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Coping with Climate Change

Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns have introduced numerous problems across India, particularly among the poor and those heavily dependent on agriculture and forest for livelihood. This article examines the perception of the Maltos, a tribal community living in Sahibganj district, Jharkhand, about climate change, its impacts, and the coping mechanisms it has adopted.

Money and ‘Demonetisation’

Like in the rest of contemporary capitalism, the Indian monetary system is based on state-backed credit money. Yet this hierarchical system of credit/social relations appears to us as a system of fiat money. This fetish of fiat money, analogous to Marx’s commodity fetish, is produced in the operation of credit system. The institutional and political arrangements of the Indian state amplify this inherent fetish. This conjuncture of elements produces a particularly robust fetish of fiat money in India, giving the Indian state more degrees of freedom over money than other states enjoy, a margin that the current government is now exploiting.

The Challenge of Doing Sociology Today

Sociologists study how new societies evolve from the deadwood of the old, while anthropologists study a "static" culture that could not transcend its internal structures to become modern. Contending that this binary and its methodologies became the leitmotif of the organisation of anthropology/sociology in all former colonies, including India, this article points out efforts being undertaken since the 1970s to displace the social sciences from its colonial episteme, such as those provided by feminist perspectives.

Ramananda Reviewed

A tribute to Ramananda Chatterjee (1865-1943), the "Father of Indian Journalism," whose bold yet plain-speaking editorials were also lessons in how to evade censorship and prosecution while cleverly commenting on controversial realities. The who's who of the intelligentsia wrote for him at the same time as he sought to create Modern Review's identity by welcoming divergent perspectives within every issue. He aimed for clarity and accessibility of style, resisting both the flowery language fashionable among Bengali upper class English language writers and readers and the pressure to take sides in competing forms of aesthetic and cultural propaganda. In today's climate of intolerance, Chatterjee's Modern Review remains a valuable model.

Social Change in India

With Ramkrishna Mukherjee's study of social change in India, a scholar of his standing deserves to be read seriously, not ignored or praised without an engagement with his writings. An exposition of his formulations is followed by their critical examination, including his concept of "soft spots."

Majoritarian Rationale and Common Goals

Looking at existing policy instruments and goals, and the economic and social outcomes they promise to deliver, it is argued that majoritarian politics and social and cultural outcomes are not part of fringe thinking. The politics of hate actually works to build a consensus for ruling class economics. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only "nationalist outlook" of our times is to stand firmly behind the policy programme for the global investor.

Revisiting India's Growth and Development

I G Patel's lifelong concern was to think about framing and implementing policies to lift India from the morass of low per capita income and low levels of social indicators to that of a country which was economically strong and one which would be able to hold its own in the comity of nations. This called for growth at a rapid pace, but, as he always emphasised, in a manner which would necessarily pay adequate attention to the welfare of the poorest sections. It was this which was his abiding concern.

Education for the Species

Respectable scientific opinion holds that the human species is on the verge of untimely extinction. According to Noam Chomsky, the so-called "least advanced" people are the ones taking the lead in trying to protect all of us from extinction. Informed by their ancient knowledge systems, indigenous populations across the world are resisting the plunder of the planet. However, indigenous knowledge systems are in radical conflict not only with global capitalism but with modern education itself, thus raising the issue of radical choice. The issue goes much beyond the classical domain of the pedagogy of the oppressed.

GSPC: A Controversial Case Study

While the Bharatiya Janata Party claims the Congress has been trying to deflect allegations of corruption against it by highlighting controversies relating to Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, the many allegations levelled against the management of this state government company are serious. The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation should think hard before deciding to partner GSPC.

A Hard Look at National Security

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government have sought to convey the message that they have strengthened national security by taking a realist strategic position and introducing a policy of defence production indigenisation through the "Make in India" initiative. This article takes a close look at these claims and finds that behind the bluster lies strategic confusion and ill-thought-out decisions.

Ambivalence of Citizenship in Assam

The process of identifying "citizens" through the preparation of the National Register of Citizens for Assam, coupled with changes in the Citizenship Act, 1955 that apply specifically to Assam and allow for a "hyphenated" citizenship-- "Indian" and "Assamese"--continues to be troubled issues that have not abated since the 1980s.

How Egalitarian Is Indian Sociology?

Even after completing a hundred years Indian sociology is practised in the milieu of domination. British, European and American domination has been well documented while the domination of the so-called twice-born castes has not been analysed. This article highlights the domination of the twice-born castes at four levels--as members practising sociology in universities, institutions and colleges, in the sphere of production of knowledge while writing chapters of books, producing knowledge with the help of scriptural sources, or producing data from the field and while teaching sociology in the classrooms.

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