ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ethnic Environmentalism in the Eastern Himalaya

The Sikkim–Darjeeling Himalaya is undergoing serious environmental changes as a result of the rampant construction of hydroelectric projects and climate-induced changes. Their impact is most discernible on the economically and politically vulnerable mountain communities. The silence in the public sphere around environmental issues reflects the scalar distribution of political power, the limitations of existing grievance-sharing mechanisms, and the predominance of ethnicity as a key variable in negotiations around the environment.

Business Anthropology

This article highlights the potential use of business anthropology as an effective means of studying business orgnisations in India. There have been ongoing debates among anthropologists on the present trends and crisis in Indian anthropology. Many scholars have reflected that there is an urgent need for reorienting the direction of research in anthropology in India to arrest the decline of the discipline.

‘Equality as Tradition’ and Women’s Reservation in Nagaland

Drawing on the purported attempts to give 33% reservation to women in Nagaland’s urban local bodies as a test case, an analysis is made of how misleading the presumption and claim of “equality as tradition” could be in a supposedly “egalitarian” Naga society. Patriarchally structured deliberations, consultations and decision-making procedures adopted by the Government of Nagaland and the judiciary have failed to accord equal participation and effective voice to women.

Black Money in Politics

This article argues that the Election Commission of India should proactively implement electoral reforms aimed at improving transparency in electoral funding and ensuring that political parties do not misuse the tax benefits provided to them. It is adequately empowered to bring political parties under the ambit of the Right to Information Act and order full disclosure of all donations received by them. No additional legislation is required.

Behavioural Economics Perspective of ‘Demonetisation’

How does one understand demonetisation from a behavioural economics perspective? Would a better understanding of cash holding behaviour and tax evasion have helped policymakers? What does behavioural economics offer for large-scale public policy decisions?

India’s Access to International Climate Finance

India has long argued for more direct control over international climate finance through a mechanism called enhanced direct access. Yet, it has a poor track record, and weak institutional structures to identify large-scale transformational changes that are compatible with enhanced direct access. As the Green Climate Fund moves towards full operationalisation, it is argued that India’s engagement with the GCF could achieve multiple goals of development and climate change through more national control over the uses of climate finance.

Sanitation in West Bengal

Literacy and public education rather than economic growth are integral to eradicating open defecation, suggests this study of sanitation practices in three districts of West Bengal and nine bordering districts of Bangladesh. While the number of households with a latrine on the premises grew by 15.1% in West Bengal from 2001 to 2011, Bangladesh made more rapid progress, highlighting the importance of the shame vs subsidy social marketing programme employed at the grass roots to improve sanitation coverage.

Thinking Kashmir

Waiting is so much a part of everydayness, including waiting for peace, waiting for your loved ones to come home, waiting for curfew to end, waiting for the army to go home. Between silence and waiting one can create a narrative of the Kashmir conflict. Unlike the Holocaust or partition, which have the gigantism of epic memories, the sadness of Kashmir is forged, crafted out of thousands of little memories, unwritten diaries merging quietly together. It is this alchemy of memories that is struggling against government policy, which sanitises violence and erases memory to create this strange machine that moves from violence to violence in facile amnesia.

The Provocations of the Public University

What are the pasts and futures of the public university in India? This question has come to the fore over the last year, when a series of events at some of India’s leading public universities and institutions brought a new focus on the achievements and problems associated with these spaces of higher education. This article argues that any insightful assessment of the public university in India today must take account of its histories, its achievements, and its possible futures. That alone will go a long way towards asserting its continued and vital relevance in a society such as ours.

Disabled Schoolchildren and Their Challenges

Disability, a socially defined global phenomenon, varies from state to state in India, and is based on gender and rural–urban backgrounds. A study conducted in Sipajhar block of Assam shows that physically and mentally challenged schoolchildren face severe discrimination. As the existing policies and programmes are insufficient to wipe out the stigma attached to their lives, we need widespread awareness programmes to give the persons with disabilities a dignified life and to include them in the mainstream development processes.

Gendering Sports in Colonial Bengal

The early 20th century witnessed important shifts in the Bengali Hindu elite’s images of women’s public role. The number of educated women increased even if it was within the limited domain of urban communities. The “games ethics” influenced the women and it was placed in the broader perspective of their emancipation. Different schools and colleges with their motto of holistic education and the contemporary magazines highlighted the importance of women’s health for future motherhood. Their role in the sporting field remained gendered and female agency in this sphere had to negotiate with forms of patriarchy.

The Caste Question and Songs of Protest in Punjab

The popularity of “mission singing” and Chamar songs in recent times, in response and retaliation to Jatt pop music, in Punjab harks to the larger caste conundrum of the region and its complex historical location as a frontier society. The lower castes that migrated from Hinduism to new faiths, attracted by the latter’s textual claims of egalitarianism and non-hierarchical world views, over the centuries found that there was a huge gap between its theoretical premises and everyday practices. Dalit singers who produce songs valorising their history and heroes emerge as powerful expressions of rebellion against entrenched caste hierarchies.

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