii) the notion of social respectability—that circumscribes the industrial enterprise, as evident in the history of Prabhat Studios. It also deliberates on the negotiation of a national and regional cinema as observed in the practice of bilingual film-making in Prabhat.

India’s Liberalisation and Newspapers

The introduction of liberal reforms has been a slow process of debate and negotiation beginning from the early 1980s. The economic benefits of liberalisation were experienced after 2003 and yet, 1991 is popularly perceived as the year of liberalisation. This article charts the changing public discourse around reforms in national English-language newspapers and argues that they played a key role in popularising liberalisation for the elites.

Nursing Education in India

This article explores the history of nursing education in India, and the state, community and market factors contributing to its recent growth. The quality of training offered in these mushrooming institutions, however, tends to be poor. Regularisation and standardisation remain the greatest challenges for Indian nursing. Graduating nurses face job shortages and poor working conditions, especially in the private sector. Understanding the nursing education sector is important in the aftermath of the central government’s mandate to increase the wages of nurses in private hospitals.

Affirming the Syrian Revolution

Amidst the chaotic violence and the geopolitical stratagems emanating from Western powers as well as from regional forces, one should not forget that the Syrian crisis escalated from the emergence of a genuine social movement. What was once a call for revolution has translated into a grass roots, democratic and participatory governance system—operating in “liberated zones” across the country. Despite the current turmoil prevailing over their land, the Syrians are a resilient people and their efforts should serve as an inspiration to us all.

Sixty Years of European Integration

The European Union has faced crisis after crisis in recent years. First it was the sovereign debt crisis, followed by bankruptcy and bailout measures of various sovereign states. Now the continent is reeling under an immigration and refugee crisis. The impending Brexit process and the recent rise of far-right nationalist parties are certainly reflective of theEU’s fundamental constitutional weakness and democratic deficit.

Does the Congress Have a Future?

Political parties with a rich and storied history do not perish easily. A political revival of the Congress is diffi cult but not impossible. It needs to go back to the basics and identify a core strategy to reverse the current tide towards the right. It has to rework its strategies and win back its core voters. Basically, it needs support among a cross-section of the voters to counter the formidable Hindu social coalition engineered by the power-obsessed Modi–Amit Shah duo which has underpinned the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh–Bharatiya Janata Party’s quest for a “Congress-mukt Bharat.”

How Hegemonic Parties Decline

This article examines the electoral disintegration of the Left Front, which governed West Bengal for a record three and a half decades. Contrary to previous research on the fate of erstwhile hegemonic parties, which has emphasised the importance of pragmatism in reviving defeated hegemonic parties, it is argued that the case of West Bengal illustrates a different dynamic. Specifically, it was too much pragmatism, not less, that led to the LF’s rapid demise. The coalition’s inability to pursue a programmatic strategy of industrialisation to tackle West Bengal’s agrarian crisis resulted in massive preference falsification among voters, and subsequently, a swift electoral decline.

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