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Unfriendly Bodies, Hostile Cities

Following sexual assaults on women in public spaces in cities, discussions tend to frame the issue in terms of women’s safety in the streets rather than their right to access public space. The overarching narrative appears to be that cities are violent spaces that women are better off not accessing at all. This paper attempts to make a case for women and others accessing a city which is perceived as hostile, and to do so without being censured. It argues that loitering offers the possibility of rewriting the city as a more inclusive, diverse and pleasurable one.

Justice Not Vengeance

Recent judgments of the Bihar High Court have acquitted the perpetrators of organised massacres of dalits and other oppressed groups. What is public knowledge could not be proved in the court of law. It is now over a year since the high court judgment in the Bathani Tola case of 1996 was challenged in the Supreme Court. The hearings are yet to begin. A closer look at this massacre, and the everyday criminal activities that preceded it, shows how absence of timely intervention enhances predisposition to crime and paves the way to repeated massacres. As this case illustrates, the tardy and often biased functioning of the Indian judicial system undermines its basic purpose. Where justice fails, vengeance prevails.

Imagined and Social Landscapes

Aspirations and the desire for upward mobility compel migrants to view Europe through an imagined perspective of hope and anticipation. Lived experience, on the other hand, foregrounds the experience of racism, exclusion and difference. This paper seeks to understand the typical immigrant's desire to migrate out of India and the experience of migration in a region of northern Italy. It attempts to do so by understanding the aspirations of potential immigrants in terms of what Europe signifies and the lived experience of immigrants of Indian origin in northern Italy. The analysis is based on interviews with potential migrants in New Delhi and in the region of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, more specifically in Fidenza and Parma.

Waving or Drowning

The world economy is yet to move towards strong and sustained growth after the onset of the great recession in 2008. Even if the crisis in the North is resolved, developing countries are likely to encounter a much less favourable global economic environment in the coming years than they did earlier. If they wish to repeat the spectacular growth they enjoyed in the run-up to the crisis, they need to improve their own growth fundamentals, rebalance domestic and external sources of growth, and reduce their dependence on foreign markets and capital. This requires abandoning the Washington Consensus, and seeking strategic rather than full integration with the global economy.

The Diversities of Tribal Resistance in Colonial Orissa, 1840s-1890s

This article explores the nature of popular tribal resistance in colonial Orissa, highlighting a wide range of features. It emphasises the importance of locating cultures of resistance within the paradigms of social history. Alongside, it stresses the importance of seeing resistance as an interactive process involving a host of complexities. While highlighting the importance of the way the oppressed invented survival strategies, the article discusses the interrogations and contestations through which the marginal sections challenged the colonialist and the internal exploiting classes. It argues that these features need to be seen holistically in order to grasp the diversities of popular resistance.

Death and Desire in Times of Revolution

This paper engages with the choices made by Pritilata Waddedar (1911-32), a member of the Chittagong-based Indian Republican Army, who died on 24 September 1932 after successfully leading a siege on the Pahartali European Club in Chittagong. Pritilata has long been accorded iconic status as a virangana in nationalist historiography. Her dying statement has been studied by historians to understand whether and how the politicisation of women in anti-colonial struggles resulted in a reordering of gender relations. This article engages with the complexity of Hindu women's participation in militant anti-colonial struggles by problematising the choices made by them. It attempts a decentring of knowledge by exposing to scrutiny areas of "private" experience of women in "public"/"political" movements through a reading of the writings of Pritilata, Kalpana Dutt and Surya Sen.

Implementation of Forest Rights Act 2006 in Odisha

Analysing the problem-ridden process of implementing the Forest Rights Act 2006 in Odisha, this paper points out that it has focused more on providing land rights to individual claimants, neglecting community forest rights, the rights in protected areas, and other such provisions. Even so, the number of titles granted to tribal households is small compared to their total number in the state. Effective and comprehensive implementation of the FRA will have a significant impact on the livelihood of forest dwellers and the conservation of forests. The benefits could be more if this is accompanied by value addition to non-timber forest products and action to ensure reasonable prices for them.

Unacknowledged Urbanisation

The unexpected increase in the number of census towns in the last census has thrust them into the spotlight. The new CTs account for almost 30% of the urban growth in the last decade. The estimated contribution of migration is similar to that in previous intercensal periods. Further, the data indicates a dispersed pattern of in situ urbanisation, with the reluctance of state policy to recognise new statutory towns partly responsible for the growth of new CTs. A growing share of India's urban population, living in these CTs, is being governed under the rural administrative framework, despite very different demographic and economic characteristics, which may affect their future growth.

Confronting Bureaucratic Capture

The people's planning programme in Kerala is under threat of a bureaucratic capture with government orders and guidelines from above subduing the process of participatory planning. This paper proposes overhauling the methodology of planning from below to put the experiment back on track. This will involve demystifying and debureaucratising the planning process and strengthening participatory spaces. However, the enthusiasm for maximising participation should not ben at the expense of the right to be critical. People's participation is not a substitute for expertise in development planning. Participatory planning has to make maximum use of the expertise within the government and outside it without compromising on accountability and responsiveness to the people.

Credit Retrogression in the Micro and Small Enterprise Sector

This paper attempts to understand the nature, dimensions and direction of flow of bank credit to micro and small enterprises with special reference to the manufacturing sector in the wake of post-1991 reforms that promised a better play of market forces. It finds that despite substantial increase in absolute credit deployed through the banks, the share of credit to MSES in general, and manufacturing MSES in particular declined, picking up only over the past few years. Within the manufacturing sector, bank credit went mainly to large and medium sized manufacturing units. The evidence is indicative of structural retrogression of credit to MSES and contradicts the notion of price signals in the credit market allocating credit to sectors like MSE at higher interest rates, thereby generating additional income, employment and demand for goods and services, and in turn, supplementing the National Manufacturing Policy's objective of high growth in the manufacturing sector to generate 100 million jobs in the next five years.

Sri Lankan Boat Migration to Australia

Over the past 18 months, Sri Lankans have boarded boats for Australia in record numbers. Stories from boat migrants depict complex political and economic motivations for their journeys, contrary to the statements by both governments that the boats are filled solely, or primarily, with "economic migrants". In fact, the economic concerns that are motivating people are themselves inextricable from political problems, persecution and other forms of discrimination and injustice. Rumours of the Sri Lankan government's complicity in people-smuggling operations create a dilemma for the Australian government, whose survival at this year's federal election depends on stopping the boats.

Turnaround in India's Employment Story

Creation of decent jobs outside agriculture is one of the biggest challenges that confront policymakers trying to achieve "faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth". The Indian economy grew at unprecedented rates during the Tenth (2002-07) and Eleventh (2007-12) Five-Year Plan periods, but it has been characterised by jobless growth and informalisation of jobs in the organised sector between 2004-05 and 2009-10. However, findings from the latest employment and unemployment survey of the National Sample Survey Office (2011-12) seem to suggest a reversal of joblessness with a significant increase in non-agricultural employment. The paper tries to assess the employment intensity of output growth through an examination of employment elasticity, and potential for employment generation during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-17).


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