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

Articles by Prakash KashwanSubscribe to Prakash Kashwan

Who Will Guard the Guardians? State Accountability in India's Environmental Governance

Effective public accountability is a prerequisite for protecting India's environment and the environmental human rights of all Indians. However, the question of what factors promote the accountability of public institutions remains under-researched in India. The recent and ongoing attempts by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to undermine environmental regulations beg a fundamental question that has yet to be debated adequately: Who will guard the guardians? In this essay, we discuss the importance of divided administrative jurisdictions for fostering relations of accountability in public institutions. Specifically, we highlight the divided jurisdiction that the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 creates in the regulation of mining and other non-forestry activities in forest areas and its implications for bolstering relations of accountability in environmental governance. Amidst serious attempts to undermine these arrangements, we ask the readers and policymakers to consider the importance of public accountability for transforming India’s national environmental regulatory framework.

Botched-up Development and Electoral Politics in India

The debates about the general election campaign in India have often pitted "development" against secularism. In the process, questions about the emergence of alternative political formations have been pushed to the sidelines. This article argues that a development versus secular polarisation of national debates reflects a gross simplification of the politics of development in independent India. Through an examination of the historical antecedents of the contemporary dominance of the political right in Gujarat and by drawing on recent research, this article makes two interrelated arguments. First, it shows that the success of the right is inextricably linked to the botched-up development priorities of the past several decades. Second, it points to the inadequacy of the pro-poor policies and programmes promoted by the left-of-the-centre political coalitions.

Micro-Level Disputes: Traditional Water Harvesting Structure

The work of Tarun Bharat Sangh in Rajasthan has received much attention. There is an urgent need though to question development challenges that go overboard in extolling the virtues of greenery without tracing the hands that own the land and harvest the fruits of public money.

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