ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Special IssuesSubscribe to Special Issues

‘Fiscal Federalism’ in India since 1991

The “reforms” in 1991 laid out a new trajectory in which federalism was dichotomised into two parts—political and fiscal. The fiscal was privileged and used to undermine the political. Fiscal federalism in India since 1991 rests on the contradictions generated by the theoretical infirmities of the sound finance paradigm along with a concerted undermining of federal provisions. This political drive is in keeping with the agenda since 1991, eroding the relative autonomy of the state to turn it into a facilitator of a macroeconomic expansion process in which the wage–surplus distribution becomes more and more favourable to capital.

The Demand for Division of Uttar Pradesh and Its Implications

Significant interregional development disparities plaguing Uttar Pradesh today are often attributed to its large and unwieldy size. There is a strong prima facie case for the division of the state into smaller units to improve governance and development. But the demand for the state’s division, raised from time to time by all major parties except the Samajwadi Party, has presently receded into the background in the absence of mass support for it from any region. In the political discourse surrounding the 2017 UP assembly elections, it appears unlikely that restructuring of the state into manageable units will emerge as a significant issue.

Identity Equations and Electoral Politics

The changes in landownership pattern, educational mobility, and occupational diversification among socio-religious groups in Uttar Pradesh provide crucial insights into the contemporary nature of political mobilisation in UP. Based on a survey of over 7,000 households, representing all socio-religious groups in 14 districts of the state, the article assesses these changes and points to the disparities between the various groups and, more importantly, to the intra-group inequalities that exist within each group. To effectively mobilise support, political parties will have to look beyond the numbers and recognise the acute differences existing within castes.

The Time of Youth

Drawing on long-term multisite ethnographic fieldwork in Allahabad and Meerut, this article examines how educated unemployed young men, from different socio-economic backgrounds, struggle for employment and engage with politics and religion in the age of neo-liberalism.

Facts and Fiction about How Muslims Vote in India

There is a widely held belief that Muslims in India vote en bloc and strategically to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. This misconception has given rise to several wild theories about how Muslims participate in electoral arena—that they vote in large numbers, their decision of whom to vote for is influenced by clerics, they are more concerned about religious issues while voting, and are less supportive of India’s political institutions. This article presents a body of evidence using public opinion and election returns data from Uttar Pradesh to show that the political and electoral behaviour of Muslims is no different from that of any other major community in the state.

The Weavers of Banaras

A switch from the handloom to the powerloom has altered the livelihood, ethos, and lifestyle of the weavers of the Banaras silk industry. This article is an attempt to understand how these artisans have coped with the transformation wrought by technology, how they perceive changes occurring in Banaras’s composite culture, and their reactions to the current political dispensation led by Narendra Modi.

Understanding the Potentialities

This ethnographic study of Dalit women from the villages of Allahabad district assesses their identification with Dalit politics, the impact that the Bahujan Samaj Party has had on their political and social aspirations, and what makes them identify with Mayawati.

RSS, BJP and Communal Polarisation in Uttar Pradesh Polls

Ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its allied organisations are making concerted efforts to achieve better coordination on the ground to consolidate the Hindu votes and crack the complex caste arithmetic of the state. With the Hindutva card unlikely to cut much ice with the backward castes and Dalits, it is crucial for the BJP, to calibrate its campaign strategy to offer these less empowered communities more political representation to reap electoral dividends in the impending polls.

Third Democratic Upsurge in Uttar Pradesh

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh point to an electoral battle between the incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With a decline of identity politics in the state, the major political parties are trying to outdo each other in engineering alliances, reaching out to hitherto neglected, marginalised groups, under the garb of inclusive politics. Sensing an opportunity, these backward groups are turning away from their identity-based political anchors and being drawn towards parties that promise political and economic empowerment, signalling the beginning of the “third democratic upsurge” in UP.

Deciphering Growth and Development

Uttar Pradesh’s growth and development is increasingly becoming part of the political discourse as the 2017 state elections approach. The Akhilesh Yadav government has showcased its strategies and achievements through public advertisements. Given that all major parties in the fray have been in power in the state at some time or another, this article examines UP’s record of growth and development over the long run, and over specific sub-periods linked to various political regimes. It specifically examines how growth strategies, focused on industrial and infrastructure growth, have evolved since the early 1990s, poor governance has influenced the general development scenario as well as the impact of “social justice” oriented governments on socially inclusive development.

New Structures of Governance Needed

India’s existing structures of water governance, which focus on constructing supply systems, need a radical transformation to be able to address new challenges. This article points out that the proposed National Water Commission could help by initiating steps that assert crucial aspects of the new culture of water management structures in the country.

All Is Not Lost, But Water Sector Reforms Must Go Ahead

There is a growing awareness that water endowments in India are severely under the threat of exhaustion and degradation. The focus since independence has been on intensifying utilisation of water through building more and more dams on rivers or extracting groundwater through wells and tube wells...


Back to Top