ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Balmurli Natrajan

Between ‘Baksheesh’ and ‘Bonus’

How is class experienced by domestic workers when they come together for collective action? Using ethnographic data, this paper argues that the collective action efforts by some unions of domestic workers in Bengaluru to demand “bonus” reveals the struggles over class that they engage in, struggles that make them conscious of their in-between class status as self-employed workers in a precarious informal economy. The collective action of demanding bonus in Bengaluru entails a cultural–political struggle away from a gift economy relationship and towards a more commodified economy under conditions of precarity in the informal economy.

Punctuated Solidarities

There is now a lot of debate about the possibility of political solidarities across the dalit/non-dalit divide. This debate has layered on to the earlier one about the possibility of solidarities between the dalit and Left movements and the reasons for their failure. This article, using Anand Patwardhan's fi lm, Jai Bhim Comrade, as a point of entry into this debate, is an attempt to fi nd spaces for a political praxis which may allow for such solidarities to emerge and succeed, where others have failed.

Indian Electoral Democracy: The Only Game in Town

The all pervasive importance given to the electoral aspect of formal democracy in India hides the inefficacy of institutions of democracy and governance as they exist today. In some sense, elections are used as tools of legitimation by the ruling classes of policies that are inimical to the interests of the majority who vote. Why is it then that voters vote?