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Autopic Imperial Eyes

Ideological and social practices are interconnected and politically constitute each other. This article takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate how historians and literary scholars have discussed the intersections of exploration, colonisation, language and race during early European imperial expeditions. It examines the construction of racial “otherness,” in terms of religion, and community; through early European explorations and through the lens of gender. It also underscores the role of language as a tool for imperial domination and assesses the idea of linguistic colonialism by situating Shakespeare as a translator of the racial divide and scrutinising his representations of characters in two of his most popular dramas The Tempest and Othello.

Breaking the Chaturvarna System of Languages

The Indian language policy is informed by a pull towards unilingual identity, inspired by the European model of nation state that is predicated on the homogeneity of its people. Language hegemony works at two tiers in India—at the state and the centre. The Constitution fails to pay more than lip service to the linguistic plurality and multilingual ethos of the peoples of India and has created a chaturvarna (four-tier order) of languages, with Sanskrit, Hindi, the scheduled, and the non-scheduled languages occupying various rungs of the ladder. English—the language of the conquerors—being outside the chaturvarna system has emancipatory potential.

Caste Membership, Business Access, and Social Mobility among Indian Apparel Manufacturers

This article focuses on the role of community in industrial clusters and examines social networks among small and medium-sized enterprises in Tiruppur, a centre for the production of cotton knitwear, and Ludhiana, known for the production of woollen knitwear. This survey of Tiruppur and Ludhiana reveals that credibility is more important than community. Factory workers could become owners in Ludhiana, and non-Gounders—who are part of the cotton knitwear production in Tiruppur and persons outside Ludhiana’s merchant community—could start micro factories as subcontractors. Vertical cooperation is functioning across communities in both places. The social networks did not exclude other communities. Easy entry has provided opportunities to young people to start business in both clusters. The social networks function beyond community and caste.

Rise of the New Middle Class in India and Its Changing Structure

After being largely stable between 1999–2000 and 2004–05, the new middle class in India (that is, those spending between $2 and $10 per capita per day) doubled in size between 2004–05 and 2011–12, amounting to nearly half of India’s population. This growth, though largely in the lower middle class category, happened across a majority of states in both rural and urban areas. Structurally, the new middle class is quite different from the conventional understanding of it. Although dominated by upper castes, other caste groups too have entered the new middle class in large numbers. The occupational structure within the class is heterogeneous. The lower middle class is engaged in occupations similar to that of the poor, whereas the upper middle class is involved in traditional service activities as well as in new knowledge services.

Sexual Harassment at Workplace

This exploratory research attempts to understand the occurrence and dynamics of sexual harassment of women managers at workplace. While the number of sexual harassment cases is staggering, little is known about the experience that women go through when their personal space and dignity is violated. It seeks to explore how women manage such behaviour meted out to them, what kind of policies and processes do organisations have for protecting them from being sexually harmed, and whether the enactment of a law is adequ ate in safeguarding their interest and reputation. It also draws attention to practices instituted by some organisations that are proactive and gender sensitive.

Tamil Nadu Migration Survey 2015

Tamil Nadu is considered a mobile society because its people have a history of migration and a significant diaspora presence in 17 countries across the world. In spite of high mobility being recurrent in Tamil Nadu, there is a lack of comprehensive studies on this theme. The Tamil Nadu Migration Survey 2015 is the first attempt to study the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of migrants, return migrants, outmigrants, and return outmigrants in the state, remittances received, cost of migration, and the problems they face abroad. TMS 2015 is a broad replication of previously conducted Kerala Migration Surveys.

Lives in Debt

A study in two districts recording high numbers of farmer suicide—Yavatmal in Maharashtra and Sangrur in Punjab—explores the tipping point for this desperate act and finds that in addition to the shame of indebtedness, especially when borrowing from members of the family, several other factors contribute to farmer suicides. These include faulty cropping patterns, rising input costs, aspirational consumption, and the absence of non-farm sources of income.

Political Economy of Independent Regulation in India’s Natural Gas Industry

Based on a case study of India's downstream hydrocarbon regulator, this article argues that the success or failure of independent regulation in industries supplying basic goods and services is determined by the politico-economic context in which the regulator functions. In a developing country with a large number of poor people without access to basic necessities such as water, energy, or roads, independent economic regulation by itself can deliver little, unless backed by a strong political will

Benchmarking Approach to Improve the Public Procurement Process

While governments in India have adopted electronic means to streamline their procurement process, the data generated by these portals have not been used to derive any meaningful information. This article presents a data-driven, multi-method approach to use benchmarking as a tool to improve the public procurement tendering process. Developing the relevant key performance indicators, it measures and compares the performance of the public procurement tendering process in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and West Bengal in the last five years.

Can Postcolonial Feminism Revive International Relations?

International relations must distance itself from its Eurocentric and masculine moorings if it is to address its increasing irrelevance in the modern world and become more "international" and truly inclusive. The theoretical position of postcolonial feminism gives the discipline the best chance of doing so. The effect of conflict on women in Kashmir and the North East illustrates how a postcolonial feminist perspective enriches an understanding of the issue and enables international relations to reflect the lived reality of the people.

Evolution of Electricity Tariff in India, 1975–2010

In the early 1990s, India embarked on a series of reforms in its power sector. Years of structural reform and policy changes have had an effect on both the costs and tariffs of electric power. Electricity supply involves both the central and state governments, and given the diversity of geographical conditions, the experience of different states in pricing and cost recovery has been different over the years. The focus of this paper is on how costs and tariffs have evolved for 22 major Indian states from 1975 to 2010, and it attempts to correlate that with policy changes

Dominant or Backward?

Using data from the India Human Development Survey, this paper examines the demands of Jats (Haryana), Patels (Gujarat), and Marathas (Maharashtra) to be classified as Other Backward Classes to access reservations. Compared to the major caste groups (Brahmins, other forward castes, existing OBCs, and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) in their respective states, based on several socio-economic factors, they are closer to dominant than disadvantaged groups. Their claim to backwardness is empirically unjustified. The paper examines the material basis of their anxieties in the context of structural changes in the Indian agricultural economy. It investigates networks and political connections that explain their success in mobilising.

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