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

J JeyaranjanSubscribe to J Jeyaranjan

Women and Pro-Poor Policies in Rural Tamil Nadu: An Examination of Practices and Responses

Using a village in Tamil Nadu as a case study, this article examines the initial response to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on the ground, the reasons behind the low participation, and its subsequent reworking to make it not just viable but also "successful". As conceived, the transformatory potential of nrega is limited. When operationalised in letter and spirit, such programmes may alleviate poverty, and to that extent empower women, but cannot transform our rural economies that are characterised by low growth, poor investments in infrastructure and limited generation of growth-led decent employment.

Not by Patronage Alone: Understanding Tamil Nadu's Vote for Change

A combination of solid alliance building and deep resentment with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led government and the party itself helped the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led coalition come to power in Tamil Nadu. The institution of a bevy of welfarist measures and promises of many more were not enough to assuage a discontented electorate upset with corruption and nepotism in the ruling party, blatant rent-seeking by DMK legislators, and so on.

Land, Labour and Caste Politics in Rural Tamil Nadu in the 20th Century: Iruvelpattu (1916-2008)

The "Slater" villages of Tamil Nadu that were first surveyed by the University of Madras economist, Gilbert Slater, and his students in 1916, were resurveyed in the 1930s, 1960s and the 1980s. This paper reports and discusses a 2008 resurvey of Iruvelpattu, one of the five Slater villages in Tamil Nadu. The 2008 study tells the story of persistence of landlord power, continuing dependence of a majority of households on agriculture in spite of the significant diversification of employment that has taken place, and an apparent stagnation in the agricultural economy after the relative success of the green revolution in the 1970s. It also brings out a tightening in the labour market and dalit political mobilisation as well as a shift in agricultural wage rates. However, the level of state intervention in the interests of social security through primary healthcare provision, schools in which teachers are actually present, and the maintenance of a universal public distribution system as well as the operation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, all distinguish Iruvelpattu generally from villages in other parts of the country.

Mainstreaming Gender, Engendering Development: Reflections on a Case Study

Mainstreaming gender and engendering development has now become a part of feminist and development discourse. This paper is a case study of the mv Foundation, which has implemented its programme of "Empowering Women through Collective Action" in the Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh. It shows how this foundation had consciously and concretely incorporated aspects that have the potential to mainstream gender as well as engender development. It also describes how the foundation identified the most marginalised among the rural population, apprised them of the existing rural and land-based programmes of the government and acted as a catalyst to source these programmes.

Tamil Nadu's Midday Meal Scheme

Tamil Nadu's noon-cum-nutritious meal scheme is the country's largest in terms of the number of beneficiaries covered. There is little doubt that enrolment and retention of children, including girl children, in schools have shown significant improvement. Besides, drop-out rates have shown a decline. However, as this paper analyses, there is now a need to seriously re-examine the orginal rationale for the scheme, namely, getting children to school and retaining them. In the two decades of the scheme's existence, the educational profile as well as the nature of problems at the ground level have changed significantly. Much of this is not reflected in the data presented and available with the government. On the other hand, the scheme has not been able to bring all children to school. If the midday meal is to retain its effectiveness and relevance, it may have to be modified in the light to these changes.

Work, Caste and Competing Masculinities

Notions and practices of masculinity are often reconfigured in the wake of rapid economic and socio-political transformation. This paper explores this aspect in a south Indian village across two dimensions. Changes in local economy have seen challenges posed to the long dominant position of the upper caste mudaliars based on their control on land, over the dalits. On the other hand, the entry of large numbers of women into the industrial work-force has played its part in modifying the relationship between caste, class and gender.

Tamil Nadu : New Caste Equations

The new political equation emerging in Tamil Nadu is, thus, informed by two contradictory tendencies. While the dalits' alignment with the Muslims is problematising the Hindutva's agenda of co-opting the dalits as Hindus, the anti-Muslim politics of the backward caste thevars is making available a new territory for Hindu communal mobilisation. The future course of politics in Tamil Nadu may depend critically on which of these trends will assert.

Cauvery Dispute Changing Paradigms

J Jeyaranjan for granted the existing system. It is this system that has led to the inefficiencies that people are complaining about. Why should future policy then be based on that structure? Let us look for alternatives and ask the TRAI to place such choices before us. What has been the experience of deregulation, etc, in other countries? We hear about how telephone rates fell in the Philippines. We hear about how common cell phones have become there. What kind of deregulation did they do? What are the adverse effects? What can we learn from such experiences? The debate has to be enriched with information and analyses of experience. We need much more information. The public should not be asked to decide without all the details being available. If some data are not available, let the TRAI say so and then seek acceptable assumptions and suggestions. These are matters where consensus will have to be built. In placing this paper before us, the TRAI has taken the first step towards building such a consensus.

Revisit Approach to Rural Dynamics-Towards A Critique

Towards A Critique J Jeyaranjan Restudies of villages are claimed to be a method of studying rural social and economic change over time. This note prohlematises the revisit method by pointing out its neglect of time as a medium with varying socio-cultural and historical densities.

The Twice Alienated

December 21-28, 1985 notably those of the proletariat, he argues, are thereby deflected from the real target, the world system, and are directed instead to false targets and misconceived aims of national liberation which is a mirage. National liberation means nothing, because the 'liberated' post-revolutionary societies still remain integrally parts of the world capitalist system by virtue of their continued trading relations with the rest of the world.

KATCHATIVU-Island of Discord

Island of Discord THE fishermen of Rameswaram coast, numbering about 12,000, now go out for fishing into the Palk Straits only reluctantly. They fear fatal assaults from the Sri Lankan Naval Patrol Boats (SNP) well within the Indian territorial waters. Following the ethnic violence against the Tamils in Sri Lanka in 1983, the Sri Lankan Naval Vessels are intruding into the Indian territorial waters and consistently harassing the Indian fishermen. The reason offered by the Sri Lankan government is that Tamil militants are crossing over to Sri Lanka from India via Palk Straits.
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