ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Paradigm Shifts by the RSS? Lessons from Aseemanand's Confession

In the long run, the ongoing developments on the involvement of Hindu fundamentalists in terrorist acts are disastrous not only for India but possibly for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as well. India, whose democratic image is still a key element of its soft power, will have to restore the credibility of its rule of law and of its agencies which were initially quick to identify the wrong men as guilty because of deep-rooted prejudice and the growing ideology of majoritarianism.

Managing Transformational Change: Principles from a Systems Perspective

In the context of development and its impact on the environment, we need to understand "change", the kinds of change that systems can absorb, the "good" change and distinguish it from the "abrupt" change which systems cannot cope with. We also need to understand how to increase and sustain the capability of people, economies and nature to deal with change. And for this, science, policy and practice need to fashion modes of working together. They are themselves three components of a structure that can help us to move forward in a sustainable and dynamic manner. The argument here is that a systems approach using some notions from resilience theory will provide pointers towards how this can happen.

Interrogating Management Studies: Legacies and Preoccupations

Institutes of management in India need to produce grounded and contextualised research and pedagogy that enable both scholars and students to arrive at a more nuanced, variegated and non-elitist understanding of business practices in the Indian context. This article comments on certain absences and epistemological blocks in management studies in India. This issue is particularly crucial now, given the speed and hardnosed motivation with which management schools are proliferating.

Growth and Crisis in Pakistan's Economy

This essay looks at the political economy of Pakistan during the last two decades. Why has Pakistan faced recurrent balance of payments difficulties? Are the structure of production and exports the culprits? The essay first seeks to throw light on the current crisis facing Pakistan, and then goes on to examine the crisis of 1998 and the stabilisation strategy pursued. This is followed by a look at the long-term evolution of Pakistan's economic policies from the days of Z A Bhutto, touching upon the structural weaknesses that have plagued the economy.

Troubled Waters: Can a Bridge Be Built over the Indus?

Whereas once the Indus Waters Treaty could correctly be described as a beacon of light in an otherwise gloomy relationship between India and Pakistan, this is no longer so. The odds now are that the crumbling IWT will be a cause for further tension and conflict between India and Pakistan. It is also true that with far-sighted political leadership, especially in India but also in Pakistan, a bridge could be built over these troubled waters and the Indus could, again, become a catalyst for cooperation.

Kashmir: Three Metaphors for the Present

The struggle in Kashmir is a people's movement. This gives it legitimacy. All the attempts by the State to portray it as a planned, funded and organised monstrosity, when the State itself fits that description; and the inverse attempts to prove the State to be individual, emotional and human, when the Kashmiris are all those things, are just a perverse endeavour to usurp the legitimacy which belongs to the Kashmiri people.

End of a Phase: Time for Reinventing the Left

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the CPI(Maoist) have, in their respective journeys, reached a blind alley. The impasse is not peculiar to the Indian situation. It reflects the worldwide crisis of Marxism, and is rooted to the historical experience of the international communist movement, in general, over the last century or so. It will take a long time to restore the bruised moral values which are based on respect and struggle for the freedom of the individual - values that are inherent in Marxist humanism.

The Political Economy of Hunger in 21st Century India

It is apparent that despite the persisting food insecurity of the bulk of the population and the near-emergency with respect to the nutrition of children, women and other vulnerable groups, the Government of India is still not taking the job of ensuring universal food security with sufficient seriousness. Its attitude towards meeting its 2009 election promise of legislating a comprehensive Food Security Act is an example of this lack of seriousness. Political and social mobilisation around this issue, to make it a resonant demand that cannot be ignored, is therefore essential.

Inequities in Health, Agrarian Distress and a Policy of Avoidance

The absence of first level healthcare facilities and the high cost of treating even routine illnesses are the immediate problems in the existing healthcare system as also the fact that high costs do not necessarily imply reliability of treatment. No insurance scheme or altruistic healthcare providers can address these problems. The solution lies in strengthening the public healthcare system.

Social Science Research in Vernacular Languages

In social science research, when the society studied uses a language which is dissimilar to the language used by the researcher, language as well as context become determinative. Elitist tendencies within research establishments have led to a lack of good quality journals and publications in vernacular languages. This essay builds an argument for social science research in the vernacular languages. It examines the theoretical discourse on "meaning making", which lies at the foundation of the argument.

Sri Lanka Becomes a Dictatorship

The rushed passing of the 18th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution by parliament - allowing for greater powers and removal of term limits for the executive presidency - has precipitated the descent of Sri Lanka into a dictatorship. Both the ruling and the main opposition parties - not to mention the lax supreme court - are responsible for the current state of affairs. Seeds of hope, however, exist in the democratic consciousness of the Lankan people and in the fact that politicians from the left and the minority Tamil community have raised their voice against the amendment.

Gandhi's Satyagraha in South Africa and the Tamils

Gandhi's newspaper, the Indian Opinion, was launched in South Africa in three languages - Gujarati, Tamil and English - in 1903 on the eve of the satyagraha struggle. Tamils constituted the largest percentage of the Indian diaspora among the indentured labour as well as the "Passenger Indians" who came in search of better opportunities. This essay situates the Tamils in South Africa and their response to Gandhi's call for satyagraha by examining the available issues of the Tamil edition between 1903 and 1914.

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